Tag Archive: Pat Lepore

An update on our campaign

Our campaign is off to a great start with residents contacting us daily to get involved and offering to pitch in with our effort.  Unfortunately, we are faced with an unexpected curveball in this year’s general election.  Councilman Dominick DiDimenico has filed to run as an “Independent candidate for Mayor,” now making this a three-way race.

Obviously, we are disappointed that a Democratic Councilman whom we supported for over ten years in his runs for the Board of Education and Borough Council would turn his back on our party.   Now we are hearing rumors that the Scott Rumana faction of the GOP in town has unanimously endorsed his candidacy.  In less than a week he has gone from being a Democrat, to an Independent, to Republican-backed.  It shows his true character that he would get into bed with the ethically challenged Rumana who is currently under investigation for abusing his office.

Our plan for victory on Election Day is unchanged whether there is two, three, or twenty candidates in this race.  I am going to knock on every door twice and make my case as the best candidate to lead our Borough for the next three years.  In Woodland Park we know what it takes to run a grassroots operation. Over the last fifteen years we turned this town from a Republican stronghold to the highest performing suburb for the Democratic Party in Passaic County.    

Once we took the majority in local government, we started the process of getting our community back on track.  Mayor Pat Lepore stabilized our budget, protected open space, and revitalized our recreation programs.  I want to build on the foundation already in place and continue to move Woodland Park forward with new shared services agreements and new economic policies to bring investment, create efficiencies, and expand our local tax base.  

I hope the Blue Jersey community can pitch in with my campaign – spreading the word about my Facebook and Twitter pages to grow our numbers.  Or even joining us this weekend for a Comedy Night to support my campaign.  

This current situation isn’t ideal, but I know we will be able to overcome this roadblock and keep this seat in Democratic hands come Election Day.    

The troubling behavior of Passaic County GOP Chairman Scott Rumana

By now, most people are well aware of Passaic County Republican Chairman Scott Rumana’s failed Wayne Energy Cogeneration project.  Chairman Rumana thought it was reasonable to represent both the Wayne residents – in his capacity as Mayor – while simultaneously serving as the Chair of the Wayne Energy Corporation.  

News 12 New Jersey put together a hard-hitting expose highlighting Rumana’s improprieties and conflict of interest.  It is a must watch for Passaic County residents and raises some alarming bells.      

Rumana’s actions were a blatant circumvention of New Jersey public bidding laws, and his unethical conduct cost Wayne residents a $2.2 million dollar Board of Public Utilities grant. This money would have made Passaic County a leader in solar technology and installation.  During these trying economic times, we cannot afford to leave this kind of money on the table.  

To make matters worse, Rumana openly bragged to several newspapers that he was the point person in arranging for former Sheriff Jerry Speziale to be appointed to a government post at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in exchange for dropping off of the ticket with Freeholder Lepore and I. I’m not a lawyer – I’m just a small business owner in Paterson – but please tell me how this is anyone different than what Carney’s Point Mayor John Lake is now serving a five year sentence in New Jersey State prison?

I was proud to support a resolution with Freeholder Lepore urging the New Jersey Attorney General to investigate and determine if any laws were broken. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues voted in lockstep against this resolution.  This shows a lack of independence and an allegiance to partisan politics, not Passaic County residents.  We need to know if Republican Freeholder candidates Tomas Gomez and Walt Garner endorse this arrogant and potentially illegal behavior by Chairman Rumana.  

Governor Christie rode his corruption-busting persona all the way to Drumthwacket, and I hope he holds true to his record and instructs Attorney General Paula Dow to open this investigation.  Passaic County residents deserve answers.  

Kicking Off the General Election Campaign

After a hard fought primary campaign, the Democratic Party is united and energized for the general election.  The progress we made in Haledon is visible throughout the town-on our streets, in our parks, and with our quality of life. And, together, we need to continue that progress for four more years.  The final two-month sprint starts today, and we need to work at every level to elect Democrats this November.  

Passaic County Democrats were hit with a bombshell when Sheriff Jerry Speziale resigned to take a job with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Although this was disappointing news, as Sheriff Speziale was a strong partner and an asset for Haledon, I am excited about our new Sheriff candidate and the unique skills he brings to the table.  Clifton Lt. Richard Berdnik is a strong candidate who will keep Passaic County families safe, efficiently manage the Sheriff Department’s budget, and bring an outside perspective to reforming our prison system.  Our Passaic County Democratic Committee meeting to ratify Berdnik was a monumental event – you can read my tweets to see how it all played out that night in Paterson.  

Up-and-down the Row B bracket the Passaic County Democratic Committee has strong candidates to serve our families and our community.  Congressman Bill Pascrell has a track record of delivering for the 8th Congressional District and Haledon specifically, bringing in stimulus dollars to renovate our infrastructure. When we needed assistance upgrading the Roe Street Park, Freeholders Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore were there for us.  Together, we worked to earmark the funds through the county open space grant program and now our children are benefiting from the upgrades and improvements.    

The Real Democrats in Haledon

I am happy to report that the protracted battle over who will be placed on the Passaic County Democratic Organization, Inc. line is finally over.  Justice prevailed as my team – Council President Maha Kandis and council candidates Mounir Almaita and Michael Johnson – will be bracketed with Sheriff Jerry Speziale and Freeholders Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore.  

We are the real Democrats in this race.  Over the last eight years we have accomplished some special things in Haledon.  We energized a community to rally behind Democratic policies and platforms as real solutions to the problems Haledon was facing, and we are delivering.  From improving our infrastructure to holding the line on taxes, you can see progress all over Haledon.  

So when I read this blog post, I thought I would fill everyone in with what is going on in Haledon.  This wasn’t a battle between political bosses; it was a desperate attempt by our opponents to undermine the law.  Chairman Currie is supporting our team because he knows we are the real Democrats in this race, and that is why he designated our team to be on the Passaic County Democratic Organization, Inc. line.

Jerry Volpe does not represent local Democrats in Haledon.  Councilman Michael Tirri and I were first elected to the Council 7 years ago because we were in the community everyday, talking with residents and proposing real solutions.  My council team and I will always be putting Haledon first, not patronage and power; our agenda is to continue to deliver for our community and keep the progress going.  

Volpe is in this only for political reasons.  He is a relic from the days of backroom politics for personal gain.   That is why we are running a full slate County Committee candidates to oust him as our leader.  We need a Municipal Leader who has the interests of the Haledon Democratic party in mind first, not a personal agenda.  

This primary in Haledon is important for a lot of reasons.  We need to be electing progressive Democrats up-and-down the levels of government in New Jersey to strengthen our party.  I hope I can count on your support over the next 35 days to win this campaign.  We are going to need volunteers to phone bank and get out the vote on June 8th, and I hope the progressive community can play a role in those efforts.