A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Three candidates for Congress in the 5th CD agreed to participate in tonight’s event sponsored by Bergen Grassroots at Teaneck’s Ethical Culture Society: Marine veteran Jason Castle, Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen, and LaRouche Democrat Diane Sare. Then yesterday Adam Gussen abruptly backed out of the forum. Two calls to his office asking why he will not attend have received no response.
NortherJersey.com reports, Gussen said he was notified last minute of a work meeting. Gussen said he had no choice. “I’m not ducking or dodging anyone.” Paul Eisenman, Chair of Bergen Grassroots, sponsor of the event, said this morning Gussen’s explanation “strains credulity.” Upon learning yesterday that Gussen said he would not attend, Eisenman sent him an email saying, “Since you are presenting this as an occasion that ‘would jeopardize my ability to provide for my family,’ I now conclude that your employment can make demands upon your time on a weekday at about 7:30pm and you only get to know about that demand 36 hours in advance of the occasion. I’ll report that to our audience tomorrow evening. Our many Teaneck members will undoubtedly not be surprised by this behavior.” And while providing for one’s family is all-important, one wonders whether seeking the office of Congressman would not be sufficient for being excused from one night’s work.
Jason Castle responded to the sudden withdrawal, saying, “This primary is an opportunity for voters to meet the candidates, learn about the issues, and decide who will be the strongest candidate in November and the best advocate in Congress. To win this district, our nominee will need the dedication to spread the message, meet the voters and present a clear contrast with Scott Garrett when they debate.”
While Jason Castle earned the Democratic Party Line in Sussex and Warren Counties, Adam Gussen won the uncontested Bergen County line which represents the majority of voters. Nonetheless, Adam Gussen’s candidacy has no official website nor active facebook page and has filed no financial report with the Federal Election Commission. Also with little apparent campaigning, Gussen is relying perhaps on the Democratic Committee of Bergen County’s endorsement and their efforts to carry the day for him.
Another funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Paul Eisenman when planning the event initially invited the two commonly known candidates – Jason Castle and Adam Gussen – and he was unaware of Diane Sare’s candidacy. Her LaRouche supporters vociferously demanded that Sare be included in forum. Eisenman said, “It’s a distraction to include her. How on earth can a person who believes President Obama is a clone of Adolph Hitler seek a position on the same ballot with Obama? Nonetheless, as a worshipper of Voltaire’s philosophy, I have no recourse but to welcome her as an equal to the forum.”
In a further comment Castle added, “I hope and expect there will be a time for Adam and I to stand next to each other and each present our case for the honor and responsibility of this nomination.” Alas, such will not be the case tonight, where there will be an empty seat on the podium. For further information on the event go here, although it may not be updated to reflect the absence of candidate Gussen.