You may have noticed that PolitickerNJ recently posted their own Power List for 2009. Their list identifies New Jersey’s 100 most politically influential personalities. People whose phone calls get returned. People whose advice everyone seeks. People who get interviewed by CNN, Fox News, and the Star-Ledger. The Ultra-Movers and Uber-Shakers.
Well, I’ll have none of that for my list. This list identifies the most politically non-influential personalities. On my list, I don’t worry about some arbitrary number like “100”. While PolitickerNJ eliminated current office holders, former governors, former senators—we’ve eliminated no one.
If you no longer matter in New Jersey, you matter to me.
We include anyone and everyone whose phone calls don’t get returned, Those who never get invited anywhere anymore. Those with whom photos would be a death knell in any election campaign.
As opposed to the PolitickerNJ 2009 Power List, our method was scientific, empirical, data-driven, objective—and any other super cool words used by Ben Dworkin or the folks at Eagleton.
And while there are no right or wrong answers, this list changes from moment to moment—just like ‘realpolitics’. As a matter of fact, when you started reading this list, you were on the list. But because you have taken out time to read this very important stuff, you’re now too important to be on the list. Puff, you’re gone.
We welcome your comments. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re unimportant and un-influential enough, I won’t respond to your email.
So here goes:
14-20- Former [and soon to be former Mayors] Peter Cammarano, Anthony Suarez, and Dennis Elwell used to wield much power, albeit some for a longer time than others. Now, not so much. [I am leaving space for at least five others ‘soon to be former elected officials’ to fill out the list]
13 Golan Cipal—Then: He brought down a governor, and was the punchline to comedy club jokes. Now: He has a website explaining “his side” of the story. http://www.GolanCipal.com, still under construction.
12-Craig Carton—the former 101.5 personality once was able to make state legislators fear for their political lives. PolitickerNJ.com named him the 9th most politically influential personality in the State of New Jersey in 2007. Now, like every other guy, he just talks sports in the morning.
11-Dina Matos McGreevey – Then: The Queen of Drumthwacket. She appeared on Oprah. Now: Her book is on the quarter rack at .99 stores.
10-Mike Ferguson – The golden boy of New Jersey’s right-wing spent eight years in the halls of Congress, and his most notable achievement was successfully retrieving his congressional pin from a co-ed at a Georgetown bar. One day: He’ll be the answer to a Jersey Jeopardy question: Who beat Tom Kean, Jr. in a primary for a seat in Congress?
9-Mayor Henry Franco – There’s nothing negative to report on the mayor of Deal, other than the fact that he’s so unknown that some of his constituents, namely a group of Syrian Jewish rabbis, seemed to have more influence in Trenton than he does.
8-Steve Lonegan – There’s an old saying that someone is so unknown that they couldn’t even get arrested in this town. Well, Lonegan did once get arrested for protesting —- outside a Corzine town hall meeting, but that may be the end of his public theatrics and criminal record.
7-Sarah Palin- she has a string of ‘formers’ now added to her resume. Now the former Mayor-Beauty Queen-Governor-VP Loser can’t even get Chris Christie to invite her to NJ.
6-Sharpe James – He once wielded strong power in the state senate and ran our state’s biggest city with an iron fist. But now, the imprisoned former mayor of Newark is mostly concerned with protecting his own southward.
5- The Star-Ledger –this once mighty newspaper laid off so many experienced reporters, that they are a thinner, paler version of their former selves. Still, they carry my favorite strip, Doonesbury.
4-Randall Pinkett- Once the heir apparent to the coveted LG spot, “The Apprentice” champ Pinkett was replaced by feisty Jewish grandmother Loretta Weinberg before you could say, “You’re fired!”.
3-The “In The Lobby.com” guys – Their emails are boring, and they have too many ads. Never seen a scoop there at all. Hey, I write for the PolitickerNJ team. What did you expect?
2-Chairman of the Hudson County Republican Party. Pathetic. Not even the Republican State Committee knew who he was. There’s standing room only at the courtrooms where Democratic officeholders are being arraigned, and this guy can’t even field a softball team let alone a slate of candidates. The statue of Lou Costello in Paterson wields more influence.
But there is one person who is the least influential politico in New Jersey politics and that’s…
1-Me – I’m in Hunterdon County. Getting votes delivered? I can’t even get a pizza delivered. I’ll be lucky if I can stop a street naming after Dick Cheney. There’s an old saying in politics. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write sarcastic blogs about those who can.