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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lt. Gov. Palmer, a nightmare for New Jersey

Mayor Douglas H. Palmer could certainly be one of the first candidates ever in New Jersey for the newly created lieutenant governor position, after state residents voted the position into existence in the same election that put Gov. Jon S. Corzine in the state's highest office.

Mayor Palmer told this week that he was honored to be thought of for the position - which is widely suspected to be a possible landing place for him in life after Trenton - but that for now, he was focused on Trenton.

But it is highly doubtful that people in Trenton want Mayor Palmer's attention anymore, and any gubernatorial candidates pledging to run with Trenton's mayor should be aware of that fact and remind themselves of this vindictive politician's legacy of rule here in Trenton.

Consistently high murder rates, economic downturn, the flight of business and the middle class, and the continued slide of formerly viable neighborhoods are just some of Mayor Palmer's achievements in 18 years as Trenton's mayor.

As mayor, his policies have included selective enforcement of the law, the use of vengeful tactics against employees who don't toe his line, and appointments stinking of cronyism and disrespect for the public trust.

Trenton has become little more than a money trough for far away officials from Newark and the rest of Northern Jersey to come to, only to get their fill of money, benefits, and city-funded perks, and then scamper off into the night and in clear violation of the city's residency law.

Lucrative contracts funded by taxpayer dollars are given away without the slightest accountability and without the slightest adherence to state guidelines, while the average resident is taxed into oblivion with increased levies every year.

The city's financial establishment is in such bad shape one would only have to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure would come crashing down.

But instead of cutting programs and tightening the government belt, city infrastructure with long-term revenue potential is being carried off bit-by-bit as Mayor Palmer makes up structural deficits through one-time quick-fix fire sales of water and energy utility assets.

All that holds on in Trenton are groups of dedicated residents fighting for the livelihood of their beloved city in the face of arrogant and indifferent administration officials, who have lost all touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

All of these poisons could be unleashed on a statewide scale with the election of Mayor Palmer as lieutenant governor.

Hey, at least he would be out of City Hall.


Old Mill Hill said...

So Greg, are you writing off the chance that Doug will relocate to Washington D.C. on the skirttails of Hillary?

You aren't thinking that the former first lady's showing in the local polls is impacting DHP's future with Team Clinton are you?

Greg Forester said...

There are many possibilities here...

1) Maybe Hillary doesn't want DP for a position, with the second straight election he has been unable to get out the vote, as most urban mayors are expected to do.

I remember talking to a very highly-connected Hillary person who said she didn't even know who our bald executive was.

2) DP has expressed privately that he is interested in the Lt. Gov. position, but his likely running mate would be his pal Corzine...EXCEPT...Corzine has a President Bush-like approval rating that doesn't seem to be improving...


3)Obama might end up in the White House, meaning DP would be left with either running with a hated Guv on a losing ticket, or....staying in Trenton.

I see he has already begun filing campaign money for the mayoral election, and so has Tony Mack.

Old Mill Hill said...

Never too early to cover the bases and hedge your bets.

While many discuss DHP's future in terms of D.C. or W. State Street, we must face the very real possibility that neither of these scenarios will come true.

If that is the case, it is doubtful that he will go quietly into the night. The question to keep in mind is whether or not Palmer still has the juice to secure a sixth term as Mayor and what that bodes for Trenton.