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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The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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