Sacco-Stack thermonuclear hi-jinks continued today as the allies of state Sen. Nick Sacco, (D-32), North Bergen, coped with a mailer unloaded in their direction by state Sen. Brian P. Stack, (D-33), Union.
In advance of next year’s district-wide elections, the rival Democratic senators traded openly in North Hudson over the backroom fulminations of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, (D-NJ), who wants a united Hudson County for his own November general.
Sacco initially went after Stack in a mailer last month with the following warning to District 32 taxpayers: “If you live in North Bergen, West New York, Weehawken or Guttenberg, you should know that more than one million tax dollars could be wasted because of Union City’s failure to pay its fair share of North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue costs on time. As reported in the Jersey Journal, Union City owed the NHRFR almost $6 million as of 8/2/12. This is Union City’s share of the cost of fire protection.”
Last Friday, Stack counterattacked as mailers deluged District 32 mailboxes.
“While it is true that we may be late with payments on occasion, Union City always ensures that we are caught up at the end of the year, that our obligations are met and that our financial house is in order,” wrote the Union City mayor/senator. Union City pays more than $18 million annually into the NHRFR. Sadly, Nicholas Sacco decided to politicize Union City being late on payments.”
Stack derided Sacco for creating the controversy in the name of politics, then savaged the veteran neighboring seantor’s public dime take-home pay.
“As the North Bergen Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Nicholas Sacco makes approximately $223,000, while he makes $49,000 as state senator, $15,000 as mayor and approximately $12,800 performing weddings as mayor – for a grand total of more than $309,000 – of your tax dollars, in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement payments for unused sick and vacation days,” wrote Stack. “Nicholas Sacco attacks me with the hope of growing his political empire, which is responsible for sweetheart land deals that offer 30-year abatements to out-of-town developers, that you pay for and worst of all… an unresponsive government.”
Called for comment, Sacco spokesman Paul Swibinski stood by Sacco’s initial criticism of the potential costliness of Stack’s slow-footed payments to the NHRFR.
“We’re not going to engage in personal insults and name-calling,” Swibinski told PolitickerNJ.com. “The state says that the regional owes approximately one million in interest charges because the regional hasn’t made its payments. This is directly related to the fact that Union City has been chronically and habitually late about making their payments. We don’t want to get into a war of words, but North Bergen taxpayers are not going to pay one penny because of Mayor Stack’s mismanagement. If this debt is incurred as a result of Union City’s failings, then they should be responsible for making it.”
Both political animals, Sacco and Stack survived a countywide civil war in 2007, when Stack moved up to the Senate against Sacco ally Assemblyman Sal Vega.
Hudson County insiders are now watching a full-blown re-enactment of that collision – this time, with a twist.
Stack counts himself one of Gov. Chris Christie’s closest Democratic Party allies and a reliable vote for Christie initiatives in the state Senate. Regardless of his pro-Christie leanings, Stack is sufficiently politically muscled up against the threat of being beaten in office, Hudson sources say. But that won’t prevent Sacco forces from trying to depict him as a creature of the GOP governor in this unfolding North Hudson rivalry.
“I will not be bullied,” Stack wrote in his anti-Sacco mailer. “Nicholas Sacco’s attacks have given me the fuel I need to fight harder than ever.”