Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith feels that Governor Corzine’s campaign infrastructure is strong in Bayonne, despite Corzine’s forcing of former Mayor Joe Doria out of his cabinet after his house was raided by the FBI.
“I think there are such strong feelings for Joe Doria and admiration and respect for him. As to whether that relates to or equates to people being upset or angry at Governor Corzine, I don’t’ know, and I don’t believe so or think so,” he said.
Although FBI agents visited his home the morning of July 23 – when 44 officials, politicians, rabbis and alleged money launderes were netted in a sting that resulted from a two-track investigation – Doria has not been charged with a crime.
Bayonne’s Democratic assemblyman, Anthony Chiappone, was indicted by the state on separate charges alleging he put legislative aides’ paychecks into a personal and campaign account. The distirct’s other Assemblyman, L. Harvey Smith (D-Jersey City), was among those charged by the feds in the July sting.
Smith ripped Chiappone – a rival – for not resigning. Chiapponehas since been stripped of his committee assignments by Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden).
“It’s a black eye, and more importantly our citizens in the Bayonne portion of the district and the portion that’s in Jersey City, we have no effective representation,” he said. “He’ll have his day in court to prove his case, but I think he should have done what was right. I think he should have resigned”
When asked if he thinks Chiappone will win reelection, Smith said “unfortunately, I do,” he said.
So does that mean Smith would rather see Republicans Irene Kim Asbury or Marie Day win, or independent Omar Dyer?
“I’ll reserve comment on that,” he said.