|Maurice Fitzgibbons in 2008, a judge for the Sinatra Idol Contest at Sinatra Park. credit: nj.com|
Maurice Fitzgibbons, Hudson County politico, passed away on December 18, 2011. A year ago.
GA didn't know Fitzgibbons well, but heard from many others how influential he was in directing political strategy and messaging for Hoboken's Dark Side. And GA heard that Maurice was brainy, along with having acute political skills.
In my one brief encounter with Maurice, he was charming. I introduced myself this way, "Hi Maurice, I know you hate my guts..." and he laughed, then proceeded to make me feel like he loved my guts- all of them: liver, kidneys, pancreas, lymph nodes, gall bladder, small intestines, etc. etc. etc. Now, that's political talent. In fact, Maurice suggested that he might even have graphic design work for me- and my guts. Again, how smart of him. Because what better way to neutralize a critic than to become his/her boss. And at the same time make me one of them.
And he was polite.
That kind of civility in Hoboken politics- where you can at least talk to the other side was on it's way out with Fitzgibbons' health; when he died, it died with him. .
His death left a vacuum on the Dark Side. There was no one with his skill set left to replace him: common sense, smarts and savvy. There was no one behind-the-scenes to guide the direction of Hoboken's Dark Side officials and their political operatives. Without Maurice, off-the-rails political operatives have run amok in Hoboken beginning an Era of Bully Politics, the facilitator is Beth Mason's checkbook. Her merry band of morons, led by a Weehawken anchovy with an out-sized self-image, use her checkbook to bully opponents silent with lawsuits and Nazi Trucks. An election was lost because this tainted-tuna was allowed to run amok, tapping the checkbook for his vendetta against bloggers. And he ran amok because no one could stop him.
Except Maurice- were he alive.
Fitzgibbons' absence has been evident this past year with the rudderless, numbskull politics of the City Council minority.
Would Maurice have endorsed a politically-toxic lawsuit against Jim Doyle with Hoboken on it's knees in the wake of a hurricane? Doubt it.
Would Maurice have endorsed downplaying the suffering of residents, opposing emergency aid for residents and having local politicians donate to charities "across the state" instead of here at home? Doubt it.
Would Maurice have allowed a Nazi Truck in a School Board election? Never.
Unfortunately without him, the inmates are running the asylum. The inmates at 1200 Washington Street.
There is a smart operative, Tommy Bertoli (aka Handsome Devil) but he's busy in Jersey City with the Fulop campaign. Perhaps a moot point; GA's not sure he'd associate himself professionally with our Hoboken crew. Especially Barracato.
Ah, well. R.I.P. Maurice Fitzgibbons.