Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Everybody Off the GravyTrain!

background credit: Google 

Someone is not happy at all and talking about it.  GA's heard this again from a new source, with a few more specifics.

Looming large ELEC fines have put someone in a foul mood, and I am told he's put an expiration date on the Mason gravy train.  Specifically, the caboose.   That's where his wife's political operatives ride. Familiar names and faces.  One's a top-earning sardine who gets confidential City email from Terry Castellano, orchestrates losing Nazi Truck campaigns and canoodles with SLAPPers.

Well, someone has been heard saying, "They serve no purpose once she's out of office."

Someone is presumably talking about 2015.

GA's source said, "The whole crew including (redacted) will be out of a job."

Really?  Even redacted?

Who'd a thunk it.  She's been carrying him around for years like an old Hermes bag.

The 'word' is that Hermes has been scurrying around and "made promises to people he can't deliver" so... once he's tossed off the gravy train he may not have a place to land.  Which explains the sudden flurry of PR blowing out of the Mason camp. That puff piece about that picnic at the White House.  A certain redacted is desperately trying to demonstrate his worth and justify his salary, to keep ridin' that train.

GA hears it's too late.

A local political operation is useless when she's out of local politics. That crew can't help her at the state level- or D.C.   And someone is mighty pissed off at the bills.

So there you have it folks.  Someone is spreading the word, once the Mrs. is out of office the 'crew' is off the caboose.

Choooo chooooooooooo!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Phony Washington Baloney


Dry up those crocodile tears, Councilwoman.

Admit it: you don't give rat's tuchas about the residents of the HHA.

Vision 20/20, a 10-year phased redevelopment proposal will NOT keep  the lights on, the refrigerators running, the fire suppression systems operational, and medical equipment running at the HHA in the next flood or fire emergency.  

The 14 generators sitting in a parking lot on Fourth and Harrison Streets since the Summer of 2013,  ordered with federal grant money to replace flood-damaged generators voted Most-Likely-to-Fail in the next emergency-- those generators will keep the lights on.

Did you ask any of your Vision 20/20 pals why they haven't been installed?  Or did you 'arrange' this whitewash in The Hoboken Reporter:


Whatever.  Cold pizzas and vanity tours of D.C. won't help HHA residents through their next crisis.

It is pretty disgusting how politicians like Beth Mason exploit the poor to pitch a redevelopment project for her political buddies, while the remedy for the next disaster sits mouldering in a parking lot.
Mason is against the scope of the Monarch, but supports Vision 20/20.“These projects are at opposite sides of the spectrum, and it looks like the Monarch, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because it’s a set of buildings being built on a pier that could easily flood, will happen,” she said. 

“Why put these buildings in the middle of the river and yet leave the Hoboken Housing Authority, which we have an opportunity to improve, completely vulnerable?”

Mason said that she believes that protecting the city’s least fortunate residents must be a priority.
Hey 2nd Ward, your Councilperson said: "it looks like the Monarch... will happen."

Really?

It "will happen" because she voted against funding the City's legal fight?  Or because she rolled over, on her constituents in the 2nd Ward?


Mason said that she felt being able to discuss Hoboken on a national stage helped her formulate new ideas for what the city, and nation, could achieve.

Ah, whatever.  Forget about power and heat.  The pizza's here.

Pizza Pals: Councilwoman Beth Mason and incumbent Freeholder candidate, Anthony Romano.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hoboken Reporter: "Mrs. Mason Goes to Washington"

Thank goodness for The Hoboken Reporter!

Now all of Hoboken knows about 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason's busy week in Washington D.C.! 

First on Mrs. Mason's schedule was lunch at the White House.  


On the menu was peanut butter and jelly, fresh fruit and Twinkies.

Mrs. Mason slept overnight on the White House lawn.


While President Obama and met privately with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and top Hoboken officials in the Oval Office to discuss flooding initiatives and the future of low-income housing in Hoboken,  Mrs. Mason climbed the White House fence.

White House Security was called to assist police in arresting Mrs. Mason. According to one officer, she was cooperative so it was not necessary to club her.



“This is about justice, said Mason last week. “Women tend to live longer than men, and so accumulated salary over a course of a woman’s professional life is an important thing.”

Mrs. Mason was placed in a cell where she brushed shoulders with five prostitutes and a crack whore. 

“This was a great experience for me..."  she said on Wednesday.

 Mason is a heavy player in the New Jersey and national Democratic Parties, and she and her husband have donated considerable amounts of money to various candidates and the party itself.

Shortly, she and her husband may donate considerable amounts of money to the New Jersey  State Treasury in millions of dollars in ELEC fines for campaign violations in her 2009 and 2011 Hoboken campaigns.

"I support Hoboken’s congressional representatives efforts to overcome misguided Republican opposition in order to pass this bill,” Mason told her cell mates.

"Somebody shut the bitch up" one of them complained.

Always one to enjoy the trip, Mason didn’t leave Washington empty-handed.

“I got some napkins with the president’s seal,” she said.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Political Hack-Attack

Not a hacker, just hairy

This is very interesting, folks.

I am not sure when my computer was breeched, but whomever's broken in picked an interesting time to mess with it. 

 GA was in a Word document yesterday afternoon when the mouse started moving on it's own, the page view zoomed in and out, pages were turned quickly, text was 'selected', text was highlighted in yellow... when I would type, my cursor would move to another part of the document.   I'd pause, then as soon as I started writing, the hacker would start 'messing' with my document. The hacker made it impossible for me to continue writing.   I stopped what I was working on.  What was it?

A legal motion for the SLAPP litigation. I cannot discuss ongoing litigation.  I can discuss ongoing hacking. 

Hacking is a federal crime.   I will prosecute anyone in possession of materials obtained illegally.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mark the Days on your Calendar

...until HHA Executive Director/33rd District Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia installs those 14 generators "trespassing" in the HHA parking lot!

Yes, those generators ARE trespassing.  They don't BELONG in a parking lot, they were ordered to replace old ones damaged in Hurricane Sandy- purchased with federal grant money.

Well folks, GA has provided you with a calendar to mark off the days until those generators get unwrapped and installed.  Shall we count the days together?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Break

Hoboken Brownstone by LA: ink, pencils

Tomorrow our kids go back to school.

Instead of stretching the district calendar year to compensate for snow days, the Easter break got shaved.

So folks, enjoy the day- and my daughter's artwork- brag brag brag.


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Pounding of Tree Blossoms


Look at that!

The last time we saw those 14 generators they were huddled in the frost, snow and ice of that HHA parking lot on Fourth and Harrison Streets. 

Brrrrrrrrr!

Well, as you can see, Spring has sprung, and those 14  brand, new generators, "twice as powerful as the existing ones" are enjoying the flora blossoming above.  And you know, "HUD also said that the weather will have to subside before they are installed."

It looks like the weather has "subsided."  

I guess spring might be looming, but the manufacturer wanted to prove that its new model generator, more powerful than previous iterations, could withstand the whacking from falling tree-blossoms.

Plink! Plink! Plink!

Gosh, I'm going to miss those 14 generators when they get installed.  They've become like giant, metal friends with motors.  

Won't you miss them, too?

Or maybe you won't!  Something tells me we'll be watching Independence Day fireworks with them in that lot.  Or you will, because I'm not allowed there.  Assemblyman Garcia said it's "trespassing."   In fact, if I go back I may find a summons in my mailbox and a cop at my door- and he won't be bringing me chocolates. Or roses.

So, GA cannot take credit for the bucolic parking lot photo, now that I know I am "trespassing" in this public lot open to the street and paid for with my federal tax dollars.  Nope, it was sent by an HHA resident who trespasses there daily to retrieve his/her car parked there.

The HHA resident-photographer sent the photo with this note:
Are those flowers budding from the trees telling us Spring is here? Well, I guess the generators will have to wait til they survive all 4 seasons so it can be proven, they are real kick-ass generators that can survive the elements. Oh, I forgot they're for the Vision 20/20 buildings. How can I forget? That's why Garcia had the fire extinguishers removed from the buildings & allowed other damage to be done to the buildings to have them condemned.
I don't know about those fire extinguishers, but I would say it's time for the HFD to do another inspection in those buildings. 

 Well, GA's gotten requests for my communications with HUD.  I am not going to compromise a federal investigation, and these will remain private.  I don't have confidence that this matter will be resolved at the local level. Not at all.  Here's one I can show you.



From: Nancy Pincus 
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:37 AM
To: Susan Mearns
Cc: Meyerm@ci.newark.nj.us
Subject: Hoboken Reporter Attribution to HUD spokesman

Dear Ms. Mearns,

I am trying to find out the name of the HUD official spokesperson who provided the following information for the Hoboken Reporter story: HUD: Installation of generators in public housing slated for spring.

The article discusses the future of 14 generators delivered to the Hoboken Housing Authority in “September and October” but sit in a snow-covered parking lot, uninstalled.  The article cites an un-named “HUD spokesman” for the explanation.  Some of the “HUD spokesman’s” statements do not make sense- including:  

In fact, HUD said, the generators were delivered in fall on purpose. At the time, HUD, Garcia and the vendor were aware that inclement weather might be looming, but the manufacturer wanted to prove that its new model generator, more powerful than previous iterations, could withstand the elements. The HHA is currently in the process of seeking a contractor who will install the generators.

Can you please advise who represented your agency for the information provided to the Hoboken Reporter?   Please provide his/her contact information.  A spokesman for HUD expenditure of federal dollars should not be anonymously sourced. 

I have been writing about these generators since contacted by a resident of the HHA who was concerned about why they have been sitting out all winter and have not been installed.     

Very truly yours,
Nancy Pincus

From: Susan Mearns [mailto:smearns@hcnj.us]
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:47 PM
To: 'Nancy Pincus'
Cc: Meyerm@ci.newark.nj.us
Subject: RE: Hoboken Reporter Attribution to HUD spokesman

Hello Ms. Pincus,

Please be advised that, although the Division of Housing and Community Development, receives funding from HUD, the Division is not a HUD Agency.  Based upon the information you provided, the Hoboken Housing Authority is under the Newark Field Office, Division of Public Housing.  The Director of the Office of Public Housing is Sonia Burgos and the telephone number is 973-776-7210.  As you advised, information was provided by a spokesperson from HUD.  Although the person was not identified, based upon the information provided, the Newark Field Office houses all HUD funded activities for the State of New Jersey and I would assume that the spokesperson came from this office.  Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

Susan Mearns
Division Chief
Hudson County Division of Housing and Community Development        

Now, doesn't that raise even MORE questions?

You bet.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Earwitness: "She disguises payments to political workers as construction work, odd jobs..."


Wow!  According to an Earwitness:
She avoids ELEC reporting for campaign work by paying political operatives straight from her wallet for duties that have nothing to do with political work.  That's how she disguises the flow of money to political operatives and her campaign. She'll pay political workers for painting, or carpentry work or some kind of odd job that they don't really do.  That's one of the ways she pays people who work on her campaigns. 
"One of the ways."  Hmmmm.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another HCTV Softball Shower

Advocating for development while ignoring unsafe conditions now for HHA residents

Those softballs keep coming!

Yesterday, Fernando Uribe of HCTV let ad-buyer 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason filibuster her advocacy of Vision 20/20 because the proposal addresses 'flooding' in that part of Hoboken-- while 14 brand new model generators specially-designed for Hoboken's flooding conditions languish uninstalled in an HHA parking lot.

FM Generator, the generator sales and services company hired by the HHA, described how its new model generators  were designed to 'survive' the next flood in Hoboken in their November 1, 2013 blog post:
The new generator sets are constructed with specialized stands which raise the vital components 36 inches from the top of the generator cement pad. This will help keep the water out should it rise again.  FM Generator field engineers worked with Blue Star Generator set manufacturers to custom-design the enclosures to be sound attenuated and mounted on the special bases. The generators needed to be shipped on special pallets and trucks to accommodate the extra height.  Construction and installation will begin shortly. 
According to FM generator, installation of HHA generators was expected to be complete in May 2014.

Um, yeah.  Here's what the softball throwers at The Hudson Reporter wrote last February:
The risk that the current cold weather poses to residents is not worth taking right now, said Garcia, who added that for the time being, there is no rush to install the new generators.     Because of the larger size of the new generators, and because rewiring that must be completed to accommodate their increased power, the HHA must wait until the snow has melted before engineers can begin the installation process.
No rush.

Back-up generators power exit signs, emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, electric motor pumps for sprinklers, smoke isolation dampers, smoke evacuation fans, handicap doors.

No rush.

So while the media tosses softballs at Beth Mason for advocating a redevelopment proposal to allegedly provide 'flood safe' buildings for HHA residents over an estimated 10-year construction schedule, HHA buildings can be made flood-safe NOW with the installation of the brand-new model generators designed for Hoboken that will keep the buildings powered in a flood emergency and a fire emergency.

No rush. 

Hey Fernando, how about growing a pair and getting Garcia and Mason on the record about why these generators are still sitting in plastic wrap in the HHA parking lot?

How about asking why no one is advocating to make the HHA buildings safe for people living there NOW? 

G-d forbid there is a fire.  

No rush.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BREAKING: Councilwoman Attacked by Softballs

The attack on HCTV's advertiser was recorded and posted online.

HOBOKEN--   Yesterday, the Mason Civic League located at 1200 Washington Street was the scene of an assault on Hoboken's 2nd Ward Councilwoman, Beth Mason.

The Councilwoman sat impassively as she was pelted with softballs by Fernando Uribe of Hudson County TV, one after the other:  POW!  BANG!  BOOM!   The assault was recorded audio-visually and published on Hudson County TV's web site yesterday.

Uribe's 5 minute and 11 second softball attack was uninterrupted by questions like, "What do you say to constituents who  accuse you of talking out of 'both sides of your mouth' on the Monarch project?  You claim to oppose it but have voted against funding appropriations for the City's legal fight twice, and the other two times were absent for the vote- and you could have called in" or "Why don't you return calls or emails to constituents who oppose the Monarch project?  Some have tried to reach you for years and claim you have never responded."

Beth Mason votes against funding the Citys legal battle against Monarch developer


The cause for Uribe's attack is under investigation.  Preliminary findings tie the uninterrupted pummeling to an uninterrupted ad revenue stream from the softball-victim, Beth Mason, into HCTV coffers.

Medics called to the scene announced the Councilwoman was uninjured. One said, "She's been attacked like this for years- every time she sets foot in The Hoboken Reporter- POW!  It rains softballs! There's nothing we can do for her, we don't treat reputations."  

Reportedly softball blizzards and a Top-Twenty Ranking in The HR's Annual Power List (and hardballs aimed at Mayor Zimmer, Ravi Bhalla, Reform bloggers, et al)  are tied to years of weekly page 3 ad buys.

POW!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"No One's Seen Her"


That's what GA heard from a source earlier today.

A certain someone has not made an appearance for "about 2 weeks" at places and functions one would have expected to find her.  A bout of bronchitis?   A nasty cold?  Or...

GA heard, again, that  Mr. someone is very unhappy about looming ELEC fines and the outpouring of money with "nothing to show for it."  Then why the incredibly expensive county-wide telephone stunt?

GA was told that such an operation would have been planned, booked and paid for in advance- perhaps before they anticipated ELEC wasn't going to play nice.  Who knows. No doubt whatever the outcome, it will be 'managed' with at least one manufactured distraction.   Moving on...

I've had a hard time making my mind up about who I'm supporting for Freeholder. 

I like Stick, but Hoboken pays a disproportionate amount of County taxes, and he's presided over what, 3 or 4 tax increases?  And Carmelo Garcia was on his payroll- is he still? 

Then there's Phil Cohen, who says "My goal is to bring fiscal reform to county government. We need to know why each of the last four years the county increased its tax levy from 3% to 5%, resulting in an even bigger hit to Hoboken taxpayers. Why does it have to be this way? Why is the county not transparent in the way it handles its budget process, as our city is?"

 Why?  Why?  Why?  Those are great questions Phil.   Aside from asking great questions, what will you do?

"I will ask hard questions, and share the answers with you, the taxpayers of the district, so that we can work together to build a more efficient county government.  We will challenge the county to better use its resources to serve our district."

Thanks, Phil.  Oh... you're still talking? 

"Why can't the county deliver better parks, better roads, and improved educational and career opportunities?"   

I totally agree. Where's our swimming pool?   

Cheap!  Failed county proposal to turn a sinkhole into a swimming pool.
This proposal by the County was totally unacceptable.   Converting a broken County road into a swimming hole?

Nope, I know Phil would never have proposed such a thing.

Anyway, the County fixed the road- then jacked up our taxes!

I'm sick of these tax increases, aren't you?

I am sure Phil will make a great Freeholder.

In fact, I am sure he's the best choice for Freeholder, except... (and here is why I've had so  much trouble choosing) there is one candidate who beats Phil, follicle-y speaking.  Not that Phil isn't well-coiffed-- he is.   Phil's got a nice head of brown hair, but sadly, its not nearly as nice as another Freeholder candidate's.

You  know... the guy with the luxurious silver mane that looks like a napping opposom... so soft, so fluffy.

 GA thinks there's a bi-partisan solution. Why can't we elect them BOTH?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Mason Telephone Blitz


GA heard about a phone call that's sweeping through Hudson County faster than Chlamydia at a frat house.

Yep, Hudson County.  And not just District 33. And not a robo-call.  A live person reading a script.

Here is some reader email:
Just answered a call on our house line – woman calling on behalf of Beth Mason asking me sign a petition that “Beth will take to the Senate.” I wanted to make sure I heard correctly what was going to happen with the petition, so I asked the caller to repeat it. The petition "Beth will take to the Senate" is in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act. I politely listened and said I’d pass on the opportunity. Are others getting these calls? Are these calls just an effort to pre-validate phone numbers before Beth gears up for something else? On this issue, at least, I guess Beth is going the petition route since she doesn’t get to introduce legislation herself as Lautenberg’s successor.
 ________________________________
Just got a call on behalf of Beth Mason to sign a petition for Womens Pay Equality. I told them that I am for Women's Equal Pay but I would not under any circumstances sign my name to something with Beth Mason's name on it. I should have added unless it was a petition to throw her out of HOBOKEN!
  ________________________________
I said the same thing! I can NOT believe the amount of money this woman pisses away trying to become relevant!
  ________________________________
I got the same call. Wouldn't even let them finish.
  ________________________________

Did you get the call (yet)?  I didn't.  Or maybe I did, but didn't pick up.

So what's it all about?

Here is GA's  guess: this "Beth to the Senate" petition campaign is timed to pre-empt expected bad news from ELEC.

To recap, on February 26, 2014, the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) charged Beth Mason's 2009 and 2011 campaigns with "reporting transactions" carrying potential estimated fines for all 7 Respondents  to be $14.3M.  

Both Complaints provide 20 days for  Respondents to provide written answers, to be followed by a hearing. 


February 26, 2014 was 47 days ago.  Respondents have returned written answers, and...?

GA's recent Earwitness news reported rumblings coming from Respondent Ricky Mason:
Ricky is really, really upset by the fines that they’re facing...
In view of this massive, expensive telephone-counter offensive, it could be that the Masons have either gotten bad news or expect bad news... bad enough-- perhaps even historic, to generate headlines.  And if anyone's been paying attention to how the Mason machine 'works', they always roll out a 'good' narrative when they are expecting a bad one... then, the Mason machine has their media-'friends' ignore the bad and write about the good... or at least give them parity.

Its all about controlling the message. 

That's how these folks work.  Because you know, The Hudson Reporter will write a glowing piece about the Mason petition then, like an afterthought, drop barely a sentence in the last paragraph about the ELEC fines.

Concurrently, press releases about the "Beth to the Senate" petition will roll out and local media outlets will be carpet-bombed in advance of any 'bad news' from ELEC.

So, GA supposes that this Hudson County-wide phone call foretells that Mason knows or expects  bad news from ELEC is coming.   If so, the news must be big.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reading, Writing, and Al Capone


Oh my, that's a howlerGA busted a gut laughing.

Props to Julie, for telling it like it allegedly is.  Allegedly speaking.  In this post-SLAPP era of online timidity, it is refreshing to see a gal/guy  (of the Reform-persuasion) exercise their NJ Constitutionally-protected right of free political speech under their own name!

Wait a minute, GA... don't you mean the US Constitution and its First Amendment ?

No!  Yes!

Yes, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression: freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief.

But no, GA meant the NJ Constitution, because you peeps who have not yet been SLAPPed may not know that New Jersey's State Constitution affords greater protections for political free speech than the US Constitution!

Yes, boys and girls, turn to Article I, Rights and Privileges:
   2.  a.  All political power is inherent in the people.  Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

6.   Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.  

   18.  The people have the right freely to assemble together, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives, and to petition for redress of grievances.
Paragraphs 2, 6 and 18 are a regular Triple-decker Free Speech Sandwich, NJ-style.  Dig in!

Now all New Jersey needs are Anti-SLAPP laws to safeguard its citizens from frivolous lawsuits, and to save 'someone' a fortune.

Well, aside from Julie's Al Capone howler, here's GA's fave line:
These folks are nothing less than crooks and thieves...any effort that involves them, cites them, or collaborates with them is getting in bed with that element.
Or like somebody's mama used to say: lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas.

Funny, but who should come to the rescue, but one of the Respondents in a headline-making ELEC complaint, charged with numerous "reporting transactions"  for her role as Deputy-Treasurer on Beth Mason's 2009 "Team for One Hoboken" campaign, Ines Garcia Keim: 
Julie, I don't know you but I wonder if you know Dr. Petrosino or if you have ever spoken with him. I have not always agreed with him but the fact is that Dr. Petrosino has a PhD in Education and is a tenured professor at the University of Texas which has a highly regarded graduate education program.
GA loves that argument.  A PhD degree = a dip in a baptismal font.

Yeah, sure.

As though any correlation exists between ethics and intelligence, or ethics and academic success. It doesn't.  In fact, the more educated an ethically-challenged person is, the more likely that person will be to escape detection, and get a 'pass' from people who say, "oh no, not him because he's got a PhD!"

To prove the point, history is rife with highly educated and/or highly intelligent accomplished folks who have demonstrated highly unethical behavior.   To name just a few:


Ted Kaczynski (A.K.A. The Unabomber).   
Kaczynski skipped the 5th grade after testing 167 on an IQ test. He entered Harvard at the age of 16 where he earned his undergraduate degree by age 20. He earned his PhD in mathematics at the University of Michigan, where he focused on geometric function theory. After this, he was hired by the University of Berkeley, becoming their youngest professor . He won the University of Michigan's Sumner B. Myers prize, thanks to a PhD thesis on boundary functions, recognized as that year's best mathematics dissertation.

Jeffrey Dahmer
Tested with an IQ of 145 

Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold 
 Leopold was a child prodigy who reportedly spoke his first words at 4 months, and possessed a recorded IQ of 210. Leopold graduated college with honors from Harvard in 1923. Richard Loeb had an IQ estimated at between 160 and 168.

Ted Bundy
 Possessing a reported IQ score of 136.

Of course, those people possessed rottenness of historic proportions, but you get the drift.

Some of the biggest dolts (IQ-wise) are extremely good, honest and/or law-abiding.  Some of the biggest brainiacs are not.  So much for that argument.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Earwitness News: Mason Cash Spigot to Dry Up?


Folks, hold on to your hats.  If you're not wearing a hat, put one on then hold it.

This could be BIG.   If this Earwitness dispatch comes to pass, the ripple will be felt throughout the Hudson County political world and beyond...  all the way to the influence of a certain Benedict Flounder.

GA ear-witnessed this from a reliable source, and these are my notes:

Ricky is really, really upset by the fines that they’re facing and the flow of money out of the Mason camp.   He's been telling people they’re spending way too much... Yeah they can afford it but he's noticed a lot of money leaking out and he's got nothing to show for it... he's upset about being tapped by a bunch of operatives...  It's a well known secret who's funding the SLAPP suit and all the money that's costing…  Really upset about how much money is being spent, money is pouring out of them, and apparently he’s going to do something about it

 Well, it looks like somebody FINALLY woke up. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hills are Alive with...


Folks, as a witness to the systematic harassment of HHA Tenant-activist Jessica Coco, I still cannot wrap my head around the Jersey Journal piece calling the year long terrorizing of a disabled woman  a "squabble."

"Squabble?" Do most "squabbles" result in home invasions, broken windshields and attempted illegal evictions?
Garcia disputes her claims, but one thing that Coco and Garcia seem to agree on is that the conflict largely springs from Vision 20/20. Garcia, who is also a Democratic assemblyman, said that he believes Coco’s allegations amount to an "outright smear campaign" against the housing authority. He said that he believes that she is being egged on by others “who are aligned to discredit the agency, himself and the merits of Vision 20/20.”
Smear campaign?    Somebody better ask our man-to-the-rescue, Union City Mayor Brian Stack about that.

Check him out, ladies!  On a white horse and everything!

Okay, well I wasn't there.... but that is how I imagine him coming to the aide of Jessica Coco.  Yep, he did.  And he gets props for it from me. So if anyone- including the media- has questions about whether or not Ms. Coco's allegations that she's being harassed and her property vandalized are simply a "squabble" or a "smear campaign", well you can ask my favorite mayor, aside from Zimmer, Fulop, and a whole bunch of others (maybe 5 or 6 dozen)... oh yeah, and Mayor Stack.   

Oh, I kid!  GA likes Brian Stack. I do. Next year can I swap my birthday card for a Butterball?

Here's why Brian Stack knows Ms. Coco's allegations are not a "smear campaign" and she is not "being egged on by others to discredit the agency, himself or the merits of Vision 20/20."   Because his office generously paid to fix her vandalized car!

Yep, its true and 100% verifiable.

In brief, here's what happened. Starting in September or October, Ms. Coco had contacts with State Senator Stack about being harassed because of her opposition to Vision 20/20, and had even written to his office.  On January 20, 2014, Stack called her and offered to pay to repair the vandalism to her car but asked her to put in writing what had been damaged.  On January 23 she wrote back:

Here is a list of damage that needs to be repaired as you requested: Passenger side mirror, Passenger side door lock, Side door lock, oil pan, a/c not working due to electrical shorts caused by wires in harness being pulled. Heat also doesn’t work. I’m not sure if its coincidental or just a byproduct of the car’s age as both the a/c and heat stopped working at same time & clearly the a/c doesn’t run due to the electrical shorts. 
After some back and forth (finding parts, trips to mechanic) Jessica called Mark Albiez,  Stack's aide, on Saturday, February 1, 2014 to give him the cost of the parts.  Albiez agreed but, according to Coco, said that he was going to tell Carmelo he needed to reimburse them for the bill. Coco wished him good luck. 

Later that same evening, Coco was approached outside her building by an HHA worker who said, "Congratulations for Brian Stack fixing your car."

Coco had told no one about her conversation with Stack or Stack's office.

How did HHA worker know?

The next morning, Sunday February 2, at around 11:30 AM a neighbor telephoned Coco to tell her that her windshield was smashed (pic below).  


Curious coincidence, no?  

An HHA resident who was angry about the incident told Ms. Coco:
(redacted) had gotten one of (redacted's)rugrats to do it and then blame it on the Bloods.
Well, there's more to the story, but my point is that this "squabble" caused real and verifiable damage to Ms. Coco's car, the timing of her windshield being smashed is interesting, to say the least, and Brian Stack knows Ms Coco's allegations are not a "smear" because he graciously redressed the  damages done by.... SOMEONE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"He-said-she-said"? Um, NO



Here we go again, the mainstream media gives corruption another pass.

First The Hoboken Reporter 'reported' some mystery-HUD spokesman saying that 14 generators had been delivered to the HHA "in fall" so they could freeze their sprockets all winter long to impress the folks not paying attention as to how "powerful" they were!
 "In fact, HUD said, the generators were delivered in fall on purpose. At the time, HUD, Garcia and the vendor were aware that inclement weather might be looming, but the manufacturer wanted to prove that its new model generator, more powerful than previous iterations, could withstand the elements."
In fact Spring is here, and betcha those generators will sit out all Spring to show how... um, 'spring-y' they are, springier than previous iterations, so spring-y that they can withstand the tulips and cherry blossoms.

And when Summer comes?

Betcha those generators will sit out all summer "on purpose" to show how...um, summery they can be, more summery than previous iterations, so summery they can withstand Mr. Softee and the Top Ten Songs of Summer.

In other words, nobody in the mainstream press gives a shit whether the folks in public housing have working generators. Of course, they'll be on the scene when someone drops dead after a fire because they didn't have power to run the automatic sprinklers.   Good job, Assemblyman Garcia!

So, this latest episode of journalistic malpractice comes again, to the aid of Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.   The first line tells you all you need to know about the rest of it:
 HOBOKEN — A year-long squabble between a Hoboken Housing Authority resident and the agency’s personnel boils down to a he-said-she-said narrative...  Coco has publicly spoken out against the project and believes that, as a result, her car has been vandalized, her home burglarized and her life threatened. She largely pins the alleged retaliation on HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.
Well folks, if that one didn't make you spit out your cornflakes...

The first problem GA's got with framing the Coco story as "he-said-she-said" is that the 'SHE' and the 'HE' have a completely asymmetric power dynamic.

The "SHE" is a disabled woman, employed but living on a very limited income, living in public housing, there since 2002, and had no problems with HHA management UNTIL she spoke out against Vision 20/20.  After Ms. Coco spoke out, a catalog of abuses occurred to her property- she was served with an illegal eviction notice, was harassed at the polls on election day, has had her apartment entered and property stolen, her car was vandalized several times; all this has had an adverse effect on her health.

The "HE" is a powerful elected official, the 33rd District Assemblyman, Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority- the 'landlord' of 'SHE'- and also receives a stipend as aide to Freeholder Romano- which brings his income well over $200K annually. 

The Jersey Journal got it all wrong.  The story was not "he-said-she-said," it is a story of how "she" with ALL the vulnerability of a powerless person dependent on public housing took on her powerful landlord, and suddenly, a lot of terrible things start happening to her. THAT WAS THE STORY. 

DUH.

GA will have more on this tomorrow.  The article was extremely unfair to Coco, published  an unverified 'smear', that she lives with someone (she does not), and gave  Garcia a 'pass' by putting him in an equivalent power-role to Coco.

He is NOT.   Ask any resident of the HHA who has the power to renew their lease or serve an eviction notice.

It's not Jessica Coco.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hippity Hop


Well folks, you've noticed GA's been a little 'irregular' these days.  Nope, it's nothing Grandma's  stewed prunes can cure.   I'll drop a clue.

You see,  Easter is coming, and GA's been wrestling with a bunny.

No, no, not the Easter Bunny.  The E.B.O.F.L. a.k.a. the Energizer Bunny of Frivolous Litigation

Yep, the EBOFL keeps going... and going... and going...

I can't tell you much more than that.  Except soon this bunny may need another charge from BIG RED...  before he runs out of juice.

Time to charge Bunny.
Speaking of charges from BIG RED did you check out MSV today?

WOW.   

This caught my eye, both of them in fact:

MSV is investigating allegations Beth Mason has been using prepaid credit cards to disguise election campaign payments to political operatives including Hoboken411. Confirmation would explain how at least some payments were made to Hoboken411 but not Hoboken Patch.  

Holy ELEC evasion!

And depending upon how many $500 (maximum) pre-paid cards allegedly go to a single individual, we could also be talking 'Holy alleged Tax Evasion!"

It could happen. 

Let's say you hired a fish.   Not a bright one, one with below average intelligence, receding hairline, and glasses. The kind that lurks at the bottom of the tank, scavenging for the fish scales and feces of more talented, respected fish.  Now, let's say you wanted to overpay your fish a salary- oh, maybe $150K per year without the hassle of Social Security taxes, health benefits and Uncle Sam's eyes on your fish food.  Who needs that?

Not  me.

What you might do is slip your fish a few of those $500 pre-paid credit cards-- between 5 and 6 a week and before you know it, you've got that $150K covered!

Which of course, would also please the fish, who could tuck those away in any number of bank accounts or investments and voila!   Some day that bottom-feeder might even have the dough to buy his own watering hole!

Fill 'er up

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All Wired Up and No Place to Go

Downloadable  8.5 x 11" SIGN

You know,  there's been an epidemic of trespassing on public property these days.

In fact, GA was contacted yesterday by The Jersey Journal  about a "trespassing" complaint filed by the HHA against HHA resident Jessica Coco and myself.  Who told The Jersey Journal?
Director Garcia said HHA filed a complaint against both of you for trespassing. 

Apparently, on February 20, 2014 Ms. Coco had  'trespassed' into the parking lot where she parks her car.  GA was her invited guest, and there for news-gathering purposes; to photograph generators to replace damaged ones after Hurricane Sandy, but left in the parking lot by the HHA Executive Director to moulder.

Did you know GA is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists?


You don't get those in a Crackerjack box!

So, in addition to this unfortunate parking lot trespassing incident, it has come to GA's attention the trespassing issue has spread to City Hall and other institutions of local, state and federal government.  It seems these local, state, and federal institutions of government are positively infested with public officials wearing recording devices (a.k.a."wires") and secretly recording their peers for use in frivolous and politically-motivated lawsuits.  Of course, these are not only a nuisance, but cost taxpayers a bundle!

It's a big problem. There must be hundreds of these wired-up varmints scampering through the halls of government from Hoboken to Trenton to Washington D.C.

What to do?

Not much.  It seems to GA there are two options: (1)  these officials must voluntarily disconnect their recording devices or (2) be banned entirely from public buildings- which is awkward, when they're elected to represent you there.   The only fair thing to do is to post a "No Trespassing" sign so that no one person is picked out of the crowd and all know they are welcome, but their busy-body wires are not.

If only that parking lot had a sign!