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Political Insider: Mainor must pick a chair to aim for when music stops
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Political Insider: Mainor must pick a chair to aim for when music stops August 11, 2012, 6:13 PM By Agustin C. Torres/The Jersey Journal These are the last months of Charles Mainor as the Jersey City assemblyman in the 31st Legislative District. Mainor has crossed state Sen. Sandra Cunningham and he is persona non grata among black leadership in the Jersey City Democratic Organization. His future, or lack of it, is a spillover from the debate over merging the Jersey City Incinerator Authority into the Department of Public Works. Cunningham prefers that the JCIA eats the DPW. The senator is trying to save her extensive patronage in the JCIA and keep the autonomous agency's executive director and Cunningham loyalist, Oren Dabney, in power. This is why the JCIA commissioners gave Dabney a five-year salary package replacing an agreement with two years remaining. It gives Dabney security. Cunningham had a Senate measure in Trenton approved that would allow Jersey City to place the city's DPW in the JCIA -- under Dabney's control. And here's where Mainor got in trouble. Cunningham needed to find someone to sponsor an Assembly version of her Senate bill. Smelling controversy and perhaps fatally trying to prove that he's his own man, Mainor refused to host such a bill. Ever since his rejection, there has been a cold division between him and Cunningham and her allies, including county Freeholder Jeff Dublin. One other important reason for the split is that Mainor is being somewhat advised by Hoboken NAACP president Eugene Drayton, a former inside member of the old camp headed by then-mayor Glenn Cunningham, who died in 2004. Drayton is no longer a favorite in the Cunningham circle. Mainor's only political avenue open to him is the one that leads to the Mayor's Office. The interesting thing is that he will probably receive support for a mayoral run -- not so much because people believe he's the person for the job, but because his ticket would be a vehicle for the ambition of others. Two who could very well run on a Mainor ticket for council seats are businessman and activist Bruce Alston and school board member Sterling Waterman, should he first fail to latch another slate. Alston is not expected to wait for Mainor to declare himself a candidate for mayor -- if he ever does. The activist is expected to be among those who will run this November in the special election for the Ward F council seat now held by Michele Massey. Massey was appointed to the post by the council on the recommendation of Councilwoman at large Viola Richardson, who then watched in chagrin as Massey found a spot within Mayor Jerramiah Healy's administration. Other possible special election hopefuls include Diane Fuller-Coleman, a social services agency director who has an interesting history and is considered close to Healy rival Councilman Steven Fulop. Other possibles are unsuccessful mayoral candidate Ronnie-Calvin Clark, and health aide and anti-crime activist Debbie Walker. Please, don't contact me about how some folks may be ineligible because of residency requirements. Very few candidates are tossed out of a race once they come up with a city address, any address. As for Mainor, we should get a solid read on his future when members of his legislative staff, including capable chief lieutenant and past roundball star Courtney Wicks, move on to other jobs. Who would replace Mainor in the 31st District? Chief among the possibilities is Hudson County Freeholder Jeff Dublin, head of the JCDO. Dublin would like to see his buddy, police detective DeJon Morris, replace him on the Board of Freeholders. If not mayor, Mainor could be among several people interested in targeting Calvin Hart's job as head of the local chapter of the NAACP. Calvin should already know that there are many eager to replace him. INSIDER NOTES -- Cunningham found her Assembly sponsor for the bill that is expected to save the JCIA and Dabney. Assemblyman Sean Connors, another local guy serving in Union City Sen. Brian Stack's 33rd Legislative District, did the honors, saw the measure approved, and Gov. Chris Christie signed it into law. It must have had Stack's approval because I can't see Connors doing this on his own -- unless the Union City boss has no power over Connors. -- Today, Steven Fulop does what he has metaphorically trained to do for years. Swim through sewage -- literally. He is a competitor in the Ironman U.S. Championship, a 140-mile triathlon. It requires competitors to swim, bike and run in a 13-hour event that starts in New Jersey and ends in New York. The first leg is the 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River. Unfortunately, since Wednesday millions of gallons of raw sewage have been spilling into the river by Tarrytown, N.Y., and while repairs have been were underway, the flow is contaminating the river, including the swimming course. Competition officials monitoring the situation and they say the contest is a go. Healy agrees. Fulop is keeping his mouth shut. -- Since I'm earning my weekly Fulop envelope, as some critics claim, let me add that at last week's packed Puerto Rican parade dinner at Puccini's people heard Healy and Fulop speak. The mayor did not make any of those "tardy" jokes he used at a flag raising ceremony and instead his comments used several simple Spanish phrases. Fulop surprised everyone by making a five-minute speech, entirely in Spanish. The delighted crowd was told he has been studying Spanish, no doubt to say "vote for me." Check out the video. Lane Bajardi -- I can't end this column without mentioning the $2 million lawsuit Hoboken activist Lane Bajardi and his wife, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi, filed against Nancy Pincus, a Zoning Board member and the blogger also known as Grafix Avenger, and a bunch of John Does. According to court papers, the complaint is that Lane Bajardi is made to look like he is an anti-Semitic political operative and FBI informant who engages in tax evasion. There was a comment by Grafix Avenger (Pincus) on a Jan. 26, 2012 Hoboken Patch story urging state officials to investigate the couple, saying their child "would be better off being raised by wolves," according to the court documents. The subject of the Patch post was Mayor Dawn Zimmer's State of the City address. The Bajardis call the comments "false and defamatory." When a Journal reporter talked to Mile Square blogger Roman Brice about the lawsuit, the first thing Brice, aka Smarty Jones and "Da Horsey," demanded to know was how The Journal acquired the filed papers. He wanted to know if it was "Augie." Et tu Roman. I did hear from sources that the effort to serve papers on the blogger is worthy of a "Bourne" movie. A jury trial is being requested in this civil case. This would be entertainment. -- We'll talk about federally indicted West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque, who allegedly hacked a recall Roque website, later in the week. It seems a bit anti-climatic. Meanwhile, God is great. BTW, this phrase is used often by the mayor. For instance: How's the hot dog, mayor? "God is great, and so is the mustard." -- Freeholder Chairman Eliu Rivera of Jersey City was not at this week's scheduled meeting. He is in Puerto Rico (most of the time these days). Freeholder Anthony Roman of Hoboken chaired the session. -- A resolution of note was approved by the freeholders. The county lawmakers and County Executive Tom DeGise ask that Hudson residents remember Army Staff Sgt. Raul M. Guerra, 37, of Union City who lost his life on July 4 in Spin Boldak, a town in the souther Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. Guerra was a multi-decorated veteran of campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He leaves behind a wife and son. -- A fun thought: Camden wants to do away with its Police Department and use county cops. Now they are thinking of having countywide police. Imagine doing that in Hudson County. Can you see all those Jersey City West police on patrol in Union City as part of a countywide force? For less pay, of course;). What happens to all those police boats? Would there be one police chief and who, if anyone, does he or she answer to? OK, we know it will never happen. It would be like believing unicorns are real, or there would be walking police beats, or a less costly regional fire department. No way. Next week or sooner. ... _insider_mainor_must.html

Posted on: 2012/8/13 2:20

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