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Monday, December 10, 2007

Senator L. A. McCarthy?

December 9, 2007

Frank Weeden
Trenton, NJ 08618
Office: 609-394-0300

In Response to LA Parker’s “Straight Talk” on Candidates’ Dirty Laundry

Last Thursday, without naming names, LA Parker alluded to the “dirty laundry” of potential mayoral candidates on WIMG’s “Straight Talk with LA Parker”, collectively implicating all potential candidates, referring to “domestic violence stuff”, “restraining order stuff”, ”really dirty stuff” and warning us, “you know who you are”, not to “bother running”, along with assurances that all this “dirty stuff” would come out. I listened with astonishment to the transcript of this radio spot, and want to be the first to air my so-called “dirty laundry” so I can sleep peacefully without some punk hovering around threatening to ruin me in an election for which I haven’t even declared my candidacy. I hope the other mayoral hopefuls do the same since we all stand accused in the public’s eye and should never tolerate misleading and malicious reporting by novice talk show hosts with chips on their shoulders.

Aside from speeding tickets, my own dirty laundry consists of a restraining order in 2003. It was the result of an inappropriate letter I wrote concerning a personal matter. The complaint was dropped, and by the Judge’s action, did not warrant prosecution. I regret my behavior during this difficult experience and learned an important lesson. Aside from the above-mentioned, I’m proud to have been an upstanding citizen for forty seven years.

I should have known Parker intended to dangle this inside information over my supposed 2010 aspirations. Some weeks earlier, following the State of the City speech, he wanted me to know that the Mayor’s wife had told him of my restraining order incident. I, of course, wanted to talk about how the Mayor was allowing our city to fall into ruin. Needless to say, Parker’s revelation gave me pause while I stood there wondering what would come next and whether I would have to go into detail while the attendees were filing out of the Council Chambers.

Mr. Parker might want to check the relevance of his information the next time an unscrupulous politician’s wife cunningly throws him a bone. Such tidbits are brought to my attention every day, but I’m often suspicious of their import, would never indiscriminately hurl them at an entire group of individuals, and would never be stupid enough to be a pawn and a sucker for someone’s deprived political strategies. That said, I’ll just take it as a compliment that Christiana Palmer should feel the need to sling some mud my way.

Instead of chasing dirty laundry that amounts to little, Parker might serve the public better by doing some investigative reporting on the real issues some of our elected officials want to hide from the good citizens of Trenton. For instance, Parker might report on what the Residency Ordinance actually says instead of aiding in the conspiracy to obfuscate it. He might also investigate whether the Mayor himself lives in the city since it is commonly held that he does not. He might also look into the political contributions that the Mayor and his At-Large slate accept from developers and disgraced politicians. He might, since he pretends to be a minority advocate, also enlighten us as to why our Mayor has been the biggest taker of discriminatory RCAs and talk about the obvious connection between RCAs, developers, and the afore-mentioned pay-to-play dollars. Parker might question why our Mayor has caused a twenty million dollar budget deficit and now proposes not only to sell off a major asset (TWW) to plug it up, but to further reward fiscal mismanagement by entrusting the balance of proceeds to himself and his squandering ways. Perhaps Parker might even inform us of his own dirty laundry so we can better understand his personal political motives for slinging dirt at an entire field of candidates. I guarantee that some in-depth reporting on these matters would be of far greater interest than the less-than-juicy offerings from the pool of potential mayoral challengers. And, if dirty laundry is all Parker’s really after, he should know there’s a lot more of it hanging around on Buckingham Ave. than on Allen St.

After Thursday’s radio spot, I can just imagine the worried questioning within candidate circles about who might have committed which crime, the pundits taking shots in the dark, and the sleazy politicians rubbing their hands and scheming. All this because some loose cannon imagines he can manipulate candidates and steer the upcoming election. “Straight Talk” of this nature is nothing more than crooked slander. It is one thing to expose a particular candidate’s personal history; it is quite another to attempt to intimidate groups of individuals with vague information you’re keeping tucked under your vest. I urge reasonable and incensed citizens to voice their displeasure at this form of collective defamation that sullies the good reputation of the Trentonian’s solid reporting on civic matters.

Frank Weeden

Frank Weeden is President & CEO of Ana Design Corp. Trenton, NJ and was a 2006 mayoral candidate.

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