One of three city council members who want to be mayor has issued vague calls for new programs that would significantly increase taxes if they nean anything at all but more likely only confuse voters into overlooking important facts.
Councilman Jelmin Caba was elected on the coattails of Mayor Wilda Diaz four years ago, after coming up short as an anti-establishment contender in 2014.
Now, he’s not only switched sides but he is commandeering the local Democratic Party committee to suit his own purposes in an effort that is sure to come far short of victory.
His promises are vague but it’s apparent that his ideas are costly, and there’s no evidence that he is attracting public support.
An online poll sponsored by insidernj.com showed Caba and two other council members with backing from one, two and three percent of the voters, respectively.
But while the real contest is a two-way race between Diaz and attorney Joseph B. Vas, the son of the incumbent mayor she defeated 12 years ago, Caba’s complaining has provided some distraction.
Home News repoter Suzanne Russell has asserted without proof that Caba is waging an aggressive campaign. Political websites have published his bland and uninformed news releases.
Some observers feel third wheels like Caba, and Councilmen Fernando Irizarry and Joel Pabon, could pull just enough votes away from one of the leading candidates to alter the outcome.
But Perth Amboy’s electorate voted last year to require a runoff election if no candidate gets at least 50 percent in the first round of voting.
That makes the forays of three quixotic councilmen more confusing, especially since Caba and Irizarry are sacrificing the seats they hold by running for mayor.
One thing a crowded field does is make it easier for voters to miss the utter inanity of comments used by candidates.
As an example, Pabon promises to, “Modernize & Service By Cutting Bureaucracy” even though the phrase doesn’t mean anything.
Comments like that help Diaz get away with boasting “One of the strongest responses to coronavirus in the state” in a city that leads in Covid-19 deaths.
If elections are going to allow the public to hold officials accountable then they should be less complicated and confusing because few Americans are paying close attention.
Impoverished communities like Perth Amboy don’t need a ‘strong’ response to deadly diseases. They need effective ones.
But the campaign is going to be more entertaining than enlightening and in the end, taxpayers are going to pay for the silliness… except the ones who pay with their lives.
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