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.

Are liberal Dems trying to take over the Bergen GOP?

With and other sources reporting that Bergen County Republican Chairman Paul DiGaetano will be stepping down soon "for the good of the party" an interesting battle for the soul of the once powerful and respected Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) is taking place.  The frontrunner to succeed DiGaetano is his loyalist Jack Zisa -- the notorious one-time mayor of Hackensack who blotted his copybook by endorsing corrupt liberal Democrat Bob Torricelli over his Republican opponent.

Zisa's brother is a former Democrat Assemblyman and crony of leftist Senator Loretta Weinberg, the darling of the Anti-Second Amendment, Pro-Abortion, Pro-Sanctuary State, Pro-Tax Increase, and Pro-Slavery Democrat establishment.  In December, Democrat Weinberg blocked passage of the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act.  Because of this, the safeguards that could have been there to protect children from being lured into the sex trade and slavery will not be there this year.  Maybe next year?

Another Zisa family member runs All County Media, a political consulting & public relations firm that represents the South Hackensack Democrats and holds lucrative contracts throughout New Jersey with such Democrat-machine controlled entities as the Hoboken Housing Authority, Camden Housing Authority, and Secaucus Housing Authority.

Zisa Machine.jpg

All County Media is the consultant to John McCann's campaign for Congress and its principal serves as his campaign manager.  Many see McCann as a Democrat straw man.  The Bergen Record has identified McCann as the "right hand man" to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino.  It was Saudino's feud with the Republican County Executive that undermined and ultimately lost Republicans control of Bergen County.  The coup de grace came when Saudino, a one-time Republican, joined Hillary Clinton and Josh Gottheimer on a ticket that crushed Republicans in Bergen County.  McCann remained Saudino's consigliore through all of this and ran for Congress (as a Republican) with Saudino's blessing and while still being paid by him.

John McCann is just one of the phony Republican straw candidates managed by All County Media.  Another is Dana Wefer, a former Bernie Sanders Democrat who is now running in the Republican primary for the United States Senate, where she can bash the Republican frontrunner to the benefit of corrupt Democrat Senator Bob Menendez.  Wefer runs the Hoboken Housing Authority.  Yes, the same one listed as a client on All County Media's website.  Small world.

Incumbent Republican Leonard Lance is also facing a Leftist Democrat turned Republican in his bid for re-election.  And before he dropped out of the race, so was incumbent Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen.  The Left has even found a candidate to run in the GOP primary against incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur.  This appears to be a common strategy this year: Damage Republican prospects for November by playing in the Republican primary in June.

But in Bergen, the Democrats appear to want it all.  They want to permanently place the BCRO under their governance.  And John McCann and Jack Zisa are the way it can happen.

Will the Republicans in Bergen County fall for it?  Will they swallow the plug of shit being served up by Paulie DiGaetano, in the form of a compromised congressional candidate and a "replacement" for Chairman who is, incredibly, far worse than Whitman-era sellout DiGaetano himself?

Stay tuned...

Is Rendo endorsement the first shot in a GOP civil war?

We were thinking about that stupid statement by that fellow we thought we liked, Carlos Rendo, and who we were prepared to forgive for his anti-religious musings and his work as an immigration attorney.  The statement was made yesterday, by Rendo, in an attack on Republican Steve Lonegan, on behalf of John McCann.

Rendo told InsiderNJ that, of the two, McCann was the "only candidate with an actual record of putting taxpayers first."  

It's funny Rendo put it that way, because "Putting Taxpayers First" is the title of the 2007 book written by Steve Lonegan.  In it, Lonegan provides the blueprint for the conservative movement on how to address New Jersey's worst-in-America business climate and poor record of job creation, the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes, subsidized COAH housing, the public employees union-dominated education system, and the activist judiciary -- among other things.

We can't expect the younger generation to remember what it was like after party liberals like Christie Whitman and Paulie DiGaetano lost Republicans our majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.  Under Democrats McGreevey and Corzine, the Democrats grew government with tax hikes and new regulations -- and always with Republican support.  Conservatives watched dismayed as the GOP provided the votes to end the death penalty for serial killers, child rapists/ murderers, cop-killers, and terrorists.  

While this was happening, John McCann was threatening to run for Congress, telling GOP leaders that Senator Gerry Cardinale and Assemblyman Scott Garrett were "too conservative" for the 5th District.  McCann's candidacies are cyclical.  Like the cicada, he surfaces from the mud about once a decade.  McCann called himself an "Arlen Specter Republican," going left on the issues, mimicking the Democrats' platform on such issues as abortion and gun-control.

Meanwhile, Steve Lonegan was organizing the modern conservative movement in New Jersey.  He led the fight against the Newark arena taxpayer rip-off, fought  state government borrowing without voter approval all the way to the Supreme Court, winning key concessions and transparency.  The Court's decisions in Lonegan I and Lonegan II paved the way for the (then Senator Leonard) Lance Amendment.  Lonegan organized conservatives to sue to stop eminent domain and taxpayer-funded elections.

Lonegan pulled off the unheard of accomplishment of defeating two statewide ballot questions -- stopping government-funded embryonic stem cell research and a sales tax increase.  Lonegan broke the back of the Corzine administration's plans to hike tolls on state roads and he successfully organized conservatives to stop the RGGI fuel tax.  Again, and again, and again, Steve Lonegan was the essential man -- leading the conservative movement forward, providing hope to the GOP in its darkest days.

Steve Lonegan became the glue that held the conservative movement together in New Jersey.  He took over the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and made it the premier chapter in the nation.  His fundraising prowess saw to it that conservative initiatives had resources.  When the GOP opposed same-sex marriage in 2009-10, it was Lonegan who made the calls to ensure they had the funding.

Because of Steve Lonegan, Chris Christie tacked right in his 2009 campaign for Governor, and New Jersey elected -- and re-elected -- a Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment Governor, something the Whitman/DiGaetano wing of the GOP had long held was an impossibility.  Lonegan held seminars, put together conventions, organized demonstrations and rallies -- a flurry of grassroots activity unheard of in the NJGOP.  He nurtured the careers and helped fund the campaigns of younger conservatives like Mike Doherty, Michael Patrick Carroll, and Alison Littell McHose.

Under Steve Lonegan, AFP became the thing that SRM and ARV have most desperately needed in the last few cycles -- a superPAC able to independently hit the Democrats and hold them to account.  Lonegan's relationships with national conservatives ensured that the efforts of groups like the General Majority PAC would not go unchallenged.  

All this ended abruptly when Steve Lonegan departed New Jersey to work on the national scene.  AFP became a shell of its former self.  Activism died overnight.

And the NJGOP, the SRM, the ARV?  Unprecedented losses over and over again.  You have to go back to the period after the Watergate Scandal (do any YR's or CR's even know what that is?) to find a time when New Jersey Republicans held this few seats in the Legislature.  Next up... the culling of the GOP's congressional delegation in New Jersey.

The Republican Party in New Jersey has been studiously ignoring its conservative base for years.  Meanwhile, its once dominant "country club" crowd has gone Democrat and is now fielding candidates from its ranks against GOP incumbents like Jon Bramnick.  In 2001 there were more so-called "wingers" than "country-clubbers" -- 17 years later, the country-club set is kidding itself if it still believes it counts for more than 20 percent of the party's registered voters. Now it is a discussion between populist "Trump" Republicans and their ideological comrades of the more traditional  "Reagan" right.  It's not your party anymore, Ms. Whitman.

Steve Lonegan's return to New Jersey politics could be a great shot-in-the-arm for the NJGOP, for SRM, and for ARV.  Lonegan has the relationships to bring national conservatives into New Jersey to take on groups like the General Majority PAC.  As we speak, a superPAC composed of medical professionals is forming -- the first of many.  

Unfortunately, there is this Rendo endorsement.  Normally, the endorsement of some moe from Hudson County who got elected mayor in Bergen County wouldn't count for much.  But this guy was the establishment's choice for Lt. Governor, so many conservatives are conflating his move with the establishment's wishes.  This misunderstanding could lead to conflict, which could become a very debilitating civil war at a time when resources are thin and the congressional delegation is at stake.

Right now, New Jersey Congressional Republicans are not speaking with a single voice on any issue and they are certainly not following the President in any collective fashion.  There are a lot of GOP messages out there.  Taking back CD05 is going to be a formidable challenge, with holding CD02 perhaps more difficult.  Congressman Frelinghuysen has been taking a terrific beating for months and faces a very attractive opponent.   If Josh Gottheimer doesn't wake up with a sore ass every morning, if Jeff Van Drew isn't sledge-hammered regularly, if Rodney doesn't learn how to punch back... the Democrats with all their money and all their superPACs are going to move on new opportunities.  It is time to stop them.

Does anyone really believe that a candidate like John McCann can even piss straight?  For years he's lived in the moist dirt of county patronage politics, sucking up what the boys -- Republicans and Democrats -- feed him.  McCann is where he is because he threatened to run in a primary against conservative Republican incumbent Gerry Cardinale.  That's right, this asswipe thought it was a good idea to primary Senator Cardinale and make SRM spend money it didn't have, so there would be less to spend fighting the Democrats in November.

Oh, and at the time, McCann was the patronage employee of Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino, who would have had to sign-off on his antics.  No conflict there, right?

At the time, Bergen County GOP boss Paulie DiGaetano was messing in a divisive primary of his own (one he couldn't raise money for) and dissuaded McCann by promising him the Congressional nomination.  Paulie got crushed in the primary and here we are now.  McCann thinks the nomination is his by gift from a party boss who couldn't raise the money required to fund his own legislative race!  Does anybody think Josh Gottheimer is going to take this clown seriously?  Josh will be able to campaign fulltime in CD11.

Steve Lonegan's presence on the ballot has given new life to the state's conservative movement.  It has energized the base, made them happy, and caused them to think well of the GOP.  Carlos Rendo's stupid move has jeopardized that and the conspiracy theories are already circulating.

John McCann can't raise the money, can't stir the troops, won't rally the base, and will only provide Josh Gottheimer with the leisure to make mischief in another district.  But maybe that's all beside the point.  Perhaps his loyalties are still with Democrat Saudino?  As has been suggested, perhaps he is one of them?

Poor Carlos Rendo gets used, swallows McCann's B.S.

Poor Carlos Rendo... he got leaned on by Bergen GOP boss Paulie DiGaetano and   now he's been made to endorse John McCann, who the Bergen Record called "the right-hand man" to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino.  Well that's a real shame.

In his release, the hapless Rendo repeats word for word the same DCCC talking points that McCann shares with Democrat incumbent Josh Gottheimer.  For instance, there are comedic bits like this:  "I have gotten to know John and what he stands for and he is the only candidate with an actual record of putting taxpayers first."  This is vintage Gottheimer -- just switched the names!

Oh, and the way in which both McCann and Gottheimer "put the taxpayers first" was to put them first in line to pay for more Democrat-led government.  Both McCann and Gottheimer played key roles in turning once "red" Bergen County a very deep "blue".

On behalf of McCann, Carlos Rendo parrots the following howlers:

(1) "The State PBA has acknowledged John (McCann) as the 'driving force' behind the police merger in Bergen County..."

Actually, the State PBA issued a press release attacking John McCann for his role in helping the Bergen Democrat party bosses empire-build at the expense of law enforcement and community protection.  Here's what the President of the Policemen's Benevolent Association (PBA) had to say about John McCann: 

"Over the years, we have gotten to know John McCann very well.  Well enough, in fact, to know that he is the wrong person to represent the interests of the law enforcement community in Congress.  Our members proudly serve our communities and face incredible risks and challenges on a daily basis.  Now more than ever, we need leaders who will fight to ensure first responders have the resources they need to stay safe, protect our residents, and prevent acts of terrorism."

(2) "He (McCann) received national recognition for playing a major role in killing the Clinton Healthcare Plan, saving not just the taxpayers of New Jersey, but saving Americans..."

What "national recognition"?  Where?  From whom?  The truth is less edifying.  McCann was a college intern in liberal Senator Arlen Specter's office.  At the direction of his superiors, John McCann claims to have made a graph.  That's right.  A graph.  And just like the typical self-important, overblown junior academic, he takes credit for the hard work of all those Senators and Congressman and Rush Limbaugh and talk radio and the medical professionals and all those thousands of conservative activists and all the reams of studies and research and opinion pieces and thousands of graphs of all those conservative and libertarian think tanks -- not to mention the Republican legal staffs of both the House and the Senate.  No mention of all them... it was "me" says McCann.  "Me and my graph... saved not just New Jersey... but America!"  Yeah, sounds like he gazed into that mirror a bit too long.

(3) "In 1995, McCann was the first to introduce the 2% tax cap on property taxes." 

McCann he says he got the idea from reading about Proposition 2 1/2 in Massachusetts and Proposition 13 in California.  Now here is where his bullshit breaks down:

Proposition 2 1/2 was passed in Massachusetts in 1980 and went into effect in 1982. 

Proposition 13 was passed in California in 1978 and went into effect immediately.

And John McCann wants us to believe that in all those years between 1978 and 1995, nobody (let's say that again) nobody had the idea to try it in New Jersey???

In fact, there were a plethora of newspaper stories discussing caps in New Jersey as low as 1 1/2 percent nearly a decade before McCann claims to have thought of it.  There was even a ballot question on the issue in Bergen County. 

We've had enough of Stumbling John McCann's antics.  McCann's bullshit stinks to high heaven and Carlos Rendo should be ashamed to repeat it.