Batting cleanup in our lineup of candidates is Eric Jackson. Mr. Jackson presents himself well and gives the appearance of being articulate and professional. That in itself places him worlds apart from the three pretenders we have profiled to date. What bothers us however is that our current King, Palmer has in the past exhibited those very same traits. We all know that the King has proven to be a selfish, self centered, egomaniacal, my way or the highway, all for my guys and the hell with the rest of you kind of Mayor. A media made King, rather than a leader of any substance. Much of what the King has accomplished has been more of the political fluff variety rather than solving the real, significant issues and challenges facing Trenton.
You may be wondering why we note so many of King Palmer’s negative traits. We hope most of you already know the answer. You see our Sunday hero; Eric "Pothole" Jackson would be an otherwise innocuous bureaucrat if it were not for his main Godfather, Doug Palmer. We say main Godfather only because King Doug also has been propped up politically and made to be the man by his political family, and the head of the family is not named Palmer. More on who the real power brokers are behind both Palmer and "Pothole” later. Pothole Jackson was toiling as a personnel manager (and we hear perhaps toiling with some other things as well), in the Henry J. Austin Health Center, prior to being plucked by King Doug. Upon being relocated to the Palace at 319 East Street and prior to being dubbed "Pothole", “Inaction” Jackson held positions as Supervising Program Analyst, Director of Economic Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer (all surely entailed vast amounts of heavy lifting). Then our guy "Inaction" was elevated to a cabinet position in the King's Court, as the director of Public Works.
As the director of Public Works, "Inaction" Jackson reported directly to the King. That is where his political skills began to develop. Most of us had never heard of Eric Jackson on the Trenton political scene until his honor, the King began dropping not so subtle hints that he would not be participating in this May’s grand event. The positive about "Pothole's lack of profile is that he has shown more political savvy then our leadoff hitter, Tony "my campaign is financed by a pedophile" Mack'. Tony "I don't pay my taxes" Mack (yep they are the same guy), could not control his ambition and wait to be anointed by the King, like our guy "Pothole". This ultimately resulted in Tony's unemployment (something he has become used to since), and the rise of the King's next disciple, "Pothole" Jackson. The negative about Pothole's lack of profile is that he apparently either did not see Trenton's multitude of problems or he never formed or articulated an original thought regarding them. We assume part of "Potholes" prior lack of expressed interest in Trenton's difficulties and is resulting low profile is that there is only room for one King at a time. Pothole's recognition of that fact is the best evidence that he is a brighter light than Tony "I got fired from Barrington too" Mack (yep, still the same guy).
We continue to hear rumors of Pothole's legend throughout the City. Unfortunately for today's hero the legend we hear, from our perspective, is not good. It could be perceived as good in a locker room setting, but not in Mayoral politics. There seems to be an alternative view as to why "Pothole was relocated from the Austin Health Center to the King's Palace on East State Street. We were loathe to even bring this up in our analysis, but, the stories seemed to repeatedly surface. It seems that many Trentonians have a subjective belief (we have no objective opinion), that the relocation may have had something to do with certain extracurricular activities. Whether the stories or any portion of them are true will be left to your own investigation. Having suffered through chatter of a philandering Mayor in the past, we did not think it appropriate for a new Mayor to have such trash talk diverting his attention from doing his job on July 1.
Next we should evaluate "Pothole's" performance as our director of Public Works. We think his nickname may be a hint as to how many of his constituents that drive cars view him. We understand that there are such things as budget constraints, but there is also an organizational skill called prioritizing. "Pothole", seems to brag about the 400 employees that he oversees. Then why can he not manage to get some of them to fill the scores of potholes that now appear like minefields throughout the city. If you own a car and you operate it in Trenton you must feel as if you are driving through the streets of Baghdad. The situation has become so ludicrous that the Trentonian now has a link where you can report the worse potholes and it publishes the locations. The potholes issue has so enraged Trenton bloggers, Back Talk participants, and editorialist that they all beg and plead for action. Yet the pleas seem to fall on deaf ears while the city's residents and visitors clamor for results. Is it possible that "Pothole" does not realize the magnitude of this problem? Is he too busy catering to his King and running his campaign that he cannot perform his current job? Perhaps this is just a punishment ordered by the King because his once loyal subjects are in the midst of an uprising. Whatever the case, it is not good and does bode well for a Jackson administration.
'The TWW sale is serious business, so we will refer to our subject as Mr. Jackson in this space. Mr. Jackson has supported the TWW sale even though he has not effectively communicated his resons for supporting the sale or the long term benefit of it. We believe Jackson's position on the TWW sale is also wrong and inconsistent with the long-term stability and future of the city. The issue of the TWW sale may well be the first item on our new Mayor's plate. Be advised and act accordingly.
"Pothole" irritated quite a few residents when he failed to voluntarily disclose that he had recently taken a 10% retroactive raise. The matter was ultimately disclosed at a Mayor's forum by Frank Weeden. "Pothole's" defense of his raise was week, ineffective and offensive to residents that are struggling in the worst economy of their lifetime and who now have to find a way to pay a 22% tax increase. This indicated to us exactly how disconnected 'Pothole" is from the average Trentonian. Maybe it is the private Hun School education (just like Paulie "Urban League" Pintella who is surely disconnected). It was also evidence of the entitlement philosophy that "Pothole" Jackson, the current King and his Court have inside 319 East State Street. In our view a true leader of the people would have rejected the raise or offered to donate it to the homeless or hungry in Trenton. Hey "Pothole", don't go running out and doing all kind of good deeds to impress us today. Your dye is cast. A zebra cannot change his stripes, that is, unless the King or the Godfather orders them changed.
Now back to the issue of the Godfather or the "DON" if you will. For those of you that are under the age of forty or are recent Trenton residents you may not be aware of what we are about to tell you. So listen up, because your knowledge regarding the real story of the behind the scene power in City Hall is important in this election. In the 1960's The Reverend S. Howard Woodson was the pastor of Shilo Baptist Church in Trenton for 53 years, until his death in 1999. Rev. Woodson was elected to the Trenton City Council in 1962, the first African American elected to office in Mercer County. In 1963 he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, and became the first African American to be elected Speaker of the Assembly in 1974. Rev. Woodson resigned from the Assembly in 1976. During the early 1970's when Rev. Woodson's political career was winding down, John S. Watson's political machine was just winding up. In 1970 John S. Watson became the first African-American elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders in Mercer County. In 1977, he became the President of the Board. For 12 years, Watson was a member of the New Jersey State Assembly and served as Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Watson's daughter Bonnie Watson Coleman is a current State Assemblywoman from Trenton and his son Billy was King Doug's former campaign manager and Chief of Staff. The Watson family orchestrated King Doug’s initial run for Mayor and have stood firmly behind him for the past 20 years. Many political observers have blamed the King's fall on the fact that Billy Watson left his administration two terms ago. Most astute political observers believe the Watson family still has a special "bat phone" to the King's Palace.
With the above information as a background, guess who the politically powerful Watson family is supporting in this years mayoral race. That's right, the Watson's, Assemblywoman Bonnie and political guru and power broker Billy and all their minions are supporting our guy, Eric "Pothole" Jackson. We seriously doubt that the Watsons are concerned about the potholes in Trenton. Rather they should be concerned that the open door for them to the King's Palace on East State Street may soon be closed if 'Pothole" doesn't win. My gosh, who will advise the new Mayor regarding who should get all of the no bid contracts? Who will tell him the persons to appoint to the School Board and other Municipal Boards? Who will pass on all of the directors and professionals? And most importantly, who will throw all their political weight around to bail him out of jams?
The ultimate downside to "Potholes" Mayoral aspirations, however, is his continued ties to the Watson political dynasty, the King and his obedience to the throne. It is our opinion that all of Trenton, with the exception of the Godfather's made men (of whom, 'Pothole “ Jackson is one), now realize that the emperor or in our case, the King has no clothes on. This creates a problem for "Pothole" Jackson, because as a Cabinet level Director in his King's Court, he was always obedient and subservient. I imagine that made him a good team player and protected his job. That however, is the very behavior that lends itself to political favors, inside deals and inefficient government operation. Without going on a tangent, I believe most Trentonians now know that the King and his Court of jesters, including our guy "Pothole" Jackson have pushed this City to the brink of disaster. And yes Mr. Eric 'Pothole" Jackson was part of the problem. Even if you give "Pothole every benefit of the doubt regarding his competency, you still must conclude that he did not have the guts, the wherewithal, leadership ability or shear will to stand up and offer better alternative solutions. "Pothole" was in the inside circle. He had access to the power brokers and insiders making the decisions, including the Watson's. If he did not have ideas or if he was too timid to let his voice be heard, either way the result has been negative. As the saying goes, if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. 'Pothole has been a central spoke in the wheel of city government and a player at the table for the past 10 years. He has been anointed by the Watson dynasty to be the King's successor. Therefore he is part of the problem and should be swept out of town with the King and the rest of his Court.
The only reason to elect Eric Jackson, is if you want the political power brokers hiding in the shadows of City Hall, including our soon to be ex Mayor, to continue to dictate the policy of the Capital City. We are tired of the inside deals, the special favors for special friends. The failed policies, miserable record, the Mayor and all of his Directors, friends, appointees and Council need to be swept out of town. This is the only way Trenton can get a fresh start with fresh ideas. Hope springs eternal every spring. For all of our sakes, let us hope that this year it comes to fruition.
'POTHOLE" INACTION JACKSON HAS STRUCK OUT!!!!