Trenton's "Missing Mayor" offered up a typically shallow and empty statement of surprise and non-blame regarding the city's weak financial status in a "closed" press conference this afternoon.

Read his prepared remarks here or at:



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Money Grows on (Family) Tree PDF Print E-mail
Written by William Trent   
Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A couple of months ago, the New York Times as well as the Trenton dailies ran stories about substantial financial contributions made by former Senator Robert Torricelli to elected officials in districts where he had business interests. Of note was the $10,000 plus given to the campaigns of Mayor Palmer and his chosen “slate” of At-Large Candidates, Paul Pintella, Manny Segura, and Cordelia Staton

Torricelli, it was pointed out, was redeveloping some properties in the city.  One, the historic Golden Swan (aka Caola Building) on S. Warren Street, he bought from the City for $1 after the City had paid $164,000 for it a few years earlier. The other project, the former Town House coffee shop on W. State Street, received some $89,000 in Urban Enterprise Zone monies from the City for the installation of an elevator.

Mayor Palmer, missing the point as he commented on the apparent quid pro quo, stated that “he sees no problem as long as there is transparency in the process.” Consultant Irwin Stoolmacher recently wrote in an op-ed piece, and we agree, that “Appearances matter a great deal when it comes to political campaign contributions and the award of noncompetitive government contracts.”

Now comes word that another firm that Torricelli runs is under investigation for possible illegal campaign contributions. Fort Lee, NJ based Aveta, Inc operates a Medicare Benefits administration program.  The company is alleged to have benefited from the lobbying efforts of a Puerto Rican official who received campaign contributions from Torricelli and associates. Christiana Foglio, wife of Mayor Palmer, is a member of the board of Aveta, Inc.

While Ms. Foglio is not listed as a contributor to the official in the case above, it does remove a degree or two of separation from Mr. Torricelli and the Palmer administration. 

This kind of business connection would seem to cloud that “transparency” that Mayor Palmer speaks of.

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What currently has been Palmer's (and his administration's) strongest point?
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