Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Publicity Machine



GA might as well pile on the update wagon for HHA v Carmelo Garcia, and "Carmelo's Revenge"- Part 3.

It is a Tale of Two Courts: state and federal.

BACKGROUND
STATE COURT   
"Carmelo's Revenge" Parts 1, 2 and 3 (plus assorted "amended" iterations) were filed in in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  Hoboken taxpayers have underwritten $150,000 for Garcia's multi-year litigation spree.  Former HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia is suing the HHA Commissioners who fired him, the mayor whom he blames and her husband, a pinata with glasses. Among other things, the suit alleges that Mayor Zimmer is white, and so is the pinata (GA alleges he is green- see below). 


Days before "Carmelo's Revenge" Part 3 was filed (on May 6, 2016)  the HHA stuck back! On April 29, 2016 the HHA filed Hoboken Housing Authority v Carmelo Garcia. The suit details alleged shady procurement matters, no-bid contracts, and assorted allegations of malfeasance.

The docket nos. for HHA v Carmelo are L-1722-16,  and for Carmelo's Revenge-Part 3 L-1822-16.   If the cases were combined, the 'first docket' would be listed as the Plaintiff, and their case would be presented first.

FEDERAL COURT   
Sneaky, sneaky!  On July 7, 2016 Carmelo transferred the Hoboken Housing Authority v Carmelo Garcia to Federal Court.  That move ensured the cases would never be heard together; in other words, the jury hearing Carmelo's Revenge- Part 3 about the mean white people and the pinata with glasses, wouldn't hear all the HHA's allegations of malfeasance.   
 So...  where are things now?

UPDATE

STATE COURT
On August 5, 2016, the HHA  filed a Motion to remand their lawsuit, The Hoboken Housing Authority v Carmelo Garcia, back to State Court.  Defendant Carmelo Garcia has opposed. A decision is pending.

On August 30, 2016, Defendant Garcia filed a Motion to Dismiss, opposed by the HHA.  That decision is also pending.

STATE COURT



Two Defendants down, eight more to go! 

Yes, five days ago, on November 25,  two victims Defendants were dismissed without prejudice.

As reported first by Hudson County View then MSV, Plaintiff Carmelo Garcia defeated the Mayor's  and the Pinata's Motion to Dismiss (MTD).

Here's the interesting part: the MTD hearing was rescheduled 4 times, finally heard on October 14,decided on October 26 but... unreported for a month!  This, in spite of a full-blown campaign to publicize the alleged victory.

Sources tell GA that the Garcia Publicity Machine blasted the news out, and "all media got it." 

Now where have we heard that before?


Well, the media sat on this one, and sat, and sat....

Until November 21, when the Publicity Machine finally got a bite!  What a bite!   Hudson TV published the Louis Zayas show!

Check it out:



Now, why would Garcia's Revenge- Part 3  want to litigate in the press?

I mean, could they be trying to pressure the Defendants to settle with a big sack of taxpayer dollars? 

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"State evaluation scores increase" [Hoboken Reporter]- UPDATED

UPDATE- December 2, 2016

In response to Anonymous at 12:38 PM below, who wrote:
"The demographic differences [between HoLa and the Hoboken district] are minimal, if any, as has been shown again and again."
Um, ... false.  See below, from the 2014-2015 NJ-DOE School Performance Report: 



There is nothing "minimal" about the demographic differences between the two student populations.

GA would  be curious to read HoLa's Charter Application, if anyone has it

I ask because the school was proposed (as I recall) as having a 50% native Spanish speaking population and a 50% English speaking population.  In fact, only 5.5% of their student body speaks Spanish at home (same as District schools), and the majority are white and affluent.

And HoLa has no English language learners. Nada.

Hence  I am curious if the school applied as a white majority, affluent school where 5.5% of the student body spoke Spanish at home, or if it just ended up that way.  Why isn't the school recruiting more Spanish language speakers for the true immersion experience?

Just curious.

__________________________ 

Original post

GA was delighted to see The Hoboken Reporter publish the good news that  I've been posting for weeks- remember:

Published on October 30, 2016

As you can see, the Hoboken District scores have been steadily rising since the "bottom" in 2008, the first year QSACs were given.

In 2008, under the guidance of HoLa Board member /former District Assistant Superintendent Anthony Petrosino, the district scored an abysmal 34% in Instruction and Programming (now 76%), a miserable 41% in Fiscal Management (now 95%), a sad 83% in Operations (now 100%), a lackluster 80% in Personnel (now 90%) and a pathetic 33% in Governance (now 100%).

Since 2009, progressive parents of the Hoboken District Reform movement have fought hard to 'take back' our District Schools. The pocket-liners and double-dippers have been replaced with honest, competent Board members, who've hired excellent leaders like Superintendent Christine Johnson, brought innovative programs. Reform management is attracting the next generation of parents to stay in district schools.

And, the Nov. 8  election was a referendum on Reform management of the Hoboken District; would voters choose to "keep the progress going"or go back to the way things were; Parents United backers were former "Dark Side" BoE members   Voters were pounded with relentless negative messaging about Hoboken schools from the Parents United campaign.

 GA is grateful that the voters rejected the negativity and stayed the course.

And, for those who follow Hoboken school politics, the apparent "Ground Zero" of negative messaging flows from the website of an HoLa Board Trustee.

GA is not talking about the wonderful parents, and children of HoLa.

HoLa's administration has allowed a representative of their school to disparage Hoboken District schools for years on his "education blog'- long before the school expansion  These attacks are very personal to the teachers, children and staff of Hoboken District schools.  The failure of HoLa administrators to DENOUNCE the attacks, to DISASSOCIATE themselves from him, can only be interpreted as an endorsement of his views.
.
In fact, the negative campaign backfired badly.  Voters rejected the messaging, the lies.

The most insidious of the Hola Trustee's attacks the one that continues to this day- is the attack on district test performance while ignoring obvious demographic differences between Hoboken district and his own.   More on that later.

GA is delighted  that our local media is reporting the advances our schools are making.

How much further we can all go if our community-at-large supports our district schools and acknowledges good works, and progress.

Thank you, Board members and Superintendent Johnson.

Monday, November 28, 2016

GA's House Rules

It has come to my attention that the expectation of respect from longtime readers/friends does not suffice when dealing with an Equus asinus.   So, I've assembled House Rules.

Going forward, notice is given that these are GA's Rules.

Old, shitty posts parroting the Alt Right zombisphere are grandfathered- ones like this:


What a dick!

GA has invited a special guest, The Nasty Orange, to introduce "GA's Rules."



Was that clear?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Editing The Dead


Today GA checked out the hMag tribute, "Dean Kemph, Long-Time Hoboken Political Activist, Passes Suddenly at Age 61"  written by my buddy, Kurt Gardiner.  

When I got to this excerpt of a Kemph letter previously published in the Hoboken Reporter, I noticed that it had been edited; "a longtime friend"'s name had been replaced with "REDACTED."


What kind of name is "REDACTED"?  Polish?

Oh, wait... the Editor explained  why the name was "REDACTED:"



Oh, man!  

What kind of jackass would ask to edit the published work of a dead friend

Maybe "jackass" is wrong...

How about "thin-skinned" jackass?

That's better.  Of course, the Editor was right; he complied with the demand of a living jackass to desecrate the work of a dead genius.

Speaking of Mrs. Jackass, whose phone call triggered the surgical removal of her name (an innocous reference)...

Several years back, GA got a similar phone call from Mr. Jackass, asking  me to remove their address from an ELEC report which I'd published.   You know, ELEC forms are public documents, and there was nothing to compel me to redact the address, but I did anyway.

Well, in spite of my cooperation, Mr. Jackass who started off the conversation in a civil tone, began screaming like his colon had ruptured, telling me how horrible "the bloggers" were, then threatened to write an amicus brief for Lane Bajardi before he hung up on me.

GA was kind of amused. I called him right back to continue the, um, conversation.  Same thing: he started off rational then erupted and hung up.

Wow!  I hope hMag was treated in a more civil fashion by the Jackass family!

Anyway, who is GA to ruffle the scales of a thin-skinned jackass?   Especially one who would demand a retraction from the published work of a dead friend.

Here is the original publication if you want to the UNREDACTED version.

GA agrees with hMag- Dean may be having a good chuckle over this, including the fact that one of those overwrought Hoboken bloggers milked it into a post!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The coming SLAPPocracy

MSJ Exhibit Bajardi v Pincus:  elected official compiles a "list of occurrences"

I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more,” [Trump] told The Washington Post in March about the hefty sum he spent on the case against O’Brien. “I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.

-Donald Trump NY Times Magazine-Nov. 22, 2016

That's President-elect Trump boasting that one of his seven libel suits was perpetrated in bad faith-  "I did it to make his life miserable"- the very definition of a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).   Trump lost that one and five more- only winning one libel suit when the Defendant failed to show up in court.

What does this portend for free online speech in the Trumpocalyse?

The Trumpocalyptic threat to "open up the courts on libel lawsis chilling.

Not only big media outlets have to worry; the most vulnerable and lowest hanging fruit are the "little guys" like MSV and GA.

Been there!  Done that!

click image to read


The little guys are the most vulnerable, and most easily picked off  by any wealthy public figure who wants to shut them up.  Such wealthy, powerful tyrants can freely use our courts to smite the pens of critics to punish them. These tryants may compile a list of occurrences where they felt others "lied" about them, future targets for a SLAPP-venture.  They may also SLAPP simply because it makes them "happy" to make the other guy's life "miserable"

What these enemies of free speech all have in common is resources; money is no object for the SLAPPer.

It all starts with a list.  In one famous list,  the Nixon administration pondered "how we can maximize our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our administration... how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."

Watergate hearing Exhibit- cover page of Nixon's Enemies List' 'memorandum

A SLAPPer does not have to control the wheels of government in order to "screw" an enemy,  all it takes is (heaps of) money to file crushing litigation against him/her/them.

Which makes the Trumpocalyse and its "opened up" libel law a scary unknown.

GA fears the Trumpocalypse will open the floodgates of politically-motivated, bad faith litigation against journalists and other critics of the incoming Administration. 

Further, the identities of wealthy underwriters in a Trumpocalyptic wave of SLAPP suits against journalists, media groups, bloggers, etc., may be hidden behind proxies,  In other words, a SLAPP underwriter wishing to keep his/her hands clean may enlist proxies to litigate the bad faith suit against the free speech of enemies.

For example, an "ordinary couple."

This is a dire situation for Defendants, who invariably cannot match the resources of the SLAPP underwriter.

In many- not all, cases, Defendants will succumb to the will of the SLAPP underwriter, which is to go silent.

However, sometimes the proxies and underwriter diverge in their goals. When that happens, the litigation becomes more complicated and the outcome less certain.

For example, if a proxy wants to "get rich quick" and uses the pressure of excessive, punishing litigation (dozens of motions) to shakedown a Defendant for huge sums of money, if a proxy demands a giant payday under the threat of perpetual litigation, well, anything goes.  It all depends on the fortitude of the Defendant(s).

Hence, GA is not optimistic for the "little guy"  vs. the incoming Administration.  The ACLU is going to be very, very busy.

At the end of the day, whats important is to protect our constitutional right of free speech, to weather whatever comes and survive the Trumpocalyspe with our precious First Amendment rights intact.

The big and "little guys"must stay vigilant.


MSJ Exhibit  Bajardi v Pincus: targeting political speech in 2010

Monday, November 21, 2016

Shock and Awwww

Rancid juice

Oh, no!

If our BoE race tested the political 'juice' of  Councilman Mike Russo & Freeholder Anthony Romano, I'd say their juice is way past its sell-by date.

Expired.

In fact, their juice is so rotten, it might have botulism.  Check for parasites.  When juice goes bad, it ferments.

(BTW, did you ever sip old, rancid juice?  It looks the same as fresh, but once that old, rancid juice hits your tongue, you know its gone bad... )

Yep, after all that trash-talkin' about how "the  mayor's slate is losing," you'd think we'd get fresh juice?

Rancid! Drop that cup!


What's funny is that the Russo-Romano faction used Al Sullivan's column to frame the BoE race as "the start of a campaign to unseat Freeholder Romano."

Ummm.... NO.

The BoE race was a campaign to keep the District Schools in the right hands.

No  more, no less.

But... since the Russo-Romano faction forecast the BoE race as having implications for 2017, let's see how that went.

The anointed Parents United candidate that Russo-Romano openly put GOTV resources into, chose to be bullet-voted over the pretty heads of his running-mates and was the subject of Dark Side braggadocio ("He's our guy!") came in last place.


It makes you think... if there wasn't so much boasting and bragging and more WORK, perhaps their juice wouldn't have gone all sour.

Well, it's kind of tragic.  A source told GA that Romano was "shocked" and "seemed shocked" that his candidate was the lowest voter-getter.

Why the shock?

Because the source said that the election result was the "true representation of their vote when they are alone" (without Frank Raia).  and even more chocking because "Chipper is a very popular BnR and a diehard Russo/Stick supporter."

Maybe it's time for that fermented juice to stick to municipal and county elections, and leave the Hoboken district schools to the people who care about the Hoboken district schools.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

What a send-off!


More love, respect, inspiration and joy for the life of a single person could not have fit inside All Saints Episcopal Parish yesterday afternoon.

The place was packed- think Tokyo subway in rush hour.  Strangers united by Hawaiian shirts swayed to the songs that colored Dean's life, heard from his friends and children, in words and song...

Delia and Emory sang their dad's favorite with the 'house band', "The Grateful Dean"


Yesterday's outpouring of love and music and Hawaiian shirts was the ultimate expression of an inspired life... which is all any of us could hope for.





Thursday, November 17, 2016

"The icons are falling."- Dean Kemph on 9/14/2016



GA is very, very saddened to hear of the sudden passing of local genius/political humorist, Dean Kemph.

My sincerest condolences to his family and those who knew him, loved him, respected him.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

In tribute to Dean below, GA will republish one of his brilliant, hilarious takes on Hoboken politics that Grafix Avenger originally published on April 27, 2010.   It's called, " A word of political praise from Citizen Dean..."   In my last Facebook exchange with Dean 11 days ago, I recited a line from his piece and wrote: "See, I remember that line 6 years later, that is how good it was."

The subject of Dean's wry observations was Hoboken411 political ghostwriter Lane Bajardi; specifically, Bajardi's appearances at Hoboken City Council and the Hoboken Board of Education to protest content on this blog.

Dean's commentary addressed how Bajardi carried around color copies of a political graphic* he had downloaded from Grafix Avenger to public meetings to pass out to Councilpersons and BoE Trustees.  (In 2012, Bajardi and wife Kim Cardinal, would sue almost 2 dozen Hoboken Reform bloggers claiming to be "defamed" by their political free speech.  They lost and were ordered to pay their victims' enormous legal fees).  
*the illustration protested BoE candidates' call to let a federal stimulus grant expire instead of using it to buy laptops for students.
Dean Kemph's 2010 essay responded to these two unhinged public performances:


Here is it is:

A word of political praise from Citizen Dean...

While my candid comments on the Hoboken political scene have been deservedly cast as generally critical, often questioning the judgments and motives of competing factions, I do feel compelled upon occasion to give credit where it’s due. So today I extend congratulations to Lane Bajardi, who recently garnered the coveted Disorderly Person distinction from local law enforcement authorities; thereby gaining official recognition for the title he has informally held for the past year. The events leading to this honor were generally inspired by his obsession with his latest raison d’excrement, the poop pics which he now carries on his person like a naval officer with the nuclear codes. Unfortunately, his efforts to display the offending graphics have not met with widespread enthusiasm; rumor has it that he has even been unable to convince Beth Mason to take a gander. His inability to impact the indignation index at the Council meeting only fueled his outhouse outrage, and he barely had his hand into his briefcase/surrogate toilet before he was unceremoniously dumped from the BOE meeting. Understandably, he has fared even less favorably setting up his overhead projector on the dinner party circuit.


While I applaud the courageous imperviousness to crap that Lane displayed during the mayoral run, I also caution Mr. Bajardi that others are not always similarly inclined. Regardless of the public’s sensibilities towards the subject graphic parody, it may be time to realize that his campaign has not demonstrated much citywide…er…movement. The townsfolk seem to be suggesting that the last thing they need is Lane Bajardi intentionally attempting to trigger the collective repulsion reflex; possibly feeling that he has done that enough inadvertently. With so much left to complain about, the town needs his undivided attention focused on general criticism before he tailspins forever into the bowels of this one issue. Despite this setback, I remain confident that Lane will be able to flush it from his system and come up smelling like a rose.


Dean Kemph

Nobody wrote sharper, funnier political satire than Dean Kemph.  

R.I.P., Dean.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Beth Mason pumps $5,400 into PU coffers on Election Day


That makes former 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason the largest single donor to the failed Parents United campaign.

$5,400 from a single donor is still below the maximum allowable contribution for a joint candidates committee of 3 (3 x $2,600= maximum allowable) under NJ campaign finance law.

Nevertheless, it's a lot of loot.  

This big-bucks support from 2-time mayoral-loser and Zimmer-nemesis Mason, indicates that in spite of her political radioactivity, she still wants a voice in Hoboken elections, to influence outcomes in favor of  Dark Side candidates.

Note, Councilwoman Mason did not leave Hoboken politics by choice;  she declined to seek a 3rd City Council term when thousands of damaging emails became public in Bajardi v Pincus. 

For example, had Mason decided to run in 2015, she would have been forced to answer how her "business partner" had obtained 60,000 emails exchanged between Mayor Zimmer/Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority and the hospital buyer, HoldCo, during the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center.  


In fact, numerous Bajardi v Pincus emails between Beth Mason's "business partner," and her political operatives show how Councilwoman Beth Mason tried to destroy the successful sale of the City's public asset, the hospital, to a private entity in order to hurt Mayor Zimmer politically.



Had Beth Mason succeeded, had she tanked the HUMC sale, the City of Hoboken would have defaulted on a $52M municipal bond,  been forced into  bankruptcy, our bond rating would have gone to junk status, 1,200 HUMC jobs would have been lost, municipal taxes would have tripled or else, a massive layoff of city workers and a degradation of city services.

The amount of pain that Councilwoman Beth Mason tried to bring Hoboken residents simply to hurt Mayor Zimmer politically shows, in my opinion, a level of sociopathy that disqualifies her from ever holding elected office.

Plain and simply: the Bajardi v Pincus emails have destroyed Mason's political viability in Hoboken.

Here's the $5,400 question: was the ape "working" when he pointed his flashlight app into the eyes of the Forward Together candidates at the QLC debate?  

Was the flashlight dirty trick assigned, an effort to help PU?



Well, that's a matter of opinion.  On that subject...

Here's the opinion of the ape's QLC debate flashlight victim, who sent GA the following:

Can't believe she still sending me this shit! Had enough of her ghouls at the forum!  


Monday, November 14, 2016

New Jersey Awakens Kick-OFF tonight

credit: Putin and Me blogspot
LOCAL DEMOCRATS TO ORGANIZE IN WAKE OF TRUMP VICTORY
Vow Grassroots Mobilization 

Hoboken, NJ   Three days ago, a Facebook page called “New Jersey Awakens” was formed.  Despite how new it is, the group already expects to draw a crowd of nearly 100 tonight in Hoboken at the Pilsner Haus Biergarten (14th and Grand) from 6:30-8:30 PM, with more than 200 indicating they may come, including press.  The election of Donald Trump to the presidency has led to groups of disaffected Democrats and Independents springing up all over the country to meet, commiserate, and plan for the future.

New Jersey Awakens, founded by Hoboken resident Dana Wefer, is aimed at “organizing Democrats and other progressives to reform the Democratic party and our political system from the ground up” according to the group’s page.

Wefer herself is no stranger to local activism as she engaged in a very public battle to curtail fiscal mismanagement and ethics issues at the Hoboken Housing Authority, where she remains chairperson of the Board.  “I started the Democratic Social Club because I was disillusioned by the formal democratic committee in Hoboken,” Wefer said.  “In 2013 we had a good Democratic candidate for governor, Barbara Buono, but statewide Democrats threw their weight behind Chris Christie.  It was really disappointing to me and the results have been obviously disastrous for the state.”

The club gathers monthly for a happy hour, has been registering voters at local festivals, and campaigned for Hillary Clinton making almost 800 calls to Pennsylvania voters on Election Day and organizing canvassing opportunities into Pennsylvania.

“Wednesday morning, I was just shell shocked,” Wefer says.  “I thought, I want to get in a room with other Democrats who feel similarly, we need to talk to each other.”  Envisioning ten people in a coffee shop, Wefer sent an email to her group and had more than 30 RSVPs by the end of the day.

When she put the event on Facebook, it continued to gain traction and attention outside of Hoboken.  Wefer rebranded the group “New Jersey Awakens” and hopes that it will serve as an organizing force for Democrats disappointed with the lack of grassroots effort in the Democratic Party.

“The Democratic Party is, in many ways, suffering from the same issues that we see in our society at large, especially social stratification,” Wefer said.  “It’s hard to run for office unless you have a lot of money, so our leaders end up being wealthier than the population they serve. Many have lost touch with the grassroots supporters and are insulated from the everyday issues facing people.  We need to get back to our grassroots as a party.”

On Monday night the group will be organizing into committees and recruiting volunteers.  “We’re going to be compiling resources ready to mobilize if President Trump or his cabinet members attempt to implement policies discriminating against anyone on the basis of race, religion, orientation, ethnicity, or sex,” Wefer said.  The group is also organizing phone banks to call voters in Louisiana, where a Senate race will be decided next month, and locally to reach more Democrats.

“People are really motivated right now.  We need to harness that and give people a productive outlet to effectuate change,” Wefer said.  “We can’t just sit by.”

Friday, November 11, 2016

Earwitness News Special Report: VBM Crop Failure



Folks, today's Earwitness News is so hot it will sizzle your cochlea.  That is why it is a "Special Report."

Here is what GA's Ear-witnessed from the Dark Side.

GA asked a Dark Side Q-Tipster: "Do you know why Poopie pooped out on the VBM harvest this year?"

Here was his/her answer:
I understand that Romano and Russo wanted to handle this election by themselves so they could be the reason for the victory if their slate won. They didn't want [Poopie] involved because in their minds he would take credit away from them. 
WOW.   Looks like somebody ran outta juice!

For people new to this blog, here's the context:

BACKGROUND
As longtime residents know, one of Hoboken's agricultural traditions is its seasonal VBM harvest.

Tradition has it that selected farm hands sow the 4th Ward with VBM ballot applications, which if planted correctly, will reap a crop of VBMs.  Come harvest time, farm hands make sure each VBM is fertilized with cash before they are picked up, then mailed or brought directly to the Board of Elections.

Generally, one Farmer oversees the whole farming operation and is ultimately responsible for the harvest.

The size of the harvest varies, according to the season and the amount of fertilizer.

But, danger lurks for VBM farmers.

If the VBM crop is too big, it attracts attention, like it did in 2010.  In fact, BlueJersey.com wrote an article called "Red Flags: How much does it cost to buy an election in Hoboken’s 4th ward?"

credit: BlueJersey's: "Red Flags: How much does it cost to buy an election in Hoboken’s 4th ward?"  

If the VBM crop is too small, the Farmer only gets one Harvest Queen, like what happened in 2014.

2014 Hoboken BoE election results

In the 2014 BoE race, Peter Biancamano was bumped into first place by a bumper crop of 466 VBMs.  However. his running mate 'Bubbles' did so poorly on the machines, her harvest of 452 VBMs was inadequate to make her a Harvest Queen.

In 2015, all three Reach Higher candidates won on the machines- until the harvest was counted.

This year, Forward Together assumed our margins of victory would have to surmount the usual harvest of 500-700 VBMs.

Then a strange thing happened...  

 Crop failure.


2016- VBM count 


Now we know why.

Thank you, Q-Tipster.

G-d Bless our Veterans


Everyday, and today on Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Poll worker 'allegedly' HARASSES 1-2-4 volunteer mom-with-BABY (VIDEO)


The following allegations are the subject of a complaint to be filed with the Hudson County Board of Elections by Emily.   

Emily was 'allegedly' harassed by a woman who claimed to the "head of the polling station" at Ward 3-District 4 as she handed out 5 o'clock cards for Forward Together slate 1-2-4.

In her own words:
"At approximately 6pm on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, I approached a group of people who included several supporters of the Parents United slate who were standing outside the poll station located at 455 9th Street (Columbus Gardens) in Hoboken – Ward 3, District 4.

I asked the group where I could stand along with my two children (ages 4 and 19 months, in stroller) to hand out voter information that would be in compliance with the 100 feet distance requirement, since the entrance to the polling station was not visible from the street entrance.   I was wearing a 1-2-4 tee shirt and button, and had a stack of cards approximately 4x6 inches in size.

The Parents United supporters along with a Hoboken Police Officer informed me that I should stand at the first set of benches located to the left of the polling station entrance, where I proceeded to stand with my stroller and 4 year old in order to hand out cards with information on the 1-2-4 Board of Education slate.

 Approximately 10 minutes later, a woman came out from the polling station in a rage, yelling: “Who is giving out these cards?” with 4-5 of the cards for BOE candidates 1-2-4 I had handed out in her hand.  Immediately the Parents United workers who were also standing by the benches handing out Parents United materials came over to address the woman, as they seemed to know her personally and by name.  They asked her to calm down and pointed out that I was standing there with my children (“She has babies with her” and “Her children are upset”).

The woman identified herself as head of the polling station and stated that it was illegal for me to hand out the voter information cards, which was why she confiscated them from voters in the polling station.  

I explained to the "head of the polling station" a police officer had also been present for my exchange, with Parents United supporters affirmed and agreed with – they added that in fact they had been in that same location all day because it was in compliance with the 100 foot rule.

When a man who had been passing by began to engage her in an attempt to specifically identify her concern, I was able to turn on the camera of my cell phone to capture the incident on video without causing additional disruption.

The video documents the inappropriate behavior of  the "head of the polling station" and the manner in which she spoke to me in front of my children.

My children were scared and upset by her manner – my 4 year old can be heard asking why she was angry at her for handing out the cards.



The "head of the polling station" told me that it was illegal for me to vote while wearing a tee shirt supporting 1-2-4 . [GA note: Emily had voted earlier at 3-5]

The "head of the polling station" told me I had to stand across the street from the polling station – just me and not the Parents United workers handing out their cards at the same location.

When I pointed out that she only had the 1-2-4 cards in her hand despite the Parents United supporters having handed out similar cards,  the  "head of the polling station" claimed that that was not the case.  In response, a Parents United worker showed the ""head of the polling station" she was, in fact, handing out Parents United cards, too.

This incident was both ugly and concerning as a resident of Hoboken and Hudson County.  this behavior was inappropriate and egregious given the presence of my very young children and their obvious fear of her conduct.


Further, I have concerns about the integrity of the polling station for her to have such clear misinformation about my rights as a citizen to distribute information to voters in a peaceful manner in compliance with election laws.

The Hudson County Board of Elections must hold the "head of the polling station" responsible for this incident and her inappropriate behavior.  It is not acceptable to treat citizens in this manner, particularly in the presence of young children. 
Further, "the head of the polling station" is clearly not fit to be the head of a polling station in Hudson County – if, indeed, she represented herself in this incident accurately – given the misinformation she perpetuated in this incident." 
I am sorry that this 'allegedly' happened to you, Emily.

Emily has since notified the Office of the Mayor of Hoboken and the Office of State Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro about this incident.

My thoughts?

It is past time to address the issue of unqualified and/or incompetent and/or unethical and/or partisan poll workers. 

Reform supporters- including voters and Challengers- have been dealing with  passive-aggressive (or just aggressive)  harassment at the polls for years.    

Oh, and one more thing.

Below is a photo taken on November 4, 2014- Election day in Hoboken.   You can see the "head of the polling station," a 2014 BoE candidate, clutching a handful of her campaign literature on the steps of the City Hall polling station.  Yes, "the head of the polling station" was standing within 100 feet of a polling station with campaign literature, a violation of NJ election law called "electioneering."

"Do as I say, not as I do"

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

2016 BoE unofficial Results- Machine Vote

Posted it!

The numbers are still coming in- VBMs and provisionals have not been counted. However, it appears unlikely that either can change the election outcome.

The following data comes from the Hudson County Board of Elections Live results web site.

BTW, the County's Clerk's website has been completely re-designed- the election data is interactive, check it out!

 MACHINE VOTE TOTALS 
November 8, 2016



MACHINE VOTES- WARD/DISTRICT
November 8, 2016












REGISTERED VOTERS BY WARD/DISTRICT

Click on chart to read


REGISTERED VOTERS BY MUNICIPALITY

Click on chart to read


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

1-2-4 SWEEPS Machines!

Unofficial results... Forward Together SWEEPS machines!!

Evans- 7,800
Dallara 6,480
Sobolov- 6,245
Nelson-4,851
Rossini-4,355
Benway-3,941




ELECTION DAY: Live text-blog

Send me your updates!  What's happening out there?

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7:11:   These are all over Washington on 10th, 11th streets and along Hudson... this violates the city ordinance


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4:05:  Jessica Nelson and Matt Calicchio delivered sandwiches at lunchtime (4-1)
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3:48:  Jessica Nelson walked in with Matt Calicchio first thing this morning with a box of Dunkin Donuts and a box of Joe (4-1).  They just dropped off the donuts and left together. The workers were pissed that they didn't bring napkins.
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3:33: Some kind of fight outside of 4-3. A woman asked for a cop. 3 police cars.
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2: 54:  Matt Calicchio and his goons were outside of the polling station at 455 9th st. yelling at one of the elections workers. This was around 2:00. Wish I was quick enough to get a video
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2:45: There are people walking around the HHA with clipboards.
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2:09: Beth Mason just walked into 4-3 with donuts.
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1:36: Beth Mason dressed to the nines- red power suit and red high heels- to deliver donuts to 6-5.  The woman with her started screaming "they're taking your picture!  They're taking your picture!"  To us "Don't you have anything better to do?"

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12:54:  Photo in front of 10 Church. Van pulled up coaxing voters to pick 6.  Bullet chipper.


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12:32:  Poll workers an us talking about "I voted" stickers... And how they've never been seen here in Hoboken.  I showedd them one [redacted] got today. Then they said the new people in Hoboken ask for them. But then they said the old people just ask for their number... "so they can get paid."
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 12:24:  Heard Russo spotted being driven around by Calicchio!!  And out in front of high school.