Calling Adam Gussen: Where Are You?

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.  

Comments (25)

  1. zi985

    Like Ron Rice in the 10th District progressives and Democrats should rally behind Jason Castle after this episode.  It’s pretty evident that Adam Gussen is not a legitimate candidate in every sense of the word (virtually no online campaign presence, no real canvassing as of late, no attempted fundraising, etc.) while Castle has been consistently engaged in all three since he announced his candidacy.  While Castle will most likely win the June 5th primary hands down it would be great to see more establishment Dems that live and represent those parts of Bergen County in the 5th District to support/endorse Castle for Congress.

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  2. MSUTeenDem

    Really confused with these LaRouche “Democrats”

    Besides believing Obama is Hitler and his healthcare law is his version of sending the Jews into the ovens what do these people believe and why are they Democrats?

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  3. zi985

    So far, only NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson and NJ State Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37) have endorsed Jason Castle for Congress.  It would be nice to see the following elected state legislators that either live and/or represent parts of the 5th Congressional District to endorse Castle:

    1) Blue Jersey’s own Loretta Weinberg (D-37)

    2) Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle (D-37)

    3) Senator Robert Gordon (D-38)

    4) Assemblywoman Tim Eustace (D-38)

    5) Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-38)

    Assemblywoman Wagner is the only one of these five who has been represented by Scott Garrett in the 5th Congressional District for the past 10+ years in Paramus and she should enthusiastically be supporting Castle.  Eustace (Maywood, NJ) and Gordon (Fair Lawn, NJ) are currently represented by Steve Rothman in the 9th but will be represented by Garrett if he wins this November in the new 5th District so they should be moved to support Castle so that they don’t have an extreme Tea-Party congressman for the next 10 years representing them.  Weinberg and Huttle have the luxury of being represented by Steve Rothman in the current 9th District and having their residences remain in the new 9th District which will be represented by either Bill Pascrell or Steve Rothman.  However, they both have constituents who live in Bogota, most of Teaneck, Hackensack, Alpine, Rockleigh, and Northvale which are all located in the new 5th Congressional District.  They should be actively supporting Castle so that their constituents in these six towns do not have to be represented by Scott Garrett for the next 10+ years.

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  4. jackstanton

    Mr Orr – not too long ago you posted on Mr Castle saying that he had filed an April Quarterly with the FEC and that it had yet to show up. According to their website he still has not, in fact the last filing in December showed $0. This is not to criticize Mr Castle, but if he did file I am sincerely interested to see his financial viability. Either the FEC has significantly dropped the ball and broken the law by not posting his filing within 48 hours of receiving it, or whomever you spoke to on the campaign was misinformed and Mr Castle has not filed, which would mean he still has yet to raise any funds. Can you please find out which it is?

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  5. Bill Orr (Post author)

    The Bergen Grassroots CD 5 forum went ahead last night with LaRouche Democrat Diane Sare debating Marine veteran Jason Castle. After a short introductory presentation from each candidate, questions were posed by the audience which each candidate addressed. With numerous Sare supporters in attendance there were questions about the Glass-Steagall Act and a comparison of President Obama to Adolph Hitler. In a recent comment in Blue Jersey one reader questioned whether Jason Castle was progressive on social issues, so I asked him his position on abortion and marriage equality. Castle said he was pro choice and pro marriage equality. He spoke eloquently about why he was running and the harm being caused by incumbent Representative Scott Garrett.

    For further information about the event you can read todays article in the Record. Paul Eisenman, Chair of the Steering Committee of Bergen Grassroots, expressed his dismay over Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen’s abrupt decision to withdraw from the forum. Mike Sheinfield moderated the event. For a treasure trove of reasons why Garrett should be retired, go here.  

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