After losing the coveted "Column One" position in Bergen County and filing a campaign receipts and expenditures report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in April that showed his campaign was deep in debt and not raising enough money to sustain itself, candidate John McCann apparently sent out an SOS to his friends and colleagues. They responded in a big way.
A former Democrat candidate for Mayor of Bogota (Bergen County) stepped forward to accuse McCann's opponent of saying some pithy things about him a decade or so ago. McCann's campaign neglected to fully vet this Democrat (who they, oddly enough, describe as a "Christian conservative"), who recently attacked the policies of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
This too is odd, coming from the McCann camp, which claims to be pro-Trump even as it puts forward "spokespersons" who are decidedly anti-Trump. We get "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing, but McCann can only take this so far.
Shambling forward came the "Ghost of losing the Legislature past" -- that impresario of the brylcreem set -- Paulie "the hand" DiGaetano. He reached out to the "mastermind" behind the Bridgegate scandal with the story about how McCann's opponent had said mean things about the guy who ran for Mayor as a Democrat. Mind you, this is the same DiGaetano who Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris) claimed had threatened him. It was widely reported on.
Jun 9, 2016 - Paul DiGaetano, a once powerful Republican assemblyman and former gubernatorial candidate, is on the cusp of returning to an active role in New Jersey politics for the first time in a decade.
Jun 9, 2016 - Soon-to-retire state Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-40) has made claims that former Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Paul DiGaetano threatened his life during a one-on-one conversation the two men had over ten years ago as DiGaetano was mounting his gubernatorial run. O'Toole spoke with ...
Jun 10, 2016 - A sitting state senator says a candidate for governor demanded his endorsement, and threatened to kill him if he refused. ... all the key parties. O'Toole (R-Essex) says the threat was made in 2005 by Paul DiGaetano, then a leading Republican assemblyman dreaming about a long-shot bid for governor.
DiGaetano was in the middle of a campaign to be Bergen County GOP Chairman, so his opponent seized upon this to demand that he withdraw from the race:
Jun 9, 2016 - Current Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Bob Yudin is calling for his competitor, former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, to step out of the race for the position in the county organization. Yudin's call comes after allegations that DiGaetano once threatened the life of LD40 state ...
Of course, DiGaetano disputed Senator O'Toole's claims and even threatened to sue him.
Jun 15, 2017 - Republican Sen. Kevin O'Toole claimed DiGaetano, now the GOP chairman in Bergen County, delivered a “threat of great bodily harm” during a one-on-one conversation more than a decade ago.
We haven't heard any news about the lawsuit, but it appears as though Paulie "D" learned a new trick, because he is pulling the same thing on McCann's opponent that was pulled on him. Now it is DiGaetano who is making phone calls on behalf of McCann, urging that their opponent be made to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District.
You couldn't make this silly shit up. As a county chairman DiGaetano has been a disaster. Now he is calling GOP leaders asking them to join him in demanding someone drop out for being accused of saying actually far less than what he was accused of saying -- only the guy DiGaetano wants to drop out was accused by a Democrat and DiGaetano was accused by a Republican.
"Stumbling John" McCann and his followers are real pieces of work.