Tuesday, September 30, 2014

He was FOR it, before he was AGAINST it

"Chris Campos likes this!" 

Remember the famous John Kerry flip-flop:  "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

In fact, that was true.

In 2002, Kerry voted FOR the use of force in Iraq, then in 2003 voted AGAINST an $87 billion dollar supplemental (war) funding bill, then voted FOR an alternative $87 billion dollar bill funded from President Bush's tax cuts. Phew!  He really was for and against it at the same time, sort of. 

Politicians will often claim to be FOR and AGAINST the same thing, depending upon their audience or the season. 

GA was reminded of that in this week's Hoboken Reporter:
“I would ask anyone who I may have offended with my comments to forgive me for not making my points a little clearer,” she wrote.

In an interview this past week, Waiters denied being anti-Semitic, saying that she didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. However, she also took back the letter.

Waiters said that the letter had been drafted by Chris Campos, another Garcia aide and a former Hoboken councilman, and that she was “a little bit ashamed” by it.
Chris Campos!  He's the fellow who gave HHA Resident Advisory Board/Tenant Association representative Sigsby Cheatham a "thumbs up" for his Facebook comment noting the story Cheatham is writing about "the so-called chosen people, the Jews!"

Thumbs up for Sigsby!  Hooray!  

Curious that the Sigsby's "thumbs-up" guy, drafted Waiters' apology letter for her "so-called" anti-Semitic remarks at the HHA.

He was FOR it, before he was AGAINST it. 

See?  Politicians change their minds ALL the time.  Thumbs up, thumbs down.   GA is still puzzling over why Mom served us Alpo fritters and walked us three times a day. Won't somebody scratch my belly?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Missing Vine

He/she left as mysteriously as he/she came...

Folks out there who enjoyed the weekly column "Hangin' on the Vine" are (like GA) sorry to see it go.    HOTV wasn't your garden-variety creeper, but a source of insider dish homegrown in Hudson County's political hothouse.   He/she was one juicy grape (vine).   A grape I'll never ferment... um, forget. 

Okay, enough schmaltz. 

GA misses you!  And your sudden departure is a mystery.  

Speaking of mysteries...  last week, GA received an anonymous package of old North Jersey newspaper clippings. I mean old- from the late 80's and early 90's.  They were fascinating, so whoever you are, keep it coming!  I'll share one with you folks from The Hudson Reporter, dated September 9, 1990:

"Nefarious inheritance of hundreds of thousands of dollars..." Meee-ow.  And OUCH.

At least it wasn't 4 million missing quarters...  

Hoboken City Council Meeting- January 16, 2008
Mo DeGennaro: I'd 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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"I'm sorry- NOT!"

Sing it, Elton.

Guess who else isn't sorry?

The Hoboken Reporter cover, September 28, 2014

GA's been preoccupied with other 'things'... as I dip my toe back into our local political scene, the waters are rank: revoked apologies, a missing Vine, a horse forced again to municipal court on a ludicrous charge of "harassment" for proper service of a subpoena.  Since when does a loaded Brinks truck thwart the judicial process?

Don't you know the Lady is blind? 

Anyway, GA's getting up to speed on the next race; 3 of the 9 seats on Hoboken's School Board are up for grabs on November 4.

The (3) tickets are:

Education for All Children:
Incumbent Peter Biancamano, Incumbent Frances Rhodes-Kearns

Parents for Progress:
Incumbent Monica Stromwell,  Sharyn Angley, Antonio Gray

Parents for Change:
Brian Murray,  Lynn Danzker, Patty 'Revoked-Apology' Waiters

As you may know, Britney Montgmery, Barbara Martinez and Jackie Dowd Prince have dropped out.  I don't know why- ask them!

So, you have left two tickets comprised (largely) of local politicos who are vocal Kids First opponents and one ticket of political neophytes: all-parents who, I am told, are "independent" and completely uninterested in political alignments.

Speaking of Kids First opposition, this week's Reporter includes a strikingly dishonest Letter to the Editor; a thinly-veiled political attack on the current School Board President, Ruth Tyroler.  The letter twists an alleged statement of FACT by Tyroler, regarding the relationship of poverty to standardized test scores.   

Here is what this letter says:
Do I believe that there is some merit to the idea that some (not all) children from low income families may (not always) have less academic support and rigor at home, and that by not having as much academic support at home this (may) influence overall academic success and test scores? Yes I believe that support for education in the home increases a child’s likelihood of success. Do I believe children from lower income families cannot learn, cannot succeed? NO! And focusing on this point of view does not help us create strategies to overcome real challenges.

What a load of patronizing crap.  

Tyroler NEVER said that kids from low income families "CAN'T" learn.   Jeez.  Tyroler has devoted hundreds of hours of her personal time to all the kids of our district, the most demographically diverse district in Hoboken, to put new textbooks and state-of-the-art resources in all district classrooms.   

The caption above the letter, "Poor Kids CAN Learn" is repudiation for a statement Tyroler never made.  It is a cheap, political attack on a single MOTHER who has sacrificed more than most of us to expand educational opportunities and progress in our public schools for everybody's children.
All kids can learn. All kids deserve our commitment.
No kidding. Ms. Tyroler's kid is in the Hoboken School District, with mine.  The commitment of Hoboken's Board of Education to ALL the kids of the district, poor and privileged, is manifest in the district classrooms. 

Oh, well.  Mean season is upon us.

On another note, is it me or is this kid Carlo Davis a breath of fresh air?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NJ Supreme Court Rains on Peter Cammarano

source: The Jersey Journal

When it rains, it pours...  Fresh in from The Jersey Journal:
Former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, who spent two years behind bars after admitting to accepting bribes from a corrupt developer, has been disbarred by the state Supreme Court, which said in a unanimous ruling today that the former mayor betrayed "a solemn public trust."

"This form of corruption is corrosive to our democracy and undermines public confidence in honest government, and its rippling pernicious effects are incalculable," Justice Barry Albin wrote in his ruling.
Well folks, there you have it.

Hoboken residents lived through those dark days when our highest elected official violated the public trust and got busted on July 23, 2009 in the largest political corruption sting in the history of New Jersey, 'Bid Rig 3'.  For anyone 'new' in town, Operation Bid Rig is an ongoing, long-term investigation into political corruption in New Jersey conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey since 2002.

Yep, Operation Bid Rig is still ongoing.  The investigation into political corruption in Hoboken, Hudson County and beyond is ongoing.

You recall, Mr. Cammarano was recorded on F.B.I. surveillance tape 'selling' two zoning variances to informant Solomon Dwek at The Malibu Diner; the Malibu is a great place to have scrambled eggs and bacon, or catch a crook in the act of dealing zoning variances or even the Mayor's emails.
Cammarano pleaded guilty in 2010 to accepting $25,000 in corrupt payments from federal informant Solomon Dwek. The two met several times at the Malibu Diner in Hoboken in the spring and summer of 2009.

When he first met with Dwek, Cammarano was seeking the mayoralty against Dawn Zimmer, who succeeded him after his subsequent arrest and resignation. Cammarano admitted agreeing to support Dwek's purported real-estate ventures in exchange for campaign cash.

"An elected official who sells his office – who offers favored treatment to a private developer in exchange for money – betrays a solemn public trust," Albin wrote.
I'll say.

And same for those behind-the-scenes and in front of videocameras who try to facilitate the abuse of the public trust.

Well folks on another note, GA apologizes for the disruption in blogging. Some of you know what's been occupying GA's time.  Soon enough I will be able to share it with all of you.

To be continued...