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Jersey Journal Calls for More Resignations

Good job on the part of the Jersey Journal.

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They’re calling for the resignation of L. Harvey Smith — their guy — in addition to Mariano Vega Jr., Jersey City’s City Council president. It’s very dangerous for a newspaper to call for resignations, and the JJ deserves a lot of credit for doing it — especially when they endorsed some of the same people they’re calling out here.

Click here for the full piece.

Need a Good Read? This Star-Ledger Column’s Worth Your Time

Paul Mulshine, a columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger (and NJ.com) has written a tremendous column about Jersey City and its politics. This is a must read for all Hudson County political junkieslogo_nj— and I know there are plenty of you out there. Click here for the full piece.

The Most Arrogant Hudson Politician: L. Harvey Smith

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

He’s been arrested. His salary and committee posts have been stripped of him. Yet Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, D-Jersey City, has arrogantly and typically decided against resigning his seat in the General Assembly, The Jersey Journal reports today.

This action puts Smith at the top of our newly formed “Most Arrogant Jersey Politicians” category/list.

Smith could have done the right, honorable thing in resigning — just as Peter Cammarano and Dennis Elwell did — but on advice of his counsel, he decided it would be best for him, under this incredible, knock-out cloud of suspicion, to remain in office. He joins Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega Jr. and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez as the pols who refuse to go down, even though the feds rarely, if ever, charge anyone with a crime unless they’ve got a clear-cut winnable case.

More info here from The Jersey Journal.

Will He or Won’t He Resign? More on L. Harvey Smith

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

Click here to read a story from the Star-Ledger on Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith’s future in the State Assembly.

First, he was resigning. Then, he might resign. So what’s the real deal?

Imprisoned American Journalists in North Korea Pardoned

clinton-bill

President Bill Clinton

Say or think what you want about Bill Clinton, but the man has unparalleled world influence. The two journalists being held captive in North Korea have been pardoned by Kim Jong Il, just days after Clinton arrived to negotiate their release. Click here for the full story from CBS News.

Who Are the Most Arrogant Politicians Around?

Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega

Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega

By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Some politicians are a lot more arrogant than others. But there are some whose arrogance falls in a category beyond what words can describe. Three such politicians are in our midst — and their arrogance is as irritating and as unfathomable as I’ve seen in my entire life.

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega Jr. and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez are three pols who were involved in the massive FBI sweep that ultimately caused Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell and Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano (in office three short weeks) to resign their offices. Elwell was the first to do the right thing, and after a lot of pressure from Gov. Jon S. Corzine, D-Hoboken, Cammarano finally called it quits last week.

Of course, it’s unfair to give any credit to Corzine, because if this weren’t an election year, you could bet the house he wouldn’t have called for Cammarano’s resignation. Just look back to previous scandals — Sharpe James comes to mind — where Corzine always wanted the justice process “to run its course.”

Regardless, give Cammarano and Elwell a lot of credit for doing the right, honorable thing in resigning.

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith

But for whatever reason, Suarez, Smith and Vega (el Presidenté) won’t resign. They feel they can perform their duties they while fighting clear-cut corruption charges. Let’s face it folks, the federal government doesn’t bring charges against anyone whose case isn’t clear cut.

And to quote Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop, the “innocent until proven guilty” system of justice should not apply to public officials. The charges are enough for them to vacate their office.

Then again, at least in the cases of Smith and Vega, there’s that additional arrogance that blossoms from being a member of the Hudson County Democratic Organization. Members of the HCDO have, for decades, believed they’re above the law. They believe the power of the organization, and the money of the organization, are always enough to buy freedom from guilt.

But the truth of the matter is, the arrogance of the HCDO — the decades of being above the law — is finally catching up. Two Hudson Dems did the right thing by resigning. And now, two others must soon follow suit.

If he had an ounce of integrity left, the HCDO Chairman and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy would not only have asked for their resignations — he would have demanded them. But he didn’t. He took the cowardly route of saying that kind of a decision is personal — and not one a party chairman should demand.

Jersey City Mayor and HCDO Chairman Jerramiah Healy

Jersey City Mayor and HCDO Chairman Jerramiah Healy

And he’s wrong.

Healy missed a golden opportunity to lead; instead, he squirmed.

Hopefully, when all is said and done, Healy’s influence won’t matter. Perhaps Smith and Vega won’t need party influence. Same for Suarez. Maybe they’ll resign on their own.

Or maybe they’ll do like most other accused Hudson County politicians do: They’ll wait until they’re found guilty before resigning, thereby leaving little time for their successors to prepare for office and to help their communities heal from the nonsense they’ve experienced.

Then again, this is Hudson County. Why should anyone who matters care?

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