Saturday, February 06, 2010

Is there something in the water?

If we weren't so busy running around fighting the rest of the population of the eastern seabord for our fair share of bread and milk we would have posted this yesterday.

What in the hell was Mr. Irwin Stoolmacher thinking when he included the following line in his op ed about Trenton's Mayoral race that appeared in the Friday's Times:
"Trenton politics is not seen by its citizens as corrupt."
Any Trenton citizen who hasn't questioned the accountability, ethics and/or transparency of the current administration just hasn't been paying attention.

Why else would citizens have had to sue to get the administration to enforce its own residency ordinance?

Who else but a corrupt administration would hide their own salary increases in a resolution accepting a contract with one of the city employee unions, again forcing the citizens to take legal action?

Wouldn't a corrupt administration be likely to play favorites amongst developers and contractors, especially those who make sizable campaign contributions (pre-Pay to Play ordinance---which, by the way, the administration fought against)?

What's worse than Mr. Stoolmacher's assertion that this administration is not "seen by its citizen's as corrupt" is the comparison of Mr. Palmer's way of doing business with that of the late Art Holland.

We're not suggesting that Mayor Holland was pefect during his tenure as the city's CEO.  But no one can question his integrity.  The man was "open and fair" long before that became a catch phrase.

Mr. Palmer's tenure, on the other hand, has been marked by repeated examples of administrative sleights of hand that raise many questions about ethics and legalities.

We suggest that Mr. Stoolmacher revisit his thinking on the issue of a corrupt Trenton political seen.  Or at least revisit his physician to have his medications adjusted.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think he's talking about corruption from bribery. No one in Trenton administration is on the take. It's a different form of corruption, if you will, that unfortunately doesn't resonate with people (outside of Trenton).

Old Mill Hill said...

Corruption is corruption.

And what would we call the sweetheart deals given to former Senator Toricelli after $10k+ in campaign contributions were made to Palmer and the slate in 2006?

Mistër Cleän said...

What's in a name? Mr. Stoolmacher's letter was a steaming, fetid pile of Number Two.

Dan said...

Look, there's all sorts of corruption, most of it strictly legal.

Every time a politician takes donations from outside Trenton, they're making an implicit promise to someone. The Toricelli example is a good one.

The opposition to Pay-to-Play was telling and the lack of transparency is as well.

In the current race there are rumors of favors and commitments being made to city staff in exchange for support. Is this corrupt? One can make the argument if it were provable.

Trenton simply doesn't have enough oversight either from the State Attorney General, the Feds or, and most importantly, the press. It takes work to prove corruption and its not likely a private citizen will be able to put in the effort.

It would be inappropriate for me to accuse any of our current city officials of illegal corruption. I don't have the proof nor do I know anybody that does. However, that doesn't stop me and other bloggers from pointing out conflicts or interest, questionable practices and policies that suspiciously fly in the face of our city's progress.

Old Mill Hill said...

Dan's comment is right on the money.

And the lack of a strong, investigative but objective press in Trenton has allowed the growth of all types of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Same Anonymous as above. I've tried to interest media, state investigators and others to the sort of corruption that is discussed here only to be told that, as Dan above says, "it's legal" and that would be the end of it. There is just no appetite for the type of corruption that Trentonians find damaging to our city and reprehensible. Even the cover New York Times story about Toricelli mentioning Doug Palmer didn't resonate with those who are more interested in graft.

Old Mill Hill said...

I can understand the legal authorities not wanting/being able to pursue this because there are technically no grounds.

It is beyond me why the press won't pursue it and why the public won't pressure them to do so.

One thing that we have seen time and again is that public scrutiny and outcry will cause the Palmer administration to correct its course.

Why the public and press take so much prodding to get involved and act on these issues is beyond me.