Winners and Losers: Week of the West New York Waterfront


Felix Roque

“Do you believe in miracles?” This is the renegade who was literally in leg-irons at the end of 2012, ready to buy a one-way ticket back to Cuba after he finished his prison term. But the mayor of West New York beat federal conspiracy hacking charges, and made peace with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). This week at Son Cubano, the entire Hudson County Democratic establishment (including former Mayor Silverio “Sal” Vega, who was rumored to run) signaled their support for the incumbent mayor, who next year seeks a second term in office.

Donald Scarinci

He’s back. Menendez’s childhood chum (picured, above right) took another run on the schoolyard, landing the counsel job in West New York and this week eking out the appearance of ground zero political operations in Hudson between his job there and new law office in Jersey City. Roque’s top advisor, Scarinci is close too to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (Scarinci Hollenbeck has the JC School Board contract) and obvious lifelong saddle-tramp ties to his U.S. Senator pal.  

Leroy Jones

The chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee presided over a successful casino night at Nanina’s in the Park this week that raised his organization in the ballpark of $100,000.

Kevin O’Toole

Leading a congregation of colleagues from both parties that included Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36), state Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24), and state Sen. Peter Barnes (D-18), the Essex County Republican senator raised over $30,000 in one day to combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Ronald L. Rice

The Essex County Democratic lawmaker introduced a number of the Essex County judicial nominees long stalled in a political war between the senator and the front office and passed this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee.




The news service’s selection of a picture of scavenging Afghan innocents to illustrate the supposed concerns of an alleged murderer in West Orange represented bad taste and shamefully bad news judgment.

Chris Christie

The governor (due at an Ohio fundraiser next month) likes to begin each town hall with a warning that those who give it are going to get it back, which is fine, but his over-the-top “I know him” beachfront rant between national engagements when a woman questioned him about Bruce Springsteen seemed like the angry school boy raving of a fan who can’t get over having shaken the hand of his idol. It’s scenes like this that should worry people when the media calls politicians “rock stars.” If this is the adulation some of them have for three-chord bandidos, imagine what they’re thinking when get compared to them?

Joe Vicari

An incisive investigative piece by the Asbury Park Press details a former Ocean County employee’s outrage over the Freeholder Director (up for re-election this year) allegedly using his position to win a contract for a political ally accused of sexually harassing county employees.

Barack Obama

A front-page story in The New York Times (and follow-up column by veteran Maureen Dowd) gave a glimpse into this President’s White House and painted the portrait of a politically disengaged chief executive.

Count Wiley and Jose Munoz

If these two want to run for mayor of West New York, they need to figure out who’s going to challenge Felix Roque, because if they both go they’ll kill each other. Roque’s impressive demonstration of political power this week appears intimidating, until one remembers that four years ago Roque himself ran against the same bunch standing with him now – and beat them.

Winners and Losers: Week of the West New York Waterfront