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E-mails from Bergen GOP show a party in chaos

By David Wildstein, March 16 2018 12:21 pm

E-mails from two Bergen County Republican activists show the story of a party organization in significant turmoil.  Worth the read.  Noteworthy that former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan will use the “Republicans for the President’s Agenda” slogan in his off the line run for the GOP congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 5th district.

From: Bob Taschler
Subject: BCRO Still a Three Ring Circus – What Slogan to Use – An E-mail from former Executive Director Paul Caramico
Date: March 14, 2018 at 10:10:22 PM EDT

Dear fellow Republicans, County Committee and Elected Officials:

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.  See? I can give credit when it is deserved!

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.

* * * * *


Here is the slogan that I will be using:

Republicans for the President’s Agenda

It is the slogan that Steve Lonegan will be using on his NJ CD-5 petition and that of the freeholders who are running with him.

If you use this slogan it will guarantee that you will be in a column and not stuck out in right fleld on the ballot.

* * * * *

FYI: E-mail received from Paul Caramico, former BCRO Executive Director

Sunday, March 4, 2018


This is now chronicled within the hallowed Halls of the BCRO, a place I called home for several years. For those  new to this game, I was the Executive Director the final years of the 1990s, when Henk Shotmeyer was Chairman.

While it seems every time a new regime is steering the ship (BCRO), allegations of theft of mailing lists and    e-mailed lists always ring loud and clear that there are problems — most of these problems come from unprofessional individuals with an axe to grind! Politics brings out the worst in people. Let me start by saying this … THERE IS NO FREE RIDE IN POLITICS … there’s rent, lights, insurance, mailing, printing, miscellaneous office materials, restroom supplies, etc. which are all required just to put the key in the door!

To fully understand the phallousy of a DiGaetano Republican Chairmanship, one has to go back 4 decades… The late 1980s when Paul DiGaetano primaried Kathe Donovan to fill a seat in the Assembly for LD36! DiGaetano, at that time, was a sitting councilman in the city of Passaic (not exactly a Republican base, so one has to ask, what was promised to get him elected?)

Jump ahead to the 1990s where DiGaetano and his minions struck a deal to oust Republican incumbent State Senator John P. Scott. When the DiGaetanoites failed to knock out Scott in the primary, the DiGaetano supporters had three (3) choices: 1. Do nothing and publicly support no one in the general election; 2. Support Scott, after all, he won the Republican primary or 3. Publicly support and endorse the opposition, democrat Garry Furnary, who, with the support of DiGaetano, won the election and took a seat from Republicans that year. So you have to ask…Was this someone worthy of your support for Republican chair?

Fast forward to the first decade of the 21st century … DiGaetano’s Assembly running mate jumps off the Assembly ticket, running instead for State Senate.  In the general election, John V. Kelly lost his bid for State Senate while DiGaetano stays in the Assembly. It should be noted that Kelly had been in the Assembly since the 1980s!

The mid-decade (2005) was a Gubernatorial election, and the GOP had no shortage of candidates, including, you guessed it, Paul DiGaetano!  Having gambled his Assembly seat away by running for governor, Paul thought there was nowhere left to go but to Drumthwacket, after all, the 36th district encompasses 3 very significant counties: Bergen, Essex and Passaic.  But DiGaetano underestimated the deep pockets of Doug Forrester. With no place left to go come January 2006, everyone thought they’d seen the last of Paulie D.

Enter the present, DiGaetano runs for chairman of the largest Republican organization in NJ, Bergen county. Through mudslinging, promises of political patronage, half truths of his political record, or just plain luck, DiGaetano defeated four term incumbent, Bob Yudin, placing the BCRO, once a jewel in the USA triple crown Republican counties along with Orange County California and Nassau County NY, into free fall!

DiGaetano’s style is to blame others while hiring unqualified staff in hopes of diverting attention from himself. No one should blame his Executive Director or call for his head as he most likely wasn’t given a list of duties to perform.

They say that when a fish goes bad, it starts from the head down. In this case, don’t look to the Executive Director for blame of no insurance, past due rent, outstanding and unsecured campaign debt, this all lies at the head of the BCRO, it’s chairman.

Bergen County Republicans have survived many civil wars in the last half Century, the Statile Vander Platts, the Marcus Talericos, etc. If nothing is done to reverse the damage caused by this administration, loyal Republicans will have no home in Bergen County.

Let’s send DiGaetano packing and bring back respectability to the BCRO!!!

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One thought on “E-mails from Bergen GOP show a party in chaos

  1. The BCRO needs to go through managed bankruptcy rename and be reborn. This reminds me of Guy Talaricos last days in the bunker. Close the morgue, find a Chair who only wants to be chair, and then start going into swing towns and invite Undeclareds to join the party with a pro-growth and tax-cut agenda. Bergen Republicans have not had a message in years and that is why the Democrats have ate their lunch.

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