Michael Dressler

Bergen GOP needs Christie to win to play in '10 race vs. McNerney

Some very optimistic Bergen County Republicans are thinking ahead to 2010, when two-term County Executive Dennis McNerney is up for re-election.  The GOP believes they could have a shot at the post they held from 1986 to 2003, if New Jersey has a Republican governor.  And some Democrats say that McNerney could be weakened if federal prosecutors convict former Democratic County Chairman Joseph Ferriero after his corruption trial this fall.

The Republicans who receive the most attention as potential County Executive candidates are: County Clerk Kathleen Donovan, Assemblyman David Russo (R-Ridgewood), and former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan.  If the Bergen County Democratic Organization pulls their support from McNerney, look for Surrogate Michael Dressler, Sheriff Leo McGuire, and outgoing Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes to be among the top candidates.

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A dose of imagination

Bergen County is apparently immune from the "change" bug that has swept the rest of the nation.

Not even a federal investigation and eight-count indictment could convince Bergen County Democrats to dump their long-time corrupt leader Joe Ferriero. Note how three Democrats responded to calls from other elected officials for their chairman to step down:

"Steve Rothman ought to know better...he knows the constitutional presumption of innocence." -Freeholder David Ganz

"Everybody's presumed innocent..." -Surrogate Michael Dressler

"We all have the presumption of innocence..." -Sheriff Leo McGuire

If this were college, they'd be expelled for plagiarism, but in Ferriero's Bergen County that kind of lemming-like ability to follow orders is demanded and rewarded. It's embarrassing to see these supposedly grown men get played like fiddles by the state's new poster boy for corruption, but they've been doing it for so long they don't know anything else.

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Bergen Dems meeting now to decide what to do with Ferriero

Bergen County Democratic leaders are meeting at their party headquarters in Hackensack this morning to discuss the fate of County Chairman Joseph Ferriero, who was indicted on federal corruption charges last Tuesday.  So far, the party seems divided on Ferriero's fate: Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman, Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg have said Ferriero should resign; Bergen County Exeuctive Dennis McNerney, Sheriff Leo McGuire, Surrogate Michael Dressler and Freeholder David Ganz want Ferriero to remain -- albeit on a leave of absence -- pending the resolution of his legal issues.

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Key Bergen Dems say Ferriero should stay

Bergen County Democrats will meet today to discuss Joe Ferriero's political future.Bergen County Democrats will meet today to discuss Joe Ferriero's political future.
Three top Bergen County Democratic officials -- Sheriff Leo McGuire, Surrogate Michael Dressler and Freeholder David Ganz -- are standing with indicted party chairman Joseph Ferriero, saying there is no reason for him to resign as County Chairman.  Gov. Jon Corzine, U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman (D-Fair Lawn), Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan, and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) have already said Ferriero should resign.

Ferriero, who has taken a leave of absence from his post, was indicted last week on federal fraud charges.  His partner in a firm that helped local governments obtain grants, Dennis Oury, was also named in the same indictment.  

McGuire confirmed that a group of Democratic leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss Ferriero's status.  "I’m not sure who’s meeting tomorrow, but I think it will be larger than five or six," McGuire told PolitickerNJ.com.

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Joe Ferriero's magical ride

When Joseph Ferriero wrestled the county chairmanship from Gerald Calabrese in June 1998, Bergen County Republicans had a 7-0 majority on the Board of Freeholders, and Republicans in the offices of County Executive, County Clerk, and Sheriff.  The only countywide Democratic official was Michael Dressler, who had won election as Surrogate in 1996.  Republicans held three of the five State Senate seats, and eight of ten State Assembly seats that included parts of Bergen County.

In a campaign largely engineered through Ferriero's strategic and fundraising skills, Democrats scored an upset victory in November '98.  Joseph Ciccone ousted GOP Acting Sheriff Jay Alpert, and Dennis McNerney and Douglas Bern were elected Freeholder.  (Barbara Chadwick, a Freeholder for twenty years, was re-elected, as was County Executive William "Pat" Schuber, who defeated Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, and County Clerk Kathleen Donovan.)  Ciccone gave Ferriero some of the patronage he needed to build a county organization. And the Freeholder Board moved from 7-0 to 5-2.

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Will Ferriero woes mean no third term for McNerney?

Some Democratic insiders suggest that one casualty of yesterday's indictments of Joseph Ferriero and Dennis Oury will be Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, who has always been more popular with Ferriero than with local Democratic party leaders.  McNerney has two years left in his second term, and there's a good chance, sources say, that the post-Ferriero Bergen County Democratic Organization will seek a new candidate for County Executive in 2010.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... 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

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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