|Here kitty, kitty, kitty...|
Time and time again, GA has written about The Hoboken Reporter's symbiotic relationship with Councilwoman Beth Mason.
While none of us were in the room to witness a deal being struck, here is what we know:
- Since last April 2012, a nearly unbroken block of Mason page-3 ads have appeared in The Hoboken Reporter, up to and including this week. A source at the HR told GA each ad would run $852. Those weekly ad buys from Mason's 501(c)(3) should appear on both her 2012 Federal tax filing Form 990 and her annual income and expense report to the NJ Attorney General for her registered charity, The Mason Civic League, Inc. However, Mason did not file a long-form tax return in 2010 nor in 2011- she filed an e-Postcard return and has never filed a mandatory annual report to the NJ Attorney General required for registered charities, as One Eye reported on GA:
- By filing an initial registration, the Mason Civic League acknowledged that it is covered by the Charities Act (N.J.S.A. 45:17A-18). Which means, after the initial filing, there is an annual filing obligation. Looking at the records for the Mason Civic League, however, the last filing for the League was in 2009, and it curiously lists no income and expenditures, not even a start-up donation by Ricky Mason.As you can see from the statute, there are various enforcement provisions and penalties for failure to comply with the obligation to maintain an updated registration. The Division of Consumer Affairs has primary administrative, investigatory and regulatory authority, and the Attorney General has the authority to act under both the not for profit statute as well as the provisions of the Charities Act in the event that various violations have been committed by a not for profit entity.
|Mason Charity files e-Postcard returns in 2010 and 2011. The Hoboken Reporter declined to follow up.|
- The Hoboken Reporter took a private meeting with Mason operative Barracato and Beth Mason. Last April they were prepared to run with a story alleging Da Horsey had depicted Mason and Russo in a Nazi video, and that GA had written a story about a 'gas chamber'. The 'Nazi video' attributed to Horsey turned out to be done by '411Hoboken', one of a series which included a Nazi parody about Kids First. The 'gas chamber' turned out to be a doctored screenshot containing the electronic signature 'James Barracato.' About 5 minutes of checking YouTube and GA would have destroyed the story Mason and Barracato tried to plant in the newspaper. The Hoboken Reporter chose to go to print with false and defamatory allegations. GA saw it coming and exposed the HR's scandalous behavior- with help from someone on the 'inside'. The blogs killed the HR story, and caused the paper (Al Sullivan) to 'explain' themselves. At the same time, the blogs exposed the unseemly, symbiotic relationship between The Hoboken Reporter and a wealthy, ad-buying politician. WHO broke this scandal? The Reform BLOGS.
- Mason's PAC gave an illegal donation ( $7,117.05) to the Move Forward campaign. GA posted the Move Forward ELEC which caught the attention of the law-abiding members of the City Council. Days later at the City Council, Councilman Bhalla and Corporation Council addressed the PAC's violation of Hoboken's Pay-to-Play ordinance. A GA reader reported: Beth Mason ran out of the meeting in time for the public portion. Maybe she knew what was coming, Ravi said it was really unfortunate that Beth Mason is not here because he would like to discuss her the violation of the local campaign finance ordinance. The City followed up with a letter to Move Forward to RETURN the amount in excess of the $500 contribution limit to the Mason PAC. Local media reported the episode. WHO exposed this illegal donation? The Reform BLOGS.
- GA posted the 2005-2006 BoE audit showing the Old Guard used our district's education budget like a slush fund. It also showed a $25.8K payment to The Hoboken Reporter which the auditor, KPMG, cited "appears excessive". Indeed. That shakes out to about $500/week. WHO reported this past "excessive" BoE payment to The Hoboken Reporter? The Reform BLOGS.
- GA posted the 3-part series on the non-profit, tax-exempt Mason Civic League, Inc. as follows: June 9, 2012: Mason Tax Exempt LeagueJune 11, 2012: Bombshell: Mason Finboy Non-Profit ShamJune 12, 2012: One Eye: Charitable Tax Evasion....and THEN what happened? The next day:June 13, 2012: A Cinncinnati law firm began hammering GAAugust- Ocober 2012: Mason political operatives sue Reform blogs and bloggers: 24 Defendants (2 Named, 10 John Does, 12 Screen Names) in total. Mason political operatives' blogger-lawsuit takes center-stage in BoE election campaign. Mason operatives' obsessive focus on bloggers- not the GOTV effort- loses election.WHO connected the dots on WHO was responsible for planning and execution of the Nazi Truck, WHO made the Nazi Truck video, and how these are ALL linked to a Hoboken Councilwoman? The Reform BLOGS.
Why recount this? Because my friend Sully took this disingenuous swipe at the Hoboken internet community.
Although the internet community in Hoboken ran into some legal issues during 2012, elsewhere in the county, the internet has become a viable political tool...Hoboken's internet community not "viable"? Not exactly.
If we weren't "viable", political operatives wouldn't be trying to shut us down and chill our discourse with a frivolous lawsuit. If we weren't "viable" political operatives wouldn't have put bloggers at the center of a political campaign if the internet community were not telling the stories the Hoboken Reporter won't. Imagine, all that energy and money spent to discredit the Reform blogosphere. The internet community is under attack by political operatives.
And who is at the center of this campaign against Hoboken blogs and bloggers?
Councilwoman Beth Mason. Her operatives are renting Nazi trucks, making Nazi videos, and suing bloggers. The blogs have posted evidence on the connection. The Hoboken Reporter has chosen to ignore the blogs.
And that explains the why The Hoboken Reporter is eager to dismiss the viability of Hoboken's internet community.