Thursday, May 25, 2017

RALLY with PHIL & the GANG Tonight!!!

Yeah, it's raining.  When it rains on a wedding, it's supposed to be good luck.

When it rains on Special Guest Phil Murphy, Host LD33 Senator Brian Stack and Mayors Zimmer and Fulop, that means Column E is gonna SWEEP on June 6th!

Tonight's election rally will show the unity in CommUNITY.  There's way too much infighting these days in Hudson County... how about some Kumbaya between local municipalities?

Meanwhile, GA thanks Senator Brian Stack for stuffing Hoboken mailboxes (constantly) with reminders that a big vote is coming up on June 6th. As you can see in the above image, GA has depicted him with a heart 3 sizes too big-- unlike the Grinch whose heart was 3 sizes too small.

Democrats (like myself) are so energized locally now, because the decisions we make at the local level reverberate at the state, then nationally.

Democracy works from the bottom-up, not the other way around.  

No joke, people.  If you can, please come out tonight and show your love for free and fair democratic elections (sans Russian interference), good government and UNITY.

And bring your umbrella (or bumbershoot, if you prefer.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

UPDATED--"Dliebler07030" leaves name on "anonymous" pro-DeFusco graphic* (*PROFANITY)

UPDATED: GA just spoke to David Liebler.

  • Liebler denies any knowledge or involvement about the Zimmer graphic.
  • Liebler denies he is the "David" that reported this site to Blogger
  • Liebler denies posting here period
  • Liebler says he has not been involved in Hoboken politics in "2-4 years."  

I am unconvinced.  However, in deference to Liebler's denials, I've 'adjusted' the original post accordingly.


We know the alleged identity of the person who posted this:


All one had to do was copy-paste the  link "" into their browser. The link would have taken you to an image hosting web site called

What's an "image host"?

An image host lets you upload images to their server, and provides you with links to share the image or embed it in social media or on a website.

All one needs to do to use free image host is register.

So, if you had followed "Anonymous"'s link, you would have seen an image.

The image was called  "Screenshot 2017 05 23" and was uploaded by the registered account-holder at 2:18 PM.  This was it:

Oh, there was other information on

The registered name of the account-holder.

Yes, the account holder went to great pains to register at an image-host, then to upload his juvenile handiwork there, then 8 minutes later, to post a link to it as "Anonymous" on Grafix Avenger.

Here's what happened, all in one image (which is hosted on Blogger:)

Oh, and here is another fun fact.

On April 20, 2017, "David" reported a GA post to Blogger: then posted a mocking "bye bye" on my site.

So while the Plaintiff of the money-grab First Amendment lawsuit  shows utter intolerance to the political speech of others,  he clearly ENJOYS his own free speech privileges and has for years:

 Nice campaign Mike DeFusco is running.   

GA note: "Dliebler07030" took down the DeFusco campaign graphic- is a dead link.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Will DeFusco pay a price for dissing Romano?

Whoa...  never a dull moment in Hoboken politics!

Sources close to Anthony 'Stick' Romano report that the 2017 Freeholder candidate is planning payback for alleged disrespect he's been shown by Team DeFusco: specifically, by Frank 'Pupie' Raia and Perry Belfiore.  

The sources accuse DeFusco's team of working to undermine Stick's race- up to and including trying to "force him out."  

Romano's sources allege the Freeholder candidate is being trashed by DeFusco's team, including spreading false rumors about a shadowy"secret meeting" between Romano and Mayor Zimmer, an apparent move to drive Stick's voters "off the line."   

Romano sources allege Raia is Waiters' underwriter
Romano sources also point the finger at Raia for underwriting the campaign of Freeholder candidate challenger, Patty Waiters,  paying for her "website,  posters, doorknockers."  

Reportedly, Romano has been pushed to the edge by the "disrespect" of the organized opposition against him, and is not having it.  

So what kind of "payback" does Stick have in mind?

After the June 6 election, Romano may run for   for Hoboken mayor, in return for Team DeFusco's extreme disrespect.   Not a joke.  GA is told he is "more yes than no."

The source put like this:  "Romano don't let nobody shit on him."

Folks, this is no idle threat. 

GA reached out to Romano's campaign manager, Pablo Fonseca, who would neither confirm nor deny the source's claim about Romano's "payback."    Fonseca told GA that "Romano is focused 100% on the June 6th election"... and so on. 

In the meantime, some 'dish' on yesterday's DeFusco announcement...

Folks had the impression that DeFusco's announcement would be an event held in the evening at LuLu's in the W Hotel.  No invitation were sent, but it appears this went around by "word of mouth."

Hence, many were surprised by the noon time announcement on Facebook, in lieu of something more formal, more personal, with press in attendance,  at the Hoboken hotspot.

If true, why the change of venue?

Who knows.

Stay tuned folks, shoes are  dropping fast...

Monday, May 22, 2017

DeFusco announces solo (no slate)

click to read
Beware of those Baby Blues

A little past noon today, the fourth Hoboken mayoral candidate finally threw his hat into the ring... on Facebook.

That's one hat, not four.  No slate, yet.

No "Mike for Mayor" ELEC report on file yet, either.

The April filing of "Mike DeFusco for Hoboken City Council" reported a closing balance of $88,676.10.  That balance plus $250k developers PAC "pledges" leaked to InsiderNJ makes Mayor Zimmer, Karen Nason, and Ron Baptista the cash underdogs in the 2017 race.

The fact that DeFusco announced sans-slate seems to indicate the candidate was not yet ready to announce, but was forced to "shit or get off the pot," by big-money backers.  Ruben Ramos appears to have been ready to step into his place.

One can assume that DeFusco has not assembled a slate to his satisfaction nor to the satisfaction of his big-money backers.

He's also failed to push out Karen Nason. Nason is backed by Terry Castellano, who has neither forgiven nor forgotten that DeFusco unseated her in 2015. Karen has also assembled a stellar line-up of campaign staff, including nationally-known pollster Adam Geller.

But, sources say that DeFusco's campaign will have deep pockets from the Hoboken-based development community.  His major supporters (ka-ching) are rumored to be developers Dave Barry, Pupie Raia and Greg Dell'Aquila,  and Academy Bus's Tedesco family.

Well folks, GA is personally glad DeFusco has finally thrown in.  Instead of running a shadow mayoral campaign with no campaign reporting mechanism, he will have to play by the same rules as everyone else in the race.

Here is DeFusco's kick-off video.  What do you think?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happiness is

GA's shopping cart

...a Trader Joe's in Hoboken.  High quality food at low prices... yeah!

This morning was my very first trip to our city's new Trader Joe's.

Look at all of that great stuff in my cart! TJ's tempura chicken (white meat chicken, sweet and sour sauce), beef meatballs (GA secret: boil for 20-30 minutes first to reduce fat and salt), frozen cod, peas, fresh brussel sprouts, canned green chillies and black beans, pesto-filled tortellini...  yum.

So you ask: how does this store compare with TJ's in Edgewater?

The inventory is at least the same, but the interior layout is more spacious; aisle widths feel at least double.

Not kidding people, this store feels wide and open. Though crowded today, shopping cart navigation was easy; no ass-bumping with strangers, no waiting to get through an aisle.  Also, the (21) cashiers are in a separate, dedicated area that doesn't overlap with customer circulation (like Edgewater's does).

And for those who want to drive there, TJ's will validate up to (1) hour of parking in the building garage.

My review: 4 thumbs up!  Trader Joe's is a great addition to our great little city.

But...  please note that  TJ's cannot replace our local supermarkets, ShopRite and ACME, which have the full range of foods and household products- but it sure complements them.

Of interest to note, Mike DeFusco took a victory lap for "voting on the building" that houses TJ's! I kid you not:

Yes, that's true.

GA, a ZBA Commissioner who served with Mike, voted on this application too.

For the record, when Mike and I heard the 1350 Willow application, it had already received preliminary site plan approvals for height and density variances- in either 2007, 2008 or 2009.  Like other applications that came back to us after receiving preliminary plan approvals, the 'fix was in' on height and density.  Once a variance is granted, it cannot be rescinded.

So, I cannot say personally, I am "proud" of a building of this height and density in an R-2 district.

I don't want to second-guess why the original board granted these variances. But they did.

I do recall my board got the Applicant's agreement for modest improvements. There were no tenants noted in the application, just ground floor space designated for commercial use.  The hearing transcript is no longer online- I'l try to find it.

Anyway, GA is thankful that 1350 Willow's tenant is Trader Joe's.

But GA and other members of the Zoning Board who approved the application had no part of luring this tenant.  Thus, taking credit for the building- being "proud" to have voted for a building that required multiple variances to be built before it lucked into a great tenant is-- in my opinion, a stretch.

It's also telling.  Telling about the attitude of a politician who is "proud" of voting for a building in an R-2 residential zone that required the granting of so many variances to exist.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Being there for Hoboken's LGBTQ Community

GA is still floored by Councilman DeFusco's narcissistic rant about Councilman Bhalla "selectivity" in prosecuting 'hate speech'; that Bhalla never stood up for him (DeFusco) when he alleged to be slurred online, but he (Bhalla) responded when a private citizen was assaulted with hate speech on the streets of Hoboken.

DeFusco called it  "selectivity."

In other words, the councilman equated anonymous message board attacks on himself, a politician, with a private citizen seen verbally assaulted on the streets of Hoboken by a licensed vendor on YouTube.

In a DeFusco-centric universe, those are the same. The rest of us live in the real world.

Then (incredibly), DeFusco said to Bhalla:
 " have not been there for the LGBTQ Community." 
Time for a reality check.

Where was Mike Defusco?

Mike DeFusco wasn't here. 

He was here:

In 2011 ZBA Commissioner DeFusco was networking with anti-Reform politicians, operatives and activists.

Bajardi v Pincus exhibit- Pincus' MSJ

In fact, GA has found no record of Mike Defusco publicly supporting the LGBTQ community prior to his 2015 election.   

So, let's keep it real.

Watch Hudson County View's 2015 interview with then-candidate DeFusco and see if you can find the part where he discusses how he's "been there for the LGBTQ community."

Neither could I.

The fact is, nobody ever questioned him about it and nobody cared... not until he attacked Councilman Bhalla for  "not being there for the LGBTQ community." 

In fact, Bhalla has been there for Hoboken's LGBTQ community.

Here is one example.

In 2015, Councilman Bhalla sponsored an ordinance amending a 1959 law banning cross-dressing in Hoboken; Bhalla's ordinance passed on September 2, 2015.  

Thank you, Councilman Bhalla for "being there" for Hoboken's LGBTQ community.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DeFusco to Bhalla: "You have not been there for the LGBTQ Community"

In case you weren't among the 25 streaming last night's council meeting, you missed another Kodak moment courtesy of (presumed candidate) Councilman Mike DeFusco.

The target was (candidate) Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who along with (candidate) Mayor Zimmer, led the City's response to the Vape Van 'hate speech' incident.

GA was watching MSNBC (and doing a happy dance) so I missed the beginning... but apparently the City reached a settlement with the Vape Van vendor prior to the meeting.

According to the settlement, Vape Van owner Joe Ruggiero will attend 10 "anger management and diversity classes" prior to May 31, and will refrain from operating his business until classes are complete.

Public speakers were largely supportive of Ruggiero. When the Council weighed in, most handled the matter with gravitas.

And then there was Councilman DeFusco.

DeFusco's prepared remarks alleged that the City was "selective" about responding to hate speech. To illustrate his point, he compared himself  (as a victim of hate speechwith the Vape Van victim- and singled out Bhalla, with an allegation that he hasn't "been there" for him or for the LGBTQ community.

Note: As a politician,  DeFusco is a public figure.  Because he makes decisions which effect the lives of Hoboken residents the Constitution does not spare him the slings and arrows of public opinion, and yes- offensive speech.

It's the same for everyone else on the dais.

Does DeFusco really think that a guy wearing a turban doesn't get more shit every day than a guy who doesn't?

Yet, the whiny public-figure baby petulantly accused Bhalla that he never "stood up" against alleged hate speech targeting him (the whiny baby). Imagine that!

Oh yeah: the victim of the Vape Van owner's tirade is a private citizen.

And so in his prepared remarks, public figure DeFusco compares boo-boo's accumulated in the rough and tumble full-contact sport of Hoboken politics to a private citizen verbally assaulted on the streets of Hoboken- like they are the same.   

Not only aren't they the same, it is amazing to witness one politician ('A') attacking another politician ('B') for not "standing up" for 'A' when big, bad, meanies attack.

Has 'A' ever stood up for 'B'- who's gotten more shit than most of the alphabet on that dais?

If DeFusco is not being disingenuous then he's out-to-lunch. He's not out-to-lunch.

But what came across to me was the arrogant, oblivious one-sided expectation on behalf of the white, gay letter of alphabet that the brown, Sikh letter of the alphabet be "there" for him.

Call it whatever you want.   I'll let Ravi have the last word:

"He doesn't know me. I would die for this principle. That is what my religion teaches me. Where was he during the Oak Creek massacre? Dawn was out with Stan and the kids and Fulop were all there. There was also a hate crime against a Sikh in Jersey City a few years ago, JC came together to show support. I don't expect anything from him but he's wrong to attack me." 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Karen Nason offered spot on DeFusco Ticket

GA checked in with Karen Nason this morning for her reaction to yesterday's post- an overheard conversation between her and her campaign manager.

Karen was overheard loudly recounting a meeting called by Frank Raia... and lo and behold,  when she got there, Ruben Ramos was there with Frank!   Ruben asked Karen to drop out of the race, promising her a spot on DeFusco's ticket.  Karen declined.

This morning, Nason confirmed the witness had gotten it right, adding:
"It was obvious to anyone with a brain that Ramos was with Defusco but I was quite shocked with Frank. Because I really like Frank."
-Hoboken Mayoral candidate Karen Nason

GA can confirm Nason is genuinely shocked that Raia, always supportive, was wheeling and dealing behind her back on behalf of Mike DeFusco.
"You want a friend in Hoboken? Get a dog." 
-not said by Harry S. Truman
Yes, she is shocked.

GA told Karen that if her 'friend' could make a buck from it, he'd run her over and throw her dead body off a ... nevermind.

True, Reformers are dullards- a bunch of nerds, but we don't shiv our friends for (alleged) personal profit.

Watch your back, Karen!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Overheard at the Hothouse...

Seeing is not believing... 

'Cause some folks saw this at Karen Nason's Friday night fundraiser:

Mayoral candidate Karen Nason with Frank 'Pupie' Raia and her campaign manager, Donald Goncalves

They look like best buddies, right?

Well, guess what?  One person in that photo is not a 'Nason for Mayor' supporter.  Eenie, meenie, miney moe....

Here's the story folks.

A GA reader stopped by the Hothouse last evening and spotted Nason sitting with her campaign manager.
Karen looked upset. She was speaking loudly. Real loudly. Her manager just listened. This is what I remember:

"Frank asked me to meet with him tonight... When I got there he was with Ruben Ramos. Ruben did all the talking. He told me if I drop out they'll give me position on Defusco's slate!  I said NO.
Ramos said "The numbers... the numbers... you CAN'T WIN!  I asked " Where are the poll numbers?" Ruben said "What poll?" I kept asking where are the poll numbers? I hear Mike did lousy."  Ruben said "I hear he did pretty good" Then he asked me again to drop out. So I asked "What are YOU getting out of this?" Ramos said "Mike's The Man." I asked Ruben "when is he going to announce?" Ruben said "Monday."  I had enough. So I got up and said "You can keep your council position, I'm gonna go big or go home."
Wow.  Can you smell the desperation?  Ramos is practically begging!

Ooooo... please pretty please.... 

And how 'bout Frank Raia, (a.k.a. 'Benedict Pupie') pretending to support Nason, but he's really on Team DeFusco and trying to push her out of the race!

Well folks, if you didn't believe the poll results were grim for DeFusco, do you now?  Because here we have Pupie Raia calling a sit-down with Nason to play 'Let's Make a Deal': a spot on DeFusco's ticket if she drops out of the race!

GA supposes that the poll showed Nason's candidacy is a mortal wound to DeFusco's.

I guess the woman has to drop out to make way for the man. Or "The Man" as Ramos put it. 

Such chutzpah!

Maybe Nason should have asked the same question to Raia: "What are YOU getting out of this?"

To be continued...

Monday, May 15, 2017

The (North Bergen) Things that Wouldn't Leave

The Jersey Journal's Political Insider, Augie Torres, wrote:

"In Hoboken you also have Stack helping Zimmer with her selection of party county committee people because Sacco and Prieto's political operative, Joey Muniz, is helping mayoral candidate and 1st Ward City Councilman Mike DeFusco. You'd think sides are being picked in the county sandlot game. How long before the bean balls begin?"

Wait a minute... didn't 33rd Legislative District Overlord Senator Brian Stack put the kibosh on LD32's interference in Hoboken's mayoral election?

Apparently NOT!

Hey Brian, wassup?  Furthermore, what's a "sandlot game"?

And by "help", does Augie mean use of Sacco's political operative? And a poll?

GA told you that DeFusco's polling results were rumored to be "grim", perhaps even forcing one prospective candidate to drop out before he dropped in.

In fact, no one has dropped in lately.

Methinks there's a vacuum created by DeFusco’s reticence to dip his toe into election waters; an opening for another candidate with an anti-Zimmer agenda.

GA gets laughed at when I bring up Freeholder Anthony 'Stick' Romano as a possibility.

Is it so funny?

GA wonders why BoE Trustee Peter Bianacamano bailed on the BOE's budget vote last Tuesday (the ole politician's trick to avoid taking a stance on a potential campaign issue.) He's a Stick loyalist and no longer in consideration for Karen Nason's slate. Seems to me he plans to run for something.

Maybe three time's the charm?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

UPDATE: DeFusco "absent" for 901 Bloomfield ZBA hearings

Just when you think you've driven a stake through the heart of an alternative fact, it pops out of its coffin!

Oh, boy.  Apparently 901 Bloomfield test-polled well, because it has risen from its eternal rest!

Check out this load of reanimated BS:

Now see original post below.

In short: Mike DeFusco blew off (3) ZBA hearings for the condo-conversion variance at 901 Bloomfield. 


He didn't care about the 901 Bloomfield condo conversion when he could have made a difference.

Read the post.

DeFusco's new argument about $600K "wasted" on a pop-up park which will serve an area of high-residential density, and which can be used by the entire Hoboken community, is entirely subjective.  I'd say the majority of taxpayers don't see a park which will serve the community for a couple of years a "waste."

Oh, and historic preservation of 901 Bloomfield in its present state would require far more than $600,000; the developer has pledged $1,000,000 to repair/repurpose the existing structure.

Finally, just remember that the revival of this politician's alternative fact was triggered by a poll which pitched alternative facts.

Where was Mike DeFusco to pitch a community arts center when 901 Bloomfield was vacant, before it was sold to a developer?  

Original post: March 6, 2017

How does this..

 Jive with this?

"Crocodile tears" derives from an ancient belief that 
crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey.  

It doesn't. 

In 2015, Mike Defusco had an opportunity with his vote and his voice as a Commissioner on the quasi-judicial Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustments to speak for/against variances requested for the 901 Bloomfield application; the variances needed to convert the existing church to 6 condo units.

In 2015, with his quasi-judicial powers, DeFusco had a voice in the outcome of the project, the decision to allow the variances to be granted, to discuss his community center proposal with the owner.

So where was he?

The 1st zoning board hearing for 901 Bloomfield was on August 11, 2015.  The transcript reads:

When a ZBA Commissioner is absent from a hearing that's carried, all he/she has to do is read the transcript before the next meeting.

The 2nd zoning board hearing for 901 Bloomfield was on October 20, 2015. The transcript reads:

The vote took place on October 20, 2015.  

The 901 Bloomfield resolution was finalized at the next meeting, on December 22, 2015.  DeFusco was absent, but technically was precluded from the discussion because he did not participate in the application.

Why does this matter? 

Commissioner DeFusco's dereliction of duty for the 901 Bloomfield Street application was not a matter of public interest and public concern until  he made it the subject of  a toothless resolution, positing that the church interior could be "saved" if only the City could intervene (it has tried), suggesting that "bulk" could be dumped into the 1st Ward instead (the 1st Ward would never stand for it), and anyone who could not vote "yes" hates puppies (I prefer kittens). 

This resolution is has already backfired for DeFusco, politically. 

The resolution only highlights DeFusco's indifference to the 901 Bloomfield condo conversion in 2015 back when he had the power to influence a different outcome as a Zoning Commissioner.   It is a little too late now, the variances were granted. 

Speaking of variances, there's a mistake on the resolution- there was no "change of use" variance; the church is in an R-1 residential district, it is zoned as residential.   

Finally, at the City Council, in a heated exchange with Councilmen Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle who accused him of political grandstanding,  DeFusco defended himself, said he had been rallying for  adaptive reuse for 901 Bloomfield for the past year, and to check his "social media feeds."

I did, and found this on Facebook:

I really, really wish Mike would run a better campaign- as a former ZBA colleague, it pains me to see him going this route.   Obviously he is listening to idiots.  One in particular.

Friday, May 12, 2017

BREAKING Earwitness News: DeFusco's Poll Results!

It's a day of mourning in Hoboken politics- in the DeFusco camp, that is.

GA had cast out a wide net for the results of last weekend's citywide phone poll that some believe was the handiwork of a Sacco political operative tapped for the mayoral campaign of Councilman Mike DeFusco. 

Well... I'm afraid to say that various ears were garbed in black and waxy.  Because what was expected to be encouraging news, turned into a massacre for the mayoral prospects of Councilman DeFusco.

The press was not even notified about Defusco's poll results- not even after the numbers  were pumped with embalming fluid.

Nope, these poll numbers will be quietly buried... "What poll?"  "That wasn't OUR poll- it was a Union poll!"

In fact, DeFusco associates were seen running away from the poll results faster than Hussein Bolt around the 200 meter track.

Those sad, sad ears tell GA that the DeFusco camp is reeling; the poll-massacre has put DeFusco's scheduled announcement on ice... for the  moment.

Allegedly substantial amounts of cash have been "pledged"- but will these pledges materialize now that his poll numbers have crashed like the Hindenberg?

GA doesn't know, but if DeFusco had announced last October- instead of a drip, drip drip of leaks, by now he would have citywide name recognitiopiles of money in his account (not "pledges"), and would be much further along.

Tragically, any momentum he might have had sank with his "Shake Shack" swan song.

SAD. Everybody sing along...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vape Van Politics

Hoboken City Council, misc. licensing for vendors approved at April 5, 2017 meeting

Like everything in Hoboken, GA predicts a Vape Van vendor's license will become a political football.

It shouldn't, but it will.

Some idiot at the City Council will grandstand, perhaps even create a false equivalency between a vendor's anti-immigrant slurs and the "butt buddies" text-misfire.  

It's not the same.  A vendor's license to do business in Hoboken is at stake, and the legal issues surrounding the revocation of that license are complex.

According to a lawyer-friend: "Where a license is issued the licensee is limited by the contractual terms to which he is bound.  The license itself can be challenged on legal grounds but that is the first consideration. As simple as it may seem, it's not."

Now add "hate speech" to the mix, which implicates the First Amendment...

Oh, boy. I'm no lawyer, the legal issues are over my head, and probably yours.


It is possible that factors unrelated to First Amendment issues may impact the City's determination of this matter.

For example, did Hoboken's Supervisor of Licenses investigate the applicant before the license was approved as required by statute?
"§ 146-8 Granting of licenses.  
A. Following the filing of the application, the original shall be referred to the Supervisor of Licenses who shall cause such investigation of the applicant's moral character, license history and general personal history to be made and return said application with his findings thereon to the City Clerk.
B. If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's moral character is found to be unsatisfactory, the Supervisor of Licenses shall endorse on said application his disapproval and his reasons for the same and return said application to the City Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved and that no license will be issued.
C. If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant is found to be of good moral character, the Supervisor of Licenses shall endorse on the application his approval, and a license shall be issued by the City Clerk upon payment of the license fee.
Did the applicant disclose to the City that he was terminated for cause as a Hoboken Parking Enforcement Officer on September 12, 2013?   (The NJ Civil Service Commission denied his appeal on September 3, 2014.)

The public is not privy to more material fact than we can see on the YouTube video.  

GA, a victim of a First Amendment SLAPP suit (Bajardi v Pincus), understands that the New Jersey Constitution protects insults and slurs like the ones on this Facebook screencap sent by a reader:
An old post from the vape guy. I think this kind of speaks for itself.


Yes, the NJ Constitution provides wide protection for everyone: from saints to bigots. 

So, the vigorous public debate continues online: whether or not the City should revoke the Vape Van's vendor's license.

Debate is all good. But the issues are serious, people's lives are impacted, so for once I hope this matter does not devolve into junk political theater at the next Council meeting.

GA Note:
Today Chris Halloran of hMag, makes a compelling argument for letting the free market render it's verdict on the Vape Van, lest we turn the Vape Van vendor into a "civil liberties hero."    Food for thought.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vape Van: To revoke or not to revoke its vendor's license

The following question is not theoretical:  can the Hoboken City Council revoke a vendor's license after its operator's racist tirade at a member of the public (captured on viral video)?

Or: as a matter of constitutional rights, is a vendor's racist rant against a member of the public protected speech?

GA's talking about the incident captured in a viral video; an apparent dispute over a parking spot on Washington Street. The video shows the owner of a 9th Cloud Vape Van unleashing a racist tirade at the driver of a van parked in front of him: "Immi!...Go back to your country!"

In response, the City Council and Mayor are sponsoring a resolution to revoke the vendor's license of the Vape Van's owner.

So, back to the questions: (1) can the City (legally) revoke the vendor's license for his racist tirade against a member of the public or (2) is the vendor's rant  protected  speech?

GA's no lawyer.... but  in my opinion the answer is "Yes" to both.

"Yes" the City Council can revoke the vendors license, and "Yes" the foul tirade is protected speech.

IMO, there is no contradiction.

As a citizen, his offensive speech is protected; as a licensed vendor in Hoboken,  his conduct appears to violate provisions of Hoboken's municipal code, Chapter 146, Article 1- Vendors, Peddlers and Itinerant Merchants.  This chapter of Hoboken's municipal code relates to the regulating and granting of vendors' licenses in the City of Hoboken.

Excerpts as follows:

§ 146-3 Purpose.The purpose of this chapter is to prevent dishonest business practices, to provide protection to the citizens of the City from unregulated itinerant or transient salesmen and the annoyance consonant thereto, the safety of the residents of this community and the best interests of its welfare and to eliminate noise disturbing to the peace and tranquility of the community.

§ 146-7 Qualifications of applicants.The general standard herein set out, relative to the qualifications of every applicant, shall be considered and applied by the Supervisor of Licenses. The applicant shall:
A. Be of good moral character.

§ 146-11 Regulations to be observed.All persons to whom a license shall be issued hereunder shall observe the following regulations:
A. No person or vehicle shall stand or be parked in a fixed location for the purpose of displaying or selling wares, merchandise or services on any public or private property where to do so causes or is likely to cause a crowd, impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic, produce annoying sounds, noise or disturbances, which interfere with the comfort of the residents,

§ 146-12 Revocation and suspension.A license may be revoked by the City Council by reason of the violation of the terms of the license, the violation of any municipal ordinance, state or federal statute or falsification in applying for a license.  
The City Council has the authority to decide appropriateness of revoking a vendor's license in concert with the regulations and standards of its municipal code; in  this case, does the vendor's 'hate speech' and public conduct comport with the City's regulations, or violate them?   

Yes, free speech is a right.

The granting of a vendor' license is not a right, its a privilege.

The City has the right to regulate the granting of vendors licenses.  

If the vendor wishes to exercise "hate-speech" on members of the public, it is likely most likely incompatible with the "privilege" accorded with the granting of the license.  

City Council, take it away! 

In the meantime, check out the vox populi on the 9th Cloud Vape Facebook page.  My retinas are burning!