Solomon Dwek mostly talked about his five kids when Bayonne Democratic Party Chairman Jason O'Donnell met with him lastyear in the lead-up to the Bayonne mayor's race, O'Donnell recalled.
ButDwek also mentioned his interest in building two towers in Bayonne, saidO'Donnell, who at the time was working as the campaign manager for eventual winner Mark Smith.
When they later went out to the parking lot of the restaurant where they met, Dwek offered O'Donnell $5,000, according to the chairman.
"I obviously told him to go take a walk," O'Donnell said.
Until Thursday, when Dwek's name leaked as the confidential witness who helped the feds nail 44 public officials, rabbis and political operatives as part of a corruption and money laundering bust, "I never thought of it again – I just thought it was a fast and loose play from Manhattan," added the chairman.
Where Bayonne stands now in the governor's race is where it usually stands: wedgedsomewhere south of Jersey City.
But this time Democrats here have the burden of political allies from the bigger, neighboring 31st District city getting drop-kicked by thehandfuls to northward, in addition to backyard headlines describing the feds' Thursday morning house raid of former Bayonne Mayor Joe Doria.
At the moment, they'removing forward.
Two days after Corruption Thursday, Mayor Smithkeynoted thekickoff of Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign headquarters,
Supporters showed up, including Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone (D-Bayonne).
There was no great adrenaline rush, however, according to attendees, andat this point O'Donnell said it's still too early to tell ifthe incumbent governor,whose Bayonne-based DCA commissionerhe asked to resign last week following the raid, can stir enthusiasm in this tough nut maritime town.
"There's a plan and they're going to work the plan," said O'Donnell."If that plan is executed, Bayonne would be firmly in Corzine's corner.I don't think Christie's policies match Bayonne at all. Doria wasn't arrested or charged. As far as we know, they executed a search warrant on his house. Ithink the enormity of everything will take a while for people to dissect and digest."
Chiappone can feel an edge out there. If anything he said it motivates him not to take anything for granted.
"It was a battle to begin with because of the economy," said the assemblyman."I saw that in the primary personally.I think the governor's doing a good job, but in a time like this when everything's going south, people want to pick on the person in charge.All I can say is I have an election in November and I'm going to campaign hard for myself and for the governor."