Ever wish a painful vasectomy on a friend? Or on anyone?
This desire to inflict pain on political opponents, by vasectomy or SLAPP, was the hallmark of a once-influential cell of Hoboken political operatives.
For them, victory at the ballot box wasn't enough; their opponents should suffer painful vasectomies, financial ruin and public disgrace.
Though tiny in number, this cell had a large presence on the internet, be it through ghostwritten screeds on Hoboken411 or vitriolic posts under ever-shifting screen name IDs. The apex of their online influence was around 2008-2009.
This 2008 email illustrates how operatives coordinated political messaging directly with Hoboken411, and believed in the power to influence Hoboken politics. Kim Cardinal advises on the "best strategy to make [Lenz] irrelevant" is "never talking about him on 411."
In 2009, the dynamic changed.
Hoboken411's policy of comment censorship and banning, gave birth to an open Reform blogosphere.
Banned from Hoboken411, Reform activists developed their own platforms for free political discourse. First, The Hoboken Journal, then Mile Square View. later, in 2010, this blog, Grafix Avenger.
With these changes (plus the death spiral of Hoboken411), the 'vasectomy pain crew' no longer dominated the online political conversation in Hoboken. That had to hurt the raging egos of narcissists.
A new problem emerged: the discourse from the 'other side,' was delivered as sharply as their own, but it could no longer be banned or moderated out of existence. New Reform voices were entering Hoboken's online marketplace of ideas. These voices were sharply critical of the once-dominant political faction, and a "war" between screen names erupted online. Heated, nasty discourse in threads sometimes hundreds of comments long (on Patch), the context was Hoboken politics.
What happened next?
Under the same kind of fire they had dished out, these internet warriors proved more delicate than hothouse flowers.
Boo hoo hoo. Waaaaaaah. Bullies! Meanies!
|Lane Bajardi's admitted screen name WakeUp07030 makes "blood diamond money" reference on nj.com Hoboken Forum; the Mayor's husband is a Jewish diamond dealer|
|Lane Bajardi's admitted screen name MarkLower makes "blood diamond dealer" reference on nj.com Hoboken Forum; the Mayor's husband is a Jewish diamond dealer|
The 'vasectomy pain gang' had a solution to regain dominance online and snuff out Reform's potent political blogosphere.
Political operative Tommy Bertoli, Mayor Steve Fulop's right-hand man explained it at his deposition:
Enter the SLAPP, with its presumed underwriter for the Plaintiffs, Barracato's employer, and it's sprawl over the Reform's most vocal online voices.
The 'vasectomy pain-gang' expected their high-stakes gambit to work, expected the persecuted Reform bloggers to crumble, demanded outrageous sums of money ("north of seven figures" in August 2012), expected all of us to give up our blogs, blogging, our right to free and open political discourse online....
Which would presumably 'clear the deck' for their unchallenged rhetoric online.
And it's not over yet, folks.