|Ramos' first mailer: "Moving New Jersey Forward"|
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, knockDon't do it, Ruben!
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?
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.
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!