Much Ado About Tony


In the past 2 weeks, Tony Soares has been killed more times than Rasputin.

Don't know him? You must live under a rock.

He's the current Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Commissioner on the North Hudson Sewage Authority. In the 90's he was a founding member of Guardians of the 4th Ward, Mayoral Cable Advisory Committee member (worked to obtain Public Access channels for Hoboken, wired all schools for cable tv, obtained 100K funding to equip Hoboken High with TV studio technology and hardware), Go West Committee member (obtained thousands of signatures to redirect Light Rail to the west side of Hoboken), Hoboken Alliance for Lower Taxes founder (published a quarterly newspaper on taxes, development and education), and was a City Councilman from 1995- 2001. I've actually left out a lot of his other volunteer work and accomplishments, so you will have to request a copy of his resume which he will provide to you at no cost.

Well, he may charge you for the paper. And the printing. And the 8 x 10 glossys are definitely not free.

Now, you're thinking... Jeez, what an ass-kisser.


This is commentary on the commentary. Commentary on the discourse.

Some of it has hit the right target, which would address actions and/or behavior. Go, go, go! Speak until it hurts. Hammer away.

Unfortunately, in my view much of the harshest discourse has been driven by personal animus toward Soares. And I saw some bullying. Example: he was attacked for not posting. Why? It's indefensible, people. Thou shalt post is not the Eleventh Commandment.

Maybe he didn't feel like it.

More: some folks standing on reform principle were furious at Soares yet have given Amar Bhalla a pass. Which tells me it's the person and not the principle.

I suppose the impetus to blog all this comes from the ubiquitous photo of Tony and Michelle Russo chatting outside of City Council chambers.

Do you know, there's a photo of me floating around , chatting with Pol Pot-- leader of the Khmer Rouge and killer of nearly 2 million Cambodians. He actually has his arm around me. We may even be kissing. Well, it was our second date.

Oh, I kid.

But, it's true about the photo. I was chatting with Pol Pot. We actually exchanged recipes. I gave him mine for banana bread, and he gave me his for amok trey. It's delicious, but spicy.

Do you know, after that photo was published in the U.S, I got arrested? No sh*t. Fraternizing with the enemy. Plotting. Planning. My neighbors called me a traitor. In fact, a mob of them drove my entire family out of town with flaming torches and pitchforks. Straight to Hoboken!

That's the power of images. An image used as a narrative.

Speaking of which, isn't it funny how the worst qualities and motivations of the 'bad' person are transferred onto the other one they're photographed with?

It never works the other way.

Photo: original photo, Mile Square View.


  1. Lots of smoke and mirrors here. MSV did a full article on the concerns about two appointments. Soares was in the center of them. The photo has been spelled out in complete context. Attempting to downplay its value without that context is repeating exactly what you claim to point out.

    Now if you want to provide some context, then you should share something more personal like your own interaction with Tony of late and work done together. That would be insightful.

    However you don't do that. Instead here you cite all kinds of historical "accomplishments" such as obtaining signatures, in this case thousands of them. He did that all on his own? Really?

    This is not about what Tony has done or will do on two separate boards. It's about the reasonable expectations where everyone plays by the same rules and a policy advocated by the mayor.

    You know the mayor who is the head of Hoboken's reform movement. Not the people who are undermining that policy for their own selfish interests that most would fairly call patronage.

    When did patronage suddenly become the new reform?

    Amar's situation is entirely different. The mayor made an appointment in June, some may argue about the particulars but the brother on the Council didn't know. It's funny how some in the reform movement wish to scuttle the main issue and focus on that. It's a minor isolated board position that is not going to impact Hoboken's skyline, it's functioning or anything on a broad scale at all.

    This reeks of damage control. And this is not the Grafix Avenger I know. The Grafix Avenger I know doesn't carry anyone's water. Who's pail are you carrying here?

    Now I do feel sorry for Tony and the obstacles and negativity he's encountered since taking board position number two. But it's all so unnecessary. Just choose one position - as the application he SIGNED AND NOTARIZED he agreed to when applying says to do.

    Tony Soares needs to resign. One board position of his choice and if he doesn't then he will aid the opposition to his friend Michael Lenz. As many recall Tony fought and aligned with the Russos back then to get votes and win that temporary appointment.

    Is that the endgame here too?

    Michael Lenz's loyalty to patronage may ironically lead to his own undoing.

    This issue will not go away. The old guard is just preparing their posters on it. And Hoboken411 will be their vanguard of one sided propaganda on it.

    But this time, it will be more true than false. Now which side of the truth do you wish to be on Grafix Avenger?

  2. Smartypants, not understanding your defensiveness, as I clearly said that commentary on actions and behavior was a fair and appropriate. Did I not say that? I did not have your article in mind as I wrote this. These are my opinions. Like them or... apparantly not.

    "carrying water?" Not nice, Smartypants. I don't carry anyone's water. Well, I might carry yours. But you'd have to pay me. And since you wrote this, my fee has gone up.

    "Damage control?" I've been thinking about doing this for a couple of days, before you wrote yours, in fact. Other pieces jumped ahead. I did ask Tony for a resume, with the piece in mind. In my view, the harshest discourse has been driven by personal dislike for Tony. Some's been over-the-top, in my opinion. That's my opinion. Am I carrying water for myself? Maybe.

    As for the photo, placed "in context" or placed on the moon, it's a photo. Put it in a cookbook and it will mean something else. I commented on HJ (not as GA) something similar about a week ago.

    Smarty, I am hoping when your rage subsides you realize you have made some quite off-base accusations here.

    You are welcome to call me, when you are calm(er). Until then, no carrots.

  3. Well Grafix Avenger, I think you mistake the questions for anger. I'm not angry at all. I'm sorry if you felt it was a over the top to ask the question about carrying water. I realize this will result in bad fee charges for my buckets of water. That probably spells bad news for organic carrots too.

    I only ask for a nice photo credit from Godzilla, you or Little Avenger. Since the photo is from MSV, I thought the criticism must certainly include MSV not only the Hoboken Journal. I'm fine with that. As you know I take no responsibility though for commenters who may have differing points of view.

    My difference of opinion is how you make your defense on behalf of Tony and that's the heart of the areas in our differing views. As for patronage, that is certainly a pointed barb. However, I don't hold you responsible. You are not on the City Council.

    In my article I did wheel off you and point that to the folks responsible. They sit on the City Council and in my opinion Michael Lenz rushed these appointments in order to aid Tony Soares who directly benefits. It would be of no issue if Tony had resigned or stated he would do so if he got the City Council vote for Sewerage.

    No one thinks he'll be a bad addition to the NHSA. Many think he'll be a very good Hoboken representative. But like his accomplishments, that misses the point.

    Now what am I to do about dinner? The bucket is empty with only gnarly carrot ends.

    I hate when that happens.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. GA Lets get a few things straight:

    1) No one tells me what to write on my blog, whether they sit on one, two or no boards. Hopefully they aren't telling you what to write either. Oops too late! :)

    2) Tony specifically attacked me and my site for potentially damaging Mike Lenz's campaign when his vitriol and his greed for more than one position have the potential to do more harm to Lenz's campaign then any of my Jib Jab videos. There are people not more involved in Mike's campaign specifically due to his involvement including you. How does that help Mike's chances? Boulderdash.

    3) It is only after that controversial appointment that Tony decided to take a break from the blogosphere. When in the history of Hoboken Politics has he not been ranting and raving on the blogosphere? Can you say gag order? For me personally I welcome the break fromt he constant barage of insults and just like your site parody is a weapon in my blogging arsenal. At least I didn't have Tony rolling around in a bowl of excrement. Haha!

    4) Amar is only on one board and was appointed by the Mayor. The Council did not pick him. Mixing seperate issues is simply bad argumentation.

    5) Tony is an a-fill in the blank regardless of his extensive resume. Despite that I hope he does well on those boards and hope it has not damaged Mike Lenz's campaign too much. In the end I hope it was worth it. Was it worth it to stroke his ego? Time will tell.

    BTW- The only bullying was Tony lobbying hard for that position.

    Maybe Tony can kiss and make up with Lane Bajardi; after all they have a lot in common i.e. anger and ego.

    As for me, I am enjoying the Silence of the Soares. I thought I would never see the day.

    Loved the Pool stuff. Keep up the good work.

  6. For Terry to compare Ravi's brother to her (and Micheal's) family is absurd.Those two families will cost Hoboken taxpayers millions of dollars over their lifetime. Based on Amar's resume, the library board is the biggest winner. It will not only cost taxpayers $0, but we will probably make money. It's not like what has plagued Hoboken in the past. If the myriad of relatives hired by past administrations were as qualified as Amar, it would have lessened public outrage over nepotism. Unfortunately it was much more who they knew rather than what they knew. Amar has the ability to rev up fund raising which our library needs. That's the difference. Qualified brother rather than unqualified brother is the answer here.

  7. Smarty- the "criticism" was neither directed at MSV nor Hoboken Journal.

    Your disproportionate response-- charging me with "carrying water" and "damage control" to what I've written is curious. Must everything black and white? Can a person you are sure has done wrong also have accomplishments and worth as a human being, and does recognition of that deny the other? Noting Tony's accomplishments equals "defense of patronage"? In what country? Having fun with the Russo photo is an attack on MSV? Or HJ?


    The attack upon my integrity on your site is absolutely hideous. I will not dignify it further. We can discuss it offline. Not today.

    I am truly sorry about the photo. Yes, I did lift it from MSV but thought it was floating around the blogosphere- I thought it was the one I'd seen on HJ- and I suppopse the idea of 'credit' was not on the forefront of my brain. Not with you 2 anyway, since we all share w/each other (generally) and I've donated graphic stuff to you both. But I am sorry. Will add the credit. After this response and playing w/LA.

    Kurt- let's talk. Too much to address. Just the first point... NO. No one controls or advises this blog. You know that.

    Advocates of free speech, are you out there?

  8. On point number one, I will take your word but it isn't like those you support haven't tried.

  9. And we know how well THAT worked out. Don't we?

  10. Please play nice in the barnyard.

    Horsey, please reconsider your posts today as I think that you have overreacted to the GA wrote. I read it through twice and did not come away thinking that the comment spoke about the power of imagery, which can stir up anger and confirm suspicions and agitate frayed nerves, while obliterating any prior good that may have been done. That is all, but put in the context of TS. I am aware of the frayed nerves that TS has caused. I have been accused by some as being an overly aggressive attack dog with out of control anger management issues on the subject. And my nerve is still frayed on this issue. And is even more frayed by having any light shone on TS that may sympathetically portray him. But that does not lead me to question GA. I did not see her post as any way supportive of TS as a dual job holder, rather he comes across as pathetic in his downfall, which is captured/embodied by the photo in question. GA has fin and shark teeth scars from this mess, and I don't think that any one can credibly claim that she carries any one's water. Do I wish that she used another example to make her point? Yep. But I will defend to the death her right to make her point in any controversial way she chooses.

    Carrots and banana bread everyone?

  11. Bless you, khoboken. You get it.

    I want to find out who you are so I can buy you a beer.

  12. But you do know, my dear, wink, wink. Corona w/ a lime on the roof deck will do nicely.

  13. email me.

    Corona? I still like you.

  14. Ur email address is above my paygrade. :) And not sure how to figure out how to send you mine privately.

  15. oh, brother.

    But, I totally understand if you prefer to remain anonymous. I miss those days.

  16. Ga

    You little devil! I should have known.

  17. Horsey

    "if Tony had resigned or stated he would do so if he got the City Council vote for Sewerage."

    I don't know if you meant to be this hilarious. But i think that the unintentional aspect makes the words even funnier. I had a tear falling from laughing so hard at the image your words evoked, i.e the City council voting TS for sewerage!!!!!

  18. If that made you laugh, try this. It's time to move on now as apparently most are and already have and focus on what is important.

    That can only mean one thing: a five part exclusive series of Tony Soares' accomplishments, a full 11 year review of selfless service to Hoboken.

    Each day will focus exclusively on a two year period of time on all the things Tony has accomplished leading into his saving the Hoboken University Medical Center (as part of a future in-depth yet untold story and board appointment).

    It's a Pulitzer Prize winning series that will make you laugh, cry with ever more tears. Your mileage may vary.

    After this you will have no choice but to vote for Mike Lenz in November, overthrow the mayor and seat Tony in his rightful seat at City Hall.

    Okay, now before this turns into an episode of "The View," Da Horsey is outy.

    Tony Soares is the warmest, kindest most wonderful human being I have every known...

  19. Horsey, you sound livid.

    Have "most of us have moved on"? Presumably you are including yourself.

  20. I have known Tony Soares for over a decade now, while I am no longer am able to really join in and fight the good fight, I truly respect him as a person, a Hoboken activist and someone completely human with feelings that explode at times.
    Have to say I am one of his biggest fans and I am happy that he's commited to the new positions. Personally I don't have a problem with him on 2 boards at all after all we have had to endure under Russo regime and Roberts regime. I trust him, thats it!

  21. Terrence

    Nice to hear at least one human has had a postivie experience with him.

    I better stop.

  22. Hmm, I'm no more livid than I was the other day as in not at all.

    For some reason Grafix, you seem to find "rage" in this commentary. I still differ on your commentary on the commentary. My feeling is that most of the disagreement among the Hoboken majority still lies in the idea of anyone receiving votes from the mayor council majority for two standing board positions.

    It's not about Tony per se, he's just the recipient of this patronage from friends sitting on the City Council.

    That position is against not only the mayor's publicly stated position but also in the City Council's own stated policy on the application for board positions.

    Perhaps you can accept righteous indignation for what it is and not confuse it with "rage" or being "livid" as you keep restating.

    Moving on doesn't mean we can't agree to disagree on any aspect of policy. You provide great incisive posts on many varied issues, usually with some great humor tossed in.

    You don't want to corner the Hoboken market on that do you? :)

  23. Smarty:

    With respect, perhaps you can accept that sometimes, perception is not reality.

    I'm happy for GA that she's giving herself a well-deserved break from blog-frenzy.

    IMHO, you (& Kurt) would do well to take a breather too. Get out of the barn & spend some time in the pasture. Please don't forget to take the blinders off when you go. Otherwise, you might miss opportunities for new & different perspectives.


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