Desperation in the homestretch

The outcome of Tuesday's election, in which several hundred elected members of the Passaic County Republican County Committee will choose the next Republican County Chairman, is all but certain. Absent a miracle, Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana will emerge victorious.

All the signals point in that direction. The "buzz" among party insiders indicates that even some of the "small towns" in Passaic County, thought to be loyal to the incumbent regime, now represented by their last-minute replacement candidate Eugene Liss, have now jumped ship and are supporting Rumana. Quite simply, people want to be on the winning team. At this point, the only question remaining seems to be how wide Rumana's margin of victory will be.

Liss, who as I mentioned before has a good reputation and is highly respected as an individual, has approached the task of challenging Rumana with intelligent tactics, highlighting his ties to Ronald Reagan. However, it's just too late in the game for his message to sink in with those who will vote on Tuesday. This is an insider game and there are not too many "swing votes" left for Liss to court.

Liss, a former US Marshal and Mayor of Little Falls, caught an unfortunate break today with a rather unflattering newspaper article. Paul Brubaker at the Herald News highlighted Liss' resignation as a Marshal, contemporaneous with proceedings involving a Labor complaint against him that alleged physically aggressive behavior.

However, behind the scenes, Attorney William "Bill" DeMarco seems to be putting the conference table and chairs in his law office (paid for by Passaic County Republican donors) to good use drafting up increasingly ridiculous legal attempts to curtail his faction's inevitable defeat. Representing the outgoing Mecca/Murphy faction of the GOP, he brought the Rumana faction to court once again today, seeking Judge Robert Passero's intervention on the election of Municipal Chairs, of which 15 out of 16 have already occurred. Sources say that Passero told DeMarco that unless individuals who were not duly elected to the County Committee cast votes, it was a moot point.

Presumably, this legal action, which seems to be little more than a waste of taxpayer dollars, was intended to overturn the humiliating defeat of outgoing County Chairman and former 2-term Freeholder Michael "Mike" Mecca, who lost his hometown Municipal Republican Chairmanship race to John Traier by a wider margin than Walter Mondale lost the Presidency to Ronald Reagan in the 1984 landslide.

You can't help but feel sorry for such individuals...


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