Friday, November 29, 2013

H411 calls Mason Care Packages "Thanksgiving Props"

click image to enlarge
Photogenic turkeys?

Well folks, GA hopes you-all had a terrific Thanksgiving.  I did; the first one ever with latkes. Props to my sis, who made delicious sweet potato and 'plain' potato latkes... yum yummy! 

Speaking of props, GA was startled to see the Perry Klaussen attack on Beth Mason's Thanksgiving mitzvah.   For you goyim or heretics out there, a 'mitzvah' is “ a deliberate act which brings us closer to the presence of God,” or “something we choose to do, because we believe God wants us to do it.”  In other words, a good deed.

It appears the Mason Civic League (MCL) purchased 400 "care packages" for distribution to the HHA and Hoboken Homeless Shelter.  According to the least-trafficked, cyber ghost-town411,  the packages contained ingredients to prepare a Thanksgiving meal: veggies, sweet potatoes, corn bread, turkeys... items to "use to make their dinners".  Very nice!

So why did Klaussen attack the MSL's donations to the needy?  Yes, he did.

He called them "Thanksgiving props."

Props?

Look, it's not like they were delivered to Mason HQ, lined up in neat rows 8 deep for the length of the gallery and photographed at every angle then published on her personal Facebook Page and on the cyber-graveyard411!

Oh, they were...?

Strike a pose, turkeys.

Wow... do you think Google Satellite has an aerial view of them, too?

These are famous turkeys...  

Mr. Butterball, may I have your autograph?

Mr. Butterball does not like to be looked at in the gizzards.

I understand the local media was apprised of their arrival, in fact I believe the Mason Civic League Marching Band provided the soundtrack to the photo-documentation of the mitzvah, which certainly brought the giver, Ms. Mason, a few rungs closer to the presence of God.  Though I have to think, every time she underwrites a lawsuit, smears a member of our community or buys slanted coverage in our Fourth Estate, God pushes her off the ladder.

GA supposes such well-documented acts of kindness as the 400 labeled, perfectly-aligned, professionally photographed care packages published on Facebook and on cyber-cemetery411 are another grasp at the ladder to reach God.

That, or a political career.

Mitzvah with labels.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pride

Superbia (Pride)- (between 1556 and 1557) by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Well folks, as we head toward Thanksgiving- and the first day of Hanukkah,  the news cycle takes a back seat as our private affairs come to the fore.

Thanksgiving is always a contemplative time for GA.  One thing I contemplate is an alternative to turkey. Here's what I cooked last year- a turkey made from ground beef.   This year it's oysters (which look nothing like turkey, unless...)

Thanksgiving 2012- GA's funky turkey

This year was one of recovery for Hoboken, battered by super-storm Sandy.  Our harrowing year offers much to contemplate and, in my view, to be thankful for.  Especially for those on the Reform side of the political fence.

After a brutal election cycle which saw some of the meanest campaigning in memory (except for last year's BoE Nazi Truck- the first ever use of swastikas in a Hoboken political campaign) reform swept the Mayoral, City Council and Board of Education races.  Woo hoo.

That said, GA would like to remind folks to take it easy, and not get too 'puffed up' with ourselves: judgmental, self-righteous, cocky and the like.  We won because we have better ideas; it is not who we are it's what we do.  Today's reformer can be tomorrow's schmuck- and loser, if we lose our humility and become intolerant of one another.

I'll wrap up my pre-Hanukkah sermon with:

Proverbs 16:18  Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 11:2  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Now, dig in!

Thanksgiving 2012: The Aftermath

Monday, November 25, 2013

Who Got Raia's Money?


48-HR ELEC cash infusion to Raia campaign on 11/5/2013, filed on 11/8/2013

On November 4, 2013 the Jersey Journal reported that Occhipinti’s “One Hoboken” slate has raised $154,024 according to the latest figures filed with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission on Oct. 25.  Then on November 5, Raia infused $17,500 more into his campaign, to bring the reported total funds raised to $171,524.

How much of this was contributed by Frank Raia?

His reported aggregate contribution was $122,400.  Which brings Raia's portion of reported contributions to 71.3% of the total raised .

Wow. 

And that's only what was reported. So where did Frank's money go?

 GA's Earwitnesses described boxes of unopened campaign literature tossed out- 25 boxes for the BoE candidates alone, boxes of dog biscuits, money charged for street workers (but no street workers), computers and office equipment bought that weren't used, and then the expenses... like the $10,000 for an ad created by the team running the Ramos campaign, 50% reported to have been skimmed off the top by a greedy, double-crossing tuna.

And Ruben?

On November 4, the Jersey Journal reported that Ruben Ramos' campaign had raised $120,265 and spent $115,156, leaving a balance of  $5,109.    

Yikes.

So, Frank's campaign was flush with cash (not including Beth Mason's in-kind contributions- ads, the cable access infomercials, operatives) and Ruben's was nearly broke. Then how did Ramos pay his consultants and operatives?

Today a GA reader raised a fascinating question...


Did any of Frank's money get funneled to the Ramos campaign?  Is it possible that Raia cash paid Ramos vendors and operatives?  Can you imagine?

We know at least one case where he did.

We know that Finboy gave Raia cash to Team Ramos when he employed Swibinski's auteur to create a TV ad for Occhipinti.  We know that $10,000 for that 30-second ad is very steep, and sources report Finboy got half.  

How many other businesses overcharged Frank or charged for services that weren't performed.  How much of this extra money, from Frank's wallet got shared.

WHO got Raia's money?

A large sum appears to have been charged for "street workers".  Sources inside the Occhpinti campaign say there were none.

GA also hears that Frank was warned that he was getting ripped off during the campaign, when he could have done something about it.  But he shrugged it off.

And now he looks like a jerk.

Barracato made an ass out of Raia, when he brought Frank's money to Swibinski's guy to produce his commercial.  No wonder Frank came in an appalling 7th place.  Sabotaged, tapped, humiliated.

And now another indignity: wondering whether his wallet was drained for his opponent's campaign.

If I were Raia, I'd have a lot of questions for a fish. Just don't expect the truth.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fallout: the Swibinski-Finboy Double-Play

click on image to enlarge
left: Frank Raia's 10/25/2013 ELEC shows $10K payment to Skyline Media  right: LinkedIn profile shows Skyline Media owner has worked for Swibinsky's Vision Media for 23 years.  Raia's campaign work was brought to Skyline Media by James Barracato.  Barracato was working on the Raia campaign.

Frankly, GA's taken aback by the response to Thursday's post Smoking Gun: Finboy Hired Swibinski Director for the Raia Campaign.

This blog has documented years of non-kosher, occasionally "illegal" activities going on in the Mile Square with hardly a ripple.  Other than Hoboken's tight-knit community of reform bloggers (most of whom are Defendants in SLAPP litigation initiated by political operatives Lane Bajardi and Kim Cardinal Bajardi) it seemed like everyone else was sleeping through a very long movie.

Including Hoboken's Fourth Estate, which has been corrupted by the very elements GA and MSV write about.  Why bite the hand that feeds you Page 3 ads and otherwise keeps you afloat?  Hence, Hoboken's Fourth Estate has worked cooperatively with political operatives against the blogs,  with one in particular James 'Finboy' Barracato, a key player in the effort to silence the blogs and it seems, co-opt local media for his boss, Beth Mason.  

Well, Friday's story has woken folks up like never before.  Why?

I am told because GA caught Barracato, dead-to-rights on his own ELEC report, showing he hired  Ruben Ramos' political team to do the Raia campaign's TV ad!

And GA thinks it's because it is the tip of iceberg, of a much larger operation (scam) that's been going on in Hoboken for some time, to control Hoboken's print and online media on behalf of Beth Mason while double-crossing Mason and skimming money from her, and now- Frank Raia!

Frank appears to have been the unwitting victim of a conspiracy to tap his wealth at the same time, destroy him politically.  Holy MOLEy.

Who was a key player in the scam?  Finboy. 

Because you don't hire the opposition to 'help' your own candidate unless you want to (1) destroy the campaign you allegedly work for and (2) destroy the candidate.  

And at the same time, the sneaky salmon was presumably being paid by Beth Mason to work for Tim and Raia.

In fact, GA believes it gets even worse, and involves others and their manipulation via sex, but you know, I'm a G-rated blog, so not going there.  Sorry.

Oh, witnesses at this weeks League of Municipalities in Atlantic City spotted the traitorous trout in the company of Tim Occhipinti and his former Communications Director, Amanda Palascciano.  

So, here is what Earwitnesses told GA about the fall-out, which is only beginning.
Raia is livid. He's completely humiliated. Raia and his people are having a big meeting tonight about this. You can't say he wasn't warned but he wouldn't listen to nobody.

Sacco's people read your post and brought it to him. Sacco is furious at Swibinski. Bernie Kenny is furious because he elicited a promise from Sacoo to keep Swibinski out. Then you  have Phil Swibinski writing on your  blog that he worked exclusively for Ruben. I guess nobody told Sacco. Now he looks like he broke a promise to Zimmer.  Now Sacco and Zimmer have to talk.  Kenny's been calling.  This makes Sacco look bad.

Barracato is a longtime friend of Stephen Israel, the Swibinski guy.  Barracato brought him the Raia campaign then skimmed $5Gs off the top of the $10Gs he charged Raia. Barracato took a 50% cut for himself.
Wow! GA has opened a Pandora's box of sorts, so it will be curious to see what else flies out.

I did notice a large payment, $5G, to a "Field consultant" on a campaign that literally had no ground game.  And the address points to a residence-- GA hasn't found a business listing to that address, or for the listed company name.

So GA asks, was this a legitimate campaign expense, or another run on Frank Raia's wallet?

click on image to enlarge
Curious payment:  $5G to a 'Field Consultant' at 76 Seaview Ave. in Jersey City, The campaign seemed to have no field operation.

Never mind Snooky, we in Hoboken ARE a reality show.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Smoking Gun: Finboy Hired Swibinski Director for the Raia Campaign


Well folks, GA has been talking about infiltration of the Occhipinti campaign by Ramos political operatives for a long time now, and much of it has been circumstantial or 'as told to'.

Until now. 

Because GA has uncovered a 'smoking gun' which proves that Mason's fishy operative, James 'Finboy' Barracato, was indeed double-dealing with the Ramos campaign.

Apparently, stinky fin-prints were left all over One Hoboken's ELEC report irrefutably connecting both campaigns.

GA is told that the One Hoboken anti-Ruben TV ad was done at the behest of Finboy.  And Finboy was tasked with the responsibility to get it done.

So who did he hire?

A North Bergen company called "Skyline Media".  Skyline Media is owned by Stephen Israel, who according to his LinkedIn profile is also Vision Media's Creative Director.  Israel's resume notes he has been with Vision Media for 23 years.

Do you get it?

Finboy hired the opposition (Ramos people) to do Raia's campaign commercial- with Raia's money!

Holy sabotaging mackeral!

Now, if you didn't already know it, Frank Raia can't stand Paul Swibinski. Hates him.  Can you imagine what Raia is going to do when discovers that Finboy hired his arch enemy to run his TV ad campaign?   

I am not making this up!

Take a look at One Hoboken's 10/25 2013 ELEC report, page 8.  Skyline Media was paid $10,000 for a "TV comm".  Frank's money, not Mason's.



Folks, this is the only connection so far that we can 'see' of Barracato's duplicity and sabotage of the Occhipinti-Raia campaign. Can you imagine all the others we can't?

To recap, we have James Barracato going to the Ramos campaign to do the ad spot; proof Barracato was working for Ramos.

The evidence keeps piling on that One Hoboken was just a big scam to milk Frank Raia and Beth Mason, and that the Ramos campaign had infiltrated and sabotaged One Hoboken.

I hate to do a victory lap, but what did GA tell you?  I've been saying for weeks that the Occhipinti campaign was infested with moles.

Aqua Mole is real; he exists.

The question is, how come bloggers and many others figured it out while it was happening but the two getting milked, Raia and Mason, haven't?  Stay tuned, there will be more.
 


Mason Wears Sprinkles to Dessert Reception

Dessert reception host Beth Mason with Senate President Steve Sweeney 

ATLANTIC CITY - It was chest-thumping heaven for Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), a potential successor to Gov. Chris Christie. whose party last night backed up pedestrian traffic down the escalator and 100 deep at One Atlantic.

The event was a dessert party hosted by Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason who shocked guests by coming dressed as a dessert.

The Councilwoman's dessert-themed garb was the talk of the event.

Mason wore 'modesty' sprinkles on her chest, stood in a giant motorized parfait cup engineered to move on hidden wheels and wore a whipped cream chapeau topped by a huge Maraschino cherry.

Councilwoman Mason had several issues with her attire through-out the evening.

The sprinkles proved to be problematic when icing adhering  them to the sheer panel fabric began to run.  One Atlantic was asked to lower the thermostat down to 40 degrees to stop the sprinkle-migration and unscheduled nudie-show. 

Mason's dessert-themed garb also attracted flies.  At least a dozen large flies were observed laying eggs in Mason's sugary chapeau, and by the end of the evening, her head was covered with maggots.

None of this frightened away her new political friends who don't care that this dessert is nutty through and through.  

Last night's dessert party was the Councilman's her biggest foray to-date into New Jersey state politics.  She has thrown her support behind South Jersey's Steve Sweeney, and has already begun a rumor campaign in local media to tarnish Fulop's right-hand man Tom Bertoli.  Bertoli was just named #35 in PolickerNJ's 2013 Power List

Last June, the Councilwoman publicly announced her run for Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat before his respirator was unplugged.  Days later, Mason announced she had declined the pleadings of the many Democratic Party big-wigs who had been calling her, begging and pleading for her to run.

That's what she said. 

Councilwoman Beth Mason mourns NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg at his funeral last June.
The party was such a smashing success, next month Mason will host a breakfast for Sweeney, at Denny's in Galloway NJ, where she will be dressed as a Western omelet.

Her guests will not care, as long as she parks the Brinks Truck outside.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Congrats to #35 and #1

click to read

Congratulations, Tommy!

You were selcted as #35 on PolitickerNJ's 2013 Power List.  And PolitickerNJ is only the most influential and widely read political publication in the state of New Jersey, so this is quite an honor.  GA hopes you've got armor under that suit because lots of knives are aimed at your back.  A certain someone packing a Brinks Truck appears to be disseminating very nasty rumors about you... WHO  could that be?

Which reminds me of our next winner!

click to read

Congratulations, Beth Mason for being Satan's top pick on his 2013 EVIL List!

That is quite a honor; former first-place winners include Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung and Tomas de Torquemada.

In fact, Beth Mason is the Torquemada of Hudson County politics. She's a ruthless slayer of reputations, a killer of livelihoods. The heartless harpie will run her Brinks Truck over the reputations of anyone and everyone who she believes stands in her way. With seemingly endless supplies of her husbands money, she's corrupted local online and print media. The corruption of local media has given rise to a (some say influential) alternative media- including GA and of course MSV.  Consequently Torquemada Mason has tried to kill alternative media and online voices with a massive, lawsuit against 24  bloggers, including GA.  All of her filthy, brutal behavior has made her the most hated public official in Hoboken, so she's taking her Brinks Truck on the road.

We shall see how it goes for Satan's gal..

The unintended consequences of trying to damage so many people is you make enemies.

And some of your enemies will not rest until they are made whole again.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Earwitness News: "It's been cleared up"


Well, the issue of a City Councilperson's residency came up again at the Council meeting last night; of course the gentleman was alluding to the 6th Ward's Jen Giattino, whose family has temporarily vacated their flood-damaged residence for renovations.  

Just a Dark Side reminder; the Giattino family owns the home, pays taxes, etc. and if construction continues on schedule, they will be back home for Christmas.

In the meantime, another City Councilperson's domicile was just put on the market, as has been reported on MSV GA doesn't expect any residency issues to arise, unless the Councilperson moves out of his Ward.

You know who I'm talking about, right?  Tim Occhipinti, 4th ward Councilman.

GA's got an Earwitness update on the status of the Occhipinti domicile.

To recap, here's what GA wrote on October 7, 2013:
In 2012,  Occhipinti bought a $285K condo with his then-girlfriend.  According to sources, she had paid the lion's share of the down-payment for the 1-bedroom because Tim had little savings.  On or about September 1, 2013 she moved out.  Due to her savings tied up in the condo, she was forced out of Hoboken to live in a cheaper city.   Sources say Tim had agreed to procure a mortgage in order to refinance and buy out her share of the property .  But within days of her leaving, (her personal belongings and valuables were still in the apartment), Ms. Palasciano moved in and Tim quit his job at Alliance Bernstein.  Without his job and without savings, Tim cannot qualify for a mortgage, thus he is unable to buy out the co-owner's share of the condo.

Sources say as a result of quitting his job, the co-owner of the condo was driven to hire an attorney to enforce the sale of their apartment.  GA agrees the sale of the condo is the only option for the jobless dunce.  Sources say this is headed to court unless he does the honorable thing.  Until then, Tim is a 'squatter' in co-owned property which he cannot buy because he quit his job...  
Earwitnesses report that the condo co-ownership has been "all cleared up".

According to Earwitnesses, Tim bought out the co-owner, and the property is now 100% owned by Timmy.

Earwitnesses tell GA that Timmy was represented by Jersey City lawyer Anthony Poulin, who is also the Treasurer of his 2015 municipal campaign.   Interestingly, Poulin was being paid a salary out of Tim's campaign funds; it seems this practice may have ended on or about the time GA wrote Occhi-Shady ELEC in April 2013.

Occhipinti 2015 Municipal Campaign ELEC-- 2012 July Quarterly report
As for the current status of Timmy's 2015 campaign coffers, his 2013 October Quarterly ELEC filing shows he's spent his way down to the bottom of his warchest.

Occhipinti 2015 Municipal campaign- 2013 October Quarterly report

Well!  According to these numbers, Timmy's 2015 campaign's got a balance of $633.47.

Anyway, the interesting detail of this Earwitness update is that legal wranglings to reach a settlement appear to have concluded on November 4, 2013- the eve of our mayoral election.

Earwitnesses say on November 4, 2013, Tim furnished a check for an amount satisfactory and equitable for the (former) co-owner.  A whopper of a check- risky for him, because the sale amount is unknown, and he's stuck with all of the fees: brokers, closing...

In fact, it is such a risky strategy for Tim, GA wonders if it wasn't a bit 'rushed'.  Pure speculation, but GA wonders if he made haste to settle because he believed that he would be declared mayor-elect the next day and wanted a 'clean slate'?  Who knows?

In any case, Tim's got to sell his place.  And he will.  But where will he live?  His enemies on the Dark Side are watching.

For now, the condo ownership question has been "cleared up", a phrase which brings back memories of this January 18, 2008 City Council exchange:

Mo DeGennaro: I's like to ask you a question about the statement you made, Mr. Russo about the million dollars. Is there a million dollars missing or is it there was a mistake, did they find it or WHAT on the parking...

Castellano: Mr. Russo?

Russo:  Thank you Council President. Mo, the REASON why I thought money was missing was because I was going on past year's uh anticipated revenues from the Parking Utility from the meters. Uh, it turned out that the meters did not generate as much money as they did in years past, so it was MY mistake to think that money was THERE when in fact it was not. That was, that was the situation.

Castellano: It's been cleared up.

DeGennaro: Because that was some statement to make! I think it's made everybody...

Russo: Well it wasn't it wasn't a statement, Mo. It was a question to Mr. Englund during our budget process to clarify if I was right or wrong. AND I came back and said I was wrong.

Castellano: It's been, it's been cleared up.

DeGennaro: I just wanted to make sure...

Castellano: It's been cleared up.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Sixth Vote


So, who's it gonna be?    Eenie meenie miney moe...


Today Mr./Ms. Vine suggested that Tim would be the logical Council minority flipper.  Noting that he's got no job, Vine posited "he cannot possibly function in a satisfactory manner on behalf of his constituents if he constantly has to worry about eating, holding on to this condo and just plain surviving.",  then suggested Zimmer could him him find a soft landing somewhere in Hudson County.  Hence, a quid pro quo, though in this case I'd call it a quid pro schmo.

GA's response to Mr./Mrs. Vine: have you ever known Tim to function in a satisfactory manner?   Either on behalf of his constituents or himself?

For that alone, I'd call the plan a non-starter. A CEO might find a job in the firm for his dunce-son, but a Reform mayor wouldn't foist a dunce upon an institution of government.  But, it is an interesting thought my mystery-comrade!

GA does concur the likely flipper would be Tim

Why?

Ruben's pals are lining up (and taking numbers) to shiv Tim in the back.

Mr. 17% comes off this election so damaged-- last place in his own Ward, his political career is OVER unless he works real, real hard to repair the public trust.  He must spend the next 2 years on the Council working his butt off for them. That means voting YES to bond for infrastructure improvements (like fixing potholes), YES new HOP buses to return the system up to capacity,  YES  to repairs that open parks and fix hurricane damage.  He must forget about photo-ops and freebies and using his campaign coffers like a petty cash fund.  He can only earn back the people's trust by doing their business, not his own (a.k.a. Bobble-head Theatre)

Timmy, you must do some soul-searching.  No, put your shoe down.  Not that sole.

GA has heard another name floated as the likely flipper: Mike Russo!

GA hears the Dark Side does not expect Zimmer to run for a third term and should Mike Russo decide to take a shot, he will need some (actual) successes under his belt.  Not imaginary ones like the Beth Mason "Council Minority reaches agreement with Buyer to Save Hoboken Hospital"


No, Russo will need real accomplishments to run on- positive ones.  So, some won't be surprised to see selective cooperation and a sixth vote from him.

Terry Castellano?  Does a broomstick change it's stripes?

Beth Mason?  No. She and her wallet have moved on to bigger stages. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mason Backs Christie-Pol, Plots Against Fulop

Mason valentine to Governor Christie: backing South Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (right)

"Oh, what a world! What a world!" cried the Wicked Witch of the West as she melted under a pail of water thrown by Dorothy.

"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could have destroyed my beautiful wickedness!"

It looks like Hoboken's Wicked Witch of the North, Councilwoman Beth Mason, has thrown the water on herself this time. 

Mason's bucket of water is her endorsement of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's presumptive opponent in the gubernatorial race who is a close ally of NJ Governor Christie.  

How close? Christie and his staff lobbied Senate Republicans hard to oust popular Republican Tom Kean Jr. as NJ Senate Minority Leader. According to Business Insider:
 Why did Christie push for this? Because his success as governor has been largely predicated on his good relationship with Democrats — especially Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Kean and Sweeney are in the midst of a nasty feud that sprang up when Kean campaigned hard against Sweeney...

Now, GA applauds bipartisanship; Dems and Repubs working together for the good of their constituents.

In fact, Mayor Zimmer has an excellent bipartisan relationship with Christie that has served Hoboken well; remember how  Christie gave Hoboken 5 million dollars to keep the hospital open after Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano refused to bond that amount.  Note Zimmer has never bashed Christie, while Mason has attacked the Governor in numerous TV ads such as this one:


And she's dissed him publicly.

Mason refused to sit on stage with Christie when made his first visit to Hoboken. Nope, Mason snubbed him by sitting in the audience while other Councilpersons followed protocol and sat on stage with the Governor.  From the audience, she accused Christie of "putting forth a cut in hospital care" to which he responded "Wrong!", then 'bopped' her:


Sources say Mason refused the NJ Assembly slot before it was offered to Carmelo Garcia because she would NOT endorse Christie.

And now?

Mason is embracing the Republican party through the back door by supporting Christie-man, Stephen Sweeney. 

This after Mason is believed to have given $250K to the Democratic Party candidates in 2012.

(Pssssst... GA's heard that Christie has a strong distaste for our Wicked Witch of the North.)

Backing Sweeney pits Mason against most Hudson County Dems who will support Fulop, except Union City's Brian Stack and Bayonne's Mark Smith,  allies of Sweeney's.

Well, it appears Mason's mud-machine has moved on, out of Hoboken into Jersey City.   

GA hears of a plot to destroy Fulop's right-hand man, Tom Bertoli, through dissemination of some very dirty false rumors.  And boy, are they dirty.  Yikes.  The theory must be that knocking out the smart and street-wise Bertoli is the path to taking down Fulop.

Mason tried the same stunt last year in the Jersey City election.  Her filthy fish-cake was shopping an old document and news clippings to the media, giving out thumb drives like candy, in an effort to destroy the career and reputation of Bertoli, thus dirtying up Fulop.  You recall Beth and Ricky Mason sank a fortune into Healy's campaign.

Now you have Mason throwing a dessert-reception with Sweeney next week at the league of Municipalities in Atlantic City, and low and behold vicious rumors about Fulop's right-hand man, filthier than ever, are starting to blow about.

Classic Mason.  Ask Ravi Bhalla.

Well, since everything Mason and her fishy operative do turns to shit, GA wouldn't bet on this smear campaign going anywhere.  

Speaking of her failing fluke, "no one" has seen  him since he was outed as double-crossing Frank Raia and his boss Beth Mason, by canoodling with Ramos' people Mark Albiez and Paul Swibinski throughout the mayoral campaign.

Because where Mason-mud goes, her mendacious minnow can't be far behind.

I suppose Beth Mason and her perfidious perch ought to come with warning labels- they are the Kiss of Death to any campaign they touch.

Does Sweeney know Mason-backed Move Forward campaigned with SWASTIKAS on a 'Nazi Truck'?


Friday, November 15, 2013

Mason Takes a Dump on Fulop...

Last April's $46K purchase in Jersey City, fruitless attempt to sink Steve Fulop

...AGAINSPLAT!

Cash Spill in Aisle 6! (Masons' contribution to Fulop's opponent)
Oh, dear. 

It looks like Beth Mason's decided to take her act on the road;  Ricky, pack the sandwiches!

PolitickerNJ reports that Mason is co-hosting a dessert reception for South Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) at next week's League of Municipalities in Atlantic City.

A reader sent me the story with this note:
Dem Gubernatorial showdown for 2017 is Fulop in north vs Sweeney in South. Beth the traitor supported Healy and got crushed. Now she's openly supporting a south Jersey guy over a hometown favorite out of spite. She's going to embarrass herself yet again.

 crazy lady
I'll say.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Earwitness News: Petrosino "Makes Waves"



Earwitnesses at the County tell GA that Mark Toback's letter to Christopher Cerf is making waves- but not for his views on the HoLa charter renewal.   What's getting a lot of attention is the role of Dr. Anthony Petrosino in Hoboken school-politics and his blog in leading a campaign against the Hoboken School District and the Kids First majority.

Earwitnesses tell GA that Dr. Petrosino's blog post, 'Attachment B' is raising eyebrows at the County and beyond.

Petrosino, is an Associate Professor and STEM Advisor at the University of Texas in Austin, and formerly worked in Hoboken as Assistant to the Superintendent Jack Raslowsky; Petrosino continued teaching in Austin while employed in Hoboken.  His contract was not renewed in 2009, and in 2010, Petrosino sued the Hoboken Board of Education for back-pay.  He lost.  Then the Hoboken Board of Education sued Petrosino for over-payment. They won a judgment of $3,200.

Needless to say, animosity between Petrosino and the Kids First School Board deepened and hardened. It seems to GA that for Petrosino, destroying Kids First has become an obsession.

After his dismissal from Hoboken, Petrosino's blog, The Hoboken Curriculum Project became Dr. Petrosino's Education Project, a bitterly partisan anti-Kids First political attack blog leaning heavily on the academic bona fides of Dr. Petrosino to lend its contents credibility and weight. Over time,  Petrosino's blog has been referenced repeatedly by partisan political operatives and opponents of Kids First, and many believe he blogged as Passkey on Hoboken Patch.

Petrosino has lent his name and credentials to what is essentially a Hoboken-centric propaganda blog every bit as partisan and tilted as Hoboken411 (minus the dwarf jokes). 

There is nothing wrong with being a political partisan and blogging about politics, if that's what Petrosino is- a political blogger.

But to present blatant distortions and misinformation under the guise of academic research and to use these distortions to bludgeon political opponents is in GA's view, dishonest, manipulative, and cheapens his actual academic works. 

Dr. Toback's impact statement to Christopher Cerf included a Petrosino blog post called "Statistical Analysis Shows Out of District Placements in Hoboken City Schools Under Kids First/Carter/Toback Leadership is Much Higher Than Years Before".  Toback called it a "political tool" and "unfortunate" because Petrosino excluded elementary 'data' in his academic analysis (which included bar graphs and mathematical calculations).  The inclusion of the data omitted by Petrosino would have undermined his politically-motivated narrative.

Here is what Toback told Cerf:

Petrosino's misleading bar graph:

 

Petrosino's faulty mathematical analysis:

looks impressive to the layman

Dr Petrosino's attack on "political group" Kids First


One could drive a truck through the holes in Petrosino's claims Kids First have "overseen an unprecedented decline in the quality of education objectively measured by the State of New Jersey and the Federal Government) as well as an increase in district costs from $59.1 million to $64 million".  One can also see the genesis of ALL political operative talking points on Hoboken blogs as originating from the partisan political writings of Dr. Petrosino.

So GA suggests that Petrosino call it what it is, drop the high falutin' bar graphs and mathematical analyses.  Petrosino is a political operative working against Kids First; he is fully engaged 'in the game'.

So what's in it for him? Is he coming back to Hoboken?

According to his 2010 deposition in his lawsuit against the Hoboken Board of Education Petrosino has one foot in Texas and the other in Hoboken:



In any case, it looks like the political machinations of Dr. Petrosino are attracting attention outside of Hoboken.

And that may be the lasting impact of the Toback letter.

GA: One Million Served!


Hudson County Scrabble

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Earwitness News: "They're dumb people"


Mo' money, mo' money', mo' money!

An Earwitness has reported that losing mayoral candidate, Tim Occhipinti has gone to Frank Raia with a tin cup.  Yup, Timmy's asked Frank for mo' money Not for himself.  Timmy has asked for more cash for One Hoboken's Director of Communications, Amanda Palasciano.

Wow!

According to GA's earwitness  Tim has told Frank she deserves mo' because of  the "great work" she did for the campaign.


How much loot does he want?  GA doesn't know but heard Tim asked for "a lot."


That. man. has. balls. simply huge. #17%

Reportedly the campaign had originally agreed to pay their Director of Communications $10K for 10 weeks. 
 
On top of that nice sum, Tim is asking for more (for her).  Maybe for this?


 Holy MOLEy!

Speaking of moles... earwitnesses tell GA that Tim's people don't believe that 'Finboy' Barracato is/was a Ramos mole.

Interesting.

Yet the One Hoboken campaign believed (alleged) poll results delivered by the treacherous tuna showing Tim in the lead!  Yep, apparently the campaign bought fake poll results.  GA hears the campaign fully expected a victory.  Can you imagine?  My earwitness said, "They can't believe he got 17%"GA told you how Jamie Cryan had obtained barricades for  the HQ  to hold back the crowds after Tim's victory was announced!  Yes, Cryan believed the fake poll.  This was the exact same scam pulled on the Mason people in 2009; they had smoke blown up their asses about polling showing Mason ahead...

In fact, GA got this from someone on Mason's 2009 campaign:
Can't tell you how closely Tim's campaign parallels what came out after Beth's campaign for Mayor 4-years ago. Exact same tricks; money spent on stuff that never saw the light of day, nasty flyers that got blamed on everyone else; the attack on Ravi. The parallels between Beth's campaign and Tim's are endless.
WHO worked on BOTH Timmy's campaign (2013) and Mason's (2009)? 

Aqua Mole!

GA was told this amazing tidbit: Mason's pickled herring was spreading news about the number of Cammarano absentee ballots found under a table at the Hudson County Board of Election office before the news became public and before the ballots were counted.

 Wow.

Ask yourself: how would the fish filet engaged by Beth Mason (the Councilwoman endorsed Zimmer over Cammarano in the runoff)  know about this?

Only a Cammarano guy/gal would have know, which raises the question: how long has this fish has been playing both sides?

Well, it's clear Tim's people, who don't believe any of this, are a bunch of suckers.  And that's why we call them the 17%ers and why we call Frank #7.

Yikes.

Speaking of Frank, will he grant Tim's request forI more cash?

GA hears that Frank is "just starting to realize" that something was amiss in his campaign.  Just starting?

GA is told that boxes and boxes of unopened campaign literature were removed from the One Hoboken's HQ and left at the corner of the street for garbage pickup.  Frank might as well have flushed his money down the crapper.

Frank, take a look at your fishy 'fluffer'; the guy who got you all hot and heavy and ready for victory.

Jeez, how could such a successful businessman let himself be tapped like a beer keg by this crew.  I asked my Earwitness that question.

He/she replied, "They're dumb people."

Myth or Fact

As many know, last night's Hoboken School Board meeting was packed with parents from Hoboken's dual-language school, HoLa. 

It seems HoLa applied to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to expand its charter from K-5 to K-8.  When a charter makes an expansion request, the NJDOE requires an impact statement from the Superintendent of Public Schools; in Hoboken, that's Dr. Mark Toback.  An impact statement is an assessment of how the changes in the charter application would affect the public school district and its students.  Dr. Toback's impact statement  to NJ  Commissioner of Education, Christopher Cerf is what packed the room last night.  

GA hears there may be some misconceptions floating about...


1. Myth or Fact: School Board melee knocked down a light pole.

Today at 8:15 AM

A. MYTH.  This light pole at the corner of Willow and 11th street (Wallace School) was bent by a wayward car.  GA recommends the driver's license be shredded and placed in a hamster cage.  Because anyone driving like this at a school intersection doesn't belong on the road. As for the School Board,  in spite of high emotions, GA hears the atmosphere was civil and the discourse polite. 

2: Fact or Myth: Toback is against Hola and wants it's charter revoked.
A. MYTH: Toback supports HoLa grades K-5, without expansion. Toback does not want renewal of the amended charter, not a revocation of the original charter.  And he calls for a study prior to granting the renewal.  GA agrees, this wasn't clear in his letter.

3. Fact or Myth: Toback does not support HoLa expansion because he is a big meanie.
A. MYTH: Toback wrote that he does not believe the model urban district that includes a mix of charter, private and traditional public schools can happen if public schools continue to lose huge amounts of funding to support charters "especially when we have increasing enrollment. "

4. Fact or Myth: Hoboken School enrollment is increasing.
A. FACT: Enroll ment is increasing and please note, public schools must take ALL CHILDREN, unlike charters. Our public school enrollment has been growing every year, take a look:.

VIEW DOCUMENT

5. Fact or Myth: Hoboken public schools cannot sustain expansion of charter schools without devastating impact on schools OR taxpayers.
A.  FACT.  Public schools are facing steep increases EACH YEAR as a percentage of our operating budget for the 'status quo' and CANNOT sustain another (estimated) $700,000 to $1,000,000 on top of CURRENT INCREASES without severely impacting our students and that is a FACT.  Actual costs and appropriations:

VIEW DOCUMENT

6.  Fact or Myth: HoLa enrollment is sharply increasing.
A. MYTH: Dr. Toback reports that HoLa currently has 18 children in (2) 5th grade classes- 9 kids per class.  Which means the top grade (5th) has LOST 59% of their students since the start of program, 44 children (22 per class).  At the current rate of enrollment dropping, how many would be left by 8th grade?  So, while public school enrollment is INCREASING, an expansion of a school that is precipitously DROPPING enrollment would take an unsustainable percentage of the public schools operating budget.

7.  Fact or Myth: Dr. Toback is making the decision about the HoLa expansion.
A. MYTH: No. Commissioner Cerf will.  As noted, Toback was required to write an impact statement.

8. Myth or Fact:  The more Hoboken residents former BoE candidate/ realtor/ politico Brian Murray scares 'to the burbs' by attacking Hoboken's public schools, the more likely he will obtain  hefty real estate commissions.
A.  Fact.  Murray's harsh and constant stream of negativity about Hoboken Public Schools, his refusal to acknowledge even the smallest material improvements with the nasty tone of his rhetoric strike GA as marketing gor his business. Here is what a Hudson County TV reporter said in February 2013 in a piece about Murray's "Hoboken to the Burbs" group called "The Hoboken 3":  "The Hoboken 3 are hoping to drum up new business as a result of the seminars but it may take some time."  And one of their realtors said: "The schools are the number one priority for anyone moving out of town."

9.  Fact or Myth: GA thinks all of our kids are terrific: public, charter and private.  
A. FACT.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mason Aiming for County Job?

Future Hudson County Director of Health and Human Services?

Did anyone see this comment on MSV:
Beth Mason is teaming with some healthcare provider to give free health screenings in JERSEY CITY!   Yes, a health fair and family planning clinic. 
Curious, no?  GA heard the same thing from a source.

And you may recall that the "Beth Mason Civic League" (yet another iteration of the charity's name) offered free health screenings for Hoboken residents on or about September 22-- coincidentally, a camera crew happened to be there (pure coincidence) to document this charitable act,and  coincidentally filmed and posted on HCTV. 

Pure coincidence!


Not to digress, but has anyone else noticed how the Mason charity goes under a variety of names?

GA believes tax-exempt charitable organizations are prohibited from using aliases.  I recall being told that by a money laundering investigator, and that aliases can sometimes be used as a  screen to confuse, distract,  obfuscate, provide cover from financial activities, the movement of money, and other activities one doesn't want seen or reported.  Of course, GA would never suggest the Masons would use so many iterations of their charity's name for such purposes.  Heavens, no.

So what is the legal name of Councilwoman Mason's charity

Only $10.8K?
It's the Mason Civic League, and they only reported contributions of $10,839.00 for 2011?

The IRS shows the Mason Civic League, Inc. filed 2011 Federal E-Postcard tax form, which can only be used for non-profits with gross receipts of less than $50,000.  Funny thing, there is no 2012 on the IRS e-Postcard database, which means for the 2012 tayear, Mason filed the brutal 12-page 990 long form.

Can you imagine what that return looks like?

Part VII, Section A: Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees:  (1) Aqua Mole,  (2) a large, semi-domesticated baboon, (3) some administrative staff, (4) a father-son video-production crew, (5) a Nazi Truck driver,  (6) the guy who didn't hire the Nazi Truck driver *wink*, (7) the husband/wife stalking team of a City Councilwoman's flood-damaged house and  (8) assorted  'not-politicalpolitical operatives'...

Are Nazi Trucks tax-exempt contributions? Ask the Boy Scout.

The Mason Civic League Tax ID (EIN)  is 273134429. Wouldn't you love to see a copy of their 2012 federal return?

But I digress... what I started saying was there is a powerful County position, Director of Health and Human Services OPEN since the Department head, Carol Ann Wilson, was removed last October because of unspecified "complaints".

So, this Mason out-of-the-blue dabbling in free health services- in Hoboken and Jersey City, her desire for an powerful County position, and the vacancy of the Director tells GA that Mason has her eye on that seat.

Augie Torres wrote on October 11, 2013:
Carol Ann Wilson, director the Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, county spokesman Jim Kennelly said yesterday.  Wilson, 70, was driven to her Hoboken home Wednesday after surrendering her county car and office keys, according to officials.

The department head was told she would be placed on leave while a probe into activities within her office were completed. County officials would not provide more information. The investigation was triggered by what sources called complaints about Wilson by county employees. Kennelly said the issues being investigated do not rise to the level of criminality, but he would not be specific, calling it an administrative matter.
"Complaints".  Hmmm.  

Mason may be burnishing her 'health-services resume' with this foray into free health services.   A new Director would be picked by the County Executive, and the Board of Freeholders votes for or against.  GA is told the Freeholders usually confirm the County Executive's pick.

In any case, GA will be delighted when Mason is gone from Hoboken civic life.

But does she have the skills, experience and competence to take such a huge job?

If she did get that appointment, how ironic; the one individual who worked harder than anyone else to kill the sale of Hoboken's only hospital, should become Hudson County Director of Health and Human Services.

It could happen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dish from the Vine: Election Winners and Losers

 Great new Hudson County political blog


So now you know GA's Monday routine: I make a cup of French Roast so thick you can write your name on top, then check the latest edition of Hangin on the Vine.  

This week's dispatch is a lot of fun: The Election's Winners and Losers .   Now, a Hoboken-centric gal like me doesn't know many of these folks outside our  borders, but Mr./Ms Vine dishes movement from deep within the bowels of Hoboken.  Call them Hoboken 'bowel movements' (BMs) like Beth Mason, for instance. Mason is one Hoboken bowel movement our blogging comrade, Mr./Ms. Vine, is tracking.  A bowel movement imported from Weehawken (must they ship their crap to us? )  that the Vine is tracking is Finboy a.k.a. Aqua Mole.  And a North Bergen bowel movement, Paul Swibinski, and more from Hoboken: Theresa Castellano, Mike Russo...

Here are some excerpts from The Vine's "Election Losers"


Yeah, I'm with you Mr./Ms. Vine.  Swibinski promised Zimmer to Sacco's face he would not step into the Hoboken election for Ruben Liar, liar pants on fire!   Zimmer is not your typical Hudson County sourpuss politician who nurses grudges and sports vendettas; she's all about governing Hoboken.  That said, GA suspects Zimmer is not ruminating over Swibinski's broken promise.  It simply shows Swibinski to be- as the Vine puts it- without "scruples". Welcome to Hudson County's political slime pit.

More "Election Losers":


Wow,  that  Hoboken-bowel movement, Beth Mason,  supports "horror show consultants"? Who would've thunk it?

You mean "horror show consultants" that:
  1. Orchestrate defamation campaigns and racist blogging against Ravi Bhalla?  
  2. And Nazi trucks and defamatory midnight flyers against bloggers (me)?  
  3. That cook up a lawsuit against the entire reform blogosphere with emphasis on GA?  
  4. That get paid for their political work by a 501(c)3? 
  5. A husband and wife team that photograph the abandoned flood-damaged home of a Councilwoman so she can be attacked for leaving it?  
  6. An infamous "not an operative" operative busted filming the home of a Kids First member- with her young son in tow-- on a frigid day!  (What kind of parent-operative would drag her little boy out in the cold to execute a political operative mission? At least the little boy was wearing a ... let me check the video....  a red and black jacket and a blue hat! Thank goodness he was bundled up as his negligent mother snapped photos of the Kids First member's home)
Are those the kind you mean?  Nice to know all of Hudson County is onto her schtick.

And apparently Hudson County is onto Finboy a.k.a. Aqua-Mole's too! Your assessment "Anyone who hires him is out of their skull" is proof that Hoboken politicos are out of their skulls, time and time again.  Will they ever learn?


Probably not.

And GA saved the best for last (hee hee)- these were in the "Election Winners" column:


Thank you Mr./Ms. Vine!  GA appreciates the nod.  Hoboken is a quirky place, isn't it?