Tag Archive: David Ganz

November 4, 2014: Looking Back & Recapping

In the U. S. elections last week Republicans took control of the U. S. Senate with 7 new seats and as of now have a lead of 52 to 46 with two undecided. In the House of Representatives Republicans, already in the majority, have gained 12 seats to lead 244 to 184 with 7 undecided. In gubernatorial races, where Christie spent so much time, Republicans gained net 3 seats with 2 still undecided.  

In New Jersey we note in congressional races low Democratic turn out, an exciting victory in CD 12, heartbreak in CD 3 and 5, the winners all being those who raised the most money, independent funders spending big in CD 3 but not so much elsewhere, the departure of a highly respected congressman in CD 12, mixed quality of public polls, all incumbents winning, and the congressional delegation balance remaining unchanged at six R’s and six D’s. Both Public Questions passed. Voting by mail has increased from 10,000 in 2003 to 139,000 in the most recent report for 2013.

Also worth noting is the resurgence of county Democrats in Bergen, which has the state’s largest number of registered voters and whose Dem. Party Chair Lou Stellato is being wooed by potential gubernatorial candidates. Jim Tedesco (D) defeated long-time politician Kathe Donovan (R) to become the B. C. Executive. Current Freeholder Board Chair David Ganz (D) was re-elected as was Joan Voss (D), allowing the Board to remain in control of Democrats.    

U. S. Senate

With a bulging bankroll and a win in the 2012 Special Election, no Dem (big or small) wanted to take on Cory Booker (D) in the Senate primary. A Republican called Jeff Bell, who loves the Gold Standard (ended in 1933) and had not resided in NJ the past 30 years, defeated someone called Richard Pezzullo by 5,000 votes to become the challenger. Bell has since returned to obscurity while Booker continues on as a celebrity. (997,000 to 763,000)

For brief comments on the 12 congressional races go below the fold.

Saturday Rally for Dems in Ridgewood

promoted by Rosi

Victory Rally

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

Roy Cho for Congress

Jim Tedesco for County Executive

David Ganz and Joan Voss for Freeholder

When: Saturday, November 1 at 4:00 pm

Where: Van Neste Square in Downtown Ridgewood

(East Ridgewood Avenue and Oak Street)*

Refreshments to Follow at

Roy Cho for Congress Headquarters

257 East Ridgewood Avenue, Rear

Ridgewood, NJ

Bring Your Friends and Family

Music and Refreshments

*In the event of rain, the rally will take place at

Roy Cho Headquarters.

 

It’s All About Cereal: Tedesco vs. Donovan (Cont’d)

Yesterday’s Blue Jersey “cereal” article pointed out that in the Bergen County race for County Executive Democrat James Tedesco brings change and strengths to the job with broad-based experience and support from key elected officials and unions. The incumbent Republican Kathleen Donovan, however, is no pushover. She is a fixture in Bergen politics and has heavy-hitter supporters. She has also created enemies and controversies which hound her. There are good reasons to vote for Tedesco as well as the two Democratic Freeholders running for re-election.  

Roy Cho Navigates the Rough Waters of CD 5

Last night Roy Cho, Democratic candidate for Congress in CD 5, opened his Teaneck satellite office to an enthusiastic crowd of some 150 attendees where he said, “We will pull off one of the biggest upsets in the country this year. I may be the underdog but our nation was built by underdogs. I want to get the middle class working again, get the economy moving with better infrastructure, public/private partnerships, more alternative/green energy, and leadership in Washington that puts our interests first.”

As a 33 year old business attorney who lives in Hackensack and has never run for office before, he is launching his first TV cable ad today which can be seen in Bergen County where the vast majority of voters reside. He is in the process of opening eight regional satellites with his main office in Ridgewood. He has raised more money than anyone who has run against incumbent arch-conservative Scott Garrett. He took a leave of absence from his job in February and has been steering a strong course.

The event included a “who’s who” of Bergen officials including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Chair of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders David Ganz, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37), and mayors, councilmen, and municipal party chairs.

Democrats, independents, and some moderate Republicans, particularly the middle class, should like the cut of his jib. What he needs to win the race in 49 days is even more donors and volunteers – more wind under his sails.

You can learn more about him on his web site, Twitter, YouTube and

Facebook,
as well as gorge yourself on reasons to retire Garrett.

Bergen County Democrats – “but she’s got a new hat” edition

There is an old episode of The Simpsons where the release of a “hot new doll” threatens to take sales away from the traditional Barbie-type “Malibu Staci” doll.  While the Malibu Staci brass met to discuss the next step to regain market share, they decide to go bold – and release a “new version” of the doll which is exactly the same as the old version, but with a new cowgirl hat.  

Living in Bergen County and recently getting myself onto the County Committee, I had hopes that after what the Bergen County Democratic Organization has been through over the past few years, that there would be a bold new direction – something more than a name change to Democratic Committee of Bergen County, or a “new hat” would be warranted.

After all, this is an Organization that represented a Party which held pretty much every important position in Bergen County a few years ago – including County Executive, Sheriff, all seven Freeholders, a number of State Senators and pretty much every candidate for Congress in the District.  Then there was embarrassment after resignation after embarrassment after indictment after infighting after embarrassment after resignation- and while new BCDO/DCBC Chairman Lou Stellato attempts to steer a badly wounded ship back in the right direction, even what seems like a great move is being handled clumsily.

Rumors were flying around recently that Paul Aronsohn is being looked at to replace David Ganz – one of the remaining 2 Democrats on the 7 person Freeholder board this November.  All this while Aronsohn is supporting Ganz, who isn’t taking this rumor lightly:

“I’m running for re-election,” the former Fair Lawn mayor told Patch. “I had a very good return in all the precincts [in the primary election],” he said, adding that he’s “never stopped campaigning from the last election three years ago.”

Now, I have known Paul for around 5 years – he is a Councilman in Ridgewood (where I live), and we stay in regular touch.  When it comes to moving the BCDO/DCBC in the right direction, there are a few people – but not many – who can take a big role in doing so.  Paul is most certainly one of them and he should be elevated in a way that gives him more exposure and makes Bergen County Democrats proud to be part of this Organization again.  New “up and comers” need to be recruited and groomed, big ideas need to be considered as Bergen County Democrats try to right the ship and regain credibility with voters.

While Paul is on a relatively short list of people who can help in a big way, rumors and innuendo about forcing Ganz off the ticket – even if he is tied to former Chariman Joe Ferriero – is not a productive way to give Committee members and voters the warm and fuzzies.  It’s too bad that the BCDO/DCBC doesn’t seem to be learning a lesson when it comes to showcasing its more valuable people.

Clueless in New Jersey

The worst thing that can happen to a politician is to get caught on the wrong side of a paradigm shift.  Nothing makes a person so outdated as speaking to the electorate that is, quite literally, dying off.

One such paradigm shift is being driven by the technology of the internet.  While internet activism is not enough, on its own, to force, change, we have seen here in New Jersey that a community of people who will raise their voices – and who will work offline as well – can change the political landscape of the state.  Blue Jersey has always tried to stay on the forefront of that shifting paradigm, and in some cases, we have driven it ahead of us.

But there is no shortage of politicians who just can’t see it.

Not everyone wants Joe to go

Yes, you read that right.  The County Surrogate, Freeholder and Sheriff say calls for Joe Ferriero to resign are premature.  First Sheriff McGuire:

All three officials pointed to a similar message: that Ferriero has only been charged with a crime, not convicted of one.

“We all have the presumption of innocence and I?m sure that this investigation will take its course and certainly we know that Ferriero is not an elected official,” said McGuire.  “It’s a little bit different from the Al Steeles, Wayne Bryants, Etc. who were elected by the people. This is a little more of a family matter.

Freeholder Ganz took the opportunity to reprimand the Governor and Congressman Rothman:

“Steve Rothman ought to know better. He’s a lawyer, a former surrogate, and he knows the constitutional presumption of innocence. A resignation implies guilt, and to that extent I’m surprised that the Governor and Cryan would say that as well. I don’t feel that way,” said Ganz.  “The Governor’s not a lawyer, but he should know better too. And I have to tell you, I feel very strongly about that.”

And Surrogate Dressler was not to be outdone with his rhetoric:

“You get somewhat concerned when people start asking for resignations in a case like this. What makes this system here in the United States different than the British system – we fought a revolution for representative government. There’s a difference with our system and the British system – there’s a presumption of innocence until the person is proven guilty.  We have a situation here where yes there’s been an indictment and the chairman has taken a leave of absence until he has his day in court, and he’s entitled to his day in court. Everybody’s presumed innocent, including the Bergen County Democratic Chairman,” Dressler explained.  “The revolution was fought over this, and for people to start saying this person should resign, that person should resign, there is the presumption of innocence.”

Maybe they just really like the annual cruise around the Statue of Liberty.

Feds look to question Bergen County Freeholder

The Record reports that Federal investigators want to question Bergen County Freeholder David Ganz as part of an ongoing corruption probe involving BCDO counsel Dennis Oury and chairman Joe Ferriero.

This story hit the pages of the Record on Saturday, but since they broke it on Friday evening, we’ll count it for Friday. So far today, no stories of BCDO corruption have surfaced. I guess even the patronage mills are closed on Sundays in Bergen.

Bergen County Corruption Calendar

Corruption-free for 2 days

Longest corruption-free streak: 9 days

Running since June 22, 2008

Previous Stories

July 8: Reset the Corruption Calendar

July 3: Another day, another BCDO corruption story

June 22: Ferriero’s slush fund

BCDO Freeholders Ganz & MCPherson snub NAACP

The NAACP event was interesting last night.  I met Rob Andrews, who is quite a nice guy – I can understand why you like him, Jay.  Carol Skiba, Aishaah Rasul (my two running mates) and I were there to meet folks and hear their concerns. We didn’t get to address the crowd, it was really a chance to meet the Senate Candidates.  Newark Councilman Rice was present to speak for Senator Lautenberg who was unable to come, and I think he did an admirable job.  

The original invitation was to freeholder candidates too, but Ganz and McPherson did not show.  Cid Wilson was there but left the room abruptly.  Curiously, Vernon Walton showed up in the middle of the event – underdressed – probably because he got the call and came in a hurry.   A BIG hurry.

Some BCDO FOJ (Friends of Joe) tried to put Gordon Johnson on the spot about a judicial appointment, but aside from that setup, the main issues brought up were

1) Affordable Housing

2) Predatory Lending

3) Summer Youth Employment Internships

4) Health Care disparities

5) Prison Re-entry Programs

6) Expungement Programs

7) Sentencing discrepancies

8) Post Secondary Education Funding

9) No Child Left Behind

10) Educational Prep Programs

11) Low-Moderate Income Tax Relief Credits

The candidates all seemed to give the answers that the audience expected but they did give Councilman Rice a tough time about Lautenberg being absent which is a shame because Lautenberg actually has the same rating as Andrews – 100% on his voting record for NAACP issues.  Cresitello came off as old fashioned and started by talking about gas prices – which was not an issue that was the focus of the event.  He appeared very much a Mayor, who has not reached out to other Senators to find common ground and issues to work on with them.  He reminds me of our Mayor – a unitary one, who has control issues and is clearly not a legislator.  Cresitello does not strike me as someone who can get consensus and create meaningful legislation.  He reminds me of Mayor Rustin here in Tenafly, who will berate you for your vote right there on the dias if he disagrees with you.  Like Bush, dissent is NOT ALLOWED.  

I was surprised when the woman at the sign up table asked me if I would like to join the NAACP, I did not know that I was eligible to do so.  If any one else would like to contact the NAACP the phone # here is 201-227-1875

After the forum, we met up with many County Commitee folks from Teaneck who had been challenged like we were from Tenafly during the 2005 special election of Huttle vs. Wildes.  So it was a nice reunion for me with folks who really know just how bad the BCDO can get.  

Joe Ferriero is really using certain folks just to get at key constituencies.  Like many of my friends in Teaneck, I remember VIVIDLY when the Black Caucus supported Huttle prior to that special election and nearly every African American County Committee member who walked into BCDO HQ was challenged.  It was the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen them do at the BCDO.

Lots of politics being played to get the African American vote in Bergen County these days.  It is a powerful voting block.  Unfortunately for Joe Ferriero, he has to do a lot more to make up for past sins against this community – dreaming up Team Teaneck, and attempting to disenfranchise the entire Teaneck County Committee in 2005, as well as allowing land use attorney Dennis Oury and Farouk – (developer by night, county engineer by day) almost get away with plans to loot Teaneck and rezone it for their own ends in minority neighborhoods.  They definitely messed with the wrong town.   Teaneck women are politically savvy and know exactly what the FOJ are up to.  I will help any way I can to make sure Joe Ferriero and his buddies stay out of non-partisan Teaneck.  My friends there don’t like what he’s been doing with the place, if you know what I mean…..

Vernon Walton is a nice guy, but that is what Joe does.  He chooses “nice guys”  that are pushovers and may not even realize when they are being used for political ends only.  Joe just needed another puppet.  I feel sorry for Vernon.  I really do.  Aishaah is a force to be reckoned with – and she will beat him for Freeholder handily on June 3.

I guess I understand why Ganz and McPherson may have been ashamed of how Joe Ferriero’s BCDO treated the African American community in Bergen County since 2005.  I wouldn’t blame them for being ashamed.  I would be.

Bergen Democratic Primary – First Shot Across the Bow

Well, we are now officially running for three Freeholder seats and the County Clerk seat in the Real Bergen Democrats column against four Joe Ferriero supporters.

The Record ran this article today:

http://www.northjersey.com/new…

Last Wednesday, Carol Skiba and I attended the Freeholder meeting at which they authorized spending $27 million.  That was after they spent an hour on photo ops and hearing County employees stroke their egos.  Lynne Hurwitz stood to the side glaring at me as usual.  Jim Carroll’s face turned scarlet when he spied Carol Skiba with me.  It never quite returned to pink.  

They were defensive perhaps because of what they were about to do  – spend $27 million tax payer dollars – (much of it on Pay-To-Play donors) demanding that any reporters in the room  speak up and identify themselves.  They railed on about how the Record had been reporting negatively about how they conduct business.  About how they never dissent or debate anything or think critically about anything.  I have never seen politicians so defensive.  

I think Freeholder Carroll wanted us to make a scene right then and there.   He demanded that if anyone had something to say to him to say it right there – in front of everyone.  But, Carol Skiba and I were too busy looking through the one copy of resolutions on the front table and actually reading them – something I highly doubt the Freeholders do.   I rest my case on the absolute most outrageous no-bid contract that the Freeholders ever approved: with Real Estate “consultant” Robert Pimienta whose Impact PAC donated 90,000 to the BCDO.  See Oshrat Carmiel’s article:

http://www.northjersey.com/new…

and the Record editorial:

http://www.northjersey.com/new…

One person speaking during the public comments appeared to be praising Freeholder Ganz, then ended stating that Ganz “watches every nickel”.  That elicited laughter from the crowd as someone reminded everyone that Freeholder Ganz is a coin collector.  In fact, Ganz was an attorney for a company that got in trouble for marketing the Freedom Tower Silver Dollar.

http://www.oag.state.ny.us/pre…

The other priceless moment came when another person came forward to praise the Freeholders and said that the newspapers were unfair  http://www.northjersey.com/new…

because folks don’t know all the work that the Freeholders do – because they do most of it behind the scenes.  I nodded.  EXACTLY.  That’s the PROBLEM, folks.

I find it interesting that Bill Maer – spokesperson for the BCDO called our worrying about the taxpayers “silly” in today’s Record article.  That concern over a lack of transparency in government and our desire to end pay to play legalized bribery was “silly”.  

I am not laughing, sir.