The Hudson County war of the roses is in full bloom. County Executive Tom DeGise finds himself in the middle of it as State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack flexes against HudCo rivals, first and foremost State Senator and North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.
Degise, in an interview with John Heinis of the Hudson County View Friday proclaims,"It's a renewal of the war in 2007. The sides are just about the same."
The first target is Hudson County Democratic Chair and Degise states it wasn't a problem for Brian Stack to assume the position but says, "Rather than do it peacefully, he's decided to knock down the wall."
DeGise then called it a "sneak attack" before adding, "It's my job (as County Executive) over the next year and a half to make them pay for doing that." Later, he conceded that Brian Stack would likely not face opposition for the seat of Hudson County Democratic Chair as no fight had been anticipated.
Implicit in who will pay are the mayors supporting the Brian Stack insurrection led first by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop. The battle is expected to rage over the County Executive election set for next year.
After blasting Mayor Steve Fulop and what he described as his lack of accomplishments, DeGise offered some choice words for two mayors, Ravi Bhalla and Felxi Roque of West New York.
(Scroll ahead to the 32:45 mark.)
Noting both mayors issued a joint release 30 minutes after the war's launch by Brian Stack and Steve Fulop "of my demise" over the County Executive office; DeGise said he took Mayor Ravi Bhalla to breakfast after the Hoboken mayoral election last November.
Apparently, he thought he was getting along well with Hoboken's new mayor. Claiming shock at being stabbed in the back, Degise said Ravi Bhalla did it "without even a phone call."
"Don't come from the back. I resent it with both of those guys, (Bhalla and Roque)," failing to have the common courtesy to call him.
"I tried to call him," Degise said of an earlier effort to reach out to Ravi Bhalla before adding, "I ain't calling no more."
Looking forward to next year's County Executive election, Degise eyed Hoboken's electorate saying. "Ravi got elected with 32% of the vote; I'll take the other 68%, how about that?" - for County Executive.
Where does place Hoboken which sends tens of millions annually in taxes to Hudson County? Let's put it this way, not good.
Talking Ed Note: So what did Ravi Bhalla get in the deal for joining the HudCo insurrection?
Well, assuredly, there's a deal cut and your friendly neighborhood Horsey will publish all the gory details on the neotransactionalist mayor's self-serving transaction. Just know that Mayor Ravi Bhalla is looking toward his political self-interests and personal ambitions.
You do recall this issue cited as an election matter of concern in last year's election as similarly, Ravi Bhalla's law firm conflict potential? Certainly, it's tough to keep up with Ravi Bhalla's second job and political machinations not a quarter into the job.
In the interim, Hoboken can prepare to make the immediate casualties list with fewer services and support from Hudson County while it prepares for its annual near double-digit tax increase or higher.
Thank you Ravi.