This is not the first time Fulop and Lipski have bumped heads, and until the 2009 election sends one or both out of office in the election cycle.
Fulop, representing downtown Jersey City near Grove Street and Lipski, the Journal Square area seem to reflect a larger battle going on between old and new style politics underway in Hudson County.
Lipski, despite being one of the younger people on the city council, seems to reflect the older style of politics that has been practices in Hudson County since the 19th Century.
While often accused by opponents and sometimes allies as switching sides in conflicts at his convenience, he tends to lean towards the older form of political power that depends heavily on prominent political contributions and close relationships with powerful business and developers.
His disagreement with Fulop over the contribution ban centers on the idea that people of wealth who invest in a community are as deserving of representation on the city council as those who live and raise families in a community.
Raising money from people doing business within a community has become a critical piece of new ethics reform in the state, and those who label this practice "pay to play," claim powerful people have too much influence over the policies of a city when elected officials depend upon contributions for reelection.
Fulop's proposal would prohibit developers from giving contributions to a candidate for a certain time prior to the election in the hopes of reducing the influence.
Although he used other words, Lipski said you couldn't legislate morality or outlaw every possible abuse of power
"I think it is an insult to Hudson County to make it seem as if everyone here is corrupt," Lipski said..
The differences between the two councilmen also go into other areas. Lipski appears to believe that legislators are elected to use their own common sense in planning for the future of the city, thus his is promoting the mixed-use development for an abandoned railroad property called the Sixth Street embankment. Lipski believes that at times politicians need to rise above immediate wants and desires to promote programs that benefit the whole city or region. This is similar to some of the battles going on in Trenton where Gov. Jon Corzine has incurred the wrath of local political forces by suggesting changes that could hurt local interests for a time but would heal many of the fiscal wounds the state faces as a whole.
Fulop comes from a philosophy that he was elected by a certain constituency and that it is his job to listen to their concerns and represent those concerns on the city council. While Lipski has pushed to have the Sixth Street Embankment developed with light rail, park and housing components he hopes will generate growth outward from the already successful area Fulop represents, Fulop fights from local wishes to develop the Embankment as a park.
While Lipski and Fulop are the most obvious political people in this battle between local and regional interests, other political battles have a similar theme such as the upcoming conflict between state Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and state Senator Bernard Kenny.
Stack as a partisan of local interests becomes a much more powerful entity at election time when he can count on voters to come out. Kenny, whose legislation over the years tended to focus on regional solutions, tends to have less support among voters even if his legislation tended to have bigger impact over time.
Stack, of course, has been waiting patiently for Kenny to withdraw from the June primary so that Stack can take the nomination for state Senate in the 33 rd District.
But after months of waiting, and weeks with piles of stationary bearing his new logo, Stack has declared, with his first mailing taking hard shots at Kenny with questions such that ask do you want a senator with new ideas, who thinks of the people first and who doesn't allow deals to be made in the backroom by party bosses.
This is a loud shot fired by the Stack campaign to unseat Kenny, since Kenny had taken too long to step aside.
Sandy Cunningham may declare in early February
Bobby Jackson, Joe Cardwell and Sandra Cunningham were seen at the Bayonne Diner last week meeting with Bayonne Councilman Anthony Chiappone in what may be the next step to fielding a slate of candidates for the June Democratic Primary.
Sandra Cunningham is expected to announce her ticket official in early February that will have her seeking the state Senate in the 32nd District. Chiappone, who has expressed an interest in regaining his Assembly seat is expected to be on her ticket.
Meanwhile Cunningham has met with Jersey City Council members Viola Richardson and Steve Fulop, although neither is expected to be named to the other Assembly spot on her ticket.
Hudson County Sheriff Joe Cassidy, however, raised some speculation this week when he took out petitions to run for the sheriff's post as well as petitions for the state Assembly - making him the possible third candidate in Cunningham's slate.
This ticket would face off against Incumbent state Senator Joseph Doria, Assemblyman Louis Manzo and former Jersey City Acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith.
While those in close to the Doria camp say Smith is the candidate, many others argue Freeholder Jeff Dublin would make a better choice if Cunningham runs. He works hard and is well respected in Ward F.
"Smith is good if Cunningham doesn't run," one observer said. "But if Sandy runs, Dublin would be a better choice since he can win votes in (Jersey City's) Ward F."
Smith's choice also leaves Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy in a difficult position since - as the future chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization - he is expected to support the Doria ticket. But Smith and Manzo may want to use this election as a springboard toward running for Jersey City mayor in 2009. So how hard will Healy work to get them elected this time?
The race in the 31 District, however, could get even more complicated if Retired Bayonne Municipal Judge Patrick Conaghan throws his hat into the state Senate race.
Conaghan has been criticizing Doria's development plans in Bayonne, saying the city's growing debt demands some serious short-term solutions such as the development of a container port at the former Military Ocean Terminal.