Monday, January 20, 2014

Not Another Dark Star


Once again, the nation's eyes are on Hoboken.

This time it's not for hosting TLC superstar The Cake Boss or booting Snookie over to Jersey City, nor is it about the weather.

Hurricane Sandy from the NASA/NOAA satellite-10/29/12
The Pandora's Box the mayor opened on Saturday is  a story of another kind.  It's a topic GA and MSV have spilled oodles of cyber-ink on: political corruption.

Hoboken's political universe is swirling with dark stars, and open secrets about election fraud, political operatives employed by a Councilwoman's 501(c)3, a Councilman who was re-elected after starring in an F.B.I. surveillance video where he tells Solomon Dwek's 'bagman' to deposit $5,000 to into "Russo For Hoboken"...

These open secrets are not even 'secret'- they are Hoboken political culture and why the rest of Hudson County laughs at us.  They do.   Laugh.

Nowhere else in Hudson County do City Council members try to close a hospital and bankrupt a city just to spite a mayor, nowhere else does a City Council sue a fellow member in the aftermath of a flood disaster, nowhere else does a Councilwoman's political operative hire a Nazi truck in a School Board campaign.

The fact that a Reform mayor and Reform now control Hoboken is stunning to those Dark Stars.  The Zimmer administration's governing principles are antithetical to everything they represent: making money at the expense of everyone and everything else.  And of course in Hoboken, the money flows from development.  That's the beating heart of Reform-opposing political culture.

And if you are one of Hoboken's elected dark stars, you open the gates for developers because you know that some of those millions swishing and swashing about in contracts and kickbacks will come your way.  Somehow.

If you believe Mayor Zimmer, Governor Christie fell from "honest" and "something very different" to just another dark star.

Mayor Zimmer's journal- entry from May 17, 2013

And if you are Mayor Zimmer, you just spent 4 years cleaning up after your predecessors, and were re-elected you because the People want a clean house; so what do you do when your governor asks you to become a dark star?

GA thinks it is not in Zimmer's DNA.  Not only would she have been scorned had she announced this last May, we would be in a Ramos or Timmy administration and the Rockefeller project would have broken ground by now, Vision 20/20 would be at the Zoning Board, our boards would be stacked with dark stars and the gates of our city would have swung wide to the highest bidder.

THAT is what would have happened if Zimmer opened her mouth last May.

Thank G-d she waited.

So, Dark stars and operatives may think they smell blood, but GA thinks the rest of us admire Zimmer's moxie.  How many politicians would expose a political giant's  using disaster aid as leverage to for a  friend's massive development project.

Of course, these are unproven allegations.  But investigations will follow.   The mayor has already spoken to the US Attorney in Newark.

In the meantime, all eyes are on Hoboken and for now, it looks like one Mayor's word against the Governor's.  Here is Hangin On The Vine's take:
Of course, without tapes of the conversations it’s going to turn into a she said, he said, she said scenario without anyone having definite proof. But there are certainly enough peripheral facts to warrant an investigation and force people to testify under oath. The mayor has already stated she is willing to undergo questioning and submit to a lie detector test. We’re betting her adversaries in this case will refuse on the lie detector part.

Other circumstantial but damning evidence is the fact that the Rockefeller group hired Lori Grifa, a one-time Christie aide as a lobbyist and the law firm of Wolff & Samson (yes that Samson involved in the George Washington Bridge scandal as Christie’s appointment to be Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and Sometimes New Jersey). And, who wants to take bets that the Rockefeller Group donated money to one of those PACS helping Christie that are not required to list their donors?

Did you know the Vine writes the best blog on Hudson County politics?

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