Happy Ides of March!
Remember back in 44 BC when Julius Caeser got shivved by his friends in the Roman Senate? It must be true, Al Sullivan reported it.
Well, ancient Rome's got nothing on Hoboken!
In Hoboken's political world, someone's always shivving a current/former friend; alliances change like jockey shorts (or togas).
And when it comes to intrigue and betrayal, Hoboken's 2017 political season takes the cake. How many names can you think of to fill in the blank below:
"Et tu __________?"
The following are folks who have already gotten the shiv, or are about to (only they don't know it):
Freeholder Anthony 'Stick' Romano
Stick has been (famously) bullied to announce he's out of the Hoboken mayoral race, or else get thrown off the HCDO line on the ballot, and replaced with Ruben Ramos. Nice! This is the loyalty Romano, a Hoboken native, gets from his Hudson County pals. So, which 'friend' is planting the shiv into Stick? Joey Muniz, emcee at Stick's November 21, 2016 fundraiser.
Et tu Joey?
Mayor Dawn Zimmer
In a mutually beneficial political move, Mayor Zimmer welcomed Mike DeFusco onto the 2015 Reform ticket. DeFusco did yeoman's work, pushing the Wicked Witch of the First Ward off her broomstick, but he had help from the Mayor, and her friends. The mayor's friends (like GA) helped convince skeptical Reformers to trust his professed intentions. Candidate DeFusco told the Observer , "I certainly think Mayor Zimmer is doing a fantastic job..." Not so fantastic, it seems! After one year on the Council, Defusco is trying to take Zimmer's job, at which he promises to be even more fantastic than Zimmer.
Et tu, Michael?
Councilwoman Terry Castellano
Castellano nominated Michael DeFusco for the Zoning Board of Adjustments in 2011. Four years later, he yanked away her broomstick and beat her over the head with it. Bravo! DeFusco also took her Council seat, sending her back to the schmata shop. Word is, she hasn't forgiven him.
Et tu, Michael?
Councilman Mike DeFusco
This one hasn't happened yet...
But GA has a basis to believe that this is happening... now. This rumor floated to me from a place outside of Hoboken:
The Mikey D mayoral attempt is a diversion courtesy of the Russo dynasty. The dynasty needs to have the mayor get reelected and not run again so Mikey R can sit it out until 2021. Their bet is to cajole Mikey D to run now as a sacrificial lamb, undermine his campaign and then move him to the side so that Mikey R can take up the mantle in 2021, as Mikey D will be damaged goods as a failed mayoral candidate. And Mikey D is likely to fall for it. As dyed in the wool grifters, they play the long game, IMO. It wouldn't surprise me if Mikey R was behind the whole Mello leak - just the right move to shake things up and get Mikey D dirtied up in the local contact sport of Hoboken politics. And if he can throw shade at Mello and try and get reform in a tizzy, so much the better.Wow. Well, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a campaign was undermined from within- remember the 2013 campaign of mayoral candidate Tim Occhipinti? Poor Tim got shivved by moles on his own campaign.
Et tu, Mikey?
NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco aide Joey Muniz, was supposed to put his mighty invisible hand into Hoboken's mayoral election. Muniz' invisible hand was supposed to (1) push Phil Murphy away from Dawn Zimmer's April 17 fundraiser, (2) push Stick out of Mike DeFusco's path for mayor, and (3) use his mighty powers to push DeFusco into the Mayor's office. But you know, operatives are only effective when they are behind the scenes. Once the operative becomes the story, it' over. Muniz is the story now in the Hoboken election. We know all about his machinations against Mayor Zimmer, thanks to Max Pizzaro.
Et tu, Max?
Senator Brian Stack
Why is District 32 State Senator Nick Sacco's aide Joey Muniz moving in to a municipality in State Senator Brian Stack's Legislative District 33? Stack was seen in Hoboken last week, at a diner with Mayor Zimmer- a public appearance with a message for Sacco: isn't District 32 big enough for Joey to play in?
Et tu, Nick?
See what I mean, people? And I didn't even get to the "intrigue" part!
Well, the calendar may change, but EVERYDAY is the Ides of March in Hoboken!