Saturday, April 22, 2017

Councilman DeFusco Threatens to 'fire' ZBA members based on their VOTE



Oh, boy.  Folks out there are buzzing about this one.

Councilman Mike DeFusco's Shake Shack Suicide Mission on Facebook took a decidedly dark, authoritarian turn yesterday.

I never thought I'd say this, but even Beth Mason had the brains not to publish her vendettas against particular board members online under her own name- she had surrogates for that.

So, can a sitting City Council member threaten to axe members of an autonomous, quasi-judicial board because he does not like their vote on an application?

Since when did a Councilperson use his/her position to publicly bully and intimidate members of an autonomous board to 'get in shape' and vote the way he wants, or else get axed?

Hoboken's Corporation Council needs to look at this one.  I believe this is a serious ethical transgression by an elected member of Hoboken's Legislative body.  Corp Council can decide if censure is in order.

I hope ZBA members show up at the next Council meeting to address this egregious threat against their municipal service by a sitting Council member.  

Of course, when it is time to appoint ZBA members, one hopes the Council takes a fair, impartial view of the qualifications of each applicant, and not subject incumbent applicants to a witch hunt. At least that should be their public position.

Councilmembers have no right to terrorize board members based upon their vote.

This is so outrageous, and a window into the authoritarian, immature mind of a person who aspires to be Hoboken's Chief Executive; somehow, his political rise has swollen his head 3 sizes too big. What GA sees is an intolerant, thin-skinned official who seems to surround himself with sycophants and cannot debate with his critics.

Yes, not only am I- a constituent- blocked on his Facebook page, but it appears he has scrubbed my comments.

That is the measure of an authoritarian. Think like him, vote like him, believe his propaganda (107-11 Washington Street= Shake shake... NOT!) or be scrubbed.

Scrubbed from Facebook, Scrubbed from the Zoning Board...

Does Hoboken need a leader like this? We already have one in the White House.

Friday, April 21, 2017

UPDATED: "Shake Shack' Mike, Used Burger Salesman

UPDATE 

Shake Shack has tweeted " no plans for this site [107-11 Washington Street]"...


...proving once and for al (as GA told you) Councilman DeFusco lied to the public (and besmirched the reputation of Hoboken's Zoning Board of Adjustment) when he posted this on Facebook:



'Nuff said?

A shout out to hMag's Chris Halloran for today's excellent coverage of this developing story.

Stay tuned folks, more to come!

________________




So get this.

First, Councilman Mike DeFusco gets caught in a huge lie- picking up a DEVELOPER'S TALKING POINT- he makes the fallacious claim that "Hoboken said "NO" to Shake Shack" at the Zoning Board.

Next, GA confronts him with the lie on Facebook, then PROVES he's lied here: I published the ZBA Planner's report which requested that the Applicant "provide  information regarding the TYPE of commercial and/or retail tenants intended for the space. "  NONE (contract, lease, letter of commitment) was provided in response to the Planners report-NONE, including at the hearing.  The Applicant showed a rendering with "Shake SHake" signage- that's all.

Next, Councilman DeFusco BLOCKS ME FROM COMMENTING ON FACEBOOK.

Next, Councilman DeFusco CONTINUES to LIE to the public that "Shake Shack" was a confirmed tenant.  Because GA is blocked, DeFusco continues to feed the angry mob, and LIE like a friggin rug.  Check this out:



What the hell is, "in contract pending approval?"   

In contract means "in contract." 

The Applicant provided no letter of commitment or any proof at all that "Shake Shake" was "in contract pending approval" IF this was true- and they were ASKED for this information.

Conclusion:  Defusco is parroting a DEVELOPER TALKING POINT- A SALES PITCH.  

Consider DeFusco's Hamburger Jihad on Facebook a big wink to the development community... maybe a pitch for "support" (ka-ching) to a flagging campaign.  


DeFusco has shown he will ABDICATE his responsibility as a Councilman sitting on a body that hears ZBA appeals in order to SHILL for a developer.... at the same time, he stabs the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustments (as a body) in the back, by creating this false narrative that turns the ZBA into "bad guys who voted against hamburgers."

Absolute bullshit.

GA sat on the ZBA for 4 years, and accept how applicants pitch projects.

DeFusco has completely politicized the board, and trashed it's good work by dragging into his self-centered political ambitions.  'Nuff said about hamburgers today?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DeFusco's "Shake Shack" Distraction



You can't make this shit up!

While Mike DeFusco burned a straw-man on Facebook ("Hoboken said "NO" to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street!"), last night at the Council meeting, he introduced a "live a motion" to effectively kill off a $175M infrastructure improvement project...  

GA will have more for you tomorrow- but in short:

DeFusco's 'live motion" aimed to AMEND the "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT  BETWEEN THE CITY OF HOBOKEN AND PSE&G AUTHORIZING THE  TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY." This Resolution which DeFusco tried to amend, required approval  for PSE&G to proceed with execution of their $175M deal with Hoboken; the terms of this deal had already gone through a rigorous negotiations between City of Hoboken, PSE&G and the Public Board of Utilities.

In short PSE&G agreed to 'give' $175M  to Hoboken to combine the Marshall Street substation with the Madison Street substation, elevating and modernizing the combined substation with the most reliable, state-of-the-art technology.  Both of these substations are over 50 years old and are at risk from flooding. This is a fantastic deal for Hoboken that wouldn't cost taxpayers one cent.  

But what's good for hoboken, is bad for the mayor's opponents, especially a mayoral challenger...

Hence, last night's stunt at the Council- a 'poison pill' to  kill the deal, disguised as a  live motion.  

DeFusco's 'live motion' would have CHANGED THE  NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT between all parties and VOIDED it....

Had DeFusco's "live motion" passed, it would start the regulatory process all over again, and force everyone back to the negotiating table, likely KILLING  PSE&G's $175M  cost-free  infrastructure improvements to Hoboken. 

And who voted "YES" on DeFusco's "live motion"?  

Mike DeFusco, Ruben Ramos, Mike Russo and Dave Mello.  

It failed, thank G-d.

So, while Mike DeFusco, Mike Russo, Ruben Ramos and Dave Mello were trying to put the kibosh on a $175M  MAJOR infrastructure improvement project being offered FREE to HOBOKEN TAXPAYERS, Mike DeFusco was focusing the public's attention on a myth of lost hamburgers.



The "SHAKE SHACK" LIE

This one is about as dumb- and cynical- as Hoboken politics gets.

On Tuesday night, Hoboken's Zoning Board of Adjustments denied a 80% lot coverage variance at 101-117 Washington Street.

This morning, GA found a torches-and-pitchfork style revolt on Facebook, against  the ZBA's alleged "NO" to a Shake Shack on Washington Street!

Who started it?   Mike DeFusco!  

His opening Facebook salvo is: " Last night Hoboken said "NO" to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street."

Only it's a LIE.  

How do we know that (1) "Shake Shack" has never considered tenancy at 101-11 Washington Street and (2) "Shake Shack" was NOT even part of the Application before the ZBA?

It's in the ZBA Planner's Report.  

You see, a few days before each hearing, the ZBA Planner reviews the entire Application: plans, reports, drawings, etc.  The ZBA Planner then summarizes the application, flags potential issues with granting the variance, and notes deficiencies in a report . The report that goes to "everyone"-  and is a heads up to the Applicant  to prepare for the hearing and address deficiencies at the scheduled hearing.

This deficiency was cited in the April 12, 2017 Planner's report for 107-111 Washington Street LLC.
"5.7      Applicant should provide information regarding the type of commercial and/or retail tenants intended for the cellar and first floor space."




See what I mean?

The Application for  107-111 Washington St did not even identify the type of commercial or retail tenants intended for the first floor space  certainly NOTHING about "Shake Shack."  Then, after this was flagged in the ZBA Planner Report, the Applicant had 5 days notice to address to item 5.7 and produce "proof" that any kind of commitment, lease or contract existed with "Shake Shack", or even invite a rep from Shake Shack to testify at the hearing.

As a former full term ZBA board member, I know "marketing" (a.k.a. bullshit) when I smell it.

The Applicant only produced a rendering with the "Shake Shack" sign.  A selling point to the board- a "vision."  That's it.

In short, there was/is NO tenant "SHAKE SHACK" in the Application for variances at 107-11 Washington Street.

 So then why did (former ZBA member) Mike DeFusco post this?



And double-down on the lie when GA called him on it? (typo- "spin" not "spirit")

Note, DeFusco's argument about space for a commercial kitchen when the application was devoid of intended commercial/retail use.


 Even the Architect, the talented John Nastasi called out DeFusco's  "Shake Shack" fairy tale.



So, while the mobs gather to storm City Hall over the NONSENSE started by Councilman DeFusco, no one is paying attention to a truly disgusting political maneuver- echoes of Beth Mason's plan to kill the HUMC.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Exhibit C" (Stick goes under the bus)


Oh dear, who got thrown under that BUS?  

It's... it's...Anthony 'Stick' Romano!  Oh, the humanity!

The horrible bus accident occurred on "Exhibit C" of the Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al, which was filed by Attorney Steve Kleinman in Hudson County Superior Court on April 17, 2017. 

Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al- "EXHIBIT C"


"Exhibit C" is a  text exchange furnished by Plaintiff Biancamano for his sore-loser lawsuit (or "WAH-suit")  Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al; his co-Plaintiff is Committeewoman Ines Garcia-Keim.  

Both are elected Democratic Committee-persons for Ward/District 2-1-- but not for long!

Here is why they filed their WAH-suit:  Biancamano and his sore-loser running mate Ines Garcia Keim were rejected from the HCDO line; their delicately-calibrated egos couldn't stand being in ballot-exile.  Even worse, their opponents the Dallaras, are active, popular members of the Hoboken community; Sheillah, a BoE Trustee, is the mom of an autistic child and heavily involved in Special Needs Programs for kids in the Hoboken Public Schools.

Therefore, it is unlikely that Biancamano and Keim could prevail in an honest race against such opponents. In fact, the June 6 election would resemble a live burial.

So, since the "Plaintiffs" can't win an election honestly, they seized upon an administrative error- the late filing of their petitions to mount a WAH-suit.

 The Defendants of the  sore-loser WAH-suit are:
(1) the Hoboken City Clerk Jimmy Farina,
(2) the Hudson County Clerk, Barbara Netchert, and
(3) the Dallaras 
But I digress... back to the bus accident!

The "Exhibit C" text depicts Hoboken's Deputy Clerk "Jerry" correcting misinformation he'd given Biancamano on the petition filing day  (it's in the complaint).  Accordingly,  "Jerry" notifies Biancamano that in fact, he is running opposed, and he is not on the HCDO line.

But, "Jerry" is not named in the complaint, so what does the text prove?  In GA's opinion...

There appears to be no value in making this text a public document, except for exposing and embarrassing Stick Romano because it suggests that Stick is coordinating with Biancamano against the interests of his own (HCDO) slate.  The text gives the appearance that Stick is helping a friend get back on the 'line' (which can only happen if 2-1 candidates, the Dallaras, are challenged).   

Why would a friend drag Stick's name into this legal mess?  If the complaint goes to court, Stick may be called as a witness.

Moreover, who sues over 2 political committee candidates is absurd- especially since it has negligible impact on the overall imbalance imbalance between the HCDO (67 candidates) and "Other" slate (52candidates).

Sorry, but its a shitty ward-district race. Does it really merit a 63-page complaint, and a bus ride over Stick Romano?

By the way, WAH-suits don't come cheap. Who do you think is paying?

GA doesn't know.  But an interesting coincidence: the sore losers' attorney has made numerous courtroom appearances on behalf of wealthy ex-Councilwoman Beth Mason, and as an on-call legal consultant in Bajardi v Pincus discovery emails.

Another Hoboken coincidence!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oh, what a NIGHT (with Phil, Brian and many more!)

Brian couldn't keep his hands off me.
Holy (cash) COW!

An estimated 300 guests squished into Porter Collins last night to show their love (and moola) for the re-election of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her At-Large council slate-  so far, that's Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle.

It was a classy event- they even had valet parking!

Would you give them your keys? 

Wow!  Meanwhile, this is what the crowd inside of Porter Collins looked like- Land of the Giants!

Can you see the folks at the front of the room? Neither could I!


John Heinis of Hudson County View to the rescue!   Thanks to Heinis' excellent reporting, we can see and hear exactly what went on at the front of the room... check out his video:


So, that may be the story of the night: not only a tremendous turnout but effusive support from the next Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy and....

This declaration from our neighbor,  LD33 State Senator Brian Stack:
"Not only am I here to offer my endorsement, and I did this a few weeks ago... I'll offer whatever it takes in support, and send people to Hoboken and go door-to-door myself, every single night to make sure Dawn is re-elected with her City Council,  Why is it important? Because Dawn Zimmer doesn't bother anyone. When I say she doesn't bother anyone, shes not your typical Hudson County politician- and that's not against anyone else in the County.  But Dawn fights for Hoboken, day in and day out, and she's concerned with Hoboken, not 100% but a MILLION % and that's refreshing to see in Hudson County." 
Anybody see a message in there?

GA hears that the LD33 Senator has already offered resources for the 'Column A' Democratic Committee candidates.

Speaking of Brian Stack, did GA tell you he couldn't keep his hands off me?

Photographer: Senator Bernard Kenny

 Oh... wait...my doorbell is ringing... hold on, let me get...

Special delivery from Brian Stack!  

What could it be?... another birthday card?  Let me open the envelope...



 I told you, Stack won't leave me alone!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hippity Hop! Litigious Bunnies deliver THREAT to City Hall Clerk!

This book is not Golden
While most of us were celebrating Passover and Easter holidays, TWO BUSY BUNNIES, both elected officials, delivered the following SCARY letter to Hoboken City Clerk, Jimmy Farina:

Biancamano/Keim HOLY THURSDAY Letter 



One wonders, how could such adorable creatures act like total douches?

In plain language, these two BUNNIES want their ward/district opponents, the Dallaras, thrown off the ballot for Democratic Committee because their petitions were accidentally omitted from the group package to Farina; they were submitted after the deadline.   

Yes, the Dallara's petitions were timely notarized. Do these bunnies care?

 NO.

Because they know they cannot win honestly, they want their opponents thrown off the ballot.

WHO is underwriting the bunnies' media campaign and litigation? 

It isn't hard to guess. 

And so, the bunnies sent a press release last last Friday- Good Friday on the Christian calendar.


Biancamano/Keim GOOD FRIDAY Press Release


I doubt either bunny really wants to see the inside of a court room.  Bunnies are generally fastidious creatures, but these two ?  Both have had past ethical "quandaries" that are part of the public record.

For example, one Bunny was hit with fines by the NJ ELEC Commission for campaign finance reporting violations for the 2009 mayoral campaign of Beth Mason.  That's not all! 

Excerpt from Mason ELEC Complaint- 2009 Municipal Campaign
In 2015, that Bunny appears to have exceeded the state's maximum allowable contribution for a Continuing Political Committee ($8,200) for the 2015 election cycle by accepting $11,200 for "direct mail"for Carmelo Garcia's ward race. (Not to mention breaking Hoboken's Pay-to-Play ordinance which permits a $500 maximum contribution from a PAC or individual).


And in 2012, the Bunny's Continuing Political Committee, "Friends of Beth Mason"  violated Hoboken's Pay-to-Play law by providing in-kind contributions in excess of $6,617.05 to the Move Forward BoE campaign.

As for the other bunny, in 2014 he washed onto the Hoboken Board of Education in a tsunami of 466 VBMs!

What a VBM windfall!
GA can't wait to see these two bunnies hop into a courtroom.

Somehow, the Plaintiffs of political-lawsuits underwritten by a Twisted Pretzel always forget...

 Discovery goes BOTH WAYS.  

Check out Hudson County View for the latest on this developing story!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Now you see 'em (Russia), now you don't

Here's a curious postscript about the extraordinary volume of traffic from Russia recorded by Blogger, which GA observed two weeks ago.   

TWO WEEKS AGO



 TODAY


Is 'Russia' gone or hiding from view?  Who knows. 

All I can tell you is GA's most frequent foreign visitors seem to be Russia and North Bergen

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ruminations of a Somerville (about Madigan's BoE STUNT)

GA asked my friend, the brilliant, accomplished, frickin' hilarious Hoboken born-and-raised, Paul Somerville for his thoughts on Wednesday night's BoE fireworks.

If you don't know Paul through his public service (President of the Hoboken YMCA Board of Directors, Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission Chairman) maybe you read about him...

Because in 2013 he and (the wonderful) Allen Kratz were the first Hoboken same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license at Hoboken City Hall!  The blessed event made local and national news! 



Paul was also the head of the now-defunct Gay Alliance of Hudson County (GAAHC) and Allen was the head of the statewide New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition (NJLGC).

And so...

Paul and Allen attended last Wednesday's BoE meeting to support School Board member Irene Sobolov- the target of a cheap shot resolution sponsored by John Madigan,  seconded by Peter Biancamano.     

The resolution was a political stunt, nearly two weeks in the makingdemanding that Sobolov resign her Board seat after sending  a "controversial  text" by accident to Board members.  
The 'worst' part of the stunt: shopping the story to local and national media outlets.  Vicious!

In fact, new information coming in to GA makes it clear the target of the calculated political operation was not Sobolov, it was Mayor Zimmer.  Wait until you hear about that...

But I digress...

After the BoE meeting I asked Paul if he could write down his thoughts about the Madigan BoE stunt.

Thank you for this, Paul: 

Ruminations of a Somerville
"For me, the most disturbing part of last night’s inept stunt was that what was perceived to be a homophobic slight,  quickly became an exploitation of sexual minorities, (at least 15-20% of whom are students in the schools, which the members of the Board of Education are sworn to serve).   Those in attendance had to digest the nauseating mock outrage on the part of three board members, one of whom – and I’m being generous here - has a less than stellar reputation with the gay community and women, for comments he has made in public.  To paraphrase what I remember saying last night:   Exploiting sexual minorities for a political opportunity is a reprehensible act. 

While it was very heartening to witness and participate in the well-deserved support for Irene Sobolov, someone I’ve known most of her life,  I was sorry that this stunt happened at all, eclipsing the good work coming out of our schools, as evidenced by the program and awards the students participated in earlier in the meeting, as well as Dr. Johnson’s report outlining the amazing things our students are accomplishing in their young lives.

It did not go unnoticed by this business owner that we now have financial accountability, unlike the bad old days of no-show patronage jobs and no-bid contracts, in a school system that was graduating high school students who were illiterate. Heck, we had three more principals than we did schools back in the day!

Alarm bells went off in my head when Mr. Madigan ironically revealed his own homophobia, by harping many times on the fact that one of the recipients was a “married father of two”, as if somehow by being the intended target of a text, written to point out the implausibility of the relationship between Councilman DeFusco, Mr. Madigan and the “married father”,  would raise suspicions about that man’s sexuality, the implication being that being associated with anything gay was bad."
- Paul

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Madigan's BoE stunt BACKFIRES: F-A-I-L (VIDEO)


Last night, the curtain fell on a brief, sordid episode in Hoboken political history.

Let's recap.
  • A BoE member accidently forwarded a private text to public officials; the text contained a slang phrase ("butt buddies") which either means (1) a gay slur or (2) a platonic term for close friends.
  • Along with that phrase, the text contained the photo of openly gay Councilman Mike Defusco with openly straight Brian Murray.
  • Add to the mix, (2) School Board Trustees who received the text: John Madigan and Peter Biancamano.  Both are bitter, political adversaries of the Trustee who sent the text, Irene Sobolov.  
  • The backdrop: a mayoral election that is, at least online, as hot as I can remember.  Mike DeFusco, subject of the text, has been running a stealth mayoral campaign although he has yet to announce he's running.

Well, last night this combustible mixture exploded... BOOM!

But not how Madigan and Biancamano, planners of a dirty political stunt, intended.  

The stunt: John Madigan and Peter Bianacamano sponsored a resolution to force Sobolov to resign from the School Board, AND had shopped the story to numerous media outlets.  Media outlets appeared to have been informed about their resolution before the public was.

Yes, numerous media outlets, including NBC- Biancamano's employer, were notified; GA heard  that "5 or 6" were coming to Last night's meeting.

The apparent "plan"was for the cameras to roll while Madigan and Biancamano self-righteously denounced Irene with prepared remarks describing her as a homophobe and/or bully. They wanted Sobolov to melt under media spotlights, humiliate her, destroy her reputation.  That's what John Madigan and Peter Bianacamano, two political operatives disguised as Hoboken School Board Trustees, intended.

That's not what happened.
  
Hoboken turned out for Irene.

Speakers included public school parents, teachers, friends, her spouse Ivan,  and two prominent, highly respected, openly gay Hoboken residents: Paul Somerville and his husband Allen Kratz.

Paul and Allen, who praised Sobolov, are longtime LGBT rights activists; Paul was the head of the now-defunct Gay Alliance of Hudson County (GAAHC) and  Allen was the head of the statewide New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition (NJLGC).

Perpetually angry activist/candidate Patty Waiters (standing) argues with a member of the public (seated). Unlike the entire audience (seated), Waiters stood in the center aisle, blocking the view of audience members.  Waiters' loud, angry exchange interrupted speaker Paul Somerville's remarks.  Somerville paused until the rude, obnoxious, disruptive Waiters was escorted to a seat, where she should have been in the first place. 

And so, the shallowness and stupidity of the Madigan-Biancamano scripted character assassination stood in stark contrast to the many heartfelt tributes about Sobolov and her years of quiet dedication to Hoboken's public school community.

Speaker after speaker eloquently described personal experiences with Irene-  shaming the two political operatives who DO NOT DESERVE THEIR BOARD SEATS.

There were only (2) speakers who sided with Madigan and Biancamano's resolution:   Patty Waiters and some HoLa-witch who flew in on her broomstick.

Said witch is a nasty HoLa parent who has periodically attended district BoE meetings to insult the district children and Board members; she also ran unsuccessfully for a Board Seat.  In 2014, she was on the  "Parents for Change" BoE ticket with runningmates Brian Murray and Patty Waiters - and finished in LAST place with the lowest number of votes of all candidates running that year.   SAD.

So, last night's audience politely listened as this embittered failed-candidate hissed a litany of insults against Irene, including  lambasting her about the pending "ethics complaint" allegedly filed by an HoLa Parent against board members who donated to the district's legal fund.  



And so, this witch ended her vomitous diatribe with a threat:  "you wait and see..." that community opposition against Sobolov would grow.  With torches and pitchforks?   Maybe district parents should make a scene at her next school board meeting, and scream about HoLa idiots who file frivolous ethics complaints against our board?

I imagine district peeps have too much class for that.

Finally, the VOTE.  After an explanation from the Board Attorney that Madigan's resolution was not legally enforceable- that the Board could not tell one of its member to "resign," the toothless vote proceeded.

Votes split along political factions.

"For" Sobolov's resignation, Madigan, Biancamano and the largely-mute Montgomery. 

Everybody else, against.

Here is video-from the introduction of the resolution through  the vote- which I took last night. The acoustics in the auditorium suck.  (Is it possible to change BoE meeting location?)

In two parts:





GA note: 
Props to Mike DeFusco on how he comported himself in the NBC 4 NewYork interview.

That is the Mike I remember.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

If it's good enough for Joe...


BREAKING: Dark Side stunt: who invited NBC to tonight's BoE Meeting?


Well folks, never a dull moment in Hoboken politics!

Fresh off  BoE Trustee Irene Sobolov's apology for her unfortunate text message, this story has taken a sinister turn.  

We already know that Sobolov's text has been shopped to local media: The Jersey Journal and  Hoboken Reporter.   

Information just in to GA: this story has become a springboard for Dark Side exploitation.

GA just learned that NBC is covering the developing story some are calling "Butt-gate"!   

GA can confirm that Sobolov has been contacted by NBC to interview her "before or after the meeting."

Yes, an NBC film crew is expected to film Foul Mouth Madigan's political stunt: a resolution calling for Sobolov's resignation!

HOW IN THE WORLD would NBC know about "Butt-gate"?  

Doesn't Sobolov nemesis BoE Trustee Peter Biancamano work there?  

What a coincidence.  Well, it could be.   

Or, it could be nasty payback orchestrated by the losing campaign manager of Parents United (Biancamano) against a winning candidate (Sobolov).  

In GA's opinion, and from my own experience as a first hand witness to how the Dark Side tries to enlist national media to destroy political opponents including planting stories-  this is no coincidence. The text was allegedly received by Biancamano and Madigan last week- plenty of time to enlist NBC to unwittingly carry Biancamano's political water tonight.

Yes, that's my OPINION.  

The fact that NBC's employee, a Hoboken School Board Trustee, is an actor in the story and perhaps 'fed' NBC the story,  tarnishes the objectivity of NBC in its coverage.  It is  unseemly how NBC appears willing to carry their employee's political baggage.  

In fact, Biancamano's conflict as an employee of NBC is likely the reason that he is not sponsoring the resolution calling for Irene's resignation, but his foul-mouthed board ally is: John Madigan - who shouted "You fuckin' c*nts! You fuckin dykes!  I'm gonna punch you in the fuckin' face!" at female Kids First School Board trustees in 2009, is the sponsor of the resolution for Sobolov to RESIGN.    

Ugly, dirty, nasty.  Enter the DeFusco camp?

Was there coordination with the DeFusco camp to raise DeFusco's local profile in Hoboken with this media stunt?   

DeFusco's public posture has been gracious.  But does a gracious PUBLIC posture prevent his campaign from PRIVATELY engaging in this vicious campaign to destroy Irene Sobolov?

Irene:
When Madigan starts his phony moralizing tonight, look into the camera and let the people know  the genuine slurs that flew out of this man's mouth that he never apologized for.

And tell that camera that NBC is carrying the political baggage for their employee on the Hoboken School Board who opposed you in the last election.

Sobolov APOLOGIZES for unfortunate Text

Here we go, peeps!  Today's self inflicted wound is courtesy of my dear pal, Irene Sobolov.

Apparently, she  forwarded a 2-word text "butt buddies" to the entire school board and Hoboken Superintendent!

GA spoke to Irene this morning; here is what the term "butt buddies" means to her:

Urban Dictionary: Top Definition (out of 33)

And that's why I call Irene a "Pollyanna."   

Because to GA, "butt buddies" is an offensive reference to the LGBTQ community.   

Irene understands that words have power, feels "horrible" and that she owes the LBGTQ community an apology.  

APOLOGY from BoE Trustee Irene Sobolov 


"The text message was intended for a conversation I was having with two girlfriends, musing on the interesting and often changing political landscape in Hoboken. A term was used that I always understood to mean “good friends,” or in this particular case, interesting political friends. 

 Of course I was embarrassed when I realized my mistake, and then mortified when I learned that Mr. Madigan interpreted the text to mean that I was homophobic. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

It is not who I am, nor reflected in anything I have ever done or said before. 

 I have personally apologized to my board colleagues, the administration and to Councilman De Fusco. I reached out to many family members, friends and community members, including those in the LGBT community, and I am grateful for their support and understanding. It is important that I use this situation as a learning experience and perhaps spur a positive community conversation about the importance of being ever mindful of the power of words. 


 I truly regret the situation and sincerely apologize to those impacted."


Oye Vey!

GA gives Mike DeFusco props for being gracious and accepting Irene's apology.  

I accept it, too and so should you.  No one person that I know has given more to our community- quietly, privately, selflessly-  for years. She doesn't have a mean- or homophobic- bone in her body.  The sun always shines in Irene's heart.

Of course,  the foul-mouthed Hoboken Board Trustee John Madigan has a new toy to play with. 

Two sources witnessed the following: at a 2009 board meeting Foul-mouthed Madigan,  after hearing the new Board majority dissolved his employment, stood up shouted to the female Kids First members:
"You fuckin' c*nts! You fuckin dykes!  I'm gonna punch you in the fuckin' face!" 
After that, at a Hoboken festival, Foul-mouthed Madigan allegedly shouted "Bitch!" at female Board member in front of her young son. 

And then the Summons Foul-mouthed Madigan  got in 2010 for allegedly shouting obscenities at Theresa Minutillo, walking with her 3 year-old daughter.





This Paragon of Indecency, John Madigan, who is alleged by witnesses to have shouted "C*nts!" and "Dykes!" at female board members plans to call for Irene Sobolov's RESIGNATION from the School Board tonight. 

Wow.

Let's see WHO falls in line with that FOUL- MOUTHED MORON. 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Hoboken's mayoral: so hot, so fast



Is it GA's imagination, or has this mayoral election cycle heated up real fast, real early?

We already have one declared candidate filing a subpoena to Cablevision's ISP to identify the creep who libeled her business - accusing her of "breaking the law" by "selling alcohol at her coffee shop."  Folks need to chill.  Trying to harm someone economically is serious.

(The rat who libeled her business may want to pick up his/her long rat-tail, and scurry over to try and prevent the consequences before it's time to 'lawyer up'.)

Folks, there were plenty of comments directed at Nason this weekend which straddled the libel-line (knowingly false accusations of criminal activity) and you can thank me for deleting them.

You're welcome. Apparently, I missed one.

Look, I am not your babysitter and commenters have to take responsibility to know the difference between fair political discourse and actionable libel. For your edification:

  1. Insults, okay (example: "Candidate X is a lying sack of shit!"). 
  2. Opinion, okay (example: "Candidate X has a lousy record of accomplishment!"
  3. Hyperbole, okay (example: "Candidate X is dumber than a box of rocks"
  4. Fair Comment, okay (example: "Candidate X sucks")
  5. Libel, not okay (example: "Candidate X breaks the law because her coffee shop sells alcohol.") Accusing someone falsely of a committing a crime in print or online is libel.  
People, do not let the heat of the political season make you stupid.

There are 211 days left until election day... at this rate some of us will combust before we get there.

Speaking of election day... 

For a change, Al Sullivan's column was pretty accurate this week.  I thought so.   GA sees no particular rush for Mayor Zimmer to announce her running-mates. The reason is, unless she departs from her 'brand' we know what we are getting in her 3rd term.

Sullivan suggested Zimmer had only one confirmed running mate. To my knowledge, there are two.

"Monty, who's behind Curtain Number 3?"

The other declared candidate, Karen Nason is holding her first concert-fundraiser on April 19.  Nason is a political novice, and will need experienced help to navigate the political process in Hoboken.  She's behind the learning curve compared with her challengers, who are elected officials.  

Karen, a harsh critic of the Zimmer administration, has put up a website, which she will populate with her platform issues, as time goes on.  GA imagines that many voters who agree with her criticism of the Zimmer administration will  be attracted to her message.   Not me, but hey...

Karen has the RIGHT to run the campaign she wants.  
"In Article 38 the Constitution provides, “Every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to be a candidate for public office…and, if elected, to hold office.” "
So all of you f*cking losers harassing her to drop out, leave the woman alone. 

Now, as for the rumored third candidate, Councilman Mike DeFusco, GA says he is past due for an announcement.

Sources tell GA that DeFusco has been boasting about the amount of money he's raised, that he's been talking about how "strong" he finished  (the April 15 ELEC reporting period).

Well, that is good news for his campaign.

So, it is TIME to file his D-1 to open his mayoral campaign account, then report this windfall on his April 15 R-1. Anybody disagree?

GA doesn't see the big rush for DeFusco to announce his slate, but if he has selected them, there is really no reason not to.  It can only help him.

Meanwhile, the strenous HEAT coming from the DeFusco camp to push Karen Nason out of the race is so weird, it has me wondering... what's behind it?

Is the North Bergen crew holding back for a two person race? Is that the impetus behind the bullying online and offline?   GA thinks the North Bergen crew is laying low, but they're not out.

Hey, Jo-eeeeeeeeey....

Like Al Sullivan wrote, this mayoral election cycle will be "very interesting and complicated."

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The feeling ISN'T mutual: Russo's ballot place REJECTION!



What a difference 24 hours makes!

Let me break it down. 

June 6th is New Jersey's Democratic Primary election day.   

In general, voters tend to "vote down the line".   The line on the ballot, that is.

That means, candidate "X" at the top is really pulling votes for the others below him, especially those at the very bottom of the line.  So, that's why the scramble to be the slate of candidates on the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) line, which generally runs the Dem party anointed candidate.  

On June 6th, Phil Murphy will top the "HCDO line" on our ballots.

Below Phil Murphy on our ballot, the 'HCDO line' candidates will include Legislative District 33 (LD-33) Senator Brian Stack,  LD-33 Assembly candidates Annette Chapparo and Raj Mukherji, Freeholder Anthony Romano and the "Zimmer  candidates" for the Hoboken Democratic Committee*.  
*There are generally (2) Democratic Committee candidates per district- Hoboken has 40 districts.
Mike Russo is running his own slate of candidates- but on whose line?  

Right now, the Russo slate is homeless. 

That's why, according to InsiderNJ on April 6:
"Hoboken Councilman Michael Russo filed a slate of committee people bracketed with Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19)"

Well...

Somebody on Team Russo ran to the media a little too fast because the next day a 'correction' was made on InsiderNJ :
"...Greg Minchak, spokesman for Wisniewski Campaign, said Wisniewski shut it down.

“Yesterday they reached out to us and we told them we didn’t want to bracket with them,” Minchak told InsiderNJ."


Of course, this public decline was avoidable if Team Russo had coordinated the media part with the getting-the-candidate's-approval part.

Unless there's a backstory...