Monday, February 28, 2011

GA Note

GA needs to take care of a personal matter today; thanks for stopping by. Be back tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Talk to The Hand

I've been told to check out Mike Russo's rebuttal to Tuesday night's Zimmer Thing, posted on Mason411.

To that I say, "Talk to the hand."

Guess what?  

If Russo couldn't be bothered to SHOW UP to the  mayor's State of the City address like his City Council majority colleagues Beth Mason, Timmy Occhipinti and Nino Giacchi did, then he ought to shut the hell up and let someone who was there do the rebutting.

And that goes for his cousin, Theresa Castellano, who likewise lacked the sense of decorum to attend the mayor's SOTC.

The two of them are elected officials. Whether or not they support the mayor, snubbing this event- Zimmer's review of her administration's achievements, goals and upcoming initiatives- was not just childish but counterproductive to the kind of effective working relationship WE ALL expect between City Hall and the City Council.

It's not about THEM. And their FEELINGS.  It's about us.

Their personal disdain for Zimmer is irrelevant when it comes to their duties as Councilpersons.  It's not supposed to be personal.  It's business- the business of governing. For whatever I think of them, Mason, Occhipinti and Giacchi knew enough to show.

So, I don't care what either of those 2 stay-at-home babies, Russo and Castellano, have to say.  They forfeited their right to 'respond' by not showing up.

GA wasn't even going to bother with this subject until a bemused friend sent me the final line of the Russo rebuttal:
Maybe the mayor can renew a time-honored Hoboken tradition when the mayor attended all city council meetings. She’d be most welcome.


Can you believe the chutzpah?

Russo beseeches the mayor to attend "all" City Council meetings when he couldn't drag his carcass out  ONE NIGHT to her  State of the City address? 

Mayor-girlfriend, please.  Tell him to talk to the hand.

Mason said WHAT?

PRIDE: The Seven Deadly Sins- by Pieter Breugel the Elder

A friend of mine called yesterday about a letter  in the Hoboken Reporter from someone pretending to be Beth Mason.

Or so my friend thought; incredulous at the notion that anyone who'd circumvented ELEC campaign finance rules would boast of pride in doing so while painting herself a victim of those wishing to end the illegal practice she was 'proud' of: 'wheeling'.

So GA read it.  Wow.  My instant response:

Stunning hubris! Shamelessness!  Lack of character!  Contempt for rules!  Absolutely fantastic.

GA has noted derisively how Mike Novak scampered away from his amoral deeds once they were exposed. Not Mason.  Read her letter.

If you're short for time, here are a few of the highlights:
"My family and I were proud to contribute $13,000 of our hard-earned money to Councilman Occhipinti’s campaign"
GA note:   By "family" she means hubby, who works hard to earn the money his wife blows on her inexhaustible quest for... something. The $13K figure is wrong- her total was $13.4K. Is she deliberately minimizing the figure or does she have so much money she can't keep track of it? When was the last time you lost $400?  Finally... Mason not only admits to circumventing ELEC law, she's "proud" of it!  Pride...

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
-- Proverbs 16: 18-19 (KJV)

" fact, he (Timmy)  raised almost six times the amount we contributed, from other people"
 GA note:  Wow.  She's boasting that 16% of a candidate's total haul came from ONE contributor-- her 'family'.  Breathtaking. That would be like $4.32 million dollars going to Obama's presidential campaign from a SINGLE contributor (he raised $27M total).  Does Mason realize the outragousness of this disproportionate single-source contribution?  Apparently not.  She's "proud".

"The Cunningham-Bhalla ordinance is not “anti-wheeling”, it’s just “anti-Beth”."
GA note: BOO-freakin'-HOO!  Someone hand me the world's smallest violin for Mason's pity-party.  And I guess laws prohibiting murder are "anti-Bundy" and those prohibiting securities fraud are "anti-Madoff".  I guess Mason's saying  LAWS are BAD because they target the law-breaker.   Hmmm... I see her point. I was thinking of robbing a bank this afternoon, but not for some "anti-Pincus" ordinance.  Wooooo.... boy.  Ain't she a piece  of work?

"I supported Tim because he is a bright new leader"
GA note: Um... I suppose all things are relative.

The letter will be published in it's entirety  this weekend.

I applaud Mason for doubling-down on her ethical skulduggery, lack-of-remorse and comical cries of victimization... she surely is her own worst enemy.

Go Greaney!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Color Revolution

GA is a fan of political advertising-- a.k.a. the packaging/pitching of a politician to the public or a  subset within, like the eldest or most righteous.  Branding is at the heart of all political marketing-  a campaign's colors/logo/fonts repeated ad nauseum on printed materials,  press, publications,  electronic media and so on.  Like a label on a new product, branding is designed to lure the consumer to the sale. 

That's you.

Do you care about this stuff?

Maybe not.  But it is not by accident that a politician chooses his/her colors- be it to lend gravitas to a young candidate (black, dark colors) , or to lighten up a stiff, old geezer (bright, 'youthful' colors) or to send a message about priorities or values.

So, GA found it fascinating that a certain color was missing from the emerging Reform campaigns... can you guess?

Green, of course!

What happened to it?

The last 'green' campaign was Mike Lenz's- we know how that ended. Certainly the green of Mason's PAC money had more to do with his political demise than his color choice.


The absence of green among the bevy of Reform challengers for City Council is an obvious departure from the Zimmer 'brand'- her colors were green, yellow and black.  So is this a 'color revolution'?  A declaration of autonomy from the 'green-brand'?  A conscious wish to be 'un-green'?  Or simply the color-preference of the candidate?  

And, with the exception of Greaney who chose the elements of green (yellow and blue) the gang's gone for Old Glory: red, white and blue.   

Oh say can  you see... 

Now,  Peter Cunningham has yet to  show his colors so he may 'go-maverick' and stick with what worked last time- green.

In any case, it looks like Reform's detractors will have to hunt for new pejoratives-  we won't be hearing 'green-shirts' anymore.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Zimmer-Thing

So GA was at that Zimmer-Thing last night...  you know, the one that was covered in-depth on MSV and HJ;  those boys do the kind of journalism you won't get here.  In fact, I left my camera at home; both bloggers being the excellent photographers they are and GA's pics looking like they were left out in the rain.

You don't believe I was there?

Here's proof:

There I am on the telephone right after my arrival as I was saying to my friend, "I wonder where that asshole Perry Klaussen is hiding?"

Who knew that at that very moment  he (Perry Klaussen) was taking my picture from atop the balcony!

I'll tell you who-- Da Horsey.

Horsey spied the Mason411-blogging operative from below and decided to venture upstairs for a few pics of his own.   Klaussen responded in-kind with sign language.

Do you know what this means?

photo courtesy of Mile Square View

Some say it means "F*ck you" but GA thinks it means: "I'm  too scared to mix it downstairs with people I smear for Beth Mason, so I'll just hide up here like a pussy and take as many ugly photos as possible to post on my rag-tabloid that nobody reads."

That's my interpretation.

Well, at least he didn't catch me with my finger up my nose though that pic had to be the worst of the bunch.   Flattery is not Klaussen's M.O.

So what else?

Much to Mason and Timmy's credit, they (and Giacchi) were the only majority City Council members to show last night.  Shame on Russo and Castellano; what a classless breach of etiquette to no-show. Look at the U.S. Congress; no matter how adversarial the relationship is between the President and the opposition party, the opposition always goes to the State of the Union address.  Always.

Not in Hoboken.  Big babies Russo and Castellano stay home and pout.

Curiously, Mason and Timmy sat side-by-side in the 3rd row, center (Giacchi sat apart)... and as I watched their interaction from one row back I couldn't help but think how the graphic I was much pilloried for had indeed come true.  Because Timmy looked all the wardrobe-accessory to Mason; getting his cues on when to clap, when not to, from her.  He actually started to clap when the Mayor addressed 'wheeling'- then stopped abruptly perhaps noticing how stonily Mason sat beside him.  Ah, well.  Should I stop picking on him?


Go, Rami!

Well, there's nothing of substance to add.

I will say I was delighted to have several GA readers who recognized me from pics I've posted introduce themselves.  Which is a gas because I always think it's the 5 or 6 people I know that read this crap, mainly out of sympathy (though my stats say otherwise.)  So it's fun to meet folks who admit to reading GA and even claim to enjoy it. 

To the people-I-met, it was nice to meet you back.

And thank you Mrs. _____ for saying I had "Michelle Obama arms".  Mine aren't as nice, but you sure made my night!

The Last Nail

GA was  ready to move on from the  OCS Letter Smear-Gone-Awry trilogy  and then a reader sent me this note:
Novak apology? *crickets*
With a link to this in the Jersey Journal:

click to read
What does it say?

That the letter Chamber of Commerce President Mike Novak/Mason411 used to attack the operations of  the City of Hoboken under the Zimmer administration was in fact based on a review of "past hiring practices" of four municipalities hit by "Operation Bid Rig".

As for Hoboken, here is what the Comptroller's spokesman said:

"They've already addressed a lot of the deficiencies we spoke about in the letter," said McAleer of Hoboken's current hiring policy.

There you have it.

GA's  already pointed out the inappropriateness of the leader of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce to be impugning the operations of the City he is charged with advocating for on behalf of the small business community.

Now that the Comptroller's office has weighed in and removed ALL doubt about their review process and findings, noting past 'deficiencies' have been addressed under the Zimmer administration, expressing confidence that the City will address outstanding deficiencies in the forthcoming Action Plan...  do YOU think Novak ought to retract his attack-piece?

GA does.

The membership of the  Hoboken Chamber of Commerce ought to.

But, he HASN'T.

It's still there.  No retraction, no apology.

Hence, no credibility.

So many ironies...

He's the guy who tweeted about my unfitness to serve the City - a player in the attempted coup to steal my seat on a municipal board... here proves his own UNFITNESS TO LEAD the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce by bashing the city he's charged with advocating for...  was on Peter Cammarano's City Council slate-- Cammarono swept up in Operation Bid Rig for selling access to the same municipal board GA serves on... and  spins the Comptroller's review of Hoboken hiring practices to tar Zimmer when in fact it was triggered by the criminality of  the guy he ran for office with in 2009...


Loaded, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exciting News from RFC!

Dear RFC Subscriber,

We hope this communication finds you in reasonably good health and continuing poor judgment.

It has been a year of explosive growth for us at the Reached-For-Comment News Service, both in terms of debts and resentments.  And with your continued unthinking support, we believe we can accomplish more of the same in 2011 or whatever year you’re reading this.

You know, it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, “Say, that Griswell is a genius.  Let’s give him all our money right away.”  Historians tell us Honest Abe gave his life for just that belief on the very first Presidents Day in the 17- or 1800s.  And now it’s your turn.

You see, for some time we have been trying to set a time-table to announce our IPO.  We knew we needed a major political event to showcase our unique contribution to the many oozing sacks of media that have formed around the inflamed toe that is our city’s governing body.  Selecting the right event was our quandary.

On a conference call from prison, our investment banker suggested the SOTU as the right place to plunge our lance as it were.  True, the inaugural SOTU has the imprimatur of general municipal and even historical interest.  But we at RFC have never been slaves to the city’s published calendar, preferring instead events that tell the real story of Hoboken; events which reveal the seamy underbelly of a town that should have a seamy underbelly on its municipal flag and official stationery; events for which RFC alone is able to provide access because the other news outlets just don’t have the resources, chutzpah, or both to “go there”.

I’m of course referring to events which we make up, usually after 4 or 5 highballs, i.e., lunch.  And we just don’t have high hopes for the Mayor’s dreary little speech about our dreary little budget, and our dreary little infrastructure, and our dreary little open space issues, and campaign finance, and the year ahead, and shoot me please, I’m on my knees begging.  Begging.

Suffice it to say reality is not our sweet spot.

And, like our cross-town rivals over at the incomparable H411, our readers count on us to shield them from facts, research, thoughtful analysis, source verification, in-person interviews, and the myriad other fetishes that have pretty much brought print media to the brink of extinction.  And most of the time we deliver on that promise.  If we don’t, 411, the Microsoft of fake news, will crush us.  They have the brand, the staggeringly clueless readership, and the tireless devotion to just make it up every effing day that we can only gaze upon with envy, awe, and wonder.  Like everyone says - if it didn't happen in Hoboken, H411 is all over it.

Which hasn’t made getting an IPO any easier for RFC.  Investors demand to know where our NJDC is; where is our imaginary vendor procurement crisis; where is our fantasia in which Zimmer secretly knew the waterfront was collapsing years ago?  The short answer is we just can’t keep up with those H411 guys.  But if we said that, our IPO would have as much chance as a joke in an Occhipinti speech.

And then…magically… it happened.

The miracle we were hoping for.  Instant credibility, the kind we would have done almost anything for short of work.  Have a gander at the graphic below, hapless subscriber.

See that little text box: You have been blocked from following this account at the request of this user.  You read that right – RFC has been blocked from following Councilwoman Castellano.  I am so in love with this woman right now I can’t even breath right.  And check out the list of approved followers!

@Hoboken411 Hoboken, NJ
Creator of

That’s right: H411.  How great is that?  Our pitch practically writes itself now.

Want the same-old-same-old safe, stodgy, pin-stripe suit-wearing, CBS News demographic-having, Golden Girls reruns-watching, Ensure-swilling, 4 o’clock supper-eating fake news from the guys that are so safe and harmless that they’re allowed to follow anyone on Twitter?  Or do you want the edgy, dark, dangerous fake news of the banned bad boys at RFC?  Yeah baby!  Why settle for dirt when you can have filth?

Hey, that could be our new slogan.

And so, in closing, dear inexplicably loyal subscriber, once we total up our outstanding bar tabs, parking tickets, and certain other difficult-to-categorize ‘entertainment’ charges, we’ll come to a happy ending on how much we need to raise from our IPO and set a price.  And then it will be your chance to own your own piece of the firm the Wall Street Journal will one day call “A deplorable freak show, perfectly suited to the city it covers…like a dense fog.”

Fatuously yours,

Me and My Shadow

Mike Novak,  President of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce, erroneously claims in his Twitter-linked message (posted above) that the "State finds City of Hoboken in violation of public ethics and contracting laws..." alleging hiring practices of the  Zimmer administration prompted a rebuke from the Office of he State Comptroller (OSC).
Today the Jersey Journal corrected Novak and Mason411; the issues the OCS cited as "deficiencies"in the City's hiring practices were for 2008 and 2009-  when David Roboerts was mayor.

Mayor Zimmer was sworn in  on November 6, 2009.

From the the Jersey Journal's Hoboken Now:

Like the wallpaper sticks to the wall
Like the seashore clings to the sea
Like you'll never get rid of your shadow
Frank, you'll never get rid of me

Let all the others fight and fuss

Whatever happens, we've got us.

Me and my shadow

We're closer than pages that stick in a book
We're closer than ripples that play in a brook
Strolling down the avenue
Wherever you find him, you'll find me, just look
Closer than a miser or the bloodhound's to Liza
Me and my shadow
We're closer than smog when it clings to L.A.
We're closer than Bobby is to J.F.K.
Not a soul can bust this team in two
We stick together like glue

And when it's sleeping time

That's when we rise
We start to swing
Swing to the skies
Our clocks don't chime
What a surprise
They ring-a-ding-ding!
Happy New Year!

Me and my shadow

And now to repeat what I said at the start
They'll need a large crowbar to break us apart
We're alone but far from blue

Before we get finished, we'll make the town roar

We'll make all the late spots, and then a few more
We'll wind up at Jilly's right after Toots Shor
Life is gonna be we-wow-whee!
(Here comes the party!)
For my shadow and me!

Say Frank?

What is it, Sam?
Do me a favor?
What do you want, now?
Would you mind taking it, just one more time?
From the top?
No! From the ending!

And while we are swinging, to mention a few

We'll drop in at Danny's, The Little Club too
But wind up at Jilly's, whatever we do
Life is gonna be we-wow-whee!
For my shadow and me!


Oh, forget it Sam.
All right

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scrub-a-Dub...Twitter Takes a Bath


I don't know if GA can take the credit, but...

Yesterday we posted a TWEET from the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce's President Mike Novak, that undermines the organization he leads:
Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Mission Statement:
Our emphasis is in promoting and advancing the commercial, professional, industrial, and civic interest of the community. The chamber will also lobby local, county, state and federal government to protect the interests of the city.
  • Does trashing the leadership of Hoboken "protect the interests of the city"?
  • Does attacking the Mayor in a dishonest message "advance" the "civic interest of the community"?
I guess Novak agrees with Grafix Avenger because he pulled the TWEET.  It's GONE.


NOW YOU SEE IT (yesterday):

NOW YOU DON'T (today):

Well, you can say one thing about Beth  Mason, Michael Russo, et al: they stand by their own duplicity.

Shine a light on Novak's and... 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Novak Sandbags Hoboken

Hoboken's  Chamber of Commerce Board President, Mike Novak,  is caught  colluding with Mason411 again to bash the operations of our City.

Why does he do it?  

GA speculates he's looking for some Mason-style gratitude (ka-ching) when he runs for mayor against Dawn Zimmer.   

Work it,  girlfriend!  Shake that money-maker!

Again, the head of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce  places his craven political ambitions ahead of the interests of Hoboken.  See for yourself.

Read the Hobobken Chamber of Commerce Mission Statement: 
The Hoboken Chamber of Commerce was established to advance a positive image of Hoboken as a supportive, clean and safe community to conduct business, live, shop, entertain.
  • Our emphasis is in promoting and advancing the commercial, professional, industrial, and civic interest of the community. The chamber will also lobby local, county, state and federal government to protect the interests of the city.
Now... read Novak's TWEET:

Umm... it gets worse.

Novak's TWEET links to his  own email account, on which he's written a press-release style excoriation of the Zimmer administration.  (ConstantContract is an online social media/ email marketing firm for businesses)

Then... in perfect lockstep, Mason411 delivers Novak's revelations as 'breaking  news'.  Oh, brother. Another Novak-Mason411 political operation.

At the top of his  message,  Novak the  serial tweeter breathlessly proclaims:

"State Finds City of Hoboken in Violation of Public Ethics and Contracting Laws..." 

Click here to read the  actual OSC (Office of State Comptroller) letter he's spun like a top.

Here are the facts.

While  the OCS has asked the City to prepare a detailed Action Plan of issues they identified required clarification in the letter, these were requested because according to the OCS, they were:
  • "unable to confirm"  
  • "couldn't verify" 
whether the procurement process for professional services vendors was compliant with public contracting law.

All the OCS letter is asking is for the City to furnish appropriate documentation going forward to 'prove' compliance. 

Novak's smoking gun is a water pistol.

What's he doing here? In hyperventilating fashion, he delivers stunning misinformation, trashing the City, fomenting division and incivility in public discourse which run counter to the mission statement of the business group he leads, the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce:

See what I mean?

Back to why he's tweeting his head off, disseminating bad information, colluding with smear-merchant Mason411.

You tell me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vintage Kurta

When it comes to civic activism, First Ward City Council challenger Eric Kurta is no Timmy-Come-Lately.

You know, Kurta's not the kind of candidate that mouths off about a particular issue at election time (like blaming the mayor for the governor's pulling Connors School renovations funding) when he's NEVER gone to a single BoE meeting to advocate for the children he's discovered in his Ward.

Like this guy:

Peter Cammarano and supporter Nino Giacchi, 6th Ward Councilman

Oops,  wrong picture!

I hate when I do that.

I meant to post this:

This is the guy who needed a map to find Connors School until he turned it into a campaign issue, who  didn't get  a single fact right on his website,  who didn't attend a single School Board meeting BEFORE  becoming a candidate (and no one's seen him there since).

No, Kurta's no Timmy-Come-Lately to School Board issues.  

GA spotted him back in April 2010 at a BoE meeting- months BEFORE he decided to run for office.

Kurta attending a BoE meeting last April 2010

But in fact, Kurta's been on top of School Board issues for YEARS.  Check out this Jersey Journal article from 1992:

Eric Kurta at the BoE in 1992

What was it Timmy's mom said about "talking the talk"and "walking the walk"?

OK, here's one more vintage Kurta from 1995... 

I'm posting this for the ladies... *wink*

Hoboken's New World Order

 Here is a short quiz to see if you've been paying attention.

1-  Refer to image below to find who said this: "We follow the rules when we want!"

Answer: All of them- except Beth Mason*.

2. Who said "We follow the rules when we want!" on Wednesday night?
Answer: Beth Mason, City Council President didn't, Councilwoman Carol Marsh did mocking the suppression of speech and the public's right to hear their elected representatives debate proposed campaign finance reform.*
*revised per Smarty, Ace-Horse Reporter's comment below

3.Which leader said, "There's no debate." (choose from below)

E. Beth Mason- donated $1,000 to a Washington PAC (the NJDC)  and used her fundraiser Larry Stempler (on the NJDC Board of Directors) to fast-track a smear piece on the NJDC web site, calling a critic an 'anti-Semite', coordinating it with her shadowy network of operatives at for a recurring smear piece and easel presentation at Hoboken City Council, coordinating with allies on the City Council to remove the critic from her municipal board position.  Oh, and she wheels big bucks ($8.2K) to fund vote-buying operations in Hoboken's 4th Ward.  The vote buying has  been referred to NJ Attorney General Paula Dow and an investigation is pending.

Answer: All of them. 

4. Who said "There's no debate"on Wednesday night?
Answer: Beth Mason, City Council President

5.  How long did Beth Mason, City Council President, allow the  citizens of Hoboken to hear the first reading of Councilman  Cunningham's proposed campaign finance reform? (chooses one)

A. 10 minutes
B. 8 minutes
C. 5 minutes
D. 1 minute
E. 0 minutes

Answer:  0 minutes

How'd you do?

MSV has the video clip from Wednesday's City Council meeting to reference all above quotes.

Note to Mason's  Buttery-voiced Political Operative: if you'd like large resolution versions of any of these graphics for your next  City Council  easel song-n-dance routine, contact GA.

(Update, 11 am)
A friend just informed me that Mason's reported me to another Washington PAC- "Friends of Pol Pot" (she's a donor) and a condemnation will be coming shortly-- with The Hudson Reporter and Augie Torres  writing it up for this weekend's edition.  Apoplectic weasel live performance (with easel) at the City Council to follow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ringing the Dumb Bell

Alright, I know some of you think GA's been mean to 4th Ward City Councilman Timothy Occhipinti. 

And to those of you I say: get real.

Have you ever seen a bigger dummy on Hoboken's City Council?  My friends serving on the City Council have told me point-blank that Timmy's NOT a dummy, but I have to ask them: how do YOU know?  Do you listen when he opens his mouth?  Have you read his web site?

The beaut adorning his home page today is called "Connors School Snubbed- Again".

In it Timmy lobs the uber-simplistic 'Zimmer hates your children' grenade at 4th Ward residents, riddling Governor Christie with shrapnel from the blast.


Where to begin?  Let's start with the politics...

If YOUR campaign was under investigation by the NJ State Attorney General (Paula Dow), would YOU be insulting her boss (Governor Christie)?  If you were the governor and got word that this yutz was slamming you, what would stop you from making a phone call and moving those criminal complaints to the top of the pile? What a dunce.

Onto the facts.
read Patch article here

read article here

Do you see what I mean now?  Either Timmy's a liar or an idiot.

I choose 'idiot'.

Now... this is where GA starts to feel like she's clubbing a baby seal.

I contacted a couple of people I know who are 'regulars' at Board of Education meetings. And asked them if they've EVER seen this champion of the 4the Ward public school education at a single BoE meeting.  Here is one email response I got:

Tim never ever, ever has been at a BOE meeting.....
here's a good question- has Tim ever contacted the state or worked with mayor zimmer to try to secure the $ for the renos? He such a big cry baby after the fact (just like the pool last year- long after the opening date was announced he starts crying). He is such an idiot.

That was a typical response.

Now, I'll give YOU a chance  to find the Connors School Champion Timmy Occhipinti,  at this well-attended BoE meeting back in April 2010:

BoE meeting audince- left side of room

Did you find Timmy in the picture?

Neither did I.  But I did find Councilwoman Carol Marsh, Eric Kurta (before he was  a 1st Ward CC candidate) and Tom Greaney (before he was a 2nd Ward CC candidate)... hmmmm...

Let's check the other side of the room:

BoE audience-right side of room

Now, if we are to believe in The Passion of Occhipinti for the Connors School children, wouldn't he be attending School Board meetings BEFORE haranguing about their neglect became a campaign STUNT?  Then he might have been in the audience with actual members of the public like Greaney and Kurta who showed up BEFORE they decided to run for office.

Well, what do you call an elected official (Timmy) who has done nothing for Connors prior to running for office, then lobs grenades at another elected official (Zimmer) who has tried to help Connors in a multitude of ways: by pleading with the governor to return funding for critically-needed renovations, writing to him, meeting with him, cultivating  a relationship with him? 

No excuses, Timmy... this news about the mayor was ALL OVER the print and online media.

Would you call him a liar or an tragically-uniformed dimwit?  A low-wattage bulb?  An elevator that doesn't run to the penthouse?  A dull tool?  A Happy Meal missing it's toy?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pssst... Greaney...


2nd Ward City Councilwoman Beth Mason's self-debasement complete.

Former founder of People For Open Government (POG)is now giving the finger to campaign finance reform. City Council President Mason chucks campaign finance reform from the City Council's agenda.  The self-financed Council-of-No's ATM machine on WHEELS sustains the feeding frenzy on her loot; it got her where she is today.

But who the hell would want to be there?

And it looks like the mainstream media is (finally) catching on:

From Hoboken Patch

Do you recognize THIS person?

From the City's web site

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Be Mine

What do you do when the object(s) of your affections are not won over by your charm, character, personality, the work you do, the expensive stuff you wear and the magnificent home you live in?

Answer: You BUY them stuff with truckloads of your husband's dough!

That's right!

The Hoboken Journal reported this morning that valentine candies were dispensed to 2nd Ward commuters at various locations around town yesterday.   By a certain incumbent City Councilwoman.

Ah, well.  There's just one thing that Sweethearts and Hershey's chocolate and money can't buy....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nino's Got a Challenger

Kudos to the intrepid Ray Smith of the Hoboken Reporter for bagging another City Council candidate prior to his/her 'official' announcement!  Ask Tom Greaney about that.

In this case, the candidate's a 'her': Jen Giattino, of the 6th Ward!  She's been active in the local community, a friend to both 'new' and 'old' Hobokenites and a staunch advocate for improving the quality-of-life for ALL.  She's also a businesswoman and mom of 3 boys.  Yes... 3 of them. ¡Ay, caramba!

Here's what Jen told the HR:

"I feel like I can make an impact in this city," she said in a phone interview on Sunday. "I'm out and about everyday. I can see small things that go wrong and a lot of people talk to me with their issues because I'm very available."

Giattino started the program LOTS (Lunch on Thursdays), in which schools donate sandwiches to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter once a week.

Giattino said she wants "clean parks, clean streets, a place for children to play" and also said "transportation throughout the city" is an important issue.

"I've always been very involved," Giattino said. "I feel like its the right time [to run for council]."

Now, Jen's a newbie to campaigning for political office.  She's fortunate that her opponent,  Nino Giacchi,  is a gentleman with class.  I don't expect him to savage her but others may be deployed to do so.  I  know she's prepared for whatever may come her way and is committed to running a clean campaign.

As a 6th Ward resident (and mom)  with the same quality-of-life interests as Jen, GA will be watching this one closely.

Happy Valentine's Day

Whether or not you've got a special valentine, enjoy the day.

LA (Little Avenger) and I are baking later... we're making a giant heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie I suspect will turn into an amorphous blob in the oven.  To be enjoyed with 'valentine-milk' (a pink concoction).  Yum!

Once again, Happy Valentine's Day to you.

There I Go Again!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Can He Do It?

Can Eric Kurta bury his opponent next May?

Now GA is a big Eric Kurta fan.

I went looking for his campaign web site this morning and found it's a Facebook page.  I'm not sure if he plans to put up a conventional campaign web site.  If not, I would suggest doing so because not everyone Facebooks.

I don't.  

GA is not a fan of online social networking and has to 'borrow' other people's passwords to access various  sites, including Facebook.  Now don't even get me started on Twitter, the lowest rung of the online  networking ladder.   Twitter is for dummies.  At 140 characters max, it's perfect to suit the attention span of the average American idiot.   But I digress...

Judging from the attendance and enthusiasm level at yesterday's Greaney-Cunningham fundraiser hosted by the effervescent Phil Cohen, I'd say the 'force' is with Reform.  But of course, given the other team's  access to Ricky Mason's checkbook via the Beth Mason Prize Patrol, convenient for paying of hundreds of 'campaign workers/mail-in voters' at the 11th hour...  that's the wild card.

The influx of money, money and more money via PACs, if not to hand off directly to campaigns then to line the pockets of 'henchman' in order to satiate their benefactoress' appetite for malice will go on.   Sources  confirmed to GA that the barrage of anti-Zimmer administration smears under a multitude of screen names on have been the handiwork of a single Mason surrogate and webmaster, James Barracato- at his own admission.  Yup.  That's how the 2nd Ward Councilwoman rolls. The message boards have quieted down lately timed with Mason's ascension to the leadership of the City Council, but that can't last long. Not with the  stakes as they are.  Not with the person that she is.

Psssst....   Mason's NJDC hijinks will come back to bite her in the ass.  And she's bringing her friend Larry Stempler with her. Every time her flunkies at Hoboken411 regurgitate that episode bumps it higher on GA's 'to do' list.

To be continued...

(Update, 10:45 am)
A GA reader has emailed me this link: Eric Kurta's soon-to-be launched campaign web site! With this message:
I know he's been working on a site for a while...he's no dummy!
Well I know some big dummies- one in particular- and Kurta's not one, that's for sure.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Does it annoy you when people brag about their kids?   Yeah, me too.  Except for when I'm doing the bragging. 

GA is in fact my personal blog and although I like to blog on local politics, today I'm going to BRAG... or cyber-brag if you will.  LA (Little Avenger) has been accepted into the John Hopkins University Gifted and Talented Program, scoring in the 93rd percentile of those offered the test.  BRAG BRAG BRAG...

The letter above gives some information on the program.

I'm so pleased that LA is jazzed about it as some kids 'decline' the 3 hours of additional schooling per week... in fact, when she gave me the acceptance letter exclaimed, "This is the 35th best day in my life!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Russo's Challenger

Meet Greg Lincoln, our future presi.. oh, I mean 3rd Ward City Councilman.

Go, Greg!


GA's going to get a lot of flack from my more hardcore peeps for this but I think the  "Michael and Lisa" video is brilliant.

Brilliant politics.

Here's the deal, angry peeps and GA detractors alike: I can objectively assess the people whom I find the most objectionable or just simply disagree with. And have no problem listing their positive attributes or achievements, if they've got any.

For example:

Perry Belfiore:  Best hair in Hoboken, shampoos daily with Fructis Garnier Shampoo with Conditioner. 
Timmy Occhipinti: A terrific son (GA can tell by the frequency with which he quotes his mother at City Council meetings)
Beth Mason: Svelte figure.   She's lost a lot of weight and looks attractive.
Terry Castellano: Her Washington Street shop has  great bargains.
 Mike Russo: Devoted husband and soon-to-be-father (see video)
Nino Giacchi: Doesn't overload GA's mailbox with crap every election cycle
Perry Klaussen: Has a cute dog with a cute name
Pol Pot:  Ambitious, voted Boy Most Likely to Rule Despotically
Paul Swibinski:great dancer
Mike Novak: Has a lovely, talented daughter
Sadaam Hussein: Good disciplinarian
Lane Bajardi:  Um... uh... well... ahem...  gee... nothing good there.  Nothing at all.  In fact, the guy's a swollen tick on Hoboken's body politic. Sorry folks!  

Now you understand the importance of recognizing the virtues of your opponents.  Well.. I guess I didn't explain that part...  Look, no one is ALL bad... except for (see above).

If you think your opponents are ALL bad, then just look in the mirror and you'll see a militant partisan.  And while you're there, comb your hair.

Back to the vid...

I have to hand it to Russo.  2 weeks ago he couldn't master an Excel spreadsheet, now he's produced a slick, black and white video with soundtrack, which presents him as somewhere between Mother Theresa and  Mahatma Gandhi.  The setting: his living room next to his visibly-pregnant wife.  Her demeanor is sweet, calm, and she looks at her husband adoringly.  We automatically like her, are transfixed by her belly-rubbing, and if SHE likes HIM... well, he can't be that bad, right?

Just in case the more skeptical viewer wants to reject this as a slick, softball bit of political marketing, the off-screen  interviewer disarms us with one hardball question:

With a name like 'Russo' your opponents always bring up your father, former Mayor Anthony Russo who was convicted on corruption charges some years ago. How do you react when people bring him up and how has it affected your relationship with him?


Russo confronts this most personal and thorny question in his own home in front of his pregnant wife... and I looked over to her right away... the poor thing is pregnant!  How could you, you shrewish interviewer!  You heartless harpie!  Back to Hell with you! 

Immediately, the viewer is manipulated into the human drama of the moment and away from the political one... FABULOUS.  Applause from GA.  Dynamite.  The transference of the political to the personal while milking empathy from your audience...  Russo scores! 

The moment when that bitchy interviewer asks the mean question in front of Mrs. Russo.

Now, this won't work on EVERYONE... certainly not YOU... but it's pretty damn good stuff.   This is not the video that your Uncle Shlomo took at your nephew's bar-mitzvah; this is a highly produced, edited, choregraphed, expensive piece of political rebranding aimed right at you.  Well, not YOU but everyone else BUT you.  If you don't get the sophistication here, you're not paying attention.

And you'd BETTER.

Because the Council of No is co-opting our tools and meeting us on the internet battlefield armed to the teeth.  They're going after the demographic least inclined toward them through a new-and-improved online presence that repackages themselves as... whatever they want YOU to think they are.  In other words, not what they REALLY are.  Get it now?

Check out Terry Castellano's web site.  More conventional fare.  But the woman's Twittering like there's no tomorrow.   You may know what GA thinks about Twitter...  here it is in a succinct rant of mine on a previous post:

There you go.  You know, after that post I got some emails from people saying that the Mayor tweets too. Like I had broken the Eleventh Commandment.  Thou Shalt Not Diss our Tweeting Mayor.

Well, whoopdi-freakin-doo.  I still think Twitter is idiotic.  And that Mayor Zimmer  is terrific. Just like our opponents have good qualities (see above list), our allies can do things we don't like. Like  Twitter.

You rock, Mayor-girlfriend!

And in case you haven't seen the subject video, here it is.

What do you think?