Between the lines

Fulop makes peace with Menendez

According to knowledgeable sources, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has apparently buried the political hatchet with U.S. Sen.Robert Menendez – and not in Menendez’s back.

While the two men will not likely ever become close friends, sources say that Fulop’s popularity in Jersey City is just too great an obstacle to maintain a political feud. This shows just how much being the mayor of the soon-to-be most populated city in the state can help.

Fulop is gearing up for reelection in 2021 after his failed bid to become governor in 2017.

This would make him the first Jersey City mayor in recent history to be elected to three full consecutive terms. Mayors Bret Schundler and Jerrmiah Healy both served three terms, but their first term was a partial term.

Those close to Fulop claim fatherhood has sobered him, as well perhaps as experiencing the ups and downs of Hudson County politics.

It is unlikely that he will run for U.S. Senate if U.S. Senator Cory Booker gets the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Nor is Fulop expected to challenge Gov. Phil Murphy in the Democratic primary in 2021.

But sources claim Fulop may well decide to run for governor in 2025. Murphy’s term, if he is re-elected, will expire in 2025.

Is Wainstein getting close?

North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco in North Bergen may well have a lot to worry about in his reelection bid.

Although he vowed to crush his opponent, Larry Wainstein, Sacco is clearly looking over his shoulder and wondering just how far behind his opponent, Larry Wainstein is.

This may explain the massive mudslinging going on between the two candidates, Sacco hoping to make voters distrust Wainstein, and Wainstein hoping to narrow the gap.

Wainstein shocked many political observers in 2015 when he lost by little more than 4,000 votes, when most predicted he would not achieve 10 percent of the Sacco vote.

In 2015, Wainstein’s election was overshadowed by a larger conflict between Sacco and Union City Mayor Brian Stack, and this larger war helped give Wainstein support he might not be able to rely on this time.

But rumors suggest that South Jersey power brokers might be aiding Wainstein behind the scenes.

A Wainstein upset victory over Sacco would create a huge vacuum in Hudson County politics, but would also be one more humiliation for Hudson County on a state level.

In the past, Sacco had firm control of the HCDO. But under under Amy DeGise he has far less direct control. Sacco also once had the speaker of the state assembly as his ally, which he does not now have.

Sacco’s relationship with Murphy is uncertain as well.

There are more than a few Democrats who wouldn’t mind seeing Wainstein win, and perhaps might even get a little satisfaction watching Sacco squirm.

Roque refuses podcast interview

West New York Mayor Felix Roque refused to go on the “Talk on the Hudson” podcast last week.

At a time when Roque is being hounded by his opponents, Roque may well need media exposure.

Fernando Uribe, the podcast host, is known to be tough and opinionated, but fair.

His program has attacked public officials from every political stripe from throughout Hudson County, and recently, even Roque’s opponents.

The program was apparently seeking to get Roque’s take on the issues in the election.

Roque, however, would also likely have been asked some uncomfortable questions, especially in regard to the host of charges his opponents are raising against him.

Some political observers claim that Roque has made a number of mistakes in his campaign, and suggest that his silence may well seem like an admission of guilt.

Pascrell goes green for a reason

If there was any wonder why Rep. Bill Pascrell recently embraced the New Green Deal, the announcement by environmental activists Zina Spezakis to run against him in the primary may well explain it.

This may be part of an overall effort by the environmental left to keep progressive candidates like Pascrell in line when it comes to all aspects of the Democratic agenda. Pascrell is seen as a progressive on social issues, but may not be ranked well on the green agenda.

Oddly enough, Spezakis hired Millennial Strategies, a New York-based political consulting firm, whose founders had close to ties to Pascrell in the past – making you wonder if the whole issue may be one of smoke and mirrors.

Pascrell, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1997, is the chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Trade subcommittee, and is seen as one of the chief critics of GOP President Donald Trump.

Al Sullivan can be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com