Sunday, June 30, 2013

Purple Haze in Hudson County


Could it be?

It looks that way...

The Titans of Hudson County not only appear to be passing the 'peace pipe' to Hoboken's Mayor Zimmer  (it's NOT a bong- it may look like one but it's NOT), but are treating her well.

According to sources at a recent fundraiser, Zimmer was attended to by Hudson County Titan State Senator Nick Sacco, who was seen bringing her to over to Paul Swibinski.  Rumors have Swibinski on Ramos' short list... is that likely to happen now that Sacco and Zimmer are smoking the peace pipe? (it's NOT a bong- it may look like one but it's NOT)

And tomorrow, Zimmer attends the inaugural of another Titan, Jersey City's Steve Fulop. Did you know Fulop quit a lucrative financial services job at Goldman Sachs after 9-11 to join the Marine Corps.?  What a patriot.  I guess that's why his t-shirt is dyed red, white and blue.  So when he passes the peace pipe (it's NOT a bong- it may look like one but it's NOT) he does it for our country.

God Bless America.  God Bless Hudson County.
 
Anyway, GA's friend Al Sullivan dropped something of a bomb this weekend:
Peter Biancamano, who won his seat to the school board with the help of Carmelo Garcia, is apparently meeting with Ramos and Councilman Michael Russo in hopes to help in the upcoming election. Biancamano already has plans to run against Councilwoman Beth Mason in the 2nd Ward in 2015.
If that's true, Peter Biancamano and Beth Mason are NOT smoking a peace pipe any time soon.  Now, Peter B. 's mentor is Frank Raia. Who opposes Ramos.  So what does this say about the Pupie- Biancamano- Mason relationship?   GA believes this is all spin to scare Mason to the Ramos side.

First Ruben floated a recall, now they're floating a Biancamano.

Sources say that Mason's fishy operative wants to be on Team Ramos, but they don't want that 3-time loser (2 mayoral flops and a BoE Nazi Truck disaster) without the Mason checkbook.  Mason's not on board yet, doesn't care for Ramos and would prefer a third candidate.  Without Mason's Brinks truck, the Ramos people are in deep doo doo.

Meanwhile the hapless sardine has been pestering folks everywhere to support Ruben's campaign to the point where "people are getting pissed off."  

Hit it, Jimi...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Playing at a Condo Near You

Still shot of protest from a Sky Club window credit: MSV
Bully-politics are nothing new from Hoboken's Dark Side.

And with a strong incumbent Mayor and the demographic shifting in Reform's favor, the options for the Dark Side to 'take back' City Hall are limited.

GA believes the Dark Side's only path to victory is to suppress our voters in combo with a massive VBM harvest in a two-way race.  From the looks of last night's 'protest' they are failing gloriously.

HHA Executive Director Garcia certainly has less to worry about; he'll be elected with Stack.  But Ramos and his At-Large Council need a strategy to win.  So how does Team Ramos ride to victory on divisive protests outside Hoboken condo buildings?

He doesn't.

This kind of protest at private residential buildings does two things:

(1) It raises the public's awareness of the 'controversial' aspects of Vision 20/20: the 25% expansion of public housing, the plan that is being forced through without any community input, and the astronomical developer's fees to be split with the HHA
The developer fee for the first phase alone – just one building – is upwards of $1.5 million.
Why is Garcia's HHA taking half of the developer's fee?  That is federal money that should be used to benefit the quality of Vision 20/20 construction and Vision 20/20 accessory buildings/amenities.   Moreover, WHY is the HHA pushing a Vision 20/20 plan where buildings are surrounded by parking lots, not active open space?  

Vision 20/20 concept plan: buildings are surrounded by parking lots (red).  

Awareness of the 'controversies' surrounding the project will seep into the mainstream  consciousness when people have to run a gauntlet of protesters to go home.

(2) Consequently, awareness of the troubling aspects of the project under it's present management, educates the public on who represents the best interest of Hoboken and HHA residents (not the guys  pushing the parking-lot playgrounds).  This translates to votes (and voter registration).

GA can't believe Ramos is allowing these kind of divisive tactics when he's got an Assembly record to run on. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Does Brian Stack Approve?

Carmelo supporter threatens protest on my quiet residential block.

Nice choice for Assembly, Senator Stack. 

First, Carmelo's HHA issued a press release threatening a "protest" at the SkyClub condominium building where the families of HHA Commissioners Dave Mello (2 small children) and Greg Lincoln (3 small children) live.  As do many more families.

What's next?  Maxwell PlaceThe ShipyardThe Tea Building?  Does anyone who supports Reform or question Garcia's Vision 20/20 process face intimidation?

Why the protest?

Because Mello and Lincoln are Reformers aligned with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and no other reason.

And Reform is asking for an open process for the redevelopment of the HHA, called Vision 20/20.  Reform has tried to hire a new auditor and attorney which has been fought by Garcia every step of the way.  Garcia and his allies want to push Phase 1 of Vision 20/20 through without any public input or City Council review.  Mayor Zimmer has already cited deficiencies in the plan- buildings have no back-up generators and the developer is not providing them, dangerous ground floor parking, and inadequate provisions for handicapped accessibility.  The Mayor has already stated she cannot support the present plan.

So, instead of "going back to the drawing board" and addressing deficiencies in the plan, Garcia appears to be fomenting race and class warfare. He's orchestrated protests at the HHA, the City Council and now... people's private homes. 

He has lied to HHA residents.  Reform supports a Vision 20/20 redevelopment with commuity involvement and- among other things, back-up generators and active, green open space not asphalt parking lots.

Tim REFUSES to Answer the $8K QUESTION

He sure takes the cake.

Big props to Da Horsey!

 MSV attended last night's budget hearing and as the meeting ended, asked Councilman Tim Occhipinti the question the public deserves to know:
"You spent approximately $8,000 in small donations for your 2015 campaign...  do you want to tell us where the campaign monies were spent?"
Nope, Tim's does NOT want to tell us about how he spent $8,098.03 in small campaign contributions for his 2015 campaign.  Instead Occhipinti tells  MSV, "You're not a reporter!"  then seeks police intervention.

Does this mean Occhipinti will answer this question from a "reporter" ?  Okay, heads up to the mainstream media that Tim will answer that question.

Media folk, keep this in mind.  Tim filed his 2015 campaign 3 YEARS and 7 MONTHS before the 2015 election.

And, mainstream media folk. Here are some questions to ask.  Look at 2015 campaign disbursements from Timmy's July 15, 2012 Quarterly ELEC, page 6:


Okay, two questions arise from this one page.

QUESTION (1) Why did Timmy host a private political fundraiser for his 2015 campaign in a public park, announce it to the press as a "party" and tap Hoboken City workers and resources?

Here's the Jersey Journal announcement of Occhpinti's  April 28, 2012  "family-friendly party" to celebrate the opening of the renovated Jackson and Jefferson Street parks.
  

 On April 26, 2012 GA asked the question "who is paying for Tim's party?" 

And now we know- sort of.  

Tim financed the "party" from 2015 campaign contributions, calling it a fundraiser.  60% of Timmy's total 2015 contributions come from "small donors".

Now that we know it wasn't a '"party" but a political event ("fundraiser") for his 2015 campaign, shouldn't Timmy PAY HOBOKEN TAXPAYERS BACK for use of HFD fire trucks and personnel?


Timmy enlists HFD for his 2015 campaign fundraiser held on April 28, 2012- credit: MSV

I think so.

GA hopes that at the next City Council meeting, one of the Council members will REQUEST Timmy refund the taxxpayers for using the City's resources for his 2015 political campaign fundraiser.

I am a taxpayer, and I want my money back.  Let Timmy pay for his own fundraisers.

QUESTION (2) Why is Timmy paying his Treasurer from campaign funds?  

Is that even legal?  It certainly is a conflict of interest.  GA is NOT saying this applies to the Occhipinti campaign, it applies to general appearances; paying one's Treasurer could be interpreted as hush money or a quid pro quo if funds have been improperly gathered or spent.  Or even when no wrongdoing has occurred. It simply < looks bad.  

A lawyer friend thought it may be illegal, but his expertise is not election law.  In any event, GA thinks Timmy should repay his campaign for monies disbursed to his Treasurer.  My opinion.

Well, clearly Timmy spent his 2015 campaign funds like a drunken sailor.

GA believes the public has a right to know WHO has been providing this revenue stream while Occhipinti is the deciding vote on a 4-4 Council on who gets contracts with the City and who does not.

Now take a look at Timmy's reaction to being asked the $8K question:

Victory!


In today's Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court dramatically advanced gay rights Wednesday in rulings that direct the federal government to provide equal treatment to same-sex spouses and allow the resumption of gay marriages in California.

In a pair of 5-4 rulings on the final day of the court's term, the justices struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples married under state law, and let stand a ruling that found Proposition 8, a 2008 voter initiative that ended same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional.

Congratulations to all of our gay brothers and sisters, their friends and kin.

Finally, the Court admits you should suffer like the rest of us (in California). Now let the other states fall like dominoes.  XOXOXO

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Uvula's Crystal Ball Meets Pay-to-Play

Graphic from one year ago.

Thanks to puzzledone for reminding me of the one year anniversary of this post Deep Uvula: Below the Radar Deep Uvula is a longtime GA informant deeply ensconced on the Dark Side.

One year later, not only have Deep Uvula's predictions been shown to be true, but who could have forseen that Tim Occhipinti would be caught by the Star Ledger taking ''secret donations' from a firm that does business with Hoboken and caught by GA for taking $8,098.03 in donations too small to be itemized on his ELEC for his 2015 campaign.  Donations he has spent.

Now see how this fits into what we know now about the Garcia-Russo-Occhipinti urgency to shove  Vision 20/20 past the HHA Board and City Council without any public scrutiny or input.

Timmy opened up his 2015 campaign with ELEC on April 20, 2012.  Here is a timeline of how his 2015 war-chest went from $0 to $8,098.03 back to $0.
  • On 5/1/2012 he reported $2688.03 in small donations
  • On 6/19/2012 Timmy posted this on Facebook 
  • On 6/20/2012 Timmy exploded over Camporeale's removal at the City Council, stormed off the dais when it was time to vote for her replacement, and got physical with Dave Mello in an altercation so ugly the police came to the dais
  • On 7/17/2012 he reported another $2530.00 in small donations
  • On 1/8/2013 he reported another $200 in small donations
  • On 1/16/2013 he reported another $2700 in small donations 
  • On 4/5/2013 GA busted Timmy- see Occhi-Shady ELECs 
  • On 5/1/2013 he reported $0.00 in small donations
  • On 5/1/2013 he reported 98% of total contributions spent
Were you wondering back then WHY Timmy got so apoplectic over an HHA appointment?  I was.

Were you wondering WHY he demonstrated so publicly for an HHA Board controlled by Carmelo Garcia?  I did.

Are you wondering WHERE all of these 'small donations' in 2012 came from?  I do.

And now, one year later Vision 20/20 has become an election issue, with those who are calling for a public review process with community input "racists" and "KKK".  Councilmen Russo and Occhipinti have been barking race and class accusations like circus clowns; they've become caricatures of shyster politicians.

Meanwhile GA has noted how the Vision 20/20 plan HHA Executive Director Garcia, Russo and Occhipinti scream about is a Vision of Asphalt, with parking lots surrounding building blocks, a total subversion of the intent and purpose of  Hoboken's Master Plan.

Vision of Asphalt 20/20: areas in red are parking lots.

Based on this plan and the effort to hide it, GA wonders if the asphalt contract has already been awarded. GA bets the contracts have already been divvied up like a pie.

Which explains WHY the braying bullies are trying to intimidate Reformers on the City Council, HHA Board and as always, the blogs.

It's not working.  A measure of their frustration is the revival of the year-old complaints about the removal of Commissioner Marianne Camporeale and the appointment of Greg Lincoln to replace her on June 20, 2012. 

Now let's revisit the Uvula prognostication.  Was that fleshy little fella "on the money" or what?

Things seemed to be going okay, with folks making plans for what to do after the Feds get done with this mess. Most thought that the HAA was safe and under the radar for a while and would let things get done without too much notice.

But then Camporeale had to screw things up by getting bounced off the HHA. Nobody gets how Carmelo could have fucked up so bad on this one. Just get her to the damn classes – we all remember what happened to Ruben. She had one job to do and screwed it up big time.

For a bunch of reasons I’m not in line to get anything out if it, so I could give a rat’s ass about it now. She was supposed to keep the HHA seat to allow Carmelo time to push through the plan to rebuild the HHA, or at least get it so far along that it couldn’t be stopped. Bet you haven’t heard or seen those plans. You don’t have to look too hard.

This was supposed to be the last big grab for money in town before all you Yuppies take over and shut everything down. Hundreds of millions in construction fees, real estate commissions, insurance premiums, points – everyone has been slobbering over all the dough to be made. 


The trick was to get the plans so far down the road to approval that Zimmer can’t do nothing about it. That is why it has been under wraps. But now that idiot old bat blew it. 

...and:

 You wondered why everyone was screaming and yelling last Wednesday – had nothing to do with that old bat – she is as tough as nails. Always was. It’s all about jeopardizing the money that everyone plans to be making.

Occhipinti acted like a fool. Even Mike realized he was out of control and had to step in. He and the old bat forget that this stuff is now on video and they just made a bunch of commercials for the Mayor’s re-election campaign. 

 
Hear that folks are starting to think he has some serious limitations and that he is believing that he really is the whole bag of tricks. But the kid can’t think on his feet for nothing. 

Nobody is too happy about what happened Wednesday. They lost the seat and acted like morons. The whole lot of them. There are plenty of pissed off folks behind the scenes. That is why you saw the ones that are out in front so desperate – this could get ugly. Gotta love the excuses about her being a poor old disabled lady. And Russo said that crap with a straight face. Pretty impressive. 

You thought 300k for new floors in the elevators was wild, that is peanuts compared to what people are planning to take out of the tear down of the HHA. That is what last Wednesday was all about. 

Now you know why 'they' scream about blogs.  Too much truth.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Timmy's Statement to Patch.com

Today 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti released a statement to Hoboken Patch in response to the Star Ledger's finding that he'd taken a 'secret check' from disgraced firm Birdswell Engineering in what some law enforcement officials call, "one of the most expansive and sophisticated criminal pay-to-play conspiracies in recent history."

At the time Occhipinti took the money, Birdswell had a contract with Hoboken to remediate1600 Park and Hoboken Cove.

GA got an exclusive draft copy of the Occhipinti statement.



Red Flag: Occhipinti 2015 Took $8K from 'Small Donors'

Occhipinti's 2015 Municipal campaign 'raised' $8,098.03 in small contributions- Tim spent 98% to-date

Hoboken is abuzz with yesterday's breaking news that Tim Occhipinti, Peter Cammarano, and the 'Students United' BoE slate were discovered on the 'list' of politicians who received 'secret cash payments' from Birdswell Engineering, in what some in law enforcement call "one of the most expansive and sophisticated criminal pay-to-play conspiracies in recent history."
 

GA is asking around about contracts that Birdswell had with Hoboken around the time of the 'secret check' to the Occhipinti campaign. So far:
In 2010 Birdsall had a contract with Hoboken to remediate 1600 park - likely approved 5-4 (have to check). 

If Tim won, they would have needed an additional vote to retain the contract or to get more business: http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/remediation-under-way-at-site-of-1600-park 

The payment to Tim was likely an attempt to start building a "relationship" to secure that vote
Does anyone think since Birdswell gave the $299, that Timmy STOPPED taking "relationship-building" donations from vendors, consultants, businesses who have contracts with Hoboken or want them?

Just take a LOOK at Timmy 2015 ELECs.  There's your answer.  GA wrote last month:
Timmy opened up his Occhipinti for Council  Committee on April 20, 2012 for an election that's 43 months away, on November 12, 2015 and raised a total of $13,673.03!  How much of that came from 'small' donors?  $8098.03 or 60%.What's even MORE amazing than that? According to Timmy's ELEC, he has received $13,673.03 and spent $13,399.56- that's 98% of contributions received.
It appears to GA Timmy opened his 2015 campaign 3 years early to 'wash' small donations that he's spent as fast as the money's come in. 98% GONE.

Until we know WHO these donors are, EVERY OCCHIPINTI VOTE on vendor, consulting, business contracts with Hoboken is SUSPECT.  Occhipinti appears to be operating a slush fund while voting on awarding or denying contracts with Hoboken.  If so, he is ethically compromised.

GA believes Tim Occhipinti should tender his resignation immediately.  Of course he won't.  But he should.


How about it, Hoboken Reporter? Ask Occhipinti some hard questions. Ask him for a list of small donors. His Treasurer, Anthony Poulin, surely has records. Aside from  the internet, how else is he fundraising?  And, if you use my research, please credit the source.

Well folks, now you know why Dirty Timmy's City Council ally, Terry Castellano wrote this in The Reporter this week:  "Zimmer’s propaganda machine: a small group of zealots charged with maintaining misleading blogs, send unfounded spin throughout mainstream media."

Terry's got issues with the truth, and with the Mayor.  Remember how she accused Zimmer of "exploiting" the flood and "making recovery much  more difficult"? 

 So,  are we "zealots" or truth-tellers?   Are Timmy's ELEC reports "propaganda"?

Has Timmy taken and spent enormous amounts of money from undisclosed sources while voting on contracts for Hoboken or is that "propaganda"?


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Occhipinti Named in Pay-to-Play Probe

Occhipinti received a "secret check" from Birdsall Engineering
 BREAKING: Hoboken's Tim Occhipinti has been named by the Star-Ledger newspaper in a Pay-to-Play probe of politicians who received a "secret cash" donations from Birdsall Engineering.

According to the Star-Ledger:
From 2008 to early 2012, Birdsall made more than 1,000 secret contributions worth $1.05 million to candidates and political groups of all stripes and in all corners of the state, according to a Star-Ledger analysis of the records.

During the same period, business disclosure reports show, Birdsall cashed in on more than $84 million in public contracts.
What became of Birdsall?
Birdsall’s political machine ground to a halt in May 2012, records show, after the company’s former marketing director, Philip Angarone Jr., was secretly recorded by his estranged wife explaining how he had received illegal reimbursements from the firm for campaign contributions.

The tape landed in the hands of detectives at the state Attorney General’s Office, leading to an investigation that resulted in the March indictment of Birdsall and seven former executives, who stand accused of making more than $686,000 in secret and illegal contributions.
Wow.  GA wonders what contracts Birdsall was bidding for in Hoboken at the time of Timmy's 2010 election when he gobbled up the "secret cash" pay-to-play loot.  That will take some looking into... stay tuned.

Here is how Birdsall worked their scheme:
It was classic Jersey: Banned by law from giving more than $300 to many politicians, Birdsall instead had its employees write personal checks to candidates and then later reimbursed the staffers with salary bonuses and lied to the state on disclosure forms.

The company had created the perfect political machine, one that could skirt laws and churn out checks like a printing press, all without raising a single suspicion because each donation was for such a small sum of money it did not have to be reported to the public.

The scheme went undetected for at least six years until one of Birdsall’s employees was surreptitiously caught on tape discussing it, touching off an investigation that authorities say uncovered one of the most expansive and sophisticated criminal pay-to-play conspiracies in recent history.

But one major piece of the puzzle — who received Birdsall’s money — has remained a mystery.

Until now.
The only other Hoboken pols to receive 'secret cash' payments from Birdsall were convicted felon Peter Cammarano and BoE Slate 'United for Students': Anthony Oland. Frank Pupie Raia and Hector Irizarry.

WHO did NOT take Birdsall 'secret cash'?
  • Camaranno's opponent, Reform's Dawn Zimmer.
  • Occhipinti's opponent, Reform's Mike Lenz.
  • 'United for Students' Slate, Reform's Kids First 

 Notice the pattern?

F.O.Z.

North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco's Grand Ball in 2010 left to right: U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg ( D-Cliffside Park), North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken)
Seeing is believing.

As the Ramos campaign scrambles to dig up dirt on the mayor- several sources have them rooting around in rural New Hampshire!  (The mayor hails from a speck on the map called Laconia, NH... perhaps the Ramos people will find out about an overdue library book). 

Folks, it is true.

The Ramos people appear to be desperate- from ginning up a fake recall to scare Beth Mason into the fold (GA fell for it, too) to co-opting the local media to slandering her supporters as 'racist' for wanting an open, public process for the Vision 20/20 development.  The Vision 20/20 concept plan that Executive Director Carmelo Garcia is trying to push through appears to violate federal mandates for inner city housing development- the current plan has housing blocks surrounded by asphalt parking lots.  (Ironic, that those who believe HHA residents deserve better are being called 'racists' by those who want to surround HHA buildings with asphalt).  A reader noted:
...the federal government's mandates for inner city housing was to reduce density and height and to get away from life on concrete and asphalt that many project-dwellers endured from traditional design. By creating play areas and open space that are parking lots, they are basically going against the planning design federal officials wanted, and giving urban kids the same unappealing play areas that existed under the original model 

Garcia's Vision 20/20: Asphalt 'playgrounds' for HHA residents (red)

While the drumbeat of  the mayor's 'failure' plays on from the Ramos camp, she quietly racked up yet another huge accomplishment for Hoboken.  From yesterday's Patch:  
Hoboken will retain control over the destiny of its piers even if a bill that would override federal regulations and permit residential and commercial development on piers in high-risk flood zones passes the legislature.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus), one of A-3933's primary sponsors, proposed an amendment to the bill Thursday that makes it applicable only to municipalities that first pass an ordinance permitting development on a pier in a coastal high hazard area. As a result, Hoboken can choose not to opt in to the changes proposed in the bill, which has already passed the Senate and appears likely to pass the Assembly in short order.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a staunch opponent of the bill, who had written both Prieto and his Assembly colleague Ruben Ramos (D-Hoboken) asking them to amend the legislation to exempt Hoboken, said she was pleased that her voice had been heard.

"A huge thank you to Senator Sacco and Assemblyman Prieto for listening to my concerns and working with me to craft an amendment that will help protect Hoboken's waterfront," Zimmer said Friday.
Great, right?

Note that in spite of being asked by the Mayor, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos did not offer an amendment to exempt Hoboken from pier development.  GA thanks Senator Sacco and Assemblyman Prieto for respecting our Mayor's request.

Let GA break it down further. 

Speculation about where Hudson County political bosses would fall in Hoboken's mayoral race has been answered.   North Bergen's State Senator Nick Sacco is an F. O. Z. (Friend Of Zimmer) and so is HCDO Chairman Vinnie Prieto.

How does this help the Mayor?

Lots of ways.

Sacco (and Fulop) are the powers in Hudson County. If Sacco supports Zimmer, then other Hudson County leaders will likely fall like dominoes. And this kneecaps Sacco-loyalist Paul Swibinski, who was approached by the Ruben camp.  Tsk tsk.  This isolates Brian Stack among Hudson County 'bosses' supporting Ramos.  While Stack is enormously powerful in Union City, he's cash-poor.   Ramos needs Sacco's cash, but it's clear he's not getting it.  Sacco will stay out of our election, but will help the Mayor legislatively to help Hoboken.

Now that, is competent, effective leadership.

Cash flowing into Hoboken means street money, street money and more street money.

With Sacco out, Ramos has fewer options and needs Mason more than ever.  Will Mason believe that she got played by Ruben & friends (one seated next to her on the City Council dais)?   Probably not.  But she did get played, scared into the Camp Ramos.

Trust me, if Reformers in the 2nd Ward had the muscle and the time, Mason would have been recalled 2 years ago.  They don't.  The bait that "papers were taken out" and Old Guard boots on the ground (GA heard "20 people") did not come from Reform.  GA heard Zimmer wanted nothing to do with a recall.  Nothing.

Anyway,  having F.O.Z. sure beats F.O.R., who seem to be shrinking in number while they blow more smoke than ever.  

GA heard from witnesses at a fundraiser this past week, that the Mayor once dissed by The Boys was treated with respect by other Hudson County powers- including Sacco.  Was it this?

 Or this?

Zimmer testifies for the U.S. Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrpeneurship


Whatever it was, Zimmer's (finally) made the HC Boys Club, and it's all good for Hoboken. 

(So what about Jersey City's political star Mayor-elect Steve Fulop?   GA gets good traffic from our neighbor and would like an update.  *wink*)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ruben's Recall HOAX

Disappointed
It appears the Beth Mason recall was a hoax perpetrated by the Ramos campaign to push Beth Mason's checkbook away from a third candidate into the Ramos camp. 

The Mason recall wasn't simply rumor; GA was told point-blank "(recall) papers were taken out."

No, they weren't.

GA's found out that papers were not taken out and can see this as no more than a scheme to frighten Mason, where she's been 'comforted' by the very same people who engineered the recall hoax (rhymes with who-so).

Beth Mason was PLAYED by Ruben Ramos.  Was Finboy (employed by Ruben-supporter Stack) in on the hoax? Did he betray his long-time boss?

In any event, Ruben's camp pulled the recall-hoax for (at least) 2 very obvious reasons:
  1. Fear Mason would fund a 3rd candidate (Tim Occhipinti, Anthony Romano, Jamie Cryan)
  2. Ramos needs CASH. Ramos has a machine, but needs cash to sustain it.  His next ELEC should hold some surprises.

GA laughed at Al Sullivan's column about how Reform was being "tricked" into a Mason recall.  Al honey, you turned out to be right so I apologize for all of those expletives in my thought-bubble.

Well, it looks like the Ramos-con worked.

The Mason endorsement of Garcia's Vision 20/20 Concept Plan is a clear sign she's opened her checkbook to Ramos, and taken the third candidate off the table.  Sorry, Timmy!

Jeez, the Ramos people have manipulated Mason with the threat of a recall they had no intention to carry out. They've made a fool out of her.

Hey Pupie, the Ramos people don't like you very much.  You'd make a fine third candidate.

Meanwhile, it's never too soon to shop at GA's Recall Beth Mason 2013 Gift Shop, because ya never know.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

HHA Parking Lot Playgrounds

Vision 20/20 surrounds buildings with parking lots

It doesn't take 20/20 Vision to read a Vision 20/20 Concept Plan

And that's why HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia has withheld it from the City Council and general public.  Because what is on the plan-  a reduction in open space, and the majority of it utilized for parking lots, would be unacceptable to the general public, and the HHA residents themselves.  Further, this plan has 25% more dwelling units than the existing 806, adding more density for the current HHA population.

The victims are the HHA residents, who are being lied to about the Mayor, her City Council allies, and those who care about residents NOT lining the pockets of politicians.

Take a look and see what the current Vision 20/20  does with its"open space" (in red):


That's great, if you happen to be a CAR.

If you're a KID who wants to walk outside and throw a ball - not so much.

In fact, this density of buildings surrounded by parking lots is an accident waiting to happen.  To a child.  Or a mom pushing a stroller.
Parking lots are a common sight in the US and so are accidents that take place in them. A staggering one of every five motor vehicle accidents take place in a parking lot, and 14% of all claims of auto damage involve collisions therein. One of the major reasons behind collisions, injuries and fatalities that happen in parking lots is the false sense of security motorists and pedestrians feel. Pedestrians and drivers expect traffic to move more slowly, which means that caution takes a backseat.

2.    Pedestrian Accidents in Parking/Parking Lots Involving Children
NHTSA estimates that 22 percent (more than one-fifth) of children between ages 5 and 9 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Most of these accidents occurred because drivers failed to see kids while backing up their vehicles.
How ironic that the people pushing this plan at midnight, hiding it from the public are PLAYING THE RACE CARD  against anyone who wants the safety of residents to come first and not kick-backs.

This is all about trashing the people who WANT to  redevelop the HHA, and Vision 20/20 to give residents green, safe open space for their kids not parking lots to play in, and buildings that have back-up generators to support them next time a hurricane hits.

The colorful concept plan doesn't cut it.

Executive Director Garcia is STOPPING the process from going forward by not allowing the public and City Council to participate in this huge and significant redevelopment of a huge swath of Hoboken.

Want to know why GA depicts Beth Mason with a Pinocchio nose?  Because she tells whoppers like this:



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Zimmer Atrocities


Someone mentioned that Hoboken politico David Liebler had posted photos of garbage on the Mayor's Facebook 'wall' (see above).  What a great idea!

The mayor must be held accountable for her failures, like leaving your beer cans on the park bench and your gnawed cigarette butts on the curb and your dog's shit where you left it on the sidewalk.

That's what the mayor should be doing- cleaning up after you!

Not wasting her time doing this:  

GA agrees with Mr. Liebler...  Zimmer needs to STOP and get to work!   Someone's dog took a dump on the corner of 5th and Bloomfield...

WHERE IS THE MAYOR?????

GA was so inspired by Mr. Liebler's photo-journalism, I shot some photos this morning of  Mayor Zimmer's many failures which I call The Zimmer Atrocities.   You will agree, the mayor is responsible for these and many, many others.  Like Mr. Liebler, I will continue to document her failures and present them to you on these pages.

(WARNING-  GRAPHIC images)  You may wish to send your youngsters out of the room.

I call this one The Zimmer Weed.

Tripping Hazard

Meet The Zimmer Stump.

What did she do with the rest of the tree?
The Zimmer Footprint.

Dawn Zimmer is Big Foot.
Another Zimmer Weed.

She tried to hide it underground.
Zimmer Can't Park.

No wonder she rides a bike.
More Zimmer Weeds.

She cracked the sidewalk, too.
Zimmer Can't Spell
 
Rug Store

GA invites readers to become Hoboken photo-journalists and like David Liebler, document the signs of Zimmer failures around us and I will post them. 

Send your atrocities to grafixavenger666@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

True Colors

Somebody's child.  Does it matter whose?

Once upon a time, a Hoboken family was notified a little girl would arrive the following day to stay for a month, perhaps longer.  The family scurried around to prepare a room for the child.  They had no bed, and so desperately tried to find one for her.

Thank goodness, the Hoboken mom found a kids' bed for sale on the Hoboken Moms Yahoo group!  She made an offer; humble though it was, that was the price she could pay.

Folks, this is no fairytale.  See below for what happened next (start with the seller's ad at the bottom).



So,  are you wondering what happened to the little girl without the bed? 

GA loves a happy ending:
an angel came to our rescue and we're all prepared for our little guest to arrive... Love Hoboken... so many good people with big hearts!!
Good luck with your little sweetheart!

Monday, June 17, 2013

As the Al Turns


Is it me or has Hudson County gotten sucked into Hoboken's Political Theater of the Absurd

According to Al Sullivan it has with Hoboken being divvied up like a pie and "county political bosses" choosing who gets a slice of Ruben, who gets a slice of Zimmer.

And the pies are starkly different.

The Ruben bakers use a scorched-earth recipe.  Some of his supporters campaigned with a Nazi Truck.  Now the Ramos campaign has embarked on a slander-strategy, pulling the race card against those who support Vision 20/20 done right- safely with community input.

Yup, the newest ingredient in Ruben's pie appears to be the race card.  Those who question the current plan, ask for information, want safe design and real open space are "KKK" members and racists who use pejorative language about HHA residents.  That may work with the voters Ramos has, but the race card ain't catching fire with anyone else.

And about that Mason Vision 20/20 'endorsement' letter... 

 The doubling of "open space" Beth Mason claimed this week in The Hoboken Reporter is actually dangerous ground floor parking corridors between buildings--shown in red below.

August 2012 HHA Redevelopment Concept Plan- parking lots (red) instead of green space

This is the "open space" Beth Mason advocates for HHA kids to play in- PARKING LOTS. 

GA's not talking about basketball courts adjacent to the Light Rail. Basketball courts are great for teenagers.  Where do the other children play?  Toddlers, pre-school, primary school kids. With buildings built up to the lot line at the sidewalk, and the Master Plan's 'donut hole' filled with cars, where are kids supposed to play?

Reform supports REAL OPEN SPACE, not parking lots for kids

Mayor Zimmer cited this and another dangerous condition in the CURRENT Vision 20/20 Plan, in a letter to HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

 NO BACKUP GENERATORS.

 Here is what Mayor Zimmer wrote to Garcia on May 1, 2013:


Has the proposal been revised with back-up generators to protect residents during emergencies?

We don't know.  The Mayor warned Garcia that ground floor parking was a "public safety hazard":





Has the proposal been revised to address the mayor's public safety concerns about ground floor parking? 

We don't know.

The Executive Director has not shown the City Council or public a plan since the August 2012 "parking lot playground" proposal.

(Pssst... this "parking-lot playground" plan increases HHA dwelling units by 25%.   That's 25% more kids playing in parking lots)

Reform supports a redeveloped HHA for better quality of life with safer housing and more open space for residents.  Vision 20/20 can be great for HHA residents and Hoboken, in the hands of people who want will provide real open space, senior and handicapped accessibility, and buildings designed with back-up generators.    

That's in the Zimmer slice of pie.

Got the difference?

Ruben's slice contains a scheme to shove a massive redevelopment of the HHA so problematic that anyone who even asks for information is either a "racist" or a  "KKK" member.

Zimmer's slice contains public input, transparency, real active open space, buildings with back-up generators, thoughtful and safe design for HHA residents.

So, which "Hudson county bosses" are lining up for whose slice? According to Sullivan:
Hoboken may become the latest battleground for county political bosses who must choose which candidate to line up behind. State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack apparently will be supporting Ramos. Some claim his arch-rival, State Sen. and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, was on the fence until Stack and his Assembly running mate Carmelo Garcia endorsed Christie in the governor’s race. This may have pushed Sacco into backing Zimmer, who has not endorsed Christie.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day all of you Dads out there!

Dads are terrific, aren't they?  Having one, being one. GA was a total Daddy's girl; I miss mine every day.

So if you are blessed with having yours still alive and kicking, pay homage!

Sometimes a Man Stands Up During Supper
by Ranier Maria Rilke

Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking,
because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.
And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.

And another man, who remains inside his own house,
dies there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward that same church, which he forgot.

Thank you, Daddy

Friday, June 14, 2013

Attention Hoboken Reporter: The Slander Strategy


Heads up, Hoboken Reporter.

It looks like when the Carmelo Garcia endorsement of Governor Christie kneecapped the 'Zimmer is a Christie-Luvin' Fake Elitist Democrat' strategy, that got shelved for 'The Slander Strategy'.

Last week at the City Council, Councilman Dave Mello was falsely accused of calling HHA residents "monkeys". 


Last night, former Ruben Ramos aide and political operative Nick Calicchio stood up and lied to a full room of HHA residents that I called the HHA a "plantation". 

A simple search of this web site will prove I have done no such thing.  Ever.

Folks at the Hoboken Reporter: you are on notice that the Ramos and Garcia campaigns are now slandering members of the Reform community.  This means you will need to do your due diligence going forward.  You do not want to be held responsible for publishing slanderous statements and easily disproven lies advanced by partisans, political operatives, or anyone on behalf of the Ramos campaign.

 Now, I invite you to do a search on GA for the word "plantation".  Here is all you will find:


Message to Ramos/Garcia: the Slander Strategy might play in the crowd who's already got your vote, but just like the Nazi Truck, it'll Get Out the Vote- for Reform. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Carmelo Garcia Hosting Kids Party in Local Bar

Party on, kiddies.

Folks, this one floored me.  Are you ready?

Assembly candidate and Christie-endorser Carmelo Garcia will be hosting a graduation party at a local bar for Hoboken High School and Charter kids!

The other host is Garcia's BFF and bar-owner, Joe Branco, former campaign manager for losing BoE slate, Move Forward.  He announced the party at Tuesday night's School Board meeting.

You recall Move Forward hired a video truck to sit outside Wallace Primary School flashing swastikas. The offensive images were also flashed for hours up and down Washington Street; the truck was condemned by local rabbis and local media coined it 'The Nazi Truck'.  It was a huge disgrace and repudiated by voters at the polls when Move Forward was creamed by Kids First.  No one on Move Forward apologized nor publicly condemned the use of swastikas in a School Board campaign.

Ruben Ramos supported Move Forward- he attended fundraisers and loaned his Chief of Staff to the Campaign for "campaign design."  Ramos never publicly repudiated the use of swastikas in a School Board election, nor the Nazi Truck- by the campaign he supported

Why not?

 left: District 33 NJ State Assemblyman Ruben Ramos,  middle: Move Forward $300 disbursement to Ramos' Chief-of-Staff for "campaign design",   right: Move Forward's Nazi Truck on October 16, 2012 at Wallace School.

So, this party for kids is being hosted  by Assembly candidate and Ramos ally at a bar with the enticement of "free food, soda and juice". 

That's NOT okay.

Have the party in Romparoo or McDonald's playroom, not in a bar surrounded by alcohol and the enticement of returning with a fake ID.   Graduating High School is no rite of passage to the bar scene.

If I were a cynical gal, I'd say that this was a combination campaign event and business marketing for fresh-faced doe-eyed kids, some of legal voting age.

SOME.  I graduated High School at 17, one of my sisters graduated at 16.

Call me a square, but I don't approve of this, not at all.  You can dress up a pig, it's still a pig.  You can serve milk and cookies at a BAR, but it's still a bar.

What kind of message does this send to our kids?  

Does Brian Stack endorse kids' parties in bars?  

Does Ruben Ramos endorse kids' parties in bars?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who's Got 20/20 Vision?


Either Charles Daglian is (1) the ONLY lawyer in the State of New Jersey qualified to advise the HHA or (2) the ONLY one Carmelo Garcia will work with, because his contract is on tomorrow's HHA agenda again.

This is what happens when Reform loses control of HHA leadership, as it did at last month's re-org.

So, the Daglian contract is BACK for the FIFTH time!  FIVE.

Carmelo is deploying the Daglian contract like a battering ram, if he keeps charging the gates it'll get through.  BOOM! BOOM!  BOOM!  Let him in!

Daglian's contract was voted DOWN last month in a 3-3 tie; that is a DEFEAT according to Robert's Rules of Order:
Handling tie votes 
Because a tie vote isn’t a majority, if your motion requires a majority vote, the motion is lost if it receives a tie vote. Therefore, a tie vote is as much of a decision as a majority vote in opposition.
Not in Carmelo's world. He's gotta have him.

Don't you wonder what makes Charles Daglian so uniquely qualified that in spite of the Board's  preference to solicit a new hire, Carmelo won't stop until he forces him through the gates?  

Does Daglian have 20/20 Vision?

Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo weighed in on last March's HHA attorney contract vote, and flagged serious ethical transgressions on Daglian's part:

From our review of the transcript, Mr. Daglian provided legal advice throughout the Meeting, including on the issue of whether the Board of Commissioners or the Executive Director was the appointing authority for the Authority. Mr. Daglian also discussed information presumably contained in his request for proposal, including the fact that he lowered his price so that he could continue working for the Authority. At no time during the Meeting did Mr. Daglian recuse himself or state on the record that he had a potential conflict of interest. 

 
...when the Authority discusses the contracts for general legal services at its next meeting, Mr. Daglian should not serve as attorney for the Board when the issue is discussed.  He must recuse himself as the Board’s attorney, and the Board should have substitute counsel available when this issue is discussed. 


So Daglian's BACK on again, for the FIFTH time.  Does he plan to remove himself from the dais and will a substitute counsel advise the Board through that vote?

I asked former HHA Chairman Jake Stuiver for comment on Daglian Part V, and here's his statement:

I e-mailed Carmelo asking for an explanation for why the Board is being asked to vote again on a resolution that failed last month, and got a response from one of his staffers that it technically didn't fail last month since it was a 3-3 tie, they are considering it to have been "tabled" and the new Chairman (Rob Davis) reserves the right to bring it back this month, which is what they are going to do. 

This is blatantly illegal, it is not even remotely ambiguous in the law and in Roberts Rules and our by-laws that a tied vote is a failed vote as sure as anything, as an item must receive a majority or it is deemed to have failed.. This isn't even subtle or subject to any degree of subjective interpretation. 

They are clearly banking on the fact that they know Judy Burrell will be absent again for this meeting and that maybe I won't show up (I will) and maybe they can browbeat Lincoln into folding or whatever variable may come into play. Their gameplan is to simply ram stuff at us, and bank on one or more of us failing to show up or to hold the line. 

Bear in mind that this is the fifth time this contract is being brought before the Board, and the second time since HUD issued a memo describing Daglian's conduct as "Perceived impropriety of current general counsel," stating that he may have violated his profession's ethical standards. 

It should seem fairly obvious to any fair-minded professional that the current composition of the HHA Board cannot in good conscience and fiduciary responsibility approve a contract with Mr. Daglian, yet we continue to waste time and money on the preposterous notion that Daglian is the only attorney in the entire world who meets the criteria for working for the HHA. 

 I believe that Carmelo's insistence on repeatedly trying to ram this self-disqualified vendor through the Board despite multiple legal memos documenting his alleged and perceived impropriety to be (a) suspicious, given Carmelo's unyielding insistence that this is the only attorney in the entire world that he is willing to allow the Board to vote on; and (b) wasteful, given that the Board has clearly communicated to Carmelo repeatedly past year that a majority of its members are not comfortable working with Daglian and wish to have a different proposal presented to the Board. 

Carmelo's continued insistence on peddling Daglian is disrespectful to the Board that employs him, the residents whose rent pays for much of this charade and the federal taxpayers who foot the rest of the bill, and wasteful of federal dollars in having to repeatedly advertise and process needless RFQ processes and continue to pay Daglian as a holdover despite the Board's clear preference to end the relationship. We are very quickly learning, as the City Council learned when Mason was Council President, just how flagrantly the other side is willing to flub any and all rule of law once they get their hands on the steering wheel.  
Well, there you go. Carmelo's insistence on Daglian shows he is functioning as Carmelo's personal lawyer and not the Board's.

The stink surrounding the Executive Director's insistence on hiring this ONE LAWYER grows ever more pungent.

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dark Side Anger at Carmelo

Carmelo Garcia endorses Chris Christie yesterday.  credit: MSV

GA heard from several sources about drama at last night's Democratic Committee Reorganization Meeting, concerning dwellers of the Dark Side.  One noteworthy incident involved a Democratic Committeeman from the 3rd Ward who is a prominent Russo soldier.

You may know, the Russos are supporting Ruben Ramos for mayor.

What's in it for them is a potential grab bag of development projects: Vision 20/20, the NJ Transit development, the Rockefeller Group property,  If Ruben wins, it's believed he'll flip the HHA back to Old Guard control,  and if Russo takes back the City Council, he'll stack the Zoning Board.  ka-ching. 

 GA hears the Russos are working very hard to get others to buy into Ramos.

Ruben and Carmelo are thisclose; Ramos is believed to have engineered the Stack selection of Carmelo for Assembly with a Stack aide named Mark Albiez.  Last week, Stack came to Hoboken unannounced, for a private meeting with both Ruben and Carmelo.

And yesterday Carmelo and Stack endorsed Chris Christie for Governor.


You could say those three: Stack, Ruben and Carmelo are thick as thieves.

Well...  it appears some on the Dark Side are not at all pleased with Carmelo's "betrayal" of the Democratic party.  And that anger overcame one Russo soldier last night during the Democratic Committee nominations, he interrupted the proceedings and nominated Dawn Zimmer for Democratic party Chair (Jamie Cryan was nominated and won), with complaints about Stack and Garcia's endorsement of Christie. The pissed-off fellow appeared to blame Cryan- without naming him.

Then GA heard Michael Russo tried to calm his people, but was interrupted by others on his side who wanted to know how to address the concerns raised about Carmelo and Stack's betrayal of the Democratic Party!

Uh-oh... trouble in Paradise!

It looks like the Dark Side may be open to a THIRD CANDIDATE! 

Frank Raia, what do you think?  Timmy? Stick?  How about it?  Any real Dems ready to take on the Mayor?

GA picks FrankRun Frank, run!

You know, many Dark Siders consider themselves loyal Democrats, and they feel Garcia and (Ramos-supporter) Stack stepped over the line by endorsing Chris Christie.  These folks are pissed, they are offended.  To act out publicly like that, to berate their own in front of us, well... Houston, we've got a problem.

So, GA hears Mike Russo was taken aback, and said that issue should be discussed privately not in the room.

Nah, it's much more interesting if we all can hear!