Tag Archive: Dennis McNerney

Santa Paid A “Big” Visit To Bergen County

What A way For Bergen County Dems To End The Year!  Big headlines in The Record about McNerney and two of his top aides getting big salary increases!  Seems that “our” County Executive gave up $10,000 of his salary (originally $134,617) as a “gesture”, since budget problems required furloughs for rank and file county workers during 20010.  So the Democrats lost anyway.  I campaigned for Dennis and the Democratic Freeholders, and now I’m embarrassed by him and, therefore, by my party and my own participation in his campaign.

According to The Record, Dennis’ $10,000 “gift” to the taxpayers of Bergen County was somehow restored to his salary on December 14th along with raises for his two “top” aides, Brian Hague from Middlesex County and Lynne Hurwiitz, the Municipal Chair of Hackensack.  Brian received a “promotion” his last two weeks in office along with a raise of $17,000 and Lynne was also “promoted with a raise of more thant $22,000”.   And to add to my own feeling of dismay, Mr. McNerney “didn’t even know about” these raises (including his own) until a reporter called him.  How pathetic an answer!

We, Democrats – and they are mostly responsible hardworking officials  – owe an apology to the taxpayers of Bergen for this unseemly behavior on the part of our top county official.  This column will serve as my personal apology for the time and effort I put in to Dennis McNerney’s campaign and to the residents of Bergen County for this travesty.

I’m going to return it – probably” saiid Mr. McNerney.  And if he does,  along with the unseemly raises to the “top aides”, I will apologize for my apology!  I would also ask the incoming County Executive Kathe Donovan, to investigate exactly how raises are granted in Bergen County without the County Executive even “knowing about them”.  Interesting!

Speaking of the new County Executive,
she is coming in to office with enormous good willl. I hope her actions will always justify that confidence. However, her first two appointments for County Administrator and Chief of Staff went to two Fair Lawn councilmembers.  Without passing judgment on their qualifications, I do believe their service on the Council should end pretty quickly.  It is difficult to avoid problems when trying to serve two constituencies like this.  Their terms of office do not end until 2013, so I hope they will be asked to resign well before then.

Sorry for spending so much time on politics in my own County of Bergen, but these actions required some extra spotlight.

Taking Christie to task… below the fold.

Battle for Bergen

promoted by Rosi

I can’t say I am surprised this morning by what happened in Bergen County. The urge for voters to usher out the era of Joe Ferriero was palpable here.  Charlie Stile got it right.

This was a referendum on Joe Ferriero, the disgraced Bergen County Democratic Chairman.  His favorite candidates in previous elections and those who could be counted on to be loyal to him lost badly last night. Particularly County Executive Dennis McNerney – who I dubbed the “3 million dollar man” because that is what Ferriero’s BCDO spent on him in his previous election.

Sheriff Leo Mcquire – “Mr. Personality” whose name was often thrown around as someone who would straighten us Real Bergen Dems out when we got unruly at internal BCDO elections, was also a major FOJ (friend of Joe).  He reminds me of the top cop in Boardwalk Empire who is always hanging with Nucky.  Definitely one of Joe’s all time favorite candidates.

Then we go to James Carroll, a Thomas Nast caricature if ever there was one.  Larger than life with the uncanny ability to turn a flaming crimson when reformer and former Hasbrouck Heights councilwoman Carol Skiba would walk into the Freeholder meetings to collect ammunition in her fight against Pay to Play.  Carroll, a dual office holder for years with an additional gig as Mayor of Demarest, finally was convinced to ditch the Mayor position to seek re-election, also appears to have lost the Demarest Mayor seat for the BCDO just by association.

Unfairly or not, Elizabeth Calabrese was also seen as a Joe Ferriero candidate.  She also shares a last name with some of the most colorful politicians in Eastern Bergen County.  In fact, because of the way Joe Ferriero handed out cash for elections, he ALWAYS wanted something in return, which is why ANY candidate who took Joe’s money for an election and stayed in his favor appeared suspect to Bergen County voters.

Kathe Donovan is an interesting figure.  She is popular with Independents and Democrats here.  Because they TRUST her.  The BCRO hates her because they feel she was too independent. If you ask me, I believe the Republican freeholder candidates were carried in on Donovan’s coattails.  She always would win elections even when the BCRO couldn’t get a shred of respect due to their constant Keystone Cops approach to Bergen County elections.  The BCRO was joke, which was why the reformer dems stepped up – the BCRO was ineffectual at being the opposition party to Joe Ferriero’s antics.  

More after the jump.

NJEA endorses Adler, Greenstein & McNerney (VIDEOS)

NJEA’s Political Action Committee, NJEA PAC, has three ads running on local cable stations, promoting John Adler for Congress, Linda Greenstein for the LD-14 state senate seat, and Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. who is running for re-election.

Adler’s ad went up just yesterday the Greenstein and McNerney spots have been running since last Friday. Adler ad is below; Greenstein and McNerney ads, after the jump.

Christie’s proposals cross paths with Bergen County campaigns again

This is becoming a pattern. First the Governor changed the message of the Bergen County races when he tried to scrap the Blue Laws. That effort died a painful death, but not before it created a skirmish between Dennis Mcnerney and his opponent in the County Executive race, Kathleen Donovan who wouldn’t challenge Christie on his plans and tried to split the difference saying the voters should make the call.

So it’s no surprise that when news leaked the other night that the Governor wanted to sell the Meadowlands racetrack for a dollar and privatize the NJSEA, Donovan tripped over her own quotes to get a response out in support:

Calling it a “major benefit for Bergen County taxpayers,” Kathe Donovan, Republican candidate for Bergen County executive, applauded a governor’s commission proposal to dismantle the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

Well there are a few problems that the McNerney campaign pointed out, including the fact that she came out in support of a plan she didn’t even see basing her response on a newspaper article:

Last night, Kathleen Donovan jumped in line behind Governor Christie and sold out Bergen County again.  In fact, she signed on to support the Governor’s latest crippling plan for Bergen without even seeing it.  This plan is nothing more than a government bailout at the expense of Bergen County taxpayers.  The fact that Miss Donovan would support a plan she has never seen that is potentially devastating to the county because of a newspaper report is disturbing.  Unfortunately, this disinterest in details at the expense of Bergen residents has been commonplace for Miss Donovan.

To be fair, she did say the Xanadu proposal might require further review although she nearly came out in support of that too:

“Before any state support is committed to this project we should be fully aware of the public’s risk,” she said. “However, the potential for construction and full time employment should make this project’s ultimate success a top priority.”  

Maybe that means she’ll actually read the commission report before deciding to jump on the Christie bus.  

State Budget problems and Christie’s proposals become issues in Bergen County Executive Race

The Bergen County Executive race is being overtaken by the plans of Governor Christie. First, the other day County Executive Dennis McNerney went after Kathleen Donovan over the “millionaire’s tax” invoking the NJ Transit fare hikes:

“Kathleen Donovan has been a politician for three decades, so she should know the ramifications mass transit fare hikes and massive education funding cuts will have for Bergen County taxpayers and their children,” McNerney said. “Ms. Donovan should join me in asking the Governor to reconsider his tax cut for the rich before they decide to make Bergen County’s middle class balance the state’s checkbook.”

Instead of asking the Governor to reconsider, she said placing undo burdens on some people hurts everyone. She wasn’t willing to stand up to her Governor, but the latest Christie proposal to get rid of the Blue Laws that keep businesses closed on Sundays in order to get the tax revenues has invaded the County Executive talk:

“Clearly, this is an issue that should and will be left to the voters,” said Donovan, who has said she would vote against the repeal.  Donovan has also noted that the courts have upheld a local Paramus ordinance prohibiting work of any kind on Sundays.

That response didn’t end the issue as McNerney pressed further calling on Donovan to join him in demanding the removal of the proposal from the Governors budget altogether. The Blue Laws don’t necessarily break down along party lines and while they don’t make sense to many outside of Bergen County, there has always been a fight to get rid of them in the past. How much will Donovan stand up to her Governor in order to fight his plan? No doubt the Democrats will take every opportunity to raise the issue and make her stand up further than saying there should be a referendum. The Bergen County Republicans viewed this seat as an opportunity opportunity for a pickup, but Democrats have speculated the tide is turning as the Governor adds some extra hurdles in the race.

Lonegan not ready to have everyone play nice in Bergen

The Bergen County Republicans were hoping they could unite behind a candidate, Kathleen Donovan, in order to take on County Executive Dennis McNerney. That hope is fading fast after this broadside from Steve Lonegan:

“I consider Kathe Donovan to be the Dede Scozzafava of New Jersey. There’s no more far left liberal running as a Republican than Kathe Donovan,” said former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, referring to moderate upstate New York Republican assemblywoman who last year suspended her special election congressional campaign after a challenge from the right doomed her chances.  

He said the only reason people are supporting her is because they have no other option and chastised the party for not looking to recruit more conservative candidates. But Bergen GOP Chair Bob Yudin was having none of Lonegan and fired back:

“Steve could not even win Bergen County – his own county – against Chris Christie. I’m tired of losing races.  I want to see resurgence in the Republican Party,” he said.  “I have received overwhelming support for what I have done in uniting the Republican Party in Bergen County — overwhelming support. I can’t tell you how overwhelming it has been.”

Overwhelming he tells you. The Bergen GOP has been targeting the county executive seat as their crown jewel and Yudin doesn’t want anyone, especially Steve Lonegan to get in the way of that. If there are enough people who agree with Lonegan, you wonder if they would run a candidate separately or if they would sit home viewing their options as unacceptable? Somewhere, Dennis McNerney must be smiling watching this.

Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney Joins Blue Jersey Radio LIVE Tonight at 8:00 p.m.

Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney
Dennis McNerney, Bergen County Executive

UPDATE: I don’t mind saying – that was a really great interview. Dennis offered some great insight, both politically and from his perspective as a government official. Seriously, check it out. – JG

Each week, Blue Jersey Radio streams LIVE with New Jersey’s latest political buzz, interviews with newsmakers, and your stimulating calls.

This week: Our guest is Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. What should we know about the elected leader of New Jersey’s most populous county – a community larger than 6 states, including Alaska? We’ll find out. With a new Chair in place at the BCDO, the huge importance of Bergen County in the Governor’s race this year, and the fight to take back the 5th District in 2010 having already begun, Dennis could offer quite a bit of insight. Tune in and find out!

It’s all LIVE tonight at 8:00 p.m..

And, of course – you can always give us a call and have your say. That number again is: 646-652-2773.

Talk to you later!

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NJ-5 Candidates, Who can beat Garrett?

For one let me start with my rationale that would make a formidable candidate in NJ-5.  The candidate has to have had some kind of elected position before his run in 2008 Democratic primary.  This is important on many levels.  The most recent Democrats to run have not been in some kind of office during their campaign which hurts them as far as having a voting base (for constituent case work/name id) and the organization and fund-raising foundation that would already be in place from past elections.  Even though I think Camille Abate and Denis Schulman have good intentions in mind, I just don’t think they have the ability, message, or organizational structure to unseat an entrenched incumbent Congressman in a conservative leaning district. 

In 2006 Paul Aronsohn’s biggest obstacle was name identification.  Even though his message might have been on point and resonated he had to spend a lot of his time and resources on getting his name out to the district.  A candidate that is already an elected official gives them a distinct advantage of showing what their record is, and how this can translate as a member of the House of Representatives. 

Knowing all of this, the following are in my opinion the four strongest candidates the Democrats could field in 2008.  Personally I think Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney would be the best chance of winning, but am unsure if he’d be willing to mount an uphill battle against Garrett when he is probably one of the most powerful Bergen County politicians in his current position as County Executive.  After that I think Ogdensburg Mayor Jim Sekelsky has a really intriguing story and could run a real energetic campaign if he opts to run. 


What Will Junior Do?

So Tom Kean Jr. has 3 days until Tuesday to make a decision and Bergen County Republican Chair Guy Talarico says the clock is ticking…

According to PoliticsNJ, Bergen County GOP Chairman Guy Talarico has given U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr three days to decide whether he will run on the organization line. READ the letter

This is made more interesting by the fact that it’s set against the backdrop of the infighting withing the Bergen County Republican Organization

Junior has to choose. Will he run on the line of Party chairman Talarico and Todd Calguire? Or will he run on the line with Alan Marcus who is callenging Talarico for chair along with Kathleen Donovan? Donovan and Calaguire are both vying in the primary to unseat Democratic County Executive Dennis McNerney in November.

I’m gonna sit back, make some popcorn and enjoy the show.  Won’t you join?