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 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/79736/fight-week-donovan-v-pascrell     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

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

(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 »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... 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

"But things get touchy between LaBarbiera and LoCicero when it comes to taxes, the bete noire of politics in the statewide election bellwether, Bergen County."

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