Over the past several weeks petty politics has reared its ugly head in Teaneck. After extensive criticism the Teaneck Council has now changed its position and re-invited Iraq war veteran Jason Castle to speak at the Teaneck Memorial Day ceremony. Al Doblin pointed out in the Record, “As a Marine, Castle was an ideal candidate for such a role – local, well-spoken and served in Iraq. That was not good enough for a majority on the town council.” The initial invitation was rescinded. Jason Castle had run in the Democratic primary in CD 5 against Adam Gussen, Teaneck’s Deputy Mayor and Councilman. Castle has also been a critic of the council. It was only fair to re-issue the invitation, which Castle has re-accepted.
In the meantime, however, there is a cloud over Jason Castle because he and his campaign committee have been remiss in submitting FEC financial reports. His last received report was for the period ending March 31, 2012. Since then he has been sent five Notices of Failure To File. The most recent notice on May 3 2013 (covering the period ending March 31, 2013) warns him “civil money penalties, an audit or legal enforcement action” may result.
The larger problem remains: a strong candidate to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman and arch-conservative Scott Garrett – he with the $2 million plus war chest and over ten years on the job. (Last year Jason Castle raised $13,000, and Adam Gussen raised $51,000.) A successful opponent must get in the fray early, have a good track record, develop his/her own substantial warchest, attract a staff, and begin getting out his or her message to the voters. The district leans slightly Republican. It’s not too early now for such a candidate or candidates to step forward. The battle would be fierce but retiring Garrett would be so very sweet.