who lucked into star billing on the ballot for the 1992 special election
for mayor, was charged with hitting Rudolf Contey with a tire
iron the night before the polls opened. Contey, 66, was in the
process of putting up a poster of Allen's brother Louis, also a candidate.
Allen, 49, claimed self defense. At the trial, Contey, now an expert
on such matters, said the tire iron shown as evidence was the wrong
one. Some people really perform under pressure.
Louis Manzo strapped on Mark Medal's Championship Belt
for a photo used in a campaign mailing.
The winter of 1992-1993 found Jersey City buried under an uncommonly
thick comforter of snow. Many residents were unable to hire the team
of sherpas necessary to navigate their new environment, and complained
about the slow cleanup. Some received tickets for failing to move
their cars out of the way of plows, which merrily cleared roads and
reburied more cars. In the midst of this, Louis Manzo pulled
a now-famous sweater over his head, grabbed a shovel,
and called a photographer, prompting former mayor Gerald McCann to
comment from prison "That was stupid, amateurish." McCann
was a regular Dear Abby behind bars, also giving Manzo the unsolicited
advice that "He should grab some woman and put her on his arm
and do it fast."
evidently confused about whose mascot was whose, appeared in a newspaper
ad a few humans to the right of what appeared to be a large rabbit.
Marilyn Roman, once and would-be future mayor, appeared in
campaign literature wearing a pair of boxing gloves and sporting
the bossy slogan 'Make Marilyn Mayor'. Or else?
Another Roman titbit: Lacking a suitcase of endorsements, she took
to pulling rather pedestrian quotes ("Mrs. Roman ... earned a
bachelor's degree in elementary education...") from the New York
Times for her campaign literature. Sometimes restaurants will laminate
their own newspaper ads and stick them in their front windows, too.
Dan Waddleton, a former city councilman easily confused with
Joseph Rakowski (although they're several weight classes apart), was
the one who seemed at times physically incapable of completing a sentence
without a reference to basketball. We know you were the captain
of your team at St. John's, Danny. Life goes on.
Some stray notes on Jersey City's public personalities:
Many are teachers or school administrators, thus setting a poor example
for our youth. Very few if any are gadflys-made-good. Most of the
others are on the public payroll in one capacity or another. Whatever
their background, some elected officials are so thankful for the franchise
that they start treating Jersey City as one. We as citizens get what
we deserve, and often much less.