June 17, 2000

Winners   Losers
     

MICHAEL MELHAM

 

PETER VERNIERO

The newly-elected Belleville Commissioner made good on a campaign promise by eliminating perks for local elected officials, who will no longer have cell phones, pagers and health insurance paid for by the taxpayers. He also cut his pay by 15%.

 

The political operative turned Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court had a bad week: he was accused of being with Governor Christie Whitman on the now-famous 1996 midnight State Police raid in Camden, and a Court has awarded his vindicated political rival, Michael Francis, nearly half a million dollars in legal fees after Verniero, as Attorney General failed to make his case against Francis stick. And as Whitman’s Chief of Staff, Verniero has to take responsibility for scheduling Whitman for an unfortunate midnight photo op.

MICHAEL FRANCIS

 

MARTIN BARNES

The former Chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and onetime Whitman Finance Chairman will receive nearly $500,000 from the state to pay for some of his legal bills after the Whitman Administration accused him of misusing his office. A Judge threw out 12 counts of the state’s indictment.

 

The Paterson Mayor appears to be facing a federal investigation; FBI agents seized a multitude of city and personal records from his home and office last week, and Barnes seems to be headed toward a rough couple of months.

JOHN SWEENEY

 

BILL BRADLEY

The former Democratic State Assemblyman and Chief Counsel to Governor Jim Florio was named by Chief Justice Deborah Poritz as the Assignment Judge in Burlington County.

 

The former Senator and presidential candidate went from being a media star to a marginalized has-been after waiting four months to finally endorse Al Gore for President.

SHERRON ROLAX

 

JON CORZINE

The 21-year-old Camden resident, currently imprisoned on a drug offense, received his 15 minutes of fame as the man who was frisked by the Governor of New Jersey during a midnight raid with State Police. Rolax, who was unarmed, was not arrested in that raid. How long will it take the state Parole Board to eventually hold a hearing?

 

The Democratic Senate candidate makes the list not for something he did, but instead for the acts of someone else. The decision of Governor Christie Whitman not to run for the U.S. Senate deprived Corzine of the chance to run against the person who may have been the weakest possible Republican candidates amidst the latest “pat-down” controversy.

MATTHEW SCANNAPIECO

 

TED ROSENBERG

The Mayor of Marlboro made national news this week when the Township Council voted to ban cell phones in the suburban Monmouth community. When the Mayor of a small town gets more network TV than the candidates for the U.S. Senate, inclusion on the Winners list is almost automatic.

 

The Medford Democratic Municipal Chairman, who lost a race for Burlington Democratic County Chairman last month, watched his own local base disintegrate last week when the lone Democrat on the Medford Township Committee resigned from the Democratic Party and switched

June 17, 2000