PATERSON, NJ - Bill Brennan, a Wayne activist who is currently pursuing a special prosecutor for Governor Christie’s role in “Bridgegate,” announced his bid for the governor seat of New Jersey this week.
Brennan will seek the Democratic party nomination for governor in 2017. Having been an activist for over 30 years, Brennan retired as a Teaneck firefighter and achieved a law degree from Seton Hall School of Law.
Brennan backed Bernie Sanders during this year's presidential election. Speaking on a parallel between the presidential race and this gubernatorial contest Brennan said, “I think as Democrats we need to avoid what the party did on a national level. If we let our party shove Phil Murphy down our throats we will end up with a weak candidate and lose the gubernatorial election."
When TAPinto asked what he felt was the most important issue he will be fighting for, Brennan said, “integrity." Brennan said, "Money in politics diverts investment from the manufacture of products, provision of services or innovation of technology and sends that investment toward lobbyists, politicians, and legislators. Buying off the government has become a better investment than building a better mousetrap, this is not sustainable.”
In 2011, Brennan filed ethics charges against former Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana in connection to a deal made between the Township of Wayne and an energy company, while Rumana was simultaneously serving as CEO of the company and mayor. The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards dismissed the charges filed against Rumana that pertained to his actions as a legislator, however the conflict of interest complaint that dealt with his mayoral conflict is still pending before the Local Government Finance Board.
Rumana has since been elevated to the NJ Superior Court after serving as a state Assemblyman.
“Rumana’s appointment to the Superior Court is a symptom of a greater disease," said Brennan. "The man has an open ethics complaint while he is sitting on the bench.”
More recently, Brennan led efforts to bring charges against current Gov. Chris Christie and his alleged connection to the "Bridgegate" scandal. Christie's attorney and Republicans have criticized Brennan's complaint saying it coincided too much with his announcement for governor. Craig Carpenito, an attorney with Alston & Bird, LLP, representing Christie, wrote in an email: "With today's announcement of his gubernatorial candidacy, Mr. Brennan reveals his true motivation behind this political stunt."
Brennan replied, “Instead of declaring his client's innocence, he attacks my motive. I have been an activist for over 30 years. The difficulties we activists face fighting corruption from the bottom up are increasing. It is time to take this on from the top down. Looking at our pension crisis, our crumbling infrastructure, failing schools and obscene taxes, it is clear that rampant criminality in the governor’s office is obstructing progress. I asked myself ‘where are the leaders?' and I got tired of waiting for someone else to clean out what has become a cesspool. By putting integrity on the ballot we can start cleaning up Christie's toxic waste.”
Christie was one of the first to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid. Trump has since seemingly disavowed Christie, leaving many to speculate that Christie’s involvement in the "Bridgegate" scandal left him unqualified to serve in the White House. “The grassroots movement is tired of corruption,” said Brennan.
Brennan says he plans to build on his years fighting waste, fraud and abuse.
“Eventually the candidates will have a debate on the issues," he said. "In that debate I will win this election. He can’t buy a vision for New Jersey and he cannot point to a single New Jersey issue he addressed before buying up party bosses. This is our time to mobilize a grassroots movement that rejects crony capitalism. 'Government Sachs' failed us once and that same failed strategy is back, his name is Phil Murphy. We need to get businesses back to creating products, providing services or innovating technologies; we don't need more investing in legislators. Buying favorable tax law is not capitalism, it is welfare for corporations. When the people lead, the leaders will follow."