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

35 comments:

  1. "All this new information" Please share where it comes from? Personally, I trust the Weekly World News more than you. A summarization of actual facts would help me believe you more...

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    1. Wouldn't YOU like to know. In due time.

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    2. 2:26, your paranoia is showing. If you don't believe it why do you care? Yet here you are hanging around a site you say you don't trust and posting in the middle of the afternoon. What are you afraid of?

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    3. 2:35- the rental jackass @2:26 is coming in on a proxy. What is interesting is he is far from the only rental jackass over here which means JOEEEEEEY and Nicccckkkky are back in Hoboken!!!! The NORTH BERGEN NINJAS on their proxies! Somebody hang the NO TRESPASSING sign on the LD33 border!

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    4. A fab proxy as well, a dandy! Singapore site, no login info kept and no DNS leaking. Millions of ISP to choose from. Heck I can pick any ISP and use it. Gotta love Murica! What is sad is you just not long ago you defended anonymity but here you blast everyone. This is why even your friends do not trust you, don't worry, they speak lowly of you and smile to your face, even your supposed closest pals. You must be sad and lonely at night. Jersey!

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    5. Hey, jackass @ 3:41 PM... ever consider I might be watching you? I can shut you down anytime.

      Kinda sad that you're lurking around here, tsk tsk.... you're so low on the political operative food chain I guess it's between coming here or sweeping dogshit in North Bergen. Don't throw yourself out by mistake!

      Oh, I would not defend your anonymity.... I'd give you up so fast your head would spin and fly off. BOING!

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  2. Paul and Allen- two vanguards in the Gay Community and the Hoboken community overall.

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  3. GA, tell those bitches from North Bergen to keep their candyasses OUT of my district. Especially that dumb turd Joey.

    Love,
    Brain Stack

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  4. Mike DeFusco must be cringing.

    With friends like 3:15 who needs enemies.

    Have they learned nothing from their own epic election failures ?

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    1. Not sure Mike is smart enough to cringe. He has shown a great propensity to do some pretty dumb stuff the last few months.

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    2. Maybe you should talk to Irene and ask her, she and Mike both remain friends

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  5. The wise words shared by Paul and Allan (and Michael Lenz) were some of the most moving and inspiring that I have heard in a school forum. They were light to the darkness clumsily projected by the Old Guard proxies (Biancamano, Madigan and Montgomery) + Lynn D. Is their time up yet? Madigan is a complete hypocrite in his accusations and that's what made the whole thing such a gross example of what having the wrong people sit on the BoE can do.

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    1. I agree. And many more were there who didn't speak but they came out for Irene.

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  6. Based on the comments of some of today's visitors, they were either not able to read to the end of Paul's first paragraph or were not able to parse the meaning. So here it is an extra time.

    Exploiting sexual minorities for a political opportunity is a reprehensible act.

    I'm pleased that you were able to get him to share his thoughts. While I'm sure he isn't looking to sign up for the post of EveryGay, I never completely trust that I know what is hurtful when I am not the intended target of a remark. And I don't wish to be glib about the injuries of others on the basis that "it sounded ok to me." I'm not embarrassed to say I need the guidance.

    We live in a time of mounting casual, and not so casual, cruelty toward LGBTQ citizens. This jackass for instance. Or a vice president who thinks orientation is subject to the whims of prayer. Not the guy on the last barstool with the piss stain; not him, the vice president.

    In that case I can grasp the offense. The scientific idiocy of very idea itself. And the underlying postulate that being gay is an evil to be remedied by an earnest "appeal to all that is holy." Apart from supplying the crux of a suicide note for those who can't escape these dark teachings, it offers nothing to this world.

    That much I could figure out. But Paul's last point slipped past when I heard it in real time. It's a relative of Pence's homophobia, just not gussied up to pass for holy and seek donations. But just as troubling. Just as ingrained in the thoughts of those like, well, like me, who think we "get it" but don't. Or don't always.

    I'm encouraged by my kids' generation. They aren't intellectualizing "tolerance" or "acceptance" so they don't make the errors that are inherent in supposing one's "tolerance" or "acceptance" is some sort of gift to be bestowed upon the life around them. "I have some very good news for you - I've decided to accept you as you are. Is that great or what? You're welcome!" We are become a New Yorker cartoon.

    But they aren't. Gender fluidity is a detail to them, like hair color and musical tastes. They will surpass us in this. We need the surpassing.

    I hope it was ok to talk about my actual thoughts on the matter vs how it could be used to beat someone up politically. Such dreary music for springtime.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and so eloquently. As for those visitors you refer to, they aren't here to understand and are irrelevant.

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  7. Well said, Info, thanks. Hopefully the phony/North Bergen political hack trolls will take Easter weekend off and we can all observe the holiday in peace.

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  8. This stupid pet trick was over the minute that the moron Madigan was tapped to be the face of the resolution. His vile, misogynistic rants and vicious hatred of Reform have been widely chronicled. You lost your overpaid no show job, blowhard. Get over it. The fact that PB used the jelly faced Madigan to lead the charge confirms PB's tone deafness and lack of any political skills. Those deficiencies were on full display in the debacle (for him) of the last BOE race. And WTF is up with that useless piece of shit Montgomery? Is she really as dumb as a rock as she appears to be? The fact that she is in any way responsible for spending tax payer dollars and has any input on the education of Hoboken students should send chills down every taxpayer's spine. So, in the end, this mess occupied one news cycle way in advance of the mayoral election. However, it just served as a reminder to the voters of Hoboken just what a bunch clowns the OG are and why none of them (nor any candidate that they front) should ever be elected to any public office.

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  9. Glad Irene got to see how beloved she is

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. It's an unpaid board position, 7:46. And now it includes having to deal with out-of-town jackholes like you who cast aspersions but clearly know nothing. I honestly don't know why people continue to serve this city under these circumstances. But they do. Which means you lose, ahole.

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    3. What a sad sick individual you must be.

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    4. 7:46 was a doosh "from Luxembourg". To the rest of you, Happy Easter.

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  10. A couple of thoughts on this complicated issue:

    1) Brian Murray is a horrible human being, and deserving of many an insult. I believe Irene's particular choice of epithet was unfortunate but not intentionally offensive in the way it's been sensationalized.
    2) Like most or all Old Guarders, Madigan & co. are trying to weave a distraction from their own atrocious record and culture of corruption, much to the eloquent Mr. Somerville's point.
    3) Here's where some folks are going to disagree with me and we'll get to see who among us is open to legitimate criticism and who's spinning in the groupthink whirlpool -- Irene should have known better. The text was unprofessional and sophomoric, and the clumsy dissemination was needlessly careless, and now the entire Reform ticket is going to have it to contend with throughout the election (probably not the biggest obstacle in the world, but an avoidable drain on resources nonetheless.

    What's more, Irene comes from the wing of Reform most doctrinaire and intolerant toward anyone who does anything disagreeable. If, for example, someone of good humor like a Jim Doyle made a mistake like this, it would be laughed off just as he would laugh off anyone who inadvertently offended him. Not so in this case, and there's a certain element of "live by the sword, die by the sword" that comes into play here in terms of harshness of judgment. Just because Madigan's exploitation is shamelessly opportunistic doesn't make calls for Irene's resignation any less valid.

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    1. If I disagree with you, does that put me in the "groupthink whirlpool"?

      The text was "unprofessional" in a professional context- but it was exchanged in a social context. So, it was not "unprofessional" until it landed with "professionals". SHe has apologized. The "calls for resignation" were a political hit job- the text was "held" privately for 2 weeks during which it was shopped to the media. You probably thought I should have resigned from the ZBA after Lane Bajardi's City COunil art show, and spun and shopped my graphic to the Jewish press. Let's agree to disagree here and move on.

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    2. I accept and respect your points of contention up until your accusation that I sympathized with LB against you. I supported you ardently in that situation. I would also place you in the category of those who tolerate objectionable behavior with humor and open-mindedness and deserve the same in return. Like I said, I think Irene comes from a more doctrinaire wing of the community, and IN MY OPINION, which I do not need to debate with you since I know where you stand and accept your difference on this point, if anyone within Reform chooses not to give her any quarter on this, or if anyone on the mayor/council ticket feels she's created a liability for them that's best alleviated with her resignation, I personally think it's within the realm of fair play.

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    3. Sorry if it came off like an accusation. I just don't see a lot of material difference between the two scenarios, though they are different. She has and continues to fight the good fight in Hoboken. The notion of her resigning for a texting misfire of a phrase which has a Platonic meaning and i not only a gay slur- how Irene meant it- is absurd to me. The people who need to resign for the good of Hoboken are Madigan, Biancamano and Montgomery, the rubber stamp.

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    4. That's fair. My point is that if I were running for citywide office on the Reform ticket and felt this incident was going to divert resources for which I'm working hard to raise money, I'd look where it originated and think, depending on one's POV, that this isn't exactly a faction that ever cut me any breaks. Being a hardliner can cut both ways.

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    5. Well, not sure what the personal element is, but you can also look at it as the founder of Hoboken Family Alliance who's donated thousands of hours to helping public school families- newsletters, school tours, always a resource for anyone with questions being forced to give that up by the worst element of Hoboken. Who gets hurt?

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    6. I do not think this issue will be a factor in November as most of Hoboken's voters don't even know it happened and in six months from now it will be even more of a non-issue. Those hardliners as you define them, may have to decide to vote for DeFusco, if he does run and as one of their own was the target of this attack, they will remember and vote accordingly.

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    7. Now that more people know abut Madigan screaming effing c*nts! and effing dykes! at a public school board meeting when his patronage contract wasn't renewed, will Biancamano and Montgomery demand his resignation? Will DeFusco and the mayor go public with their opinions about his homophobia and misogyny? Will Danzker and Waiters approach the mic and screech incoherently again? Nope. But what hurts reform more than anything is tolerating the bullshit of the old guard and not calling them out on it every time. They exhibit destructive, rapacious behavior, and then get insulted when you don't say please an thank you.

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  11. Just my 2 cents:

    Does anyone really think Madigan has enough working brain cells to be responsible for this sort of political stunt ? I don't.

    It failed so "don't pay any attention to man behind the curtain" Biancamano .

    Will Biancamano be running in November for City Council ? I think so.


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  12. IMO DeFusco and Biancamano were deeply involved exploiting what was a minor thing and when it went sideways, one of DeFusco handlers figured out that if he didn't accept the apology he would look total jerk and made sure Biancamano was well out of the spotlight. Can I prove it no, but it makes it fits their personalities.



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