Chiappone and O’Donnell spar over Obama signs in Bayonne

BAYONNE – Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone (D-Bayonne) criticized the chairman of the Democratic Party here for failing to display campaign signs for presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, which the chair claims is a ludicrous charge.

"They’ve got signs up on Democratic Party headquarters for (mayoral candidate) Mark Smith and (freeholder) Doreen DiDomenico, but nothing for Obama," complained Chiappone.

In this blue collar maritime stronghold at the southern end of Hudson County, Chiappone backs former municipal judge Pat Conaghan in the Nov. 4 mayor’s race against Smith.

The party chairman supports Smith.

While he was a primary election supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY), Party Chair Jason O’Donnell strongly objected to Chiappone’s suggestion that he’s downplaying the Illinois senator because he fears voter blowback in the Bayonne mayor’s contest.

"For two consecutive days I have met with Tracy Johnson, Hudson County coordinator for Obama, and they don’t have the signs yet," said O’Donnell. "There is no literature for Obama. Tony doesn’t know what’s going on. Just last night, we had an Obama fellow in to headquarters. I’m plugged into it. I’m going to help organize the Obama effort." Chiappone and O’Donnell spar over Obama signs in Bayonne