Saturday, December 5, 2015

Joe Ferriero's legacy of greed still is infecting Hackensack

Hackensack Democratic Party Chairwoman Lynne Hurwitz, back to camera, conferring with Board of Education Attorney Richard Salkin before a June meeting of the City Council. Seated at right is husband Howard Hurwitz, executive director of the Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority, where he is paid more than $136,000 a year.

Editor's note: The editor of Eye on The Record is a lifelong Democrat.


We don't have Joe Ferriero to worry about anymore.

The once-powerful leader of the Bergen County Democratic Party (1998-2009) has been given 60 days to surrender and start serving a 35-month federal prison sentence, according to Page 1 of The Record.

As one indicator of how slow justice is, Ferriero was convicted way back in April of what U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman calls "running a local political organization as a criminal enterprise" (A-1).

"He used his power and position to enrich himself through a racketeering operation fueled by influence peddling, bribes and kickbacks," Fishman said on Friday.

See Comments section below on a major factual contradiction in today's Ferriero coverage.

Hackensack yoke

No other Democrats were involved, but in Hackensack, residents still are recovering from being ruled by the Zisas and the powerful figure behind their political dynasty, city Democratic Chairwoman Lynne Hurwitz.

A number of Zisa family allies still run the free-spending Board of Education, which approved a 2015 budget that exceeded the city's own.

Here are links to two reports on Hurwitz's influence in Hackensack, where a slate she backed in the May 2013 municipal election was defeated by reformers:

Key strategist in Hackensack

Is Lynne Hurwitz backing Hackensack slate?

Taxing hospitals

So many stories in The Record sound more like public relations than news, such as the lead story on the Local front today:

Staff Writer Lindy Washburn rewrote a press release from the New Jersey Hospital Association, claiming non-profit hospitals employ people who contribute "more than $1.4 billion to local and state tax revenues" (L-1).

So what?

Hackensack University Medical Center and other non-profit hospitals don't pay property taxes, shifting the burden onto homeowners and owners of commercial property. 

None of the taxes paid by their employees eases the property tax burden in Hackensack, which is saddled by two other big non-profits, Bergen County and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The rest of Local today is dominated by Law & Order news, including a gee-whiz photo of a small SUV that tried to drive through the basement window of a Garfield school, injuring two teachers (L-1).


  1. From a reader:

    Victor -- a glaring error in today's Record about the stories on Joe Ferriero. The two articles and the column by Kelly have a contradictory fact. The article has Ferriero elected to the Demarest Borough Council at age 19 while the Kelly column has his correctly elected to the Dumont Borough Council. They are contradictory and all one had to do was read the articles to see the inconsistency. I would think that the same copy editor would have read both.

  2. You'd think so. But all bets are off at a paper some refer to as The Wretched.

  3. Another comment from Hackensack:

    There are many things I can tell you about Lynne and Joe. I would rank Lynne among the "worst persons in the world."

    She preceded Joe in politics and she worked under him primarily doing get out the vote.

    However, Lynn was an ally and worker for Bob Toricelli from his first election in 1982. That was well before Joe got active. Lynne stayed with Toricelli all the way through to 1996 and also worked for Ken Zisa.

    I would not put her in Joe's inner circle but I could be wrong.

    1. Bob Torricelli? Another upstanding Democrat (!)


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