Teaneck Politics Takes an Uglier Turn

I had some nasty flashbacks this past week. All the way back to 2005. That was around the time that the soon to be convicted Boss Tweed of Bergen County – Joe Ferriero – attempted to turn Non-Partisan Township of Teaneck into his own personal fiefdom.

Judging from what just happened in Teaneck last week, those awful poisonous seeds planted 8 years ago by Boss Joe, and which I have blogged about in the past, have come to fruition.  In fact some of them are sitting on the Council as we speak.  

Adam Gussen was recruited by the Ferrierocrats in Hackensack when Joe Ferriero attempted to use the Orthodox community to divide the Democrats in Teaneck.  http://www.bluejersey.com/show…

If I had not seen every single Committee man and woman from Teaneck who opposed Joe’ Ferriero’s Machine Candidate and soon to be convicted Ken Zisa, challenged at a BCDO special election in 2005, I would like to believe such disgusting behavior unbecoming Democrats could not occur, but it incensed me enough that I actually shouted at Congressman Rothman who was supposed to be refereeing the event to make sure this nonsense did not happen. I demanded to know why current Teaneck Councilwoman Lizette Parker’s entire caucus was being denied the right to vote.  After my shouting, Rothman retreated behind closed doors  and then admitted that the Teaneck Committee members could vote.  I still remember that like it was yesterday.  I was so shocked at what I saw that I shocked myself by shouting at a sitting Congressman for almost letting it happen. After this event, Joe Ferriero’s supporters in the BCDO made sure that every Real Bergen Democrat Committee person since was primaried for their committee seats. He threw me off the line too, but the losses in Teaneck were terrible because of the concerted effort to root out anyone who challenged Joe Ferriero’s Pay to Play way of doing business in the town that was the seat of the unrest.  I have seen this happen as a frustrated and helpless observer for the past 8 years.  

I firmly believe that Jason Castle entering the scene is seen as a threat to Gussen and the current members of the Council known infamously now as “the Gang of Five” who have been actively trying for years now to remove any reform minded candidates. The Bergen County Committee,  who is whining because they are no longer rolling in campaign cash, actively PREVENTED Gussen from facing Castle in a fair fight for District 5 last year. They had to actually prevent Castle from getting on the convention ballot. Gussen barely lifted a finger. He expected the Bergen County Committee to carry him to victory for being a loyal foot soldier for Joe Ferriero. The Record essentially endorsed Jason Castle http://www.bluejersey.com/show… last year because Gussen was so hopelessly tied to Joe’s machine.  The fact that the Machine actively prevented Castle from even getting on the ballot just confirmed what a lot of us already knew.  http://www.bluejersey.com/show… The fact that Adam Gussen actually LOST the Congressional vote in Teaneck to Jason Castle tells you all you need to know now that Gussen is running for re-election in a town that just handed him a stinging defeat in his own town.

In 2008 the ugly politics of this story spilled out into the press. Who can forget when two Teaneck Poll workers were fired for doing their duty and trying to prevent interference from Ferrierocrats outside Teaneck on election day?  http://www.northjersey.com/new… I blogged about this story when it happened. http://www.bluejersey.com/diar…  Joe Ferriero candidate Elnatan Rudolph was the Ferrierocrat involved in this drama. At the time Ken Zisa – now the disgraced and convicted Hackensack Police Chief, was on the elections board. Can you say, drama?

The fact that Jason Castle has impressed nearly everyone he has met with his class, his intelligence and his desire to help his community is terrifying to the sitting Councilmen who carry on at public meetings like brutes.  Brutes who arrived in a “non-partisan” town with the help of the Bergen Machine, one that would dearly love to tear down Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg for breaking their Pay to Play piggy bank. Ferrierocrat Ganz – still on the Freeholder Board is trying to bring back Boss Joe’s Glory days in a big way.  He is trying to rewrite the anti-Pay to Play law – due for a second reading this very wednesday night at the Freeholder meeting.  

The fact that Jason Castle is a figure who can inspire the African American community of Democrats in town who have been demoralized by the shenanigans and interference and vengence from Hackensack is a threat to the Ferreriocrat Teaneck Councilmen’s continued grip on power. Jason appears to be a threat to the efforts of corrupt politicians to bring us back to the days when our government was up for sale in Bergen County.  Taking down Loretta’s supporters in Teaneck – Senator Weinberg’s hometown is akin to Scott Walker taking out the unions in Wisconsin.  They have been relentlessly trying to do that since 2005.  With the tragic death recently of activist Paul Eisenmann, the bad guys have wasted no time overreaching.

When Castle ran for Congress last year, he even managed to win over the Democratic Committees in rural counties in NJ – which explains his wide appeal.  Anyone who ever met this Iraq War veteran knows he would never embarrass himself or his country by turning a solemn Memorial Day occasion into a campaign event.  This is a case of transference – the most serious, I have ever seen. But in order to understand what just happened and why Jason Castle was Swift-boated so quickly, we need to revisit Teaneck’s recent history of cynical politicians using race and religion to divide what had once been a strong diverse community.  As much as I even hate reliving it, I feel that the story must be told because the national story is missing the real reasons this occurred and the folks impacted the most are too polite to call this disgrace for what it is.

Although the story is that the Town Manager made the call to disinvite Iraq War veteran Jason Castle for Memorial Day, the Council -including Castle’s former opponent Adam Gussen voted to uphold the Disinvite. The COUNCIL is the body that acted to make a Memorial Day service all about cynical political payback.  Based on my observance of these men “The Gang of Five)” over the past 8 years, sadly, Gussen and his allies are acting true to form.

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