McCann, DiGaetano have turned Bergen GOP into a monkey circus

by Bob Taschler

BCRO is still not organized. 

In an attempt to try to appear politically relevant DiGaetano called a meeting of municipal chairs. It had no real political purpose in that no political decisions were going to be made. DiGaetano was going to make all of the decisions by himself regardless of what anyone else says.

Only about 20 of the muni-chairs showed up. With DiGaetao's minions, YRs, candidates and candidate aides there were about 50 in attendance.

Sen. Cardinale entered the room while Lonegan was speaking. DiGaetano tried to throw him out because he was not a muni chair all the while the YRs, who are not muni chairs, were furiously texting after each question was asked and after Lonegan gave his answers. Could it be that the YRs were communicating with McCann who was hiding in the back office? Sen. Cardinale stayed. So much for the chairman being in charge of his own meeting.

After speaking to 9 people who were in attendance here is what I have learned:

1. The BCRO still does not have a slogan. In spite of claims to the contrary even DiGaetano had to admit that he does not have control of "the slogan". People were alternatively advised to leave the slogan blank on their local petitions, use the old slogan anyway because they were going to get it, or change to a new slogan after they have filed on April 2nd. This means that John McCann and anyone running with him may or may not have a slogan by the deadline and therefore may or may not be in a column. Their names will be stuck somewhere in right field on the primary ballot. This whole issue has left nearly 1,000 county committee without clear direction. Such is the rudderless ship SS BCRO.

2. John McCann is beginning to back-pedal on that $37,000 legal bill he initially claimed against the BCRO for trade-mark or copyright legal work over the slogan. Now he is beginning to imply that the $37,000 might be a contribution in kind. This for writing a legal brief to request the return of control of the old slogan that DiGaetano failed to secure last year. That is $37,000 to write a letter? Even at $740 an hour that is 50 hours to write a letter. Do you think John McCann's legal mind is worth $740 an hour? Seems to me that an MBA graduate of Wharton Business School, as McCann has claimed he is, could write a letter in a bit less time, don't you think? I think I will call the alumni office at Wharton to confirm that MBA McCann claims he has. I wonder what they will say.

3. DiGaetano stated that he made no financial agreement with McCann about any legal bills. So it seems that DiGaetano and McCann can't get their story straight. DiGaetano then asked if there were any attorneys who would work for free to defend the suit that Bob Yudin has against the BCRO. That suit is for the $10,000 Yudin lent to the BCRO but suddenly disappeared off of the BCRO's NJ ELEC reports. Funny how easy it has been for DiGaetano to make money disappear from the BCRO.

4. It was asserted that John McCann failed to vote in the last 12 Republican primaries. McCann never refuted this. Perhaps he was spending too much time writing legal briefs to take the time to vote?

5. It was asserted that McCann was at the epi-center of the feud between County Executive Kathe Donovan and Sheriff Saudino That very public feud soured rank and file voters which resulted in the loss of our freeholder majority, the county executive seat and Sheriff Saudino flipping to the democrat party. It turns out that McCann's actions were the Bergen County Democrats most valuable asset in those years and resulted in their complete domination of county politics.

6. Steve Lonegan articulated clear Republican principles. He has raised over $1.4 million, received endorsements from the majority of the state senators and assembly members representing parts of NJ CD-5 as well as many elected officials outside the area and many political luminaries. I believe that Steve Forbes has endorsed Steve Lonegan and will be holding a major fundraiser for Lonegan sometime next week.

7. John McCann now claims that he has raised $50,000 for his campaign. I can't wait to see his next Federal Election Commission report. This begs the question - Who will help the county and local candidates more? A congressional candidate with $1.4 million to spend or one with only $50,000 to spend being managed by a chairman who lost 40 local seats over the past two years?

8. DiGaetano claims that McCann will have the better chance of beating Gottheimer in November. Given DiGaetano's candidates have an unbroken losing streak since winning the chairmanship and the fact that he is in the clear minority opinion among elected officials it appears to me that DiGaetano is trying to sell political snake oil. His next job could very well be as a used car salesman at one of the lots on Route 46. He would likely do very well in that environment. 

9. While the HQ is still filthy, at least they managed to put paper products in the women's room and served some coffee.  

10. The BCRO and Republican brand has been so trashed by DiGaetano's antics that it no longer has any credibility or value. Better if a candidate were to avoid it as much as possible It does not raise money. It does not attract volunteers. It does not command respect among voters.