Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mason Poll: Lamb on the Menu?

So, did you pick up the phone when Beth Mason called you last night?

I didn't.  SpongeBob's snail ran away from Bikini Bottom and you know, I have my priorities.

But a friend who did sent this:
Just got a research poll.  I was trying to takes notes during the call....the basics: 

1. In State elections to you always vote, sometimes, never... 
2. Describe yourself...liberal, somewhat liberal, conservative... 
3. How are you registered... dem, repub, independent... 
4. How do you feel about the job Chris Christie is doing...strongly approve, somewhat approve, strongly disapprove..... 
5. How do you feel about the job Mayor Dawn Zimmer is doing.... strongly approve, somewhat approve, strongly disapprove.....
6. If election was held today, would you vote for Chris Christie or Barbara Buono.....def, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, undecided, def not.... 
7. If the election was held today would you vote for Dawn Zimmer or Ruben Ramos..... 
8. If a candidate endorsed a candidate for Gov, would that impact your vote for mayor...def, somewhat likely, unlikely, def not.... 
9. Age 
Why does GA call it a Beth Mason poll?

It didn't come from the Zimmer camp. Ramos is barely mentioned. Nothing about his work in the Assembly (which he would have called 'accomplishments').

And who else has the cash to blow on a citywide poll this early- 9 months before the election?  

But more-so, the questions tell you who is behind it.  ka-ching.  

GA believes Mason is looking at 2 things.

One is the strength of support for Ramos in a race against Zimmer, how much of the Mayor's support could be 'up for grabs' and what that might bode for a third candidate.

1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 6 to 7 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using your hands, rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice. Pat the garlic and rosemary evenly all over the surface of the meat. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and place the lamb in a roasting pan. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 hour longer for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone.) Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Dinner's ready!

Yup, Tim Occhipinti. With garlic and rosemary.

That's the scuttlebutt.  You heard it from Al Sullivan, too.

What's clear is that Mason is not backing Ramos- yet.  The signs: (1) Ruben's stingy coverage  buried on the bottom of page 2 in the the Hoboken Reporter (2) zero coverage of  Ramos in Mason cyber-rag, Hoboken411 (3) Al Sullivan turns Timmy into lamb chops and his column goes AWOL from the HR's web site (4) a city-wide poll to test the strength of Ruben, and the softness of  Zimmer....

Can you say these words: Mayor Tim.

Next, this poll makes it absolutely clear, Mason wants to drag national party affiliation and party loyalties into our local non-partisan mayoral race. (Truly bizarre and doomed to fail, but that's why she's not running for her second mayoral term and Zimmer is.)  

If the Councilwoman gets her way, you'll think that Christie is running for mayor of Hoboken, not Zimmer.  Expect a TV ad campaign, and don't be surprised if she buys network airtime with the usual cable. This is all about brushing up her Democratic Party bonafides as she continues to seek a path to Washington D.C.. 

 Of course, she'll let her squadron of bottom-of-the-barrel political consultants run amok,  lowering public discourse with Nazi Trucks and midnight fliers, and all of the stuff that lost the BoE election for the Dark Side.  GA heard from a source how one of them hooked up with Beth Mason during her 2009 mayoral campaign:
Brendel was  an overpaid schlub whose blast list was beyond useless and he was just looking for some new shady coattails to ride as his boy Vas went down the tubes.
That's the father (tree) with his son (apple) at the ZBA as junior filmed me for The Nazi Truck.

left: Mason operatives film GA at the ZBA,  right: Tim Brendel's video plays on the Nazi Truck
But I digress...

GA really wishes Stack would reconsider.  Beth Mason needs a hobby.

One more thing: wouldn't you like to see her Passport?  Do you think we'd find a stamp from Italian Immigration on or around October 3, 2012?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Deceiving Lincoln

For those who weren't in the room (like GA), here's what preceded the vote to re-appoint HHA Counsel Daglian at the February 7, 2013 meeting.

1- HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia tells Commissioner Greg Lincoln that failing to reappoint Daglian would be "criminal".

2- HHA Counsel Daglian responding to Lincoln that he is legally obligated to follow "contractual law' and that Garcia's contract states the Executive Director is the "sole appointing authority" for the Board's Counsel.

3- Commissioner Mello questioning Daglian about Garcia's contract, and on whose interests he was representing as he negotiated it.

4- Lincoln votes "no" on a new Counsel, after being warned otherwise would be a "criminal act."

5- Daglian was re-appointed to the HHA.  The vote was invalidated by Hoboken Corporation Counsel on February 19, 2013.
Ms. Longo responded...due to the conflict created by Mr. Daglian advising the Board in connection with his own contract as well as the failure to follow proper procedures, the reappointment of Daglian was invalid. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mason Off the Rails

If a Councilwoman falls in Hudson County and there's no one there to hear it, did she make a sound?

One thing's clear: State Senator Brian Stack's decision to keep Beth Mason OFF his ticket yanked the pin from her sanity-grenade.   


Stack's rejection has launched a downpour of Mason snail-mail, email, letters to the Editor all sounding like this: ME!  ME! ME!

Everywhere you look- she's there.  In your mailbox, online, in your newspaper.  ME! ME! ME! With lies so brazen you blink and wonder silently: did she really say that?  I DID IT!   IT WAS ME!  ALL ME!  ME!  ME! ME!  

Yep, without missing a beat Mason turned from wooing Brian Stack back to us.  Yippee.   Presuming that Hoboken residents want her junk-mail is pure narcissism.

We don't.

GA got this from a Mason constituent:
In case you haven’t seen this. This could be the best definition of chutzpah I have seen in a long time. What is she smoking? 
Here it is:

The actual text of the Mason newsletter.

"I am calling on the Mayor and her Council allies to drop their lawsuit, reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of their attorney..." 

WOW.  That's NUTS.  

Who wants to want to break the news to  Mason it's her lawsuit and if anyone should reimburse taxpayers it's her.  I mean, since when does a Plaintiff ask a Defendant to drop their lawsuit?

It actually works the other way around.  It's the Plaintiff- the initiator of the complaint, who does the withdrawing.

Sometimes a Defendant will ask a Plaintiff to withdraw a lawsuit. Then it's up to the Plaintiff to avoid the consequences of bringing a frivolous lawsuit to Court by withdrawing it.  If the Plaintiffs are political operatives they may demand "7-figures" from a Defendant to withdraw their frivolous, strikingly disingenuous, politically motivated claim.  Watch out for those!

In any case, Mason's press release demanding Defendants  to withdraw "their" lawsuit is bat-shit crazy.  Ready for more?

Here's her 2/25/13 snail mail where she claims:

"I have been working hard with our Federal and state representatives to ensure Hoboken receives the relief needed to cover from Hurricane Sandy." 


Was that before or after her "business trip to Italy" when she went AWOL from the City Council on the night of the Doyle vote?

Read her letter.

Beth Mason's taking credit for legislation at the federal level.  

Do Senators Menendez and Lautenberg know about this?  I'll bet they don't.  Oh  my goodness... positively bizarre.   

Well... if she's got no interest in legislation at the municipal level,  she might as well pretend she's working  in D.C..

Is it any wonder that Mason's bizarre behavior: this compulsion to be onstage, to fabricate stories involving other elected officials, to issue wacky press releases, that all this scared off Brian Stack?

You take the money, you get the crazy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sully Insults Tim, the Pulls His Column!

Al Sullivan tells it like it is about Timmy, and the HR doesn't publish his column.

This one's too funny!

If GA's skeptics were unconvinced that The Hudson Reporter has been co-opted by Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason how about this?

Al must have been hitting the bong last week, because he drifted off-script and wrote:
"...Mason reportedly would like to see Hoboken Councilman Tim Occhipinti run against Zimmer- talk about sending a lamb into the slaughter."
Ouch!  My friend Al has never actually said it to me but if I had to guess, he thinks Tim is a lightweight, an apparition foisted upon us by the imagination of the late Maurice Fitzgibbons. 

Well, The Hoboken Reporter print edition goes online on Saturday night.  And it did this past Saturday- the whole thing except Sullivan's column.  It's still not there (Monday morning.)

To GA's knowledge, this has never happened.

Do you know what it suggests to me?   Caren Matzner (Editor-in-Chief) or Gene Ritchings (Managing Editor) either missed it, or let it go through on Thursday or Friday or whenever Al turned it in.  When Camp Mason saw it in print, one of them- probably an apoplectic anchovy- shrieked an ultimatum: edit the offending language online or pull the column OR the Brinks Truck rides off into the sunset.

That's my guess.  What else could it be?

Further, how does Ruben Ramos' mayoral announcement  get buried at the bottom of page 2, while a giant pic of Mason and Russo appears on the cover captioned (in bold): "CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS." 

Wow. Does the reporter even know what "conscientious objectors" are?  They are persons who refuse to go to battle based on religious, moral, ethical grounds.

Holy cow.  Matzner's editorial bias is stunning.  Likening the Council Minority's screwing of Hoboken to the nobility of laying down arms.

Mason and Russo refuse to legislate, not fight.  They are legislators, not soldiers.  

Seating Doyle is not going to 'war', it's governing. 

Caren Matzner, get real. 

The Doyle suit STUNT was initiated by Mason, she foisted it upon taxpayers.  She WANTS war, she WANTS to be branded as a "conscientious objector."

The rest of us want GOVERNING.

But that's Mason... who's done nothing but manufacture chaos in Hoboken since she lost 2 mayoral elections.  Well, there's no doubt that she wishes to govern by proxy via Mayor Occhipinti, and Timmy believes the hype about himself.  You don't think he's serious about running?  Check out his petition.

GA loves lamb.  Roasted with fresh rosemary and garlic.

Maybe Mayor Zimmer can serve that at her next inaugural?

For more Occhipinti promises delivered click HERE

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stack's Brilliant Move

Governor Christie with Mayor Brian Stack in Union City at the opening of the Colin Powell Elementary School on February 7, 2013.  Beth Mason showed up at the event but was not photographed by the press. credit: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal

So my friend, Nasty Cleopatra (Queen of the Vile), called me yesterday to discuss Al Sullivan's column.
"Fucking brilliant!  Stack's a fucking genius!"
GA had no idea what he was talking about.
"That fabulous fuck made Beth Mason an offer she could refuse!"
Nasty-C read me this:
"Stack's problems filling his ticket

Nearly everybody accepts the fact that any Assembly candidate who runs on the ticket of state Senator and Union City mayor Brian Stack will get swept into office without a problem.  So why doesn't he seem to be able to get anyone to run with him? ...rumors say the Stacks offer to Hoboken council member Beth Mason has been rebuffed.  Some claim Stack has made too many requirements of his candidates, including open support for the reelection of Republican Gov. Christopher Christie.  Other reports suggest Stack wants to control his candidates too much for any of the more prominent figures to tolerate..."
"Endorse the whale! Not when she's got her eyeballs on Frank Lautenberg's seat!  Hell-to-the-no, GA!"
Senator Lautenberg?  He'll be retiring in January 2015, at the age of 91.  That's The Plan?  GA had heard that both Masons believed the Mrs. would climb to the U.S. Senate some day. 
"Oh honey, if she endorses Christie its back with them to the trailer park. There's no room in that double-wide for a fat man."
Hmmm... Nasty-C's got a point. Nastily said, of course.

It is possible that Stack made his offer unpalatable by insisting that Beth Mason endorse Republican Governor Chris Christie.  This way, he gets rid of Hoboken's most notorious whack-job amicably, with a face-saving exit that doesn't cut off  his access to the Brinks Truck while shoring up her Democratic Party bona fides.

But GA doesn't believe it for a minute.  Here's why.

On Thursday, February 7, 2013 Mason showed up the Stack-Christie event  in Union City ostensibly to 'make nice' with the Governor, a Stack ally.  It was a symbolic overture, a kiss-up, if you will.  There was no reason to make that gesture, to meet the Governor on his visit, other than to show Stack that Mason was willing to cooperate, suck it up and be part of the 'coalition'. So there she was- but it appears from the photos that she was NOT allowed a seat on stage with the Governor.

Another contender for Assembly, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, did not show up in Union City on February 7.  But then GA hears that Bhalla knows Christie personally and the two have a cordial and respectful relationship.  Further, Bhalla never bought cable tv ad time to savage Christie, accuse him of "backroom deals" and sweetheart deals to developer contributors.  Yikes.

So here's what I think.

The 'Mason-rebuffed-Stack' narrative is spin.  It's the narrative she wants out there.   This is my guess:
  1. Mason wanted the Assembly seat badly.  She needs to advance her name state-wide. She needs a springboard at the state level to higher office. 
  2. Stack did poison the deal- if one was even offered.  Maybe he nixed her privately but agreed to let her spin it.  If he did offer the seat, the conditions were tighter than a straitjacket.
  3. Mason was behind the 'Mason rebuffed Stack because of Christie' rumor via surrogates. Mason 'owns' the content in HR, and nothing gets to print that  her operatives didn't plant or that wasn't vetted with her people.   Mason wants the public to think she had the seat in the bag.  She doesn't want the truth- that she's 'damaged goods' in Hudson County- out there.
  4. It is Sunday morning and the Hoboken Reporter is online- except for Al Sullivan's latest column. Where is it?  GA's never seen that happen.
  5. Crossing party lines for an endorsement or simple praise - is not the Kiss of Death with your own party machine. A famous example, former NYC Mayor Giuliani.  Daily Politics Blog- Dec 3, 2012: 
America’s Mayor reached across party lines to praise Gov. Cuomo, predicting that his response to superstorm Sandy could help him if he seeks the White House in 2016.

Giuliani praised Cuomo for taking “proactive” measures like closing the mass transit system a day before Sandy made landfall, and then for being visible, and visiting communities, afterward.

He also extolled Cuomo for “staying on top” of utilities, such as Con Edison.

This was not the first time Giuliani praised a Cuomo. The former mayor roiled Republicans in 1994, when he endorsed the reelection of Cuomo’s father, three-term Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo, over GOPer George Pataki

So, while GA's commentary is not as spicy, I would agree with Nasty-C: that Stack's move (whatever it was) to avoid that train wreck was brilliant.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mindak, Councilman Tim & NJ Transit (Oh, Boy)

Uh-oh.  Didn't I warn you about me yesterday, Joe?

This is exactly what GA tried to tell you.  Yesterday's innocent event to beautify the gateway to our city is today's suck-up to an Occhipinti campaign donor who needs City Council buy-in to develop a parcel of land.   

Joe honey, do you really think anyone at NJ Transit gives a hoot about your magazine?    

This is what it's about:

NJ Transit presented their proposal to the City Council on September 5, 2012-  credit: The Jersey Journal

And this, too:

NJ Transit Guy gives $2,000 to 2010 Occhipinti campaign

And (have you gotten one of these yet?)...

NJ Transit Guy gives $1,000 to 2011 Occhipinti campaign

As you can see from the above rendering, NJ Transit's vision for this development (higher) is at odds with the City's (lower).

And if you win in November, you will be the City, you will be the redevelopment agency for this land.

Do you think it's a good idea for Mindak the Political Candidate to have mixers with NJ Transit reps and a City Council member who takes large contributions from them? 
Now, GA's heard you're a good guy, so I'll trust some of this is the learning curve of a private citizen transitioning to a public, political candidate.   But as I wrote yesterday, you will be judged by those whose company you keep. So you need t get up to speed on who your new pals are and the lens through which you will be perceived.

All I can say is, this doesn't smell good. P-U.

Which, by the way, never stopped the shameless Tim Occhipinti, whose 2010 campaign is still under investigation at the NJ Attorney General's office for voter fraud. (Did you know that Tim had 575 paid campaign workers in an election where only 2076 ballots were cast, with a 79/80 ration of $40 paid workers submitting VBMs?)

So, let's imagine a voter fraud indictment comes down from the NJ AG's Office in a month, and there you are, a City Council candidate, holding an event with Tim Occhipinti and NJ Transit- an Occhipinti campaign donor... that's the kind of thing you need to think about.

Personally, I suspect you're being used by some very scummy people, who are trying to market themselves to a shiny, new audience;  you're their Trojan horse.  And once they breech the fortresses of Maxwell Place, the Shipyard and so on, let the looting and pillaging begin!  Trust me, these people will own you.  So please do your homework about your new friends.

GA and MSV are not The Devil.  The devils are The Devil.  We just keep it real.

Do you have any idea what you've gotten yourself into? 

Representatives from NJ Transit and Wallace Roberts & Todd, the architectural firm hired by the city to plan the development, presented their separate visions for the 52-acre parcel of land owned by NJ Transit to the City Council last night.

The city, which is the redevelopment agency for the land, has been pushing for a plan to help keep the character of Hoboken intact. A year after the city deemed the land an area in need of redevelopment in 2007, NJ Transit released a plan for 9.2 million square feet of development, including 50-story and 70-story buildings along Observer Highway.

Last night, both parties presented their plans, which after “a lot of collaboration,” have become more similar.

“New Jersey Transit’s plan is now more reflective about what the citizens of Hoboken have demanded,” said Hoboken Councilman David Mello.

While both sides have made strides in coming closer to a mutual agreement, there is still a long way to go before an agreement is reached.

In the NJ Transit plan presented last night, there would be 3 million square feet of development, 800,000 square feet more than the city’s plan.

The largest discrepancy between the two plans is the height of residential buildings that would be placed on the west end of Observer Highway.

NJ Transit hopes to build a 27-story complex there, 15 stories higher than the city has proposed.

There is also a large disagreement over how tall a commercial building located on the eastern portion of Observer Highway closest to the terminal should be.

In its plan, NJ Transit proposed a 27-story building, while the city countered with a 19-story building.

By the way, GA may submit a mural entry in your NJ Transit joint venture.  For the record, I've never taken a penny from NJ Transit.

Has NJ Transit given your ticket a contribution?

Friday, February 22, 2013

MSV: 2 Million Served

Ruben Moves Forward

Ramos' first mailer: "Moving New Jersey Forward"
Congratulations, Hoboken mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos!   

GA wishes you the best as you launch your clean and positive campaign, one which does not diminish your stature as a NJ State Assemblyman and your future political viability. Friends tell me you're a nice fellow,  some have even praised your work in the Assembly.

So GA thanks you for your efforts for Hoboken at the state level.  Really.

As an experienced politician, you know there is life after a campaign, and you have opportunities ahead of you. 

So when Beth Mason approaches you with an in-kind Nazi Truck or mailer with Zimmer's head on a goat, GA hopes you choose the high road.  Inevitably, her pet gorilla, tainted sardine and camera-ho will appear at your door. 
Them: Knock, knock

You: Who's there?

Them: It's us!

You:  Who's "us"?

Them:  The Ape, the Anchovy and Camera-Ho.  We're here to destroy your campaign. We've got a whopping 'Friends of Beth Mason' check that violates Hoboken's Pay-to-Play ordinance.  We've got a Nazi Truck.  We've got 10,000 midnight fliers showing Zimmer eating a corn cob.  We've got a pair of blogging-psychotics who'll call the Mayor by the diminutive 'Dawn'- under 50 screen names.  We've got Hoboken411 to make shit up.   Best of all, we GUARANTY to repulse the public, not gain you one (unpaid) VBM,  and cause your reputation to implode. Can you let us in?  
Don't do it, Ruben!

Rebuffing the Toxic Trio who engineered the Third Reich Roadshow that lost the BoE race (it was condemned by Hoboken's rabbis and galvanized Reform) will make this a kinder, gentler campaign. Right from the get-go.  Ruben, you are above other Hudson County weak-kneed, gutless politicians who roll over like puppies at the scent of the crazy-lady's cash.  Yup, she's got other Hudson County politicians wrapped like Christmas packages, begging to ride in her Brinks Truck.  

You're better than them.

And remember: you take the cash, you get the crazy.  

GA can see from your mailer that you will be running on issues.  Great!  Frankly, I think the public is sick of brain-dead, nasty campaigning.  Plus, you've got actual accomplishments, so you don't have to lie like a rug.

This looks like it's going to be an issues-oriented campaign.


As for your slate, GA thinks you've made interesting choices.

There's HHA Commissioner Eduardo Gonzales, also a Trustee of Elysian Charter School.   The HHA has drawn the public's attention recently over the Executive Director's contract, his push to reappoint the HHA attorney (which triggered Hoboken's Corporation Council to invalidate his appointment) and the resistance to bringing in a new auditor.  There's more, but for now the candidacy of Gonzales will bring more attention to the HHA, to his performance on the Board, and his alliance with the man under fire, Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

Then there's Laura Miani, who's on the Board of Stevens Cooperative School. I don't know anything about Ms. Miani, but GA is glad to see a woman on the slate.  You go, girl!  I did a quick Google and see she was on Peter Cammarano's Transition team and a $1,000 donor to the Cammarano campaign.   Well, good luck to Miani on her foray into elected office. 

Lastly, and a name that's caused a lot of buzz, is the well-known, liked and respected h-Mag entrepreneur Joe Mindak.   I was told Mindak's got a contract with the City of Hoboken for it's web site, but no worries.   That's not a problem- unless he wins, then he's got to terminate the contract or divest himself of any interest in it.

So what I am about to say has nothing to do with him personally- I don't know him.  Given who he is in Hoboken- a prominent businessman who makes his living selling ad space to non-partisan, apolitical advertisers, GA believes that Mindak's entry into Hoboken's bloody, divisive, nasty political arena is a colossal mistake.


There is no immunity for anyone against what Mike Russo called a 'contact sport'.  You are no longer a private citizen to be loved and admired by all.  You are a politician. A partisan.  Running against a popular Mayor.  By that alone, you've alienated a large sector of the population before you open your mouth. You are a public figure and subject to having the inner corners of your life scrutinized and if you see them in print or online, that's how it goes.  Understand the First Amendment protections for political discourse are strong for those whom you seek to govern. Us. That's what you give up when you run for political office.  

And fair or not, it will affect how some view you and by association- fair or  not- your magazine. GA assumes you've done the calculations about how this might affect your business and assessed that  you'll be fine.  But remember, unlike being the leader of your company, you've surrendered your autonomy to others, and will be judged by those whose company you keep.  Which you have no control of.

Some years ago, an acquaintance asked me whether or not he should run for office in his town. I asked him, "Is there anything in any corner of your life that you wouldn't want other people to read in the newspaper?"  He laughed it off and ran.  Well... there was and they did.  And he lost.

So, best wishes to Joe Mindak, Laura Miani, Eduardo Gonzales and Ruben Ramos.  Cheers!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mason in Italy or on Business?


The Oct. 3rd City Council meeting was the first after Carol Marsh's seat was vacated, when the Jim Doyle appointment was to be voted on.  Oops!   No Mason.   

Yup, she was a no-show, hadn't apprised the Council in advance of her absence, didn't call in.  She simply went AWOL.  Well, the vote for the Doyle appointment went forward without her: 4-YES, 2-NO, 1-ABSTAINED, then the Mayor cast the 5th vote.  

And you know the rest: $16,272.27of your tax money LATER and... 

Invoices to the City of Hoboken for defending Beth Mason's frivolous litigation to keep Jim Doyle off the City Council

...Hoboken's Energizer Bunny of Litigation, Beth Mason, is still going strong!  
Q: What's that giant sucking sound?  
A: Beth Mason's frivolous lawsuit draining your wallet.
Yup, she's dragged us BACK to court, in spite of these words from Hudson County Superior Court Judge Bariso to Mason, Russo, Occhipinti and Castellano:
This Court cannot countenance the notion that the Municipal Vacancy Law was intended to encourage gamesmanshipCouncil members should not be permitted to undermine the deliberative process ..
Judge Bariso's sure got their number.

So when did the "gamesmanship" start?  On October 3, 2012 the night Mason went AWOL for the Doyle vote.  That night she set the table for the lawsuit, days later she paid the tab.

And guess what?

Mason had NEVER offered an explanation for her October 3rd disappearance, leaving Terry  Castellano to pull one out of her... um, briefcase last December.

Well, a funny thing happened at the City Council last night... Beth Mason FINALLY told us what she was doing on October 3, 2012 and MSV has the video.

Problem: Mason's excuse doesn't 'match' Castellano's.  More trouble: a THIRD party has another explanation for where Mason was on October 3rd, 2012!  So again, here's the question followed by 3 different answers:

Where in the world was Beth Mason on the night of the Doyle vote?

Answer #1: "She was in Italy!"- Castellano, Dec 19, 2012

Answer #2: "I was traveling for business!"- Beth Mason, Feb 20, 2013

Business?  Here's what I know about her last (and still active)"business."

Back in 2011 after Mason took a hatchet to Tom Greaney, mining his past business misfortunes then splattering them on Hoboken411, GA and super-sleuth One Eye decided to check out her past. 

Do you like fiction?  Read it much?  Try Beth Mason's resume:

On the left , note the 1993-2005 entry as 'President, Founder' of  'Newton Lau Leonard and Locke' (NLLL).

On the right, is the State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury Charter for NLLL.  Guess what?  It wasn't a registered business until 2010.

Mason's resume entry for Newton Lau Leonard & Locke 1993-2005 claims the following:
Created a corporate transformation practice that helps clients acquire a sustainable competitive advantage and increase ROI through an understanding of a customer-directed business process, called Marketecture, that incorporates Quality, Organizational Change, Human Resources and Integrated Marketing. Engagements included working with senior executives for traditional and dotcom businesses in strategic planning, corporate repositioning, and developing business models and operational designs to meet corporate objectives. 

Aided businesses in creating programs for client retention, business development, succession planning, and acquisitions. Helped clients find necessary resources and served as a team leader to integrate various external resources to insure a quality and timely delivery of designated deliverables. 

Worked with corporate and external law firms to establish legal and financial parameters and contracts to improve profitability and project definition for retention and project-based businesses. 

Involved in a wide-range of industry sectors such as financial, retail, travel, b-to-b, services, dotcom for public, non-profit and private businesses. Clients included: Mastercard, AT&T, K2 Design, NCR, Lexis-Nexis,, MCI (Corporate and Mass Markets), Frederick Doner New Media, Knight-Ridder’s Real Cities(.com), Auction Universe, Designer, Frankfurt Balkind Partners, Pitney Bowes, Gartner Group, CareerPath,com, Getty Center, Thomson Health, Knight Ridder, SPX, Globesurfer (.com), Think New Ideas, Oleary Clarke & Partners, Grace & Rothschild Advertising and Wall Street Investor Services. 

Impressive!  Wow, that's quite a roster of clients.

One Eye decided to run a Dun & Bradstreet Business report on NLLL to see their history of purchases (office supplies, presentation materials, equipment, furnishings), payments to vendors, consultants, business travel, business entertainment, and so on.


Did those Fortune 500 Clients pay her in kisses?  Here is what One Eye said about NLLL:
It has all the earmarks of someone's "shell" or "front" company, i.e. a business in name only that is used to funnel expenses and make payments, receive payments that they don’t want associated with their name directly.
More: Mason gave NLLL's address as 10 Stuyvesant Avenue in Lyndhurst, NJ.  That's the home of her Cratos Group.   Cratos was formed in March 2009, it's President is Adam Alonso, a Mason sidekick.  A visitor to the building has told GA that NLLL is not listed on the vestibule directory.

Mason's NLLL registered here

Oh yes, this was a lie, too:
Beth Mason, "the Student Body President of the Virginia Commonwealth University" (VCU) "represented 35,000 students
The aggregate VCU student body in 1983-1984 was 14,215 not 35,000. 

Now,  since Mason claims she was "traveling on  business" instead of attending City business, GA supposes this 'business' would be listed on her Financial Disclosure form at the City Clerk's Office.

OPRA, anyone?

Answer #3: "I saw her in Hoboken.  She was being driven in a car."- Witness who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by checkbook-bully Beth Mason who has been known to sue critics and bloggers via political operative proxies.

So WHO do you believe?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Double Vision 20/20

left: Vision 20/20 BEFORE Camporeale stepped down  right: Vision 20/20 AFTER Camporeale stepped down and Reform took control of the HHA Board

Folks, there is no doubt in GA's mind that the histrionics we saw at the City Council, online and at the HHA over Marianne Camporeale's removal had everything to do with the pot of gold over the rainbow: the razing and redevelopment of the HHA called Vision 20/20.

Camporeale's removal meant the ascendance of Reform at the HHA and all kinds of sunlight for the secretive and all-powerful Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.  In order to keep out prying eyes, the ED's last defense was to protect his secrets within a fortress: his lawyer, his auditor and a staged People's-rebellion against the Starbucks-sipping, bicycle-riding interlopers of Reform.

Zimmer Puppet!  Benedict Arnold! Big Giant Meanie!

All of the fuss- including hiding the ED's contract, resisting a new auditor, ramming through the re-appointment of attorney Daglian (now invalidated by Corp Counsel) and the t-shirt rebellion have aroused intense interest- even suspicion- that all this to keep sunlight out of the HHA must mean something's amiss.  

Well, whatever's amiss will be revealed, because GA believes it's only a matter of time until HUD gets involved.  And I believe it was the wrangling over the attorney;  the conflict of interest in representing the Board over his own reappointment and which triggered Hoboken's Corporation Counsel to invalidate it- that is going to raise red flags at HUD.  In my opinion.

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

And the all-you-can eat Vision 20/20 smorgasbord planned by Chef Carmelo appears to be on hold until matters are straightened out:  appointing a new attorney, new auditor, a Deputy Director,  Board control of meetings, etc.

Well, yesterday was a busy day here at GA.  Let's recap:

As for the elevator contractor, GA got this from a lawyer-friend: If I was their bank, I would be exceptionally interested in that document, and unless they could show they had incorporated elsewhere, it would immediately serve as grounds for shutting down their accounts. Well, whatever the case may be, the elevator contract was awarded in 2010- the same year that $385K of federal money was paid for ... ?  Audit needed.
  •  On October 20, 2012, Executive Director Garcia announced that  HHA's Fire Protection contract was "being awarded to Total Fire Safety" (meeting transcript- page 49) On February 14, 2013- 4 months later- Hoboken Fire Department Chief Blohm presented the results of his department's recent inspection: abysmal safety violations, life threatening conditions-- SIX buildings with NO fire suppression, non-working electric panels, non-working generators among others.  If the contract was awarded in October, how were such egregious, hazardous safety conditions allowed to languish for months?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Corp Counsel: Daglian Reappointment Invalid


The Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners' Feb. 7 vote to reappoint Charles Daglian as general counsel has been invalidated based on legal advice provided by the City's Corporation Counsel.

HHA Chairman Jake Stuiver referred the matter to City of Hoboken Corporation Counsel Mellissa Longo on Feb. 11, due to his concerns that (1) Mr. Daglian's representation of the Board in connection with his own contract may have been improper, and (2) that Mr. Daglian permitted a vote to reconsider the initial rejection of Mr. Daglian to be taken in violation of proper procedures. Under New Jersey Local Housing and Redevelopment Law (NJSA 40A:12A-22), housing authority boards are permitted to seek legal guidance from the City's Corporation Counsel: “For such legal services as may be required, a redevelopment agency or housing authority may call upon the chief law officers of the municipality or county.” Since the issues here involved the holdover board attorney's own potential conflict, it was necessary to obtain the legal opinion from Corporation Counsel as a nonconflicted attorney in accordance with state law.

Ms. Longo responded to the Chairman's inquiry on Feb. 13, stating that due to the conflict created by Mr. Daglian advising the Board in connection with his own contract as well as the failure to follow proper procedures, the reappointment of Daglian was invalid. Ms. Longo advised that Mr. Daglian should not advise the Board in connection with the legal contract and should recuse himself as counsel to the Board during any future consideration of the contract.

 “Ms. Longo's legal opinion confirms our suspicions that many aspects of the Feb. 7 Special Meeting did not pass the smell test, and that those Commissioners who have been questioning the soundness, validity and objectivity of Mr. Daglian's advice have been on the right track,” said Chairman Stuiver. “I thank Ms. Longo for taking the time to address this matter amid her numerous other obligations, and look forward to finding an unconflicted special counsel to advise the Board in what will hopefully be a resolution to the longstanding debate over who can serve the Board as a trustworthy general counsel going forward.”

HHA Commissioner Greg Lincoln, who voted for Mr. Daglian at the Feb. 7 Special Meeting, said he regrets that vote in light of the conflicts and impropriety of Mr. Daglian's conduct, and that he would not vote for him again.

”I voted to appoint Mr. Daglian despite serious reservations.,” said Commissioner Lincoln. “I was concerned about the fact that there was a clear conflict of interest, but I assumed that as an officer of the court, he would have recused himself if it was appropriate. The questionable legal advice he provided the board left me feeling I had little flexibility or choice. In essence, he advised the board that we were legally required by the current procurement policy to reappoint him as legal counsel, which is patently false. “

 Commissioner Lincoln added: “Additionally, Director Garcia wrongfully asserted that failing to reappoint Mr. Daglian might even be a criminal act. I now understand that not to be the case, and am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism and integrity that was displayed at the special meeting. I plan to support an effort to amend the HHA procurement policy as soon as possible.”

One Eye: HHA Contractor's NJ Corporate Status Revoked

GA's previous post was barely up when my monocular super-sleuth, One Eye (the result of a run-in with a rhinoceros horn) sent me an email with this subject line: They make this shit too easy. 

My goodness, that eyeball's got a foul mouth.  

Here is what he sent:  following report from the NJ Secretary of State's Business Gateway, dated 2/19/13 (today), showing that the HHA's elevator contractor's NJ corporate status was revoked in 2007. 

Their reinstatement process has been"pending" since 2009.

Doesn't the HHA vet bidders to make sure they are good standing with the state?   Does this company have insurance?   The Executive Director paid them $385K for flooring in 10 elevator cabs and what else?

Curious HHA Meeting Minutes

Holy cow.  GA perused through the HHA's October 20, 2012 Meeting Minutes and here are a few observations based on what transpired at last weeks' HHA meeting.


HHA Meeting Minutes- October 20, 2012

At the October 2012 meeting, HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia announced "we are awarding the contract for fire alarm panel and maintenance services to Total Fire Safety (TFS) to maintain al of our fire alarm panels, controllers and lines." 

HHA's Fire Protection contractor
In late January/early February 2013 Hoboken Fire Department's Chief Blohm found SIX buildings with NO fire suppression, no working fire panels, no generators...

Chief Blohm found these egregious safety violations 4 MONTHS after Garcia announced the Fire Protection contract was being awarded to TFS.

How does the Executive Director explain this?  When did the TFS contract start?  Why were SIX building left with no fire protection?  Did TFS report any of these problems to the Executive Director?  Why didn't the ED know the generators weren't operational?   What happened to the grant the HHA received after Hurricane Irene to raise the generators?

As for the political stunts at the last meeting-  had an unprotected buildings gone up in flames, maybe Beth Mason would have put out the fire with valentine chocolates or 'Jake's a Meanie t-shirts?  Stunning.

GA is wondering, if the contract was awarded in October why was the fire protection  non-operable in SIX buildings, why no working fire panels- and  no working generators 120 days later?


At the February 14, 2013 meeting, the Executive Director said blogs were posting "misinformation" about the $385K contract.  (He claimed we'd posted this contract was for "one" elevator- not true, take a look)  He then outlined a scope of work for the $385K- it was for 10 elevator cabs:  floor replacement in AMPS 3, Fox Hills, Adams Gardens, Monroe Gardens, Harrison CCG, 220 Adams AND other work in AMPS 1 & 2 demo and installation of the cab walls, the controllers and the wiring.

Okay...  well, two things.  First, the HHA reported to HUD in 2011 that the $385K in funding  for the "replacement of elevator cab floors" was "expended" and the status of work "complete."  It doesn't say when the work was performed- probably in 2010. 

If controllers and wiring, etc. were part of the $385K flooring contract "complete" and 100% paid for in 2010 or 2011, why is Robert Merlo, the President of GS Elevators telling the HHA on October 20, 2012 about vintage, out-dated controllers in senior buildings which "are going to need to be addressed" (future) and an ongoing controller replacement in one car at 221 Jackson and the need to "go out for bid" on the second car.

The controller work is either incomplete presently or hasn't gone to bid yet. There is no indication that this was part of the $385K- unless invoices can be produced which tell otherwise.

HHA Meeting Minutes- October 20, 2012

And the demo and replacement of elevator walls the Executive Director discussed-there is no indication that was part of the $385K contract- unless invoices can be produced.  Here Merlo talks about future demo and wall replacement to "start... in the next couple of years."

HHA Meeting Minutes- October 20, 2012
And more work in the future- changing 'spring closures' to 'spirators' at somewhere between $8-$12K per building ("Marshall, Harrison, Jackson").


GA wonders why the current and future elevator work was presented in the discussion of what was covered under the completed $385K contract, along with the directive not to pay attention to the "misinformation" on the blogs.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mason at the HHA

  • Chocolate valentines from Beth Mason distributed at an HHA meeting?
  • Mason' political operatives, Barry (dad) and Tim (son) Brendel, videotaping at the HHA?
  • Mason political operative and elected official, Democratic Committeeman Matt Calicchio blocking a member of the public's videocamera?
  • Mason operative Calicchio distributing t-shirts with a puppet effigy of Chairman Stuiver and calling him "Benedict Arnold"

What's this all about?

It's all speculation, but we all know this: Mason wants the slot on Stack's ticket- the one vacated by Ruben Ramos.

GA now believes she's going to get it. The scuttlebutt is that Stack will take a chance on the crazy in exchange for the checkbook.  He knows about her antics and her misfit-Mafia, but her toxicity in Hoboken doesn't matter to Union City or Jersey City voters.  If she's with Stack, she's IN.

This could all change tomorrow.  But if it doesn't, Mason's going to Trenton.

Stack would most likely pick her staff, but she can bankroll 'consultants'- the kind that make Nazi Truck videos and block members of the public's cameras.

So having lost Reform completely, buttering up the HHA constituency with valentine chocolates in advance of November (expect chocolate bunnies at Easter time) makes sense.

But GA thinks there's more to Mason and her army of sloths infiltrating the HHA.  And its not to help Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.  None of this is about Carmelo.

It's all about Jake.

The vendetta-driven Mason and her operatives have been seething over Stuiver since he left their camp back in 2009 and criticized Mason in letters to the Hoboken Reporter.

If you recall, Mason tried to smear him in April 2011 when it was disclosed that she had agreed to a meeting with FBI Informant Solomon Dwek.  Stuiver had accompanied Mason to the meeting with Dwek, at her request.  Once this became public- after the FBI surveillance tape of Mike Russo agreeing to a $5,000 bribe was released- Mason operatives were dispatched to dirty up Stuiver and tie him to Dwek.  Mason's attack-dog has run a number of hits on Stuiver-  like this:

(Don't you love how Hoboken's #1 CHECKBOOK BULLY who routinely savages and/or SUEs members of the Zimmer administration, Reformers (like Jake) and Reform bloggers dispatches proxies to call  them "bullies"?)

Well, GA can tell you that the public "Benedict Arnold" campaign against Stuiver that Mason is staffing has a very personal dimension.

Yup, this is a vendetta against Stuiver that dates back to his leaving her camp and up to the present.

GA knows things which I'm unable to discuss, but trust me- Mason is showing her rage at Stuiver with valentines and t-shirts.

Calling him"Benedict Arnold" is a message to him- from her. At some point you'll understand what it's about. 

But since Mason can't get out of her own way, there'll be some kind of escalation sooner than that. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The $38.5K Elevator

Pardon GA for being stuck on the number $38,500.   I can't help it.

Because that's what the HHA paid (average) per elevator for undefined renovations in 2010. The average residential elevator is about 45 square feet.

That's also about the cost to gut and renovate my flood-damaged first floor, furnish and install new kitchen cabinets and appliances, remediate mold-  for 450 square feet. 
Day 4-  floors gone, walking on plywood.
So to me at least, $38.5K for one elevator is astonishing.  But what do I know about elevators?

Aren't you curious, though?

GA says undefined renovations because the HHA reported it to HUD as "replacement of elevator cab floors", but that's not what Executive Director Carmelo Garcia described at the Feb. 14, 2013 meeting.  He said the $385K flooring contract included new walls, controllers and wiring for 10 elevator cabs.  That sounds like a lot of work. 

So the Executive Director's statements should be easy to substantiate.  

That kind of mechanical and electrical work to an elevator would require inspection- from the vendor at least.  (Flooring changes most likely wouldn't, unless going from a lightweight finish to stone.) And of course there is a contract (not the RFP) awarded to the winning bidder, plus invoices, change orders, etc.

GA is sure there's an explanation for this expense. And contracts, inspection reports, invoices, etc. will tell the story.

Blowing smoke at Chairman Stuiver won't. Nor at blogs.

Remember, attacking bloggers with swastikas and lawsuits failed miserably for the Old Guard just a few short months ago.

Effigies of Chairman Stuiver as a puppet and cheering the announcement of his family emergency shows exactly how debased opponents of Reform have become.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Elevator Talk


Remember the $385K line item for new elevator flooring at the HHA? To be exact, the one on page 3 of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Annual Performance Report 2011?

If GA had a dollar for each time I've posted this page 3, I'd be $385K richer.

The line item shows that the HHA spent $385K for "replacement of elevator cab floors" "HHA-Wide."  

Then why did HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia tell the public a whopper, that blogs were saying this $385K contract was for ONE elevator?


Truth be told, prior to last week's meeting, GA could only speculate that "HHA-Wide" might mean 20 or more elevators.   Nope, the ED told us himself how many elevators were covered in this line item:

That's right- the $385K contract paid for work to 10 elevator cabs.   
That's $38.5K per cab.


So what was actually done for $38.5K per cab?
  • Garcia cited floor replacement in AMPS 3, Fox Hills, Adams Gardens, Monroe Gardens, Harrison CCG, 220 Adams AND other work in AMPS 1 & 2:demo and installation of the cab walls, the controllers and the wiring. (He holds what he says is a proposal for this work  that was approved to go out for bid on March 5, 2010.)
The only way to know what was done is to see the contracts and invoices.  Then we'll know WHO got the contracts and what was billed. 


The Executive Director is trying too hard to discredit the blogs to an audience that may or may not read them. It's all part of the staging; anyone who asks the 'wrong' questions is a 'Benedict' or a 'Zimmer puppet' or is 'spreading misinformation'.

Sorry, fella.

This is public money and we all have a right to know how our money is being spent and if it's all going where it should be. So when questions are treated like attacks, when contracts are hidden, when the ED fights tooth and nail against hiring a new lawyer and auditor (keeping the lawyer who wrote his cushy contract) and we just learned of abysmal fire inspection results (6 buildings with NO Fire suppression)... these raise questions.

The right questions.

An observation: Executive Director Garcia said the cab flooring was changed to vinyl then caulked so "if anyone urinates" the pee doesn't seep into the sub-floor.  So the pee belongs inside the elevator?   

How about a ZERO TOLERANCE 'No-Peeing' rule instead of retrofitting elevators with rubber?  Maybe it's me, but there is something inherently wrong with adapting an elevator so it can be urinated in. It's a passive accommodation of a gross and unsanitary act in a building that houses families.  Simply unacceptable.

The HHA should be clean, sanitary and safe for the people who live there.  With working generators and buildings that pass fire inspections. 

Thrift Shop Feat (*Explicit Lyrics)

Hey girlfriend, when are we going to pop some tags? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

HHA Bombshell: "6 Buildings Without Fire Suppression"

Fire at 300 Washington Street

Let's put aside the 'Jake is a Meanie' theater at the HHA meeting last night- as told to GA by a witness, residents wore protest t-shirts:
The t shirts were white - the front said "Benedict Jake" Zimmer Puppet and it had an effigy of Jake as a puppet on strings. The back said, "The HHA Knows Jake Must Go!" I heard that Calicchio and Waiters were passing them out. (redacted)'s children were wearing the shirts as well as some other young children there. About 25 people had those shirts on. Occasionally they would get up and turn their backs on the board to show that "HHA knows Jake must Go!" 
That all works inside the room.

What won't work outside the room is a devastating fire inspection report that was given by HFD Chief Blohm last night.

Fire at 105 11th Street

Blohm is no a Zimmer fan, so his appearance at the HHA to presentation his scathing inspection  findings, is a measure of the gravity and threat posed  to the lives of hundreds of HHA residents.  The buck stops with the person in charge of the management of these buildings, the HHA Executive Director.

What were some of Blohm's findings?

Fire at 110 1st Street- McSwiggan's Bar
The Fire Code violations at the HHA include (but are not limited to) 6 buildings without working generators, fire panels, pumps- NO FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS.

GA's new Smart Phone
From a witness: 'Carmelo didn't know the generators were down."

Followed by back and forth about how the generators on the ground were damaged by Hurricane Sandy's salt water.  And something about mice eating wires.

GA's got questions.

Didn't the HHA get federal money for generator platforms after Hurricane Irene?  To raise them 3 feet off the ground?

If the HHA did get this grant, but didn't raise the generators, what happened to the money?

If the generators were damaged by Sandy's saltwater, did the HHA file a claim with FEMA?

Take away everything else said in the room last night, the utter failure of the HHA Executive Director to protect residents in  6 fully-occupied   buildings in the event of a fire, "not knowing" their generators were down-  in the private sector this would be cause for immediate termination 'for cause'.  It's stunning to me.

The HHA residents in those 6 buildings should be screaming their heads off.  And not at Jake.

Deadly fire at 1203 Washington Street
The staged hijinks might have owned the room last night, but surely the DCA and HUD get copies of the fire inspection reports. 

And the Commissioners on the Board must deal with the gravity of these findings; with a potential loss of life if G-d forbid, any of those buildings caught fire. 

Fire at 200 Clinton Street lumber yard

Here is more from inside the room last night:
The HFD charged them $100k for the fire watch because none of the fire panels worked nor did six of the generators. Whenever jake or mello would ask carmelo why they were not functional, he'd dance around the questions and said the mice ate the wires, there was salt water damage, the risk management inspectors found it and it's their fault, it was crazy, etc. No accountability at all. The people in the room fed off of carmelo's chaos. Of course, when you sound like God booming in the room, they're going to praise you. Those guys need bullhorns. It is sick and disgusting on how carmelo's mic is so loud. You can't hear the retorts at all. Carmelo has the 'God on High' mic and jake and the commissioners have Lucifer's.
Fire at 159 14th Street
it is bad for carmelo out of the room. From my perspective carmelo's handling of the safety systems in the buildings is abyssmal. Before the storm, generators weren't working, fire panels didn't work, etc. It appears that he has no control on inspection schedules, maintenance, etc. Blohm also said that in the past an exit door was nailed shut (or jerry-rigged) in some way because the person performing maintenance (painting) had blocked egress from the building because they had blocked fire exits. So, the maintenance staff isn't properly trained. It looks like there are just goons walking around with wrenches. Those people are in such danger there, but they don't care because carmelo is their leader. Blohm said (I think) that he imposed a $10K fine in the past about nailing doors shut (or jerry-rigging) because of the painting bullshit. It has been going on in several buildings multiple times
Fire at 1200 Madison Street

GA calls Hoboken the Land of No Consequences.  Are there consequences outside of Hoboken for this kind of negligence?
There are no inspection reports or maintenance reports. Blohm said there must be a paper trail. Carmelo blamed it on the previous administration that there are no records. So, he's trying to get retroactive permits to fix everything. The risk management inspectors discovered that the generators were inoperable. That is when carmelo found out. When asked why didn't you know before then, that's when the spun it around and said the mice ate the wires. It doesn't answer the question. When asked about the maintenance records, he said that the HHA in Newark said he did an amazing job after Sandy and he is to be commended. Again no answer to the question. When asked again between mello and jake, he would say that he will provide it to you next week, next month, or I told you, the mice ate the wires! Just incoherent LOUD responses that sounded valid in the room. The crowd would cheer his every response.