Blanco becomes Rivera! How many month’s untill the F.B.I gives him a visit too?

20 11 2009

A YEAR AGO, Dr. Alex Blanco held promise. Many believed he’d be a good mayor of the city of Passaic. They thought he represented a chance for the city to emerge from the shadow of former Mayor Samuel Rivera and the stain of corruption he left behind.

Alas, maybe they were mistaken. In one short year, it appears that, at least politically speaking, Blanco has begun to morph into another Rivera. The former mayor, who craved power absolutely, would sometimes “encourage” political loyalty by hosting parties and requesting campaign donations from those who attended, including officers of the city’s police force. Police officers who donated to Rivera’s campaign were often promoted ahead of those who did not.

As reported this week by Staff Writer Alex MacInnes, Blanco is also in the partying mood. He is sending out invitations to city employees, asking them to attend a holiday party, and suggesting a “contribution” of $125. According to those who received the invitations, donors are asked to write checks to the mayor’s political campaign, “Friends of Dr. Alex Blanco.”

According to one city worker, who declined to speak for attribution, citing fear of retribution, nobody is “cordially invited,” but rather employees are politically required to attend.

The practice of seeking, or pressuring, donations from city workers may not be illegal, but it is unseemly. What’s more, Blanco is not up for re-election until 2013.

Consolidating your base is one thing. We all know that the nature of the political beast these days is to keep the machine well-fed, and that requires near-constant fund raising. Yet even the appearance of intimidation is not the way to do it.

Blanco — or his handlers — should rethink this strategy. It may not be unethical, but it is certainly unprofessional. It is bad PR. It is bad politics. It is bad for Passaic.

(News Source NorthJersey.com/PBJN)

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