Though the Hudson County Democratic Civil War continues to entertain Republicans and Independents, everyone should be outraged at the institutional and legal corruption on display. Commonsense Democrats of every type should be the most upset as the battle for over-lordship of the Hudson County Democratic Organization is the worst element of quasi-democratic organizing - a battle between unrepentant and unreformed political machines. State Senator/Union City Mayor Brian Stack and County Executive Tom DeGise, whose bitter divorce-like public feud allegedly began when Stack and Jersey City (JC) Mayor Fulop met DeGise asking him not run for reelection in 2019, are currently warring over the Chairmanship of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. Stack is running for chair, but until this unforced error had no competition.
Not one to take a challenge laying down, DeGise made it clear he would be rallying the troops to prevent Stack from becoming Chairman of the County Democrats. In this infantile tit for tat, both camps are battling for naked political power and, like many politicians, try to make fools of the citizens of Hudson County by pretending their soap opera squabble rises to the level of actual policy differences.
Both Stack and DeGise are old school Hudson County machine Democrats. Stack implied as much when he attempted to impugn DeGise for serving only "one political boss." DeGise's call for new and diverse leadership at the Hudson County Democratic Organization may have momentarily fooled people into believing he was sincere about change but when he announced his daughter as his anointed candidate; the wool was pulled off even the most die-hard progressive Democrat eyes. Apparently, diversity in DeGise's mind means building a political dynasty and growing ones’ machine. Instead of an old white man at the helm, DeGise and his allies want a younger white woman politically controlled by her dad - an old white man. Fighting the patriarchy, this certainly is not.
|The Hudco civil war vortex as seen by Hoboken resident Joshua Einstein.|
On June 5, members of both parties will vote for their respective county committee representatives and those elected will on June 12 vote for each of their party’s leadership. If DeGise succeeds in denying Stack the county Democrat Chairmanship, he will undoubtedly face Stack’s political machine in the Democrat primary for County Executive.
Similar to a car accident everyone slows down to see (but hopes no one was hurt in), the wreckage on display for Hudson County is a distraction. Regardless of who wins the battle of the babies, Hudson County suffers. How have Stack, Degise, or Fulop increased affordability, decreased over bonding, or increased the quality of life? This pantheon of warring political overlords lives in a world in which there are no consequences for the sweetheart deals they have cut with developers, the unsustainable spending and overborrowing they engage in, and the infrastructure needs they leave ignored. The ever-increasing rental rates, cost to buy a condo or house, and cost of living doesn’t impact their taxpayer paychecks the same way it does the average working resident. In Hudson County, the taxpayers are literally getting less for more each year. Yet despite their numerous failings, the political insiders that run Hudson County have been busy calling everyone they know for support. It’s time Hudson County said enough.
Joshua Einstein is a Hoboken resident. He ran for the City Council as an independent and saw almost 1,000 voters pull the lever for his candidacy last year.
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