_ _ _ _ _ for County Clerk, 2009

This week in Passaic County, we heard the oh-so-stunning revelation that former County Clerk Ronni Nochimson, "irked by attack" (according to Paul Brubaker at the Herald News), has...


...switched her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat!

My first reaction is: yawn. Especially reading the trite quote, "I really feel like the (Republican) party left me."

My second reaction is: chapeau. Nochimson has done a brilliant job of generating a story and getting her name all over the paper. She has launched a political comeback with impeccable timing, earning a flurry of accolades from Passaic County Democrat Chairman John Currie, who said:
She's always cared for the working poor in the Passaic County community...Anything is possible in this business. We'll wait and see. I have not had any communication with her whatsoever. We will start a dialogue.
Note the obvious implication that Nochimson could easily seek the 2009 Democrat nomination for her old position, which she rejected for the 2004 race. She's got plenty of time to build upon the momentum she established this week, and fortunately for her, Passaic County taxpayers will continue to pay her $89,697 per year and provide a car for her to drive around as she considers her options.

But, more importantly, there are 3 people likely to be devastated by Nochimson's move.

First, we have the sitting Clerk Karen Brown, who was only selected for her current position by the Democrats after the first choice candidate, Charles Thomas, dropped out in disgrace. Brown was never loved and has made quite a few enemies in her own party. Now she is sure to get dumped in 2009 and has no legs upon which to stand running "off the line". As Wally Edge might say, "She's no Nia Gill." Bye-bye, Brown.

Second, we have Bill Pascrell and his "My 3 Sons" Passaic County franchise. As the Currie/Pascrell intra-party feud continues, Currie may gain an extremely valuable ally in Nochimson to combat the Pascrell affinity for Brown. Pascrell's clout with local Democrat power brokers continues to falter, and unless he comes up with 75% of the vote on Tuesday, it increasingly looks like a checkmate for Currie. Worse yet for Pascrell, his Union Boulevard water boys are now out of power in the county GOP, hampering his ability to wage proxy battles. Of course, none of this is bad enough to endanger his comfy position on the Democrat line for Congress, but when he steps down, "My 3 Sons" is going off the air permanently. Bye-bye, Billy 3.

Third, we have Passaic County Democrat operative Keith Kazmark, a West Paterson Councilman who also serves as the County's Communications Director (it was a letter from Kazmark that admitted that Freeholders Gallagher and Way lied during the recent debates when asserting that the 2005 County Audit Report had been filed and was in Trenton).

Karen Brown had rejected a push by Currie to appoint Kazmark as Deputy Clerk, and conventional wisdom suggested that he was plotting to get the Democrat nomination for County Clerk in 2009. Well, he can kiss that dream goodbye. If Brown is no Nia Gill, Kazmark is no Ronni Nochimson.