Friday, April 28, 2017

InsiderNJ UPDATE: "Sources indicate Soares & Fallick WON'T be the candidates"


Now you see 'em, now you don't.

InsiderNJ sources saying today regarding the DeFusco slate: "nothing is set" and Tony Soares and Cheryl Fallick "won't be the candidates."

Has a non-candidate for mayor ever wobbled like this?

It really behooves any candidate to announce early, to fundraise and get their name out there.

That's what Ruben Ramos did in 2013.  Ramos opened up his Vision for Hoboken Committee on February 27, 2013.   He'd already picked his at-Large City Council slate: Joe Mindak, Laura Miani and Eduardo Gonzales.  And Ramos still believes he would have won, but not for Tim Occhipinti's late entry.

This weird DeFusco campaign is working it backwards.

Their 'announcement' has come as a drip-drip-drip of leaks since October 2016.    In the meantime, the prospective candidate has been churning out campaign-style postings on issues beyond the First Ward- even seeming to dump on his own ward to pander to uptown voters (a resolution to offset bulk from 901 Bloomfield to 83 Willow).  DeFusco videos and postings criticize the mayor, attack the Zoning Board, make false, incendiary claims like "Hoboken said NO to Shake Shake" to build a constituency outside of the First Ward.

And while Defusco campaigns, surrogates badger his critics, call Phil Murphy and warn him not to come to Zimmer's April 17 fundraiser, badger  Karen Nason to get out of the race, telling her she can't win,  bragging how much loot DeFusco has raised.   And then there was Freeholder Stick Romano, who was threatened he wouldn't get the HCDO line if he didn't clear the field for DeFusco.... from North Bergen.

Yet, no announcement.

The DeFusco campaign juggernaut of North Bergen bosses, statewide political operatives and local developers  seems more eager to take on Mayor Zimmer than the candidate.

The Rumor
Well, folks... there is a rumor going around...

...its that DeFusco's backers are shifting their focus on his council slate because they no longer think he can beat Zimmer.  But... if they (the 'dark side') can win 2 council seats, they take back the majority from  Reform.  For the developers and Hudson County bosses, this means Zoning Board appointments, potential contracts.

Which means, (if the rumor is true) DeFusco backers prefer council candidates loyal to their political faction and not 'reformy' types. And they may not have found them yet, which is why they are hedging on the big announcement.

All in all, it's been an unusual political season... featuring a reluctant candidate whose surrogates have been throwing their weight around.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

InsiderNJ: DeFusco to announce "soon"

Read it on InsiderNJ


There you go!  Finally...

In spite of former NHSA Commissioner Tony Soares denying to some that he's running, InsiderNJ says that he is.

That means Soares will have to control his anonymous doppelgänger from bile-eruptions in online comments sections- can he do it?  

Not likely!  Hey did you know that Mayor Zimmer never wanted any pumps at all?  Nope... not ever!

Well, it will be a 4-way race soon... or maybe a 5 or 6 way... it's still early.

2-1 Committee Sample Ballot *Preview*

Br-r-r-r-r-r-r... it's cold in ballot Siberia

Oh, no!

It's been 6 days since Hoboken Democratic Committee officials Peter Biancamano and Ines Garcia Keim scrubbed their competition off the June 6 Primary ballot!

In fact, it was the Hairy-One who broke the news to GA... you know, the One with the silver possum napping atop his dome. GA congratulated him, and asked, "May I pet your pelt?"

Well folks, the only good news to come out of Hudson County Superior court last Friday, was that the Plaintiffs did not get "the line".  In other words, the HCDO line will be blank, where the Dallaras were supposed to be.

So what will the June 6 Primary ballot look like?

A source tells GA:
We are line E. If the format of prior primary election sample ballots apply, then I believe Russo et al will be in their own independent column in Column G. Visually, when you look at the ballot, A-D will only have a candidate in the top line. Column E will have at least 7 candidates top to bottom including ours at the bottom. F will have only a governor, and then the last column G for independents will have 3 candidates. Patty Waiters for Freeholder and 2 committee members at the bottom. So theoretically she is at the top of their slate. 
Column G?   Wait... let me find it on a map...


Boy, it's going to be very, very cold in that ballot location... GA hopes Peter and Ines wear thermal underwear on June 6.

Br-r-r-r-r-r-r!

What if, by some miracle they are salvaged from the ballot-tundra for a more temperate ballot-location?

It is possible. But, who is going to bother voting off the line?   Maybe they'll get one or two mercy-votes...

You never know!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Her lovely lady H-5 pump


Doesn't that H-5 pump make you want to blast some Black Eyed Peas and belt out that "My Pump" song? 

If you live in Northwest Hoboken, you sure felt dry last night. I mean...
Whatcha gonna do with all that junk
All that junk inside your trunk 
...if your trunk got flooded?

With your junk inside?

Thanks to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority and Mayor Zimmer, last night your trunk stayed dry...

This is what it looked like last night in the ShopRite neighborhood, during the storm at high tide:


Everybody's junk stayed nice and dry!

See what I  mean?


Kinda makes you want to sing, don't it?


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nason raises $6,684 at April 19 concert-fundraiser

 Frank Raia, candidate Karen Nason and musician Jonathan Edwards

In spite of one non-candidate who's been sucking up the oxygen lately, there are real candidates for Hoboken mayor!

Three, in fact: incumbent Dawn Zimmer,  Ronald Bautista and Karen Nason.

On Monday, April 17,  Zimmer held a fundraiser at Porter Collins, followed 2 days later by Karen Nason's fundraiser at House of 'Que!  

While Zimmer's featured a political celebrity guest (Phil Murphy),  Nason's featured a musical celebrity guest: 70's folk icon Jonathan Edwards (of "Sunshine" fame) who entertained the house with great acoustic guitar music.

Nason packed the house:





GA saw a lot of new faces, members of Hoboken's business community, local politicos.  It appears that former Councilwoman Theresa Castellano and former NHSA Commissioner Frank Raia are firmly in Nason's camp; both stayed for the whole event.

Not present: Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano.

FYI:  the 'rumor' that Nason was "put up by Stick" is  all wrong. She has other political backers.

In her speech, Nason named her three top platform issues: (1) helping the small business community (2) improving the city's infrastructure and (3) limiting bonding.  GA recorded her speech (below).

My casual observation is that Nason's message will appeal to anti-Zimmer and/or OG folks, the small business community, and her bohemian/ artist persona will grab some millennials.  Hmmm... sounds like Mike DeFusco's constituency.

In fact, by the time Mike DeFusco gets into the race, she'll have poached his entire vote. Remember The Tortoise and the Hare?
Once upon a time there was a hare [Mike DeFusco] who, boasting how he could run faster [and raise more $$$] than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise [Get out of the race, Karen! You can't win!] for its slowness.”

Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge [Bring it on]...

... At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt [on Memorial Day weekend]. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leapt and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him.
SAD.  Slow and steady wins it every time.

Go back to sleep, Mike!

Here's what candidate Nason wants you to know:
"I am working on 2nd event in May.  Will include music, professional skateboarder's, artists  and I will disclose the place as we get closer, but it will be a Cirque du Soleil style event!  I am also working on two events that will include Women in Business for Hudson County,  and I am hosting the Chamber of Commerce new members meeting this Friday at "Hothouse," April 28th for new member's 9-10:30 am breakfast at 200 Monroe Street 2nd and Monroe.  I will not be able to attend as my son is graduating college Suma Cum Laude for Journalism and I will be there this weekend.  Folks can go on Nasonformayor.com for updates, etc.  The website is a work in progress with more coming with the website.  My slogan is "Service over Ambition" "People over Politics".  You will hear this a lot from me.   Grassroots is the way I will run my campaign."
GA recorded her speech, followed by a duet of "Sunshine"with Jonathan Edwards. 



All in all, Nason raised $6,684 that night, ka-ching!

What Branciforte really said

One ZBA Commissioner who has (in GA's opinion) been unfairly maligned in the "Shake Shack" controversy, is Vice Chair John Branciforte.

That's because his statement "Shake Shack, I could really care less about, to tell you the truth" was pulled out of context by Councilman Defusco, who spread it on social media (Facebook and Twitter)  purposely, to dishonestly represent the reason 107-111 Washington Street's variances were denied.

Here are Branciforte's closing remarks in full, so it's clear his vote was not based on "not caring about Shake Shack" as DeFusco suggested by selectively pulling that quote out of context.
You know, I go way back on this Board, how many times a developer comes in front of the Board and says, you know, I am not putting a nail salon there. I am not putting whatever there, and then the thing opens up, and it's a nail salon. Or how many times I've heard two projects in particular, where we were promised like the best restaurant for this area that really needs a great restaurant, and then it turns into a bar, you know, a beer joint. Shake Shack, I could really care less about, to tell you the truth. They come and go. It doesn't matter to me. There's lots of places to get burgers on Washington Street. I will talk more about -- I just don't like the increase and the intensity of use that Court Street is going to have to go under. We don't know -- the traffic engineer doesn't know if Shake Shack is going to have a delivery service. If they do, there could be two to three cars double parked out front, or you know, parked on Court Street constantly. That wasn't included in the traffic study, the number of trips that the delivery guy would have to make every day. Not to mention the delivery trucks, right now I am guessing Walgreens uses their parking lot for deliveries. I don't know where those trucks are going to go. They're going to be parked on Court Street. The apartments -- 14 apartments are going to empty out onto Court Street. Fed Ex deliveries, like Mr. Johnson said -- thank you for bringing that up -- moving trucks, mail -- a postal service truck is going to have to be parked out there while they deliver to 14 residences, not to mention the fact that, like you just said, with all of the problems of the bars downtown, that alleyway going from Court Street to the back entrance of the building, that's going to turn into a toilet. I mean, it really is. A dark alleyway on Court Street, it's just -- there's so much wrong with this. But I have to go back to the lot coverage, and I agree with what Carol was talking about. Yeah, I'm just -- I am open to hearing what everybody else has to say.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

UPDATE- Shake Shack calls Hoboken location a "RUMOR"

UPDATE:  
No retraction of DeFusco's fallacious Facebook post "Hoboken says NO to Shake Shake!"

Instead, the Architect goes under the bus on Twitter!  It's all his fault!


_________________

Stealing hearts and hamburgers in the  Mile Square

Busy day, folks

We start off with this quote in Jerseydigs.com's article, "So What’s Really The Deal With Hoboken And Shake Shack?" 
"A rep for Shake Shack told Jersey Digs that “We have no news to share about an opening in Hoboken” and added “as you can imagine, rumors often circulate about our potential openings.” 
It seems the "rumor" that Councilman Mike DeFusco has circulated on Facebook, is blowing up like curlies left in the deep fryer.  

Recall that DeFusco not only scolded "Hoboken" for allegedly "saying NO to Shake Shake" but threatened not to re-appoint board members who had voted against the variances.

Guess what?

The April 18, 2017 ZBA hearing transcript for 107-111 Washington Street was posted this morning.

Based on a keyword search ("Shake Shack") of the 178-page transcript, the first time that "Shake Shack"enters the hearing is on page 21, in the testimony of the Architect:


The Architect also told me directly that the "owners were in a direct contact/contractual agreement with Shake Shack."  

That may be, but why was no contract, lease, or letter of commitment provided to the board? Nor did Shake Shack appear to testify.

On Friday, April 19, 2017 Shake Shack denied even a "plan" for the site, via Twitter:


In GA's opinion, the most telling part of the transcript, with respect Shake Shack's 'role' in the Application, comes from the Applicant's attorney, Robert Matule, Esq.

Here is how Matule, introduced the application:


What happened to Shake Shack?

The complete omission of "Shake Shack" (or even "a nationally-known restaurant franchise") by the Applicant's Attorney raises some questions.   

Why leave that part out?     

Why pitch the Shake Shack tenancy at all with insufficient proofs for the Board to consider?  

Who knows.

But the Councilman's decision to write a misleading post on Facebook, and all the attendant  publicity, may have the unintended consequences of chasing Shake Shake permanently away from the Mile Square.  Now they see what a shit-show Hoboken is .

But really, the finger-pointing, scapegoating  Councilman is suggesting the ZBA zone by variance, when the power to change zoning lies with the City Council.

A reader said the same:
"May I point out that the power to zone lies with the Governing Body? 

If Councilman Defusco thinks it is appropriate to allow 6 stories and 80% commercial lot coverage with no parking and remove the encouragement of accessory garages and apartments on Court Street he should discuss this with his colleagues on the Council:"
40:55D-62  Power to zone.
 49. Power to zone. a. The governing body may adopt or amend a zoning ordinance relating to the nature and extent of the uses of land and of buildings and structures thereon.  Such ordinance shall be adopted after the planning board has adopted the land use plan element and the housing plan element of a master plan, and all of the provisions of such zoning ordinance or any amendment or revision thereto shall either be substantially consistent with the land use plan element and the housing plan element of the master plan or designed to effectuate such plan elements; provided that the governing body may adopt a zoning ordinance or amendment or revision thereto which in whole or part is inconsistent with or not designed to effectuate the land use plan element and the housing plan element, but only by affirmative vote of a majority of the full authorized membership of the governing body, with the reasons of the governing body for so acting set forth in a resolution and recorded in its minutes when adopting such a zoning ordinance; and provided further that, notwithstanding anything aforesaid, the governing body may adopt an interim zoning ordinance pursuant to subsection b. of section 77 of P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-90).

 The zoning ordinance shall be drawn with reasonable consideration to the character of each district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses and to encourage the most appropriate use of land.  The regulations in the zoning ordinance shall be uniform throughout each district for each class or kind of buildings or other structure or uses of land, including planned unit development, planned unit residential development and cluster development, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts.
Click here for the full ZBA hearing transcript.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Councilman DeFusco Threatens to 'fire' ZBA members based on their VOTE



Oh, boy.  Folks out there are buzzing about this one.

Councilman Mike DeFusco's Shake Shack Suicide Mission on Facebook took a decidedly dark, authoritarian turn yesterday.

I never thought I'd say this, but even Beth Mason had the brains not to publish her vendettas against particular board members online under her own name- she had surrogates for that.

So, can a sitting City Council member threaten to axe members of an autonomous, quasi-judicial board because he does not like their vote on an application?

Since when did a Councilperson use his/her position to publicly bully and intimidate members of an autonomous board to 'get in shape' and vote the way he wants, or else get axed?

Hoboken's Corporation Council needs to look at this one.  I believe this is a serious ethical transgression by an elected member of Hoboken's Legislative body.  Corp Council can decide if censure is in order.

I hope ZBA members show up at the next Council meeting to address this egregious threat against their municipal service by a sitting Council member.  

Of course, when it is time to appoint ZBA members, one hopes the Council takes a fair, impartial view of the qualifications of each applicant, and not subject incumbent applicants to a witch hunt. At least that should be their public position.

Councilmembers have no right to terrorize board members based upon their vote.

This is so outrageous, and a window into the authoritarian, immature mind of a person who aspires to be Hoboken's Chief Executive; somehow, his political rise has swollen his head 3 sizes too big. What GA sees is an intolerant, thin-skinned official who seems to surround himself with sycophants and cannot debate with his critics.

Yes, not only am I- a constituent- blocked on his Facebook page, but it appears he has scrubbed my comments.

That is the measure of an authoritarian. Think like him, vote like him, believe his propaganda (107-11 Washington Street= Shake shake... NOT!) or be scrubbed.

Scrubbed from Facebook, Scrubbed from the Zoning Board...

Does Hoboken need a leader like this? We already have one in the White House.

Friday, April 21, 2017

UPDATED: "Shake Shack' Mike, Used Burger Salesman

UPDATE 

Shake Shack has tweeted " no plans for this site [107-11 Washington Street]"...


...proving once and for al (as GA told you) Councilman DeFusco lied to the public (and besmirched the reputation of Hoboken's Zoning Board of Adjustment) when he posted this on Facebook:



'Nuff said?

A shout out to hMag's Chris Halloran for today's excellent coverage of this developing story.

Stay tuned folks, more to come!

________________




So get this.

First, Councilman Mike DeFusco gets caught in a huge lie- picking up a DEVELOPER'S TALKING POINT- he makes the fallacious claim that "Hoboken said "NO" to Shake Shack" at the Zoning Board.

Next, GA confronts him with the lie on Facebook, then PROVES he's lied here: I published the ZBA Planner's report which requested that the Applicant "provide  information regarding the TYPE of commercial and/or retail tenants intended for the space. "  NONE (contract, lease, letter of commitment) was provided in response to the Planners report-NONE, including at the hearing.  The Applicant showed a rendering with "Shake SHake" signage- that's all.

Next, Councilman DeFusco BLOCKS ME FROM COMMENTING ON FACEBOOK.

Next, Councilman DeFusco CONTINUES to LIE to the public that "Shake Shack" was a confirmed tenant.  Because GA is blocked, DeFusco continues to feed the angry mob, and LIE like a friggin rug.  Check this out:



What the hell is, "in contract pending approval?"   

In contract means "in contract." 

The Applicant provided no letter of commitment or any proof at all that "Shake Shake" was "in contract pending approval" IF this was true- and they were ASKED for this information.

Conclusion:  Defusco is parroting a DEVELOPER TALKING POINT- A SALES PITCH.  

Consider DeFusco's Hamburger Jihad on Facebook a big wink to the development community... maybe a pitch for "support" (ka-ching) to a flagging campaign.  


DeFusco has shown he will ABDICATE his responsibility as a Councilman sitting on a body that hears ZBA appeals in order to SHILL for a developer.... at the same time, he stabs the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustments (as a body) in the back, by creating this false narrative that turns the ZBA into "bad guys who voted against hamburgers."

Absolute bullshit.

GA sat on the ZBA for 4 years, and accept how applicants pitch projects.

DeFusco has completely politicized the board, and trashed it's good work by dragging into his self-centered political ambitions.  'Nuff said about hamburgers today?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DeFusco's "Shake Shack" Distraction



You can't make this shit up!

While Mike DeFusco burned a straw-man on Facebook ("Hoboken said "NO" to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street!"), last night at the Council meeting, he introduced a "live a motion" to effectively kill off a $175M infrastructure improvement project...  

GA will have more for you tomorrow- but in short:

DeFusco's 'live motion" aimed to AMEND the "RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT  BETWEEN THE CITY OF HOBOKEN AND PSE&G AUTHORIZING THE  TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY." This Resolution which DeFusco tried to amend, required approval  for PSE&G to proceed with execution of their $175M deal with Hoboken; the terms of this deal had already gone through a rigorous negotiations between City of Hoboken, PSE&G and the Public Board of Utilities.

In short PSE&G agreed to 'give' $175M  to Hoboken to combine the Marshall Street substation with the Madison Street substation, elevating and modernizing the combined substation with the most reliable, state-of-the-art technology.  Both of these substations are over 50 years old and are at risk from flooding. This is a fantastic deal for Hoboken that wouldn't cost taxpayers one cent.  

But what's good for hoboken, is bad for the mayor's opponents, especially a mayoral challenger...

Hence, last night's stunt at the Council- a 'poison pill' to  kill the deal, disguised as a  live motion.  

DeFusco's 'live motion' would have CHANGED THE  NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT between all parties and VOIDED it....

Had DeFusco's "live motion" passed, it would start the regulatory process all over again, and force everyone back to the negotiating table, likely KILLING  PSE&G's $175M  cost-free  infrastructure improvements to Hoboken. 

And who voted "YES" on DeFusco's "live motion"?  

Mike DeFusco, Ruben Ramos, Mike Russo and Dave Mello.  

It failed, thank G-d.

So, while Mike DeFusco, Mike Russo, Ruben Ramos and Dave Mello were trying to put the kibosh on a $175M  MAJOR infrastructure improvement project being offered FREE to HOBOKEN TAXPAYERS, Mike DeFusco was focusing the public's attention on a myth of lost hamburgers.



The "SHAKE SHACK" LIE

This one is about as dumb- and cynical- as Hoboken politics gets.

On Tuesday night, Hoboken's Zoning Board of Adjustments denied a 80% lot coverage variance at 101-117 Washington Street.

This morning, GA found a torches-and-pitchfork style revolt on Facebook, against  the ZBA's alleged "NO" to a Shake Shack on Washington Street!

Who started it?   Mike DeFusco!  

His opening Facebook salvo is: " Last night Hoboken said "NO" to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street."

Only it's a LIE.  

How do we know that (1) "Shake Shack" has never considered tenancy at 101-11 Washington Street and (2) "Shake Shack" was NOT even part of the Application before the ZBA?

It's in the ZBA Planner's Report.  

You see, a few days before each hearing, the ZBA Planner reviews the entire Application: plans, reports, drawings, etc.  The ZBA Planner then summarizes the application, flags potential issues with granting the variance, and notes deficiencies in a report . The report that goes to "everyone"-  and is a heads up to the Applicant  to prepare for the hearing and address deficiencies at the scheduled hearing.

This deficiency was cited in the April 12, 2017 Planner's report for 107-111 Washington Street LLC.
"5.7      Applicant should provide information regarding the type of commercial and/or retail tenants intended for the cellar and first floor space."




See what I mean?

The Application for  107-111 Washington St did not even identify the type of commercial or retail tenants intended for the first floor space  certainly NOTHING about "Shake Shack."  Then, after this was flagged in the ZBA Planner Report, the Applicant had 5 days notice to address to item 5.7 and produce "proof" that any kind of commitment, lease or contract existed with "Shake Shack", or even invite a rep from Shake Shack to testify at the hearing.

As a former full term ZBA board member, I know "marketing" (a.k.a. bullshit) when I smell it.

The Applicant only produced a rendering with the "Shake Shack" sign.  A selling point to the board- a "vision."  That's it.

In short, there was/is NO tenant "SHAKE SHACK" in the Application for variances at 107-11 Washington Street.

 So then why did (former ZBA member) Mike DeFusco post this?



And double-down on the lie when GA called him on it? (typo- "spin" not "spirit")

Note, DeFusco's argument about space for a commercial kitchen when the application was devoid of intended commercial/retail use.


 Even the Architect, the talented John Nastasi called out DeFusco's  "Shake Shack" fairy tale.



So, while the mobs gather to storm City Hall over the NONSENSE started by Councilman DeFusco, no one is paying attention to a truly disgusting political maneuver- echoes of Beth Mason's plan to kill the HUMC.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Exhibit C" (Stick goes under the bus)


Oh dear, who got thrown under that BUS?  

It's... it's...Anthony 'Stick' Romano!  Oh, the humanity!

The horrible bus accident occurred on "Exhibit C" of the Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al, which was filed by Attorney Steve Kleinman in Hudson County Superior Court on April 17, 2017. 

Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al- "EXHIBIT C"


"Exhibit C" is a  text exchange furnished by Plaintiff Biancamano for his sore-loser lawsuit (or "WAH-suit")  Biancamano, et. al v Farina, et. al; his co-Plaintiff is Committeewoman Ines Garcia-Keim.  

Both are elected Democratic Committee-persons for Ward/District 2-1-- but not for long!

Here is why they filed their WAH-suit:  Biancamano and his sore-loser running mate Ines Garcia Keim were rejected from the HCDO line; their delicately-calibrated egos couldn't stand being in ballot-exile.  Even worse, their opponents the Dallaras, are active, popular members of the Hoboken community; Sheillah, a BoE Trustee, is the mom of an autistic child and heavily involved in Special Needs Programs for kids in the Hoboken Public Schools.

Therefore, it is unlikely that Biancamano and Keim could prevail in an honest race against such opponents. In fact, the June 6 election would resemble a live burial.

So, since the "Plaintiffs" can't win an election honestly, they seized upon an administrative error- the late filing of their petitions to mount a WAH-suit.

 The Defendants of the  sore-loser WAH-suit are:
(1) the Hoboken City Clerk Jimmy Farina,
(2) the Hudson County Clerk, Barbara Netchert, and
(3) the Dallaras 
But I digress... back to the bus accident!

The "Exhibit C" text depicts Hoboken's Deputy Clerk "Jerry" correcting misinformation he'd given Biancamano on the petition filing day  (it's in the complaint).  Accordingly,  "Jerry" notifies Biancamano that in fact, he is running opposed, and he is not on the HCDO line.

But, "Jerry" is not named in the complaint, so what does the text prove?  In GA's opinion...

There appears to be no value in making this text a public document, except for exposing and embarrassing Stick Romano because it suggests that Stick is coordinating with Biancamano against the interests of his own (HCDO) slate.  The text gives the appearance that Stick is helping a friend get back on the 'line' (which can only happen if 2-1 candidates, the Dallaras, are challenged).   

Why would a friend drag Stick's name into this legal mess?  If the complaint goes to court, Stick may be called as a witness.

Moreover, who sues over 2 political committee candidates is absurd- especially since it has negligible impact on the overall imbalance imbalance between the HCDO (67 candidates) and "Other" slate (52candidates).

Sorry, but its a shitty ward-district race. Does it really merit a 63-page complaint, and a bus ride over Stick Romano?

By the way, WAH-suits don't come cheap. Who do you think is paying?

GA doesn't know.  But an interesting coincidence: the sore losers' attorney has made numerous courtroom appearances on behalf of wealthy ex-Councilwoman Beth Mason, and as an on-call legal consultant in Bajardi v Pincus discovery emails.

Another Hoboken coincidence!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oh, what a NIGHT (with Phil, Brian and many more!)

Brian couldn't keep his hands off me.
Holy (cash) COW!

An estimated 300 guests squished into Porter Collins last night to show their love (and moola) for the re-election of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her At-Large council slate-  so far, that's Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle.

It was a classy event- they even had valet parking!

Would you give them your keys? 

Wow!  Meanwhile, this is what the crowd inside of Porter Collins looked like- Land of the Giants!

Can you see the folks at the front of the room? Neither could I!


John Heinis of Hudson County View to the rescue!   Thanks to Heinis' excellent reporting, we can see and hear exactly what went on at the front of the room... check out his video:


So, that may be the story of the night: not only a tremendous turnout but effusive support from the next Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy and....

This declaration from our neighbor,  LD33 State Senator Brian Stack:
"Not only am I here to offer my endorsement, and I did this a few weeks ago... I'll offer whatever it takes in support, and send people to Hoboken and go door-to-door myself, every single night to make sure Dawn is re-elected with her City Council,  Why is it important? Because Dawn Zimmer doesn't bother anyone. When I say she doesn't bother anyone, shes not your typical Hudson County politician- and that's not against anyone else in the County.  But Dawn fights for Hoboken, day in and day out, and she's concerned with Hoboken, not 100% but a MILLION % and that's refreshing to see in Hudson County." 
Anybody see a message in there?

GA hears that the LD33 Senator has already offered resources for the 'Column A' Democratic Committee candidates.

Speaking of Brian Stack, did GA tell you he couldn't keep his hands off me?

Photographer: Senator Bernard Kenny

 Oh... wait...my doorbell is ringing... hold on, let me get...

Special delivery from Brian Stack!  

What could it be?... another birthday card?  Let me open the envelope...



 I told you, Stack won't leave me alone!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hippity Hop! Litigious Bunnies deliver THREAT to City Hall Clerk!

This book is not Golden
While most of us were celebrating Passover and Easter holidays, TWO BUSY BUNNIES, both elected officials, delivered the following SCARY letter to Hoboken City Clerk, Jimmy Farina:

Biancamano/Keim HOLY THURSDAY Letter 



One wonders, how could such adorable creatures act like total douches?

In plain language, these two BUNNIES want their ward/district opponents, the Dallaras, thrown off the ballot for Democratic Committee because their petitions were accidentally omitted from the group package to Farina; they were submitted after the deadline.   

Yes, the Dallara's petitions were timely notarized. Do these bunnies care?

 NO.

Because they know they cannot win honestly, they want their opponents thrown off the ballot.

WHO is underwriting the bunnies' media campaign and litigation? 

It isn't hard to guess. 

And so, the bunnies sent a press release last last Friday- Good Friday on the Christian calendar.


Biancamano/Keim GOOD FRIDAY Press Release


I doubt either bunny really wants to see the inside of a court room.  Bunnies are generally fastidious creatures, but these two ?  Both have had past ethical "quandaries" that are part of the public record.

For example, one Bunny was hit with fines by the NJ ELEC Commission for campaign finance reporting violations for the 2009 mayoral campaign of Beth Mason.  That's not all! 

Excerpt from Mason ELEC Complaint- 2009 Municipal Campaign
In 2015, that Bunny appears to have exceeded the state's maximum allowable contribution for a Continuing Political Committee ($8,200) for the 2015 election cycle by accepting $11,200 for "direct mail"for Carmelo Garcia's ward race. (Not to mention breaking Hoboken's Pay-to-Play ordinance which permits a $500 maximum contribution from a PAC or individual).


And in 2012, the Bunny's Continuing Political Committee, "Friends of Beth Mason"  violated Hoboken's Pay-to-Play law by providing in-kind contributions in excess of $6,617.05 to the Move Forward BoE campaign.

As for the other bunny, in 2014 he washed onto the Hoboken Board of Education in a tsunami of 466 VBMs!

What a VBM windfall!
GA can't wait to see these two bunnies hop into a courtroom.

Somehow, the Plaintiffs of political-lawsuits underwritten by a Twisted Pretzel always forget...

 Discovery goes BOTH WAYS.  

Check out Hudson County View for the latest on this developing story!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Now you see 'em (Russia), now you don't

Here's a curious postscript about the extraordinary volume of traffic from Russia recorded by Blogger, which GA observed two weeks ago.   

TWO WEEKS AGO



 TODAY


Is 'Russia' gone or hiding from view?  Who knows. 

All I can tell you is GA's most frequent foreign visitors seem to be Russia and North Bergen

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ruminations of a Somerville (about Madigan's BoE STUNT)

GA asked my friend, the brilliant, accomplished, frickin' hilarious Hoboken born-and-raised, Paul Somerville for his thoughts on Wednesday night's BoE fireworks.

If you don't know Paul through his public service (President of the Hoboken YMCA Board of Directors, Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission Chairman) maybe you read about him...

Because in 2013 he and (the wonderful) Allen Kratz were the first Hoboken same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license at Hoboken City Hall!  The blessed event made local and national news! 



Paul was also the head of the now-defunct Gay Alliance of Hudson County (GAAHC) and Allen was the head of the statewide New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition (NJLGC).

And so...

Paul and Allen attended last Wednesday's BoE meeting to support School Board member Irene Sobolov- the target of a cheap shot resolution sponsored by John Madigan,  seconded by Peter Biancamano.     

The resolution was a political stunt, nearly two weeks in the makingdemanding that Sobolov resign her Board seat after sending  a "controversial  text" by accident to Board members.  
The 'worst' part of the stunt: shopping the story to local and national media outlets.  Vicious!

In fact, new information coming in to GA makes it clear the target of the calculated political operation was not Sobolov, it was Mayor Zimmer.  Wait until you hear about that...

But I digress...

After the BoE meeting I asked Paul if he could write down his thoughts about the Madigan BoE stunt.

Thank you for this, Paul: 

Ruminations of a Somerville
"For me, the most disturbing part of last night’s inept stunt was that what was perceived to be a homophobic slight,  quickly became an exploitation of sexual minorities, (at least 15-20% of whom are students in the schools, which the members of the Board of Education are sworn to serve).   Those in attendance had to digest the nauseating mock outrage on the part of three board members, one of whom – and I’m being generous here - has a less than stellar reputation with the gay community and women, for comments he has made in public.  To paraphrase what I remember saying last night:   Exploiting sexual minorities for a political opportunity is a reprehensible act. 

While it was very heartening to witness and participate in the well-deserved support for Irene Sobolov, someone I’ve known most of her life,  I was sorry that this stunt happened at all, eclipsing the good work coming out of our schools, as evidenced by the program and awards the students participated in earlier in the meeting, as well as Dr. Johnson’s report outlining the amazing things our students are accomplishing in their young lives.

It did not go unnoticed by this business owner that we now have financial accountability, unlike the bad old days of no-show patronage jobs and no-bid contracts, in a school system that was graduating high school students who were illiterate. Heck, we had three more principals than we did schools back in the day!

Alarm bells went off in my head when Mr. Madigan ironically revealed his own homophobia, by harping many times on the fact that one of the recipients was a “married father of two”, as if somehow by being the intended target of a text, written to point out the implausibility of the relationship between Councilman DeFusco, Mr. Madigan and the “married father”,  would raise suspicions about that man’s sexuality, the implication being that being associated with anything gay was bad."
- Paul

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Madigan's BoE stunt BACKFIRES: F-A-I-L (VIDEO)


Last night, the curtain fell on a brief, sordid episode in Hoboken political history.

Let's recap.
  • A BoE member accidently forwarded a private text to public officials; the text contained a slang phrase ("butt buddies") which either means (1) a gay slur or (2) a platonic term for close friends.
  • Along with that phrase, the text contained the photo of openly gay Councilman Mike Defusco with openly straight Brian Murray.
  • Add to the mix, (2) School Board Trustees who received the text: John Madigan and Peter Biancamano.  Both are bitter, political adversaries of the Trustee who sent the text, Irene Sobolov.  
  • The backdrop: a mayoral election that is, at least online, as hot as I can remember.  Mike DeFusco, subject of the text, has been running a stealth mayoral campaign although he has yet to announce he's running.

Well, last night this combustible mixture exploded... BOOM!

But not how Madigan and Biancamano, planners of a dirty political stunt, intended.  

The stunt: John Madigan and Peter Bianacamano sponsored a resolution to force Sobolov to resign from the School Board, AND had shopped the story to numerous media outlets.  Media outlets appeared to have been informed about their resolution before the public was.

Yes, numerous media outlets, including NBC- Biancamano's employer, were notified; GA heard  that "5 or 6" were coming to Last night's meeting.

The apparent "plan"was for the cameras to roll while Madigan and Biancamano self-righteously denounced Irene with prepared remarks describing her as a homophobe and/or bully. They wanted Sobolov to melt under media spotlights, humiliate her, destroy her reputation.  That's what John Madigan and Peter Bianacamano, two political operatives disguised as Hoboken School Board Trustees, intended.

That's not what happened.
  
Hoboken turned out for Irene.

Speakers included public school parents, teachers, friends, her spouse Ivan,  and two prominent, highly respected, openly gay Hoboken residents: Paul Somerville and his husband Allen Kratz.

Paul and Allen, who praised Sobolov, are longtime LGBT rights activists; Paul was the head of the now-defunct Gay Alliance of Hudson County (GAAHC) and  Allen was the head of the statewide New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition (NJLGC).

Perpetually angry activist/candidate Patty Waiters (standing) argues with a member of the public (seated). Unlike the entire audience (seated), Waiters stood in the center aisle, blocking the view of audience members.  Waiters' loud, angry exchange interrupted speaker Paul Somerville's remarks.  Somerville paused until the rude, obnoxious, disruptive Waiters was escorted to a seat, where she should have been in the first place. 

And so, the shallowness and stupidity of the Madigan-Biancamano scripted character assassination stood in stark contrast to the many heartfelt tributes about Sobolov and her years of quiet dedication to Hoboken's public school community.

Speaker after speaker eloquently described personal experiences with Irene-  shaming the two political operatives who DO NOT DESERVE THEIR BOARD SEATS.

There were only (2) speakers who sided with Madigan and Biancamano's resolution:   Patty Waiters and some HoLa-witch who flew in on her broomstick.

Said witch is a nasty HoLa parent who has periodically attended district BoE meetings to insult the district children and Board members; she also ran unsuccessfully for a Board Seat.  In 2014, she was on the  "Parents for Change" BoE ticket with runningmates Brian Murray and Patty Waiters - and finished in LAST place with the lowest number of votes of all candidates running that year.   SAD.

So, last night's audience politely listened as this embittered failed-candidate hissed a litany of insults against Irene, including  lambasting her about the pending "ethics complaint" allegedly filed by an HoLa Parent against board members who donated to the district's legal fund.  



And so, this witch ended her vomitous diatribe with a threat:  "you wait and see..." that community opposition against Sobolov would grow.  With torches and pitchforks?   Maybe district parents should make a scene at her next school board meeting, and scream about HoLa idiots who file frivolous ethics complaints against our board?

I imagine district peeps have too much class for that.

Finally, the VOTE.  After an explanation from the Board Attorney that Madigan's resolution was not legally enforceable- that the Board could not tell one of its member to "resign," the toothless vote proceeded.

Votes split along political factions.

"For" Sobolov's resignation, Madigan, Biancamano and the largely-mute Montgomery. 

Everybody else, against.

Here is video-from the introduction of the resolution through  the vote- which I took last night. The acoustics in the auditorium suck.  (Is it possible to change BoE meeting location?)

In two parts:





GA note: 
Props to Mike DeFusco on how he comported himself in the NBC 4 NewYork interview.

That is the Mike I remember.