About 10 months ago I attended a small gathering which featured Steve Fulop, and although my personal economic and political outlook leans to the right, I was impressed by his no-nonsense approach to issues raised at the meeting. Since that time two incidences, including the reported comments in the March 3rd Jersey City Reporter article on the budget proposed by the Healy administration, require me reconsider my initial impression.
Although the article under the headline “Stable Taxes or an election year gag?” was ostensibly about the Jersey City budget, it was totally devoid of any budgetary analysis and instead concentrated solely on its possible tax implications. While Mayor Healy stated that the budget would not increase taxes, candidate-to-be Fulop called this assertion an election ploy. However, Mr. Fulop offered no affirmative suggestion of how he was going to reduce the taxes, or improve the budget so as to avoid future tax increases. In fact Mr. Fulop was limited to throwing brickbats and the reporter either lacked incisiveness to ask him any substantive questions on his solution, or the reporter’s bias prevented any further investigation on that front. (Anticipating an objection from the reporter, let me say he/she is either an incisive reporter who has a bias or he/she has no bias but is not an incisive reporter – one of the two alternatives has to be true – I hope not both).
In a recent Jersey Journal editorial, columnist Augustin Torres accused the Healy campaign of striving for low voter turnout by running a dirty campaign based on spreading misinformation and unsupported charges about the opposition. If true, that is certainly despicable, but here we have Mr. Fulop engaging in exactly that kind of unsavory practice: deriding Mayor Healy’s “stable tax” position as a ploy without offering proof or providing a positive alternative. However, I am not so naïve as to believe that I will see a column in next week’s Jersey Journal by Mr. Torres accusing the Fulop machine of engaging in a dirty campaign.
I said there were two things that forced me to reevaluate my earlier impression of Mr. Fulop. The other was a recent telephone “survey” instigated by the Democratic machine posing “should Mayor Healy stop beating his wife” type questions that were totally outrageous and so one-sided that I laughed in the interviewer’s face (actually ear). Anyone who would be associated with such a campaign tactic will not receive my support or my vote.
As for me, I like that the Healy administration has left me and other Jersey Cityites alone, to run our lives (for better or worse) as we see fit. I ask only that my tax monies be used to keep the streets reasonably clean, to keep busses running on a fairly regular schedule, to pay the police and the fire fighters protect me as best they can and not invent further bureaucratic rulemaking or interference. And, of course, that Mayor Healy continues to sing at our Shrove Tuesday Cabaret.
Casper F. Ewig