|left: Councilwoman Beth Mason all smiles in 2009, right: Ed & Joes Tavern purchased by Mason's LLC in 2012|
2nd Ward Councilwoman and "General Partner" in a Weehawken bar, Beth Mason, has (so far) declined to notify allies whether or not she will seek re-election.
Mason's snub has directly impacted Peter Biancamano, who appears to be in a holding pattern until Mason announces one way or another. Consider this a finger in the eye of Frank Raia, who is backing his friend, Biancamano.
Further, Mason is the fly in the ointment of the Dark Side's "Unity Ticket," a fragile coalition of enemies uniting to whip Reform in November. Or so that is the theory, supported by the disappearance of a 2nd ward Ramos candidate (thought to be Bonnie Murray) and replacement by Biancamano, 'Frank's guy.' The Ramos folks do not like Biancamano, who ran on 2013's "third ticket" with Tim Occhipinti, a ticket they believe handed Zimmer the win.
|Crushed Ruben Ramos' dream in 2013, running with him in 2015?|
Reportedly, Mason was livid at the Russos, Romano and Carmelo from bumping her from a title in Hoboken's Democratic Committee. Livid enough to screw them over, which her silence appears to be doing.
In addition to missing every council meeting since the last one she attended on June 17, 2015 sources tell GA that Mason was "devastated" by the court rulings against SLAPPers Lane Bajardi and Kim Cardinal.
One source in particular said what really drove Mason "over the edge" was Judge Arre's harsh wording in his July 8th opinion, presumably including these:
In GA's OPINION, Beth Mason's alleged reaction is inconsistent with her trial testimony (and affidavit) that she was not involved in this litigation. Further, any shock at the outcome shows a striking level of cognitive dissonance.
Which leads us back to the question, will she run?
GA has no strong opinion either way.
Does Mason want to further deplete the Treasury for one more campaign? Is she being pushed by her "business partner?"
Since 2011 many, many facts about her reliance on staff to govern, her competence, ethics and conduct, and that of her political operatives including her "business partner" have entered the public domain.
For example, the amount of people the 2nd Ward Councilwoman relies on to perform her part-time job in a mile square city is astonishing.
A source who once worked with her told GA: "Mason surrounds herself with people, talks to everyone, then takes the advice of the last person she spoke to. She'll agree with what you tell her, then after she speaks to the next person, she does what they say."
Then of course there's the breach of communications during the sale of Hoboken's hospital, a sale vehemently opposed by Beth Mason. The matter of 60,000 emails the Mayor/HMHA exchanged with the buyer, Holdco, in the unauthorized hands of Mason's "business partner" is one she must answer for.
Oh yeah, Mason's "business partner" with whom she purchased a bar in 2012- the same year the SLAPP suit was filed. What a coincidence. Here is one example of the "business partner" sending an internet posting critical of Beth Mason, to Lane Bajardi. The author of this post was later thrown into the SLAPP suit:
Here is SLAPPer Lane Bajardi ADMITTING at this deposition that he knew the identity of SS1959.
In the tens of thousands of emails, there are example after example of other SLAPP victims whose identites were known by Bajardi yet were thrown into his SLAPP, which as Judge Arre correctly wrote, was "pursued in bad faith, for the purpose of harrassment, delay and malicious injury." This includes a victim who awaits a court ordered refund of substantial legal fees.
The Mason camp will have to answer for these on the campaign trail, and perhaps in another venue.
So will Beth Mason run with all of this baggage?
Who knows. Congnitive dissonance has a habit of making baggage disappear.