Taking a shot at the campaign run against him by the Laborers and the allies of Mayor Cory Booker, Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell at his swearing-on ceremony in City Hall last night noted gratefully that money and turkeys don’t vote.
The crack was a reference to Eddie Osborne campaign’s massive GOTV operation, which included the coordinated distribution to of hundreds of early Thanksgiving turkeys.
Officially assuming the seat left occupied by former Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone, Bell seized the opportunity to instruct the mayor, who was not in attendance.
The new councilman disapproved of the tone of the campaign, expressed in hand and pole signs with the words: “Charles Bell equals corruption and waste.”
“That was the nastiest, dirtiest campaign I’ve ever been a part of,” said Bell, who stood before a full City Council chamber. “The literature against me, it didn’t bother me but it definitely impacted my family. …My victory with your support and prayers is a symbol to the mayor and other outsiders who want to take over the city that you cannot buy Newark.
“Money and turkeys don’t vote,” Bell added. “People do.”
The packed house included the City Council, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark), North Ward Democratic Leader Steve Adubato, Essex County Freeholder President Blonnie Watson, and Central Ward Democratic Committee Chairman Dwight Brown and former councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins and Bessie Walker.
“Support what’s right, disagree with what’s wrong, and compromise on everything else, because we are blessed by God to be here,” Rice told the crowd.