2015 Feuds of the Year – Number 10: Felix Roque vs. Count Wiley

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In a heavyweight showdown that was a whopping three years in the making, causing “Rumble of the Jungle” level-hype behind it, the end result was pretty anti-climatic when West New York Mayor Felix Roque handily defeated then-Commisisoner Count Wiley in the May 12 municipal election. Roque-Wiley

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Coming in on the list at No. 4 last year, Roque convincingly finished the fight on May 12, 2015 with his five-person slate soundly defeating Wiley’s West New York United team – ending his tenure as an elected official.

The allies turned enemies (Wiley was elected with Roque in 2011) had a relatively tepid election season by West New York standards, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t trade stand in the pocket and trade on multiple occasions.

Predictably, Wiley drew first blood by accusing a board of education employee of threatening teachers to help get the vote out for Roque.

Roque was undaunted by the allegations, not even bothering to publicly address them as he was too busy prepping for a hearty endorsement from the Hudson County Democratic Organization the next day.

Wiley was equally unimpressed, simultaneously hosting a fundraiser at Rumba Cubana, promising he could still taste victory.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8vf95g1ZxU[/fve]

One of the hottest topics during the election stemmed from flyers with a cartoon depicting the West New York United slate in some uncompromising situations with racial and religious overtones.

Both sides denied having any involvement in the creation of the flyers and accused one another of engaging in “dirty” politics. In Hudson County? Say it ain’t so!

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Xl4ZHU7kE[/fve]

Another bizarre “only in West New York” type of scenario played out just days before Election Day, where ex-Commissioner Ruben Vargas led a protest against WNY United over the fact that they did not have a candidate of Dominican descent (seriously).

The highlight of the season came when Roque accused Wiley of assaulting his son on Election Day morning.

Roque channeled the late, great former heavyweight champion of the world  “Macho Man” Randy Savage when he told Hudson County View that he’d “make a man out of” Wiley for picking a fight with his flesh and blood.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEy5LUir_HU[/fve]

While Roque and Wiley never threw fisticuffs in the street, ring or cage, Roque made sure that Wiley is now an afterthought among West New York politicos and the window for a comeback, if there ever was one, seems to have slammed shut a long time ago.

Life still isn’t perfect for Roque, given that he was hit with his second indictment in the past three years (he beat hacking charges the first time) less than a month after winning re-election.

Nevertheless, he and his inner circle, led by Town Attorney Donald “The Don” Scarinci,  have effectively erased any semblance of opposition in West New York. For now.

8 COMMENTS

  1. >>> Nevertheless, he and his inner circle, led by Town Attorney Donald “The Don” Scarinci, have effectively erased any semblance of opposition in West New York >>>

    And isn’t that just dandy — except this is supposed to be a democracy, not a dictatorship. The pigs in town hall and their overpriced and overrated “town attorney” have nothing to be proud of. They are dragging this town down to their level – in the gutter.
    Roque is garbage – always was, always will be. Ho, ho, ho.
    And Scarinci is not paid a half million dollars of taxpayers’ money every year to further Roque’s shameful “political career”. Somebody ought to remind them of that. He’s supposed to give legal advice – not political advice.
    Maybe Hudson County View should do an investigation of the “services” Scarinci has performed for this town. It might be interesting.

    • Generally speaking, if the people of West New York had an ounce of care in their bodies, someone would’ve risen up and tried to rage against the machine by now. The election was over seven months ago, yet it still hasn’t happened. Can’t blame one or two people for absolutely nobody caring.

      • Your assessment is not fair, Mr. Heinis.
        While it may be true that there is a lot of apathy in this town, it’s not true of the entire town, and we all know what happens to people who try to cross Roque. He is a vindictive bully. Despite all the BS he likes to spout in front of the cameras, he does not believe in democracy, and let’s not even try to pretend that this town is run as a democracy.
        Just look at the things that happened during the last campaign – the vulgar flyer that was circulating from town hall (does anybody think that did not originate with the Roque people?); then getting an opposition candidate’s ex-wife to come forth with allegations of abuse just days before the election (and comments criticizing the Roque campaign for that were removed from the Roque-controlled HudsonReporter.com as fast as they appeared); claims that Wiley didn’t live in WNY when Roque himself and at least one of his running mates in the last election did not live in this town when they first ran for office; and other things as well. Roque and company play dirty and any decent person who plays by the rules can get hurt by them.

        When you report on the way Roque and Scarinci and co. have taken over this town, try to at least be neutral. Please don’t present it as a good thing and please don’t blame anyone but them.
        And when you report that nobody comments about Roque’s latest indictment at Commissioners meetings, please don’t characterize it as no-one caring, as you have done in the past. There can be any number of reasons why people don’t comment. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care.
        Roque is no one to be admired. Don’t paint him that way.

        • It is fair, don’t take it so personally. I still say it’s up to the people to stand up for themselves anywhere in America. Any “bully” can be beaten if people are willing to stand tall and face their fears, I really believe that. Too bad very few other people do. My point is if people truly have a problem with their government, they should do something about it in a real life setting. Like the old quote goes, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. I’m well aware of what happened in the election, does that justify everyone rolling over and waving the white flag?

          • I know you meant “waving” the white flag, not “waiving” the white flag, but that aside, I don’t think everyone is doing that. Sure there are people who can be bought, and this town has more than its share, unfortunately, but you talk as if no one opposed Roque in the last election, which is not true. I think the problem is that he had too many opponents and we all know what happens when the vote is split the way it was.
            Roque hardly had a mandate – he just got more votes than anyone else and it’s because he has a lot more money than anyone else and he has the slimy HCDO machine behind him. If things were evenly matched, it would be very different. Maybe it will be in the next election.
            And I’m not sure what you mean by taking it personally. I’m simply someone who is offended by offensive conduct by offensive people and we have too many of them running this town, officially and unofficially.

            I’m not taking anything personally. I’m merely pointing out the facts. And, BTW, you talk as if no one opposed him in the last election, which is not true.

          • I wrote the comment on my phone but like you said yourself, let’s focus on the brass tacks here. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m talking about right here, right now. Not the past. Can anyone name five people in West New York that are honestly taking a stand, and I mean truly trying to make a difference, in any way, shape or form right now?

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