James’ Bid for Mayor an Apparent Media Stunt

Star-Ledger: Will he run? Sharpe James still mum

“Mayor James is either approaching or has settled on a period in his political life where he appreciates political theater,” said Clement Price, a Rutgers-Newark professor who studies urban politics.

“The last time he ran, a lot of attention was shifted to Cory Booker. What the mayor has learned over the last four years is how to regain the spotlight,” said Price.

Hm. Well, perhaps it’s time for this blog to focus on the issues of the Newark mayor campaign rather than the will-he/won’t-he debate over Mayor James.

Mayor James is Running Again for Mayor

We think. That is, maybe. We’re pretty sure this time.
New York Times: With Little Fanfare, Newark’s Mayor Is Said to Submit Petitions to Run a Sixth Time

“Nobody can figure out anything he’s doing these days,” said Steven N. Adubato Sr., the president of the North Ward Educational and Cultural Center in Newark and a powerful political figure in the city who has not publicly chosen sides. “Not even the people who are close to him.”

US Government Accuses HUD of Mishandling Aid

New York Times: U.S. Demands Newark Return $6.9 Million in Housing Aid

In their third blistering review since April, federal housing officials criticized the Newark Housing Authority yesterday for paying the City of Newark $6.9 million in federal money to add police and health services at its apartment buildings and then failing to document whether the residents ever received the extra aid.

I don’t get it: how does a public agency — especially one designed to serve the needs of people in poverty — fail an audit? In my industry (I work in the public sector), failing an audit because you’ve misappropriated several millions of dollars often means that somebody goes to prison.

Mayoral Politics Heating Up

The New York Sun has some good coverage on this years’ mayoral election. Cory Booker, ivy league scholar and grassroots political activist, is taking up a rematch against 5-term mayor Sharpe James. That is, if James decides he’s going to run again. From the article, Cory Booker Sets Sights on Another Newark Run:

If Mr. James, 69, decides to run, as he is widely expected to, some political analysts said the rematch will be closer than the 3,500 votes that decided the last election. That campaign was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Street Fight” and drew national attention when a political war erupted between the two black candidates — Mr. Booker, the younger, fresh faced reformer, who emerged with celebrity status, and Mr. James, who had stalwart machine backing and a presence in local politics for decades.