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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Shill gets some airtime

The Trentonian continued to devote precious newspaper space to a bogus political fight within the New Jersey capital's Latino population in the second of two articles on Saturday. The articles could be construed as political influence seeping its way into what should be objective city news reporting.

The readership of the paper has been subjected to stories that have civic inactivist Juan Martinez and others attacking current Councilman-at-large Manny Segura in a political dispute.

The latest edition had Mr. Martinez questioning Councilman Sergura's progress on immigration, the actions of Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and the city's poorly performing schools. Unfortunately for Mr. Martinez, these all happen to be issues that are either mostly or completely out of the hands of Councilman Segura.

Those talking points emerged from the primary focus of the smear articles, which is the Hispanic Day Parade. That city event has received attention because it happens to be led by most of the same people - including Councilman Segura - who organize the city's Puerto Rican Parade.

But it appears the real purpose of the piece is for use as a basis for an attack on Mr. Segura from pro-Mayor Palmer forces such as Mr. Martinez. The funny thing is Mr. Martinez used to be an outspoken critic of the current city administration. That all ended when he was handed a $62,000 per year job in the city school district.

Once that gift came down the chute, Mr. Martinez has began n singing Mayor Palmer's praises. And it looks like that gig has come to include verbally assaulting a councilman who used to be in the mayor's pocket.

That previous condition of Mr. Segura's, in being partially at fault for City Council's submissive position, is serious. Mr. Segura was part of a rubber-stamping City Council that did little to question Mayor Palmer's initiatives or provide the type of dissent necessary for a properly functioning democracy.

But Mr. Segura has lately turned such tendencies around. He has consistently questioned the actions and motives of Mayor Palmer and his officials and provided a strong legislative presence, for all Trentonians.

Mr. Martinez has done the opposite. Judging from his behavior, it appears a city job and a city pension has totally reversed Mr. Martinez's earlier positions, to the point where he is now being used as a vocalization of Palmer administration anger towards a councilman now standing up for his constituents.

Shame on you, Mr. Martinez.

1 comment:

Old Mill Hill said...

Isn't the see-saw of local politics interesting?

Where Segura was once firmly entrenched in the Palmer Power Trio, he's now striking out on his own.

Martinez on the other hand was a long-time critic/opponent of the same establishment.

What happened?

Well, as you pointed out, Martinez was handed a plum of a job with the school system. (Interesting that he critizes Segura et al for the failures of the school system that employs him, no?)

As for Segura, it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is gearing up to run for Mayor (even L.A. Parker mentioned it in this morning's column). Besides the laudatory break-away thinking, there has been some tough rhetoric aimed at Palmer and his minions (Gonzalez, Santiago, et al).

And when was the last time you heard of a City Councilperson having a "spokesperson?"

So it seems, at least with these two, that self-interest trumps public service once again.