The Mess That Is Hoboken

This has been quite a mess in Hoboken of a first month by Mayor Peter Cammarano where 33% of our last 3 mayors have NOT been arrested by the FBI – a pretty fascinating statistic courtesy of and probably a telling sign of the state of the cities in New Jersey.

Take a look at the portion of an e-mail that I have quoted below which shows Hoboken Revolt vehemently trying to educate their followers about laws in place regarding situations like this in Hoboken and in New Jersey:

If he (Cammarano) doesn’t resign and he has to take a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, he can appoint an interim Mayor. That interim can be any one of his Directors or the Council President. At the moment, he has two approved Directors – John Pope and James Farina. Under the Faulkner Act, he has the right to appoint his Directors on a temporary 30 day basis that he can renew ever 30 days. Getting approval from the Council on his Director choices is really just ceremony.

Therefore, he can appoint Terry LaBruno, Angel Alicea, Todd Poole, etc. today if he wanted to so that he can appoint one of them Mayor should he decide to take a leave of absence. We would not be able to recall a newly appointed Mayor for the first year of his/her term as Mayor.

I wasn’t too familiar with The Faulkner Act and even when I tried to look it up a couple of places it seemed a little vague. So I went to the one person I knew would be able to tell me about it — Professor Wharton at Stevens. If there is something you want to know on politics, he’s your guy at Stevens. He even wrote a chapter once upon a time regarding the Washington Nationals and the role politics has played and plagued with that franchise.

He replied in an e-mail to me saying that the Act was originally enacted decades ago (in 1950) to allow for more flexibility for the public to participate in open elections and establish effective local governance (at least ideally) of former or at least notoriously corrupt or problematic local NJ municipalities, including just about every city in Hudson County.

He went on to say that the mayor can and probably will stay in office right now because technically and legally he’s not guilty – yet.

As far as appointing the director mayor, he went on to say that it is rare but can happen when a mayor is away from office:

… that’s rare but can happen when the mayor is away at times for a day or a week at a time; it’s more symbolic than substance (the same thing takes place when the Gov leaves for a day or two and an official, like the Senate president takes over or now that we’ll have a Lt Gov after January). Also, keep in mind Hoboken is still under the auspices of Judy Trapodi – the state appointed monitor for finances so home rule remain a concern as to who can “adjust” or change things. In reality, the mayor has little control on everything, without Trapodi’s input and the city council’s.

I can’t wait to get back on campus in Hoboken in less than a month and take another Wharton class. In the meantime, e-mails will do and hopefully this shed some light on the ever evolving mess that is the Mayor’s office in Hoboken.

For The People, By The People?

A disputed national presidential election is verified by a supreme authority electing a leader who clearly did not have support of the majority of the people who cast the ballot.

Sounds familiar?

It should remind you less of the election in Iran right now but more of the bitter end to the 2000 Presidential Election right here in the United States of America between Al Gore and the eventual selected winner George W. Bush.

I just don’t understand what moral grounds the United States really has to stand on when peaceful protesters outside the convention of their own National Party Conventions are thrown in jail and where dirty political tricks are played into fooling uninformed voters, that they can not only foreign elections but get to determine who should be the winner?

Don’t confuse my argument into saying I support the results of Iran because there certainly seems like there might have been wrongdoings committed but until you know for sure, it’s the same thing to say the previous administration willing let a ‘terrorist’ attack happen on their watch. You can certainly say both things but you just don’t have any solid ground to stand on when you do.

You have mayoral elections in cities like Hoboken, NJ where you have law enforcement parking their cars in front of a candidate’s rally that they don’t support. You probably have elections in Illinois where if only six out of every five eligible voter votes, it is considered a success.

We, as a nation, are very proud of a very proud of a very flawed democratic system where has elected on more than one occasion a President who did not win the popular count. We also hold into high regard a foreign policy where we don’t support one communist government because they are of no use to us (except for holding onto a land of theirs known as Guantanamo Bay) but completely willing to support another in the far East and turn a blind eye towards the civil and humanitarian pleas of their people.

Maybe it is in the best long-term interest of our nation to worry more about domestic issues like our continuously failing economy or the lack of healthcare coverage to millions of Americans rather than trying to forcefully determine the fate of an election being conducted on foreign soil. We often try to get too wrap into trying and installing a leader that is more aligned with the ‘Western’ ideals as a quick fix solution rather than trying to see why a problem in the region exists in the first place. That type of mentality did wonders for the people in Afghanistan; it did wonders for those still dying in Iraq. Why not go for the trifecta and do it for the people in Iran as well?

You might not like what you read up there but at least I’m willing to say it. Sound off and let me know what you think.

Change Doesn’t Happen Over Night

Just background information for those who don’t know me that I went to a relatively small high school (graduating class of about 35 kids) and I met some of the people I graduated with back in 2005 today over lunch. Some I had kept in touch with more over others, then there have been some who I saw maybe once since graduation.

It was quite a small community, our principal would even love to call it “a family” all the time but it was quite something. I used to have informative, often heated debates with some people on questions varying from social to fiscal issues. There were just some that I thought I would never see eye to eye with, or some that would never switch their party lines to vote for another candidate – even on a more local ballot, never mind on a national scale.

One of the friends I met today was one of those people who I always argued against but continuously ending up respecting because they stood for their beliefs and stood firm on it. As an opponent in those arguments, you always felt they gave you a fair shake in listening to your points and rebutting things they disagreed with in a rather calm and respectful way – at least most of the times. To be quite frank, on the political scale we were as polar opposites as one could be without falling off the scale.

That same friend, who was always an avid learner certainly pulled a fast one by me today when they said they had voted for Barack Obama in this past year’s national election. In all my years of personally knowing someone who fundamentally stood on issues that were slightly more conservative than they were liberal, I did not see this one coming. They had been reading up on several social issues for some part of their studies and that in turn led them to vote the way they did. (By the way, the person did end up voting conservative down the ballot for every other candidate. haha)

I’m not saying voting conservative is a bad thing, actually a couple of my better friends would probably lean more right than left but I am certainly glad to see more and more people shedding the party label and voting for what they believe in and what they think is right. I certainly would think that even my friends who are liberal hippies would be able to vote for a Republican if it was clear that, that candidate would certainly put the country in a better situation than their opponent.

Huge Election Coverage

Well not really huge but a significant election coverage widget from MSNBC. I plan to have 3 tv sets in my living room with three different stations. I might even have Fox News as one of them just to see how cheerful those guys are tonight.