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Joseph Polillo Releasing Tax Returns a Sign of Hope

   Atlantic City politics is fraught with corruption.  Within the Mayoral contest Joseph Polillo has sparked a glimpse of hope.  Mr. Polillo’s release of tax returns has sent a ripple through the campaigns preparing for the June primary, in which Mr. Polillo is not involved.  Michael Clark reported:

Polillo, who is running in November’s general election, handed his recently filed 2007 tax returns over to The Press of Atlantic City Tuesday, calling on the other opponents to do the same.

“I expect them to do the same as I did and release their income taxes,” he said Tuesday. “We want to see if everyone is ethically straight with their monies.”

The Press and local commentators have focused on the fact that Mr. Polillo lost money on his Atlantic City historical postcard business in the last fiscal year.  His financial shortcoming has overshadowed the noble nature of his financial disclosure.  National election law require extensive disclosure of assets.  Local election law has more humble disclosure demands.

   Mr Polillo’s financial disclosure is a virtuous act.  His act signifies a desire to return to a prior civility in the public square, which is conspicuously absent from the ad hominem-laden political discourse of today.  We highly doubt that any of Mr. Polillo’s opponents will reply to his challenge to disclose their tax returns before the June primary.  Their behavior is yet another indication of the decline in the political culture. 

   Contrary to being a stunt, Mr. Polillo’s action stands alone in placing principle before political expediency.  His gesture appears to be lost on the other candidates, who clearly are in no hurry to release their financial records.  Lorenzo Langford wants the issue of finances to disappear because he owes taxpayers a significant amount of money.  Both Mayor Scott Evans and Dominic Cappella may release their tax records if Mr. Langford and his competitor do so first.  John McQueen, Jr. is dodging the question and Willie Norwood is on public assistance.

   Joseph PolilloThank you for showing us a better political way.  This breed of politicians have no desire to follow your lead.  Yet, your example is there for the next generation of political leader to lead a better and more virtuous public life.


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


7 thoughts on “Joseph Polillo Releasing Tax Returns a Sign of Hope

  1. Can anyone tell me who is going to get a job in city hall if Polillo is elected? What I mean is, with all the other guys, you can predict who will get jobs and who will get city contracts. It has been like that forever. I can’t seem to think of anyone that Joe Polillo is beholden to. Who will he take care of?

    Could it possibly be the taxpayers? Good God! Let’s hope so!

    Posted by saywhat | April 19, 2008, 12:16 pm
  2. You know, I wish I had more confidence in Joe. But I hold it against him that he hasn’t risen very high in his career and never left the employment of the city in all these years. It’s like he’s got a home in government. I think if he was really talented he would have gotten a “real” job and left the cushy government job. But it’s all he knows and I’m afraid he’s as incompetent as he seems.

    Posted by dave202 | April 21, 2008, 1:10 am
  3. Good points, dave202. Can’t really argue with any of them. But…let me have my hope!

    Posted by saywhat | April 21, 2008, 6:27 pm
  4. Know the facts, guys. Joseph Polillo has never allied with any devils, never kissed the right, or any, butts for that matter and as you know, you have to kissy up, do bidding, pay back, or be related to rise high in Atlantic City, none of which Joseph has ever done, and so stayed in his job without any unusual bump-up, although a lot of people tried to get rid of him. He handled the job well, advanced through achievement–the fact that he was never handed a peter-principal, big buck, do nothing job is a testament to his independence.
    The post card thing was never meant to get him rich, to make much, if any, money. It is more of a hobby and a teaching tool of the history of the city – philanthropic, if you will, and the Press’ playing that the loss is a sign of “not being able to handle it” or a failure was as unfair as the press usually is. Think about the giving nature of the king neptune thing. The guy was trying to impart history, to get the people informed and involved. Do you think it was for the attention? He’s actually a private person, likes solitude. His “wacky” activities are really an indication of a sharing nature. This is the individual who survives in the midst of the likes of Whelan, Langford, Callaway, Marsh, Evans, Robinson, Small…. Compare him to them. Looks good, don’t he?

    Posted by Know Joe | April 22, 2008, 8:31 pm
  5. There’s no doubt that Joe loves AC. His postcard dedication shows that. He knows AC history like few others.

    But if all he’s done is suck for the city’s tit for all these years, how can you have confidence in him. I agree he’s honest, but we need someone who is competent as well as being honest, Yes, I know. It’s a rare combination.

    Posted by dave202 | April 24, 2008, 6:57 pm
  6. dave202, is there a current candidate who meets your qualifications? If so, who? If not, then you gotta pick someone.

    Posted by saywhat | April 24, 2008, 10:38 pm
  7. Well let me first of all tell everyone,that this man is one of the best people I have ever met . He muot certinley be the best person for the JOB of Mayor of Atlantic City. I have knowed Joe for 40 years and I can tell you he is the best perso I have ever met.

    Posted by Marty Krassenstein | April 28, 2008, 3:23 pm

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