Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Talarico vs. Commonsense

A few weeks ago, when I talked about the BCRO getting Rudy Giuliani to come speak, I said if the Republicans were smart they could pick up some Freeholder seats in Bergen County this year. Never in my wildest imagination would I think that Guy Talarico would start another inter-party fight. However, as first reported by PoliticsNJ, Talarico unilaterally kicked two sitting state officeholders (David Russo and Kevin O'Toole) off the Bergen County Republican Organization's line for the June Primary. Here's his reasoning:
If Bergen County surrenders this Senate seat to Essex County, the largest county in the state would be reduced to ONE Senator. In addition, this situation may potentially jeopardize Bergen’s only remaining Senator, Gerry Cardinale. Democratic Chair Joe Ferriero has promised to spend millions of dollars to defeat State Senator Cardinale. Such a defeat will mean the Democrats possess total control of senatorial courtesy in Bergen County. This will mean no Republican appointments in Bergen County and greater future difficulties for Bergen County Republicans to reclaim municipal, county and state offices in the future.

So basically, he's given up on my State Senator, Gerry Cardinale, and has decided to divide the party on his own. The result has been guys from the Red Faction splitting with Talarico, and two of the three Freeholder candidates splitting with Talarico.

The BCRO has been in a tailspin since former BCRO Chairman Berek Don pled guilty to laundering money to former Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli's campaign. That betrayal probably explains why Talarico detractors feel he's conspiring with Papa Joe. The descent hit warp speed with the retirement of Marge Roukema. What Sussex sees as its gain is definitely Bergen's loss.

On that note, it was also pointed out to me that it's a little ironic that Talarico's waving the off-white flag about Cardinale and he kicked David Russo off the the county line. Both were challengers to Representative Scott Garrett back in 2002. Without a strong BCRO, there's less of a chance a moderate Republican in the Marge Roukema mold would be able to build a base to take on Talarico's fellow Mountain Man.

Conspiracy theories aside, the fact remains that because of Talarico's ineptitude as a leader, the BCRO gets slaughtered every Election Day. The immediate result is that Bergen County property taxpayers are getting soaked for more than they need to be because of the BCDO's institutionalization of pay-to-play at all levels of government.

It's a vicious cycle, and in all likelihood won't be remedied until Talarico and/or Garrett are gone. By Talarico's own logic, it's harder to build the party without the Congressman being from Bergen. How many no-bid contracts to donors and patronage jobs will be handed out by the BCDO in the meantime is anybody's guess. The Record pointed out after Election Day the need to rebuild the Republican Party for all of us, not just Republicans, yet Talarico keeps ripping it apart.

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