Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fear and Yawning Campaign 2010

(Apologies to the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson)

With just under one month until Trenton’s municipal elections, things have been relatively quiet on most fronts.

Last Friday, the Times ran an article about some verbal sparring between former Palmer slate-mates turned Mayoral competitors Paul Pintella and Manny Segura.

More than the rhetorical jabbing from the candidates, we liked the subliminal message sent by whoever at the Times was responsible for choosing the photos. A second look at the pictured labeled “Paul Pintella” reveals that it is actually an older photo of Doug Palmer.

Is that what had people walking around singing softly to themselves, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”?

And speaking of the reign of King Douglas, did you catch this little love note in this morning’s Trentonian?

In case the image isn’t clear enough, the text of the Letter to the Editor reads as follows:

Four more years
To the editor:Dear Mayor Palmer:
     You are doing a beautiful job with our city. You put up a lot of new homes and buildings, and you’re doing a great job fighting crime
     You did a great job helping senior citizens.
     I went to the peace rally, and you did a beautiful job with that.
     We need you on our team so Trenton can win.
     There are a lot of residents in the city who would like you to reconsider and run for mayor again.
     Please stay the mayor until Obama is out of office, and then you can be the next president.
     God bless you and your family, and keep up the good work.

                                                 Sharon Wilson
Um, thank you, Ms. Wilson.  You may stop by city hall and pick up your Target gift card at any time now.

The latest Mayoral candidates’ forum was Sunday at the James Kerney Campus of Mercer County Community College and was covered by PolitickerNJ.com. The biggest revelations that occurred seemed to be the absence of Tony Mack who was honoring his previous commitment to coach a baseball game.

Some of the folks over on the
Trenton Speaks forum discussed the pros and cons of giving Mr. Mack an excused absence for the event.

We’d like to talk a little about the At-Large Council race but there has been little to report on. The candidates seem to be keeping to themselves.

The one standout to date has been Algernon Ward, Jr. who was one of the petitioners fighting to have a public referendum on the proposed split and sale of the Trenton Water Works. Ward had an
op-ed in today’s Times regarding the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the right to have a referendum on the matter.

The other candidates have been largely quiet. We have seen Juan Martinez signs around town…but they are mixed in with ones leftover from last fall’s failed attempt to win the South Ward council seat.

Typical Juan…doesn’t know which office he is seeking or let alone what he stands for.

And the various ward races are just about as quiet. There’s little coming out from most of the candidates. South Ward Councilman George Muschal is continuing the hands on street work that got him the win in November’s special election.

The North Ward campaign has been quiet with the exception of annoying notifications about fundraisers from Marge Caldwell-Wilson. Nothing of substance on policy or positions from any of the contenders to date.

In the West Ward, signs are starting to pop up on lawns along with the crabgrass and dandelions. Early entry Zach Chester has been playing the role of the quiet candidate, as has former school board member Joyce Kersey. Kevin Moriarty has been working the streets as well as the internet with regular
blog postings. There are two West Ward candidate forums coming up that should prove to be enlightening for the voters. The first is tonight at the Lighthouse Community Center on Bellevue Ave and next Monday at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Parkside and Parkway.

The East Ward has been equally quiet. We don’t really know anything about the candidates other than Dion Clark has attended a lot of council meetings and spoken frequently about the need for cleaning up the trash (human and other) found along Walnut Avenue and such.

Chambersburg resident Joe Harrison can claim a similar attendance record at city council meetings and has been one of the few candidates in any of the races to utilize
video on the internet to make his case to the voters.

If it seems like it has been an underwhelming campaign season...it has been. Whether due to the majority of uninspiring candidates, lack of real press coverage or both, who can say.

Regardless, it will be up to the voter to exercise some real critical thinking when they step into the voting booth on May 11.

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