Joe DiVincenzo should be progressives’ #1 target in 2014

Blue Jersey – especially those from Essex – your thoughts? Promoted by Rosi

Some facts on Essex County:

1. It is the most Democratic County in the state, having delivered victories of 70%+ to every Democratic Presidential candidate in recent memory.

2. It is a minority-majority county, with more Black residents than non-Hispanic White residents.  Presumably, the legions of registered Democrats in the county are even more minority-heavy

3. Essex County has, perhaps, the most entrenched political class in the state, protected by ballot structures which prioritize the Democratic Party’s anointed nominees, and primary election turnout that would make any fan of democracy shed tears.

4.  Essex County is run, administratively and politically, by the cartoonishly corrupt, self-serving, double dipping pay-to-play king Joe DiVincenzo, a man who fancies himself a statewide kingmaker and old school political boss.

DiVinenzo is no liberal.  Nor is he a moderate, or conservative.  Nor is he a non-ideological do-gooder.  DiVincenzo’s ideology is green, green for the inside of his own wallet.  The power structure he oversees prevents legislators who I believe would be at least decent and honest from straying from his power-hungry needs.

Why is it that in a county with a minority-majority, and with multiple cities suffering under the strain of poverty, horrible schools and urban blight, Democratic primary voters continue to let this man run their county?  Corruption in urban areas is often blamed on racial bias by voters, but DiVincenzo is a minority in Essex County, so that ain’t it.

A strong campaign by a progressive Democrat (or at least someone who isn’t corrupt) can gain traction here as long as the candidate has some statewide support from progressives.  Shattering the current power structure’s control over this county is the first step towards a more liberalized democracy in New Jersey, one without the excessive influence of party bosses that we (especially Democrats) often have to endure.

Whether it be Ron Rice, Jr, Mark Alexander, Richard Codey or someone else, this is a fight we need to pay extremely close attention to and help out with in any way we can.  While we certainly shouldn’t look past the important election this November, once the calendar hits November 6, this is the race we need to focus on.  Blue Jersey is one of the great forces in the fledgling New Jersey progressive community, and if the editorial staff use that platform to unite progressives around this goal (one that is, quite frankly, shared by many moderates and conservatives), we can really strike a blow against modern bossism.

Comments (6)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    A big name like Rice or Codey needs to take on that crooked turncoat.

  2. ken bank

    I’ve been saying all along don’t get mad get even. As to Brian Stack he needs to be primaried as well. Why wait until 2015? When is he up for re-election in Union City?

    Win or lose, I hope Barbara Buono campaigns against both of them. Maybe even host a couple of fundraisers for their primary opponents.

  3. A.V. El-Hepta

    But South Jersey Progressives don’t have that option with their political boss.


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