The only predictable moment since Mayor Zimmer ignited a media brush-fire on Saturday has been the response of her rival, Councilwoman Beth Mason.
Ms. Mason has swooped in like a starving buzzard for a few crumbs of airtime, a splash of ink in the press... as our Mayor is the white-hot center of a national media feeding frenzy.
Mason's churn of press releases, interviews and multiple Twitter-gasms clubbing Mayor Zimmer is yet another political miscalculation as she strains for the next rung of the ladder. Out of Hoboken.
Like it or not, outside of Hoboken this story takes on extreme partisan political dimensions.
Christie is the Republican 'frontrunner' for the presidential nomination, and Zimmer's allegation hit his 'sweet spot'- his management of NJ in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Of course, Republicans and Christie supporters must rally to discredit the Hoboken mayor. (Haley Barbour dismissed her as "that lady mayor"). That leaves Democrats and Christie-opponents to support her, to endorse her credibility.
So, if you are Beth and Ricky Mason and aspire to a Democratic party political appointment or even elected office at the state or national level, and just sank $250K into Democratic races, elected Democrats, and the National Democratic Committee which 'side' would you pick?
Beth Mason picked the OTHER one.
And remember Mason schmoozing up prospective gubernatorial candidate Steve Sweeney with a cocktail party at the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City? Here is what he said on Saturday:
Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat and the president of the New Jersey Senate, who is a Christie ally, called the allegations “extremely disturbing’’ and promised an investigation.So, it's kind of curious that Mason is dogging her own party at the state and national levels. Isn't it? Which tells you when it comes to her 'enemies', hell hath no fury and no brains.
Of course, a cynic might look back to Beth Mason's 'develop or die' beginnings at Hoboken City Council in 2009 over the very same property that Christie is alleged to have bartered for disaster relief with Dawn Zimmer. From the Hoboken Reporter, February 22, 2009:
Wednesday night, the council voted to approve a redevelopment study for the now-19 block area near the Burlington Coat Factory, where a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Group has been buying land. The area now under review by the Planning Board was expanded westward to the Palisade cliffs, including the land occupied by the Academy Bus Company.A cynic might wonder if Mason doesn't have a moral or ethical problem with Chris Christie's alleged 'deal' for flood aid; if she would have swapped the aid for the project.
If a city declares an area a redevelopment zone, the city can change the zoning, seek developers with plans that conform to the new guidelines, take over certain property by eminent domain if necessary, and possibly offer a tax abatement agreement.
Zimmer and her ally, Councilman Peter Cunningham, took a stand against continuing the process of designating the area for redevelopment, while Mason found herself on the opposite side of the fence.
Mason said, “If [Hoboken] stops building, it will die. It will die. You have to continue to grow to some extent. You cannot stop.”
In fact, 'Develop or Die' Mason reflexively attacks Zimmer- not the alleged swapping of a development for disaster relief in her own city. We all go under the bus, as long as she can score a few minutes on WPIX.
Mason is at odds with Hoboken residents who appreciate Zimmer exposing an (alleged) dirty political deal. She is at odds with her local, state and national party whose support she needs to climb the next rung out of Hoboken. And she is at odds with her constituents, most wait anxiously until 2015 when they can "move forward" without her.
The Mason media-blitz makes her a woman with no country.