Buzz Dressel

Short list for Padilla's seat

Bergen County Democrats are already beginning to consider candidates for Freeholder to replace Tomas Padilla on their ticket next year.  Possible candidates include:  Bergen County Improvement Authority Chairman Ronald O'Malley; union leader Richard "Buzz" Dressel; Regina O'Neill, the former Chief of Staff to State Sen. Loretta Weinberg; Cliffside Park Councilman Ken Corcoran; Bergenfield Mayor Timothy Driscoll; Bergen County Undersheriff Ralph Rivera; Woodcliff Lake Councilwoman Josephine Higgins; outgoing River Edge Councilwoman Esther Fletcher; outgoing Dumont Councilman Robert McQuade; Ridgewood Councilman Paul Stuart Aronsohn; Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich; Maywood Councilman Tim Eustace; Cliffside Park Councilwoman Dana Martinotti; and former Assemblyman Edward Hynes.

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Patrick Kennedy to attend Corzine labor rally in Paramus

Patrick Kennedy, a Congressman from Rhode Island and the son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, will stump for Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election on Friday night at a labor rally at the IBEW Local 164 in Paramus.  AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech, Building Trades Council Bill Mullen, and IBEW Local 164 President Richard "Buzzy" Dressel will join them.

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In Bergen, Democratic County Committee casting their ballots

Bergen County Democrats are voting now on a successor to County Chairman Joseph Ferriero.  Expect Michael Kasparian to win in a landslide, since Richard “Buzz” Dressel appears to have dropped out again.  Rival faction Democrats seems to be staying away from the special convention.

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Word is Kasparian has the votes

Democrats from both factions in Bergen County suggest that developer Michael Kasparian has the votes to win election as County Chairman when the Bergen County Democratic Organization meets tomorrow night to pick a replacement for Joseph Ferriero.  Kasparian, reportedly Ferriero’s choice, faces labor leader Richard “Buzz” Dressel.  Dressel had dropped out of the race, but quickly returned. 

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Report: Sarlo won't seek Ferriero post

Report: Sarlo won't seek Ferriero post
State Sen. Paul Sarlo probably won't run for Bergen County Democratic Chairman.

There is considerable speculation that State Sen. Paul Sarlo, the new Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has ruled out a bid to succeed Joseph Ferriero as the Bergen County Democratic Chairman.  Some top level Democrats, reportedly including U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, had been urging him to run.  Sarlo, sources say, had been considering an entrance into the race, which now includes labor leader Buzz Dressel and developer/fundraiser Michael Kasparian.

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Kasparian enters race for Bergen Democratic Chairman

Michael Kasparian, a Democratic fundraiser and ally of outgoing Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, formally entered the race to succeed Ferriero this weekend, saying that he demonstrated his independence from party leaders by becoming an early support of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. 

The Ho-Ho-Kus real estate developer and former Assembly candidate says he will unveil his platform for reform over the next two weeks.  Kasparian is expected to face labor leader Buzz Dressel in a January 22 special election.  Ferriero announced on Friday that he was stepping down after ten years at the helm of the Bergen County Democratic Organization.

The complete text of Kaspaian's announcement follows:

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Dressel pledges union will back only Democrats if he replaces Ferriero

Dressel pledges union will back only Democrats if he replaces Ferriero
Union leader Buzz Dressel is expected to run for Bergen County Democratic Chairman if Joe Ferriero is ousted.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 164 endorsed Republican Henry McNamara for Bergen County Executive in 2002 at the request of Democratic powerhouse John Lynch, according to Richard "Buzz" Dressel, the business manager for the local.  Lynch, a former Senate President, is now serving a 39 month sentence after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.

If there is contest to replace indicted Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, Dressel is expected to face off against Michael Kasparian, a real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser with ties to Ferriero.  Dressel says the IBEW's endorsements of McNamara and GOP County Clerk Kathleen Donovan won't hamper his ability to replace Ferriero.  He says the union was backing McNamara because he was stronger in his opposition to the Xanadu project than the eventual winner, Democrat Dennis McNerney.  And he says even Ferriero tried to get Donovan to seek re-election last year as a Democrat.

State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), who met with Kasparian today, says Dressel shouldn't be penalized for a couple of union endorsements.

"That was his union, it wasn't specifically Buzzy," said Sarlo.   "Look, if the county committee picks him he would have to guarantee that all endorsements out of that union hall are Democratic."

At 3,500 members, Dressel's local is the largest electrical construction workers union in the state.

"That's the largest union in Bergen County, and the fact that he's the president could turn into a big positive for him," said Sarlo.

Dressel's union, whose campaign contributions included one to GOP gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler in 2001, will endorse only Democrats from now on.  "Without a doubt," he told

"We need to bring credibility back to the Bergen County Democratic Party," added Dressel, a Commissioner of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. "This is not the Democratic Party my grandfather was a part of. We're supposed to be connecting people to the process, and that's what I want to do. I want to bring the party back together. I'd actually be calling for meetings and a transparent process. Meanwhile, there's somebody running against me who is unequivocally Joe Ferriero's clone."

On his way in to meet with Paramus developer and Democratic Party fundraiser Kasparian today, State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) dismissed the rumor of a conflict and said Dressell shouldn't be penalized for backing a Republican or two.

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Ex-mayor, labor leader seeking votes for Ferriero's job

Labor leader Buzz Dressel wants to be the next Bergen Democratic ChairmanLabor leader Buzz Dressel wants to be the next Bergen Democratic ChairmanJoseph Ferriero still hasn’t resigned as chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, but after he was indicted on eight counts of corruption yesterday, the race to replace him has begun.

Already, potential candidates acknowledge that they’ll need to tackle two major issues in the upcoming weeks.

One is bridging the divide between the Ferriero loyalists and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck).

The other is fundraising.  That’s never been a problem for the BCDO under the leadership of Ferriero, who foes feared as a fundraising juggernaut.  But now, without Ferriero at the helm, the party could find it difficult to raise cash fast.  And they’ll need it – as of the last ELEC report, filed on July 15th, the party’s cash on hand is in the red.  While the party’s finances were similar at this point one year ago, they had Ferriero’s money-raising prowess to ramp it up.

Three names are still floated as potential replacements, while other names are likely to be added to the mix later on.  There’s former Leonia Mayor Robert Pacicco, a jewelry store owner and Democratic Municipal Chairman; Richard “Buzz” Dressel, the business manager of IBEW Local 164; and former Bergen County Superior Court Judge Daniel Mecca.

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Among Bergen Democrats, discussion of life after Ferriero

Among Bergen Democrats, discussion of life after Ferriero

The Record says Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero is the target of a federal probeThe Record says Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero is the target of a federal probe
Ten years after Joe Ferriero started the Bergen County Democratic Organization’s march toward county-wide domination, his hold on power is quickly slipping away.

Multiple sources report that Ferriero is facing intense pressure from top Democrats in the party to resign permanently from his post as county chairman.  The Record, citing sources, said that Ferriero received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office over an investigation of a grants writing firm he held a stake in.  There are also allegations of an assault during a Labor Day party at his Old Tappan home.  Insiders acknowledge that Ferriero’s grasp on the chairmanship is tenuous at best, and that his days in the position may be numbered in the single digits.

Ferriero has already taken a temporary leave of absence, with Vice Chair Kay Nest taking over his immediate responsibilities.  Already, at least five potential replacements have either been raised as possibilities or have floated their own names to permanently replace him.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 1st

Bergen County Freeholder forum mostly convivial, but at times confrontational TEANECK - The Bergen County freeholder forum on Tuesday night was a relatively collegial affair until the final two minutes on the 90-minute event. Republican freeholder candidate Robert Avery, flanked by fellow GOP freeholder candidate Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh, referred to...


Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(10-1-14) Mayor Fulop’s Working Family Rebellion Spreads - What began as a commitment between Mayor Steve Fulop and the people of Jersey City is fast becoming a movement spreading... more »
In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery

- PolitickerNJ


Which of these "Mount Rushmore of Corruption" states deserves the centerpiece?:


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