The Calm Before

 
You've heard the chatter: the FBI is coming, the FBI is coming... but when?

And like folks waiting for an overdue train, one-by-one we drift away from the station with our hopes dashed, questioning whether there ever was a train to begin with.

What those who've gone home have missed is this: the landscape has shifted around us.

Hoboken institutions have shuttered, familiar faces have disappeared and behavior patterns altered, political allies appear to have severed, online voices are silent, operatives have put down their arms.

It began in mid-May, when the FBI seized hard drives and servers from City Hall and declared it a crime scene. Anyone familiar with basic FBI operations will tell you that  their visit was preceded by months of surveillance, wiretaps, informants- perhaps some wearing wires, others with something to barter.

Peter Cammarano didn't get his 24-month jail sentence reduced by 30% for nothing.  There is no such thing as 'good time credit' for those imprisoned under 1 year, like Cammarano.   He talked.

 
So what is this changed landscape?

GA believes the following are a direct consequence of the FBI's ongoing investigation in Hoboken.   Note these are simply my own observations:
  • Hoboken411.com as a Mason political propaganda tool ceased to exist. The disappearance of political ghostwriter Lane Bajardi,  all 24/7 Mason banner ads, any political coverage- particularly that which might favor Mason or bash her opponents,  City Hall 'inside' exclusives... these  all went *poof* with the suspension of IT Department head Patrick Ricciardi. It's no secret that proprietor Perry Klaussen and Ricciardi were close friends.  Many suspect that  Hoboken411's inside details regarding City Hall and those in Lane Bajardi's reporting were enabled by the illegal theft of documents off the City's server, at the behest of Beth Mason.  If so, it's likely that Ricciardi gave up his accomplices.  Also, Klaussen has a 'voter fraud' problem- caught voting in the wrong ward. The FBI is known for 'trading up' so one wonders if a  deal was struck whereby Klaussen gets to keep his business in exchange for... what? 
  •  The Russo Civic Association is shuttered and hasn't relocated. The building, once owned by the Russo's, was sold to a friend for a nominal fee, so one assumes the RCA was welcome to stay. Rumors that the place was bugged including the lit signage above, the understanding that FBI surveillance will follow them wherever they go may explain why they haven't moved. 

  • City Council regular for years, Beth Mason operative Lane Bajardi- famous for choreographed City Council performances coordinated with self-authored hit pieces in Hoboken411.com and scripted Mason outrage- has been MIA at public meetings.  Severed from Hoboken411.com and neutered at the City Council, Bajardi has been lashing out on Patch and Hudson Reporter forums.  To boot, he's ditched his 'known' screen names, commenting under a variety of new ones, with rants as identifiable as a finger print.  GA thinks the motive for using so many screen names is to create the perception that the 'message' is shared by many messengers.  In fact, it's one person blowing a lot of smoke.
  • The mass migration of operatives from the nj.com forum. The place once a hornet's nest of (presumably) paid operatives, did a certain checkbook slam shut when the Feds came to town?  One Weehawken eel has slithered back recently, but he wriggles for other masters.  GA speculates this creature has escaped the FBI's net or else believes he has. Emboldened, he's returned as vile as ever.
  • A dramatically changed demeanor from City Councilman Mike Russo. Far more restrained. At times conciliatory.  At least noticed by others who've told me.  Do I think so?  Maybe. He couldn't wait to tell the public specifically that he did NOT co-sponsor the Occhipinti-Mason  resolution discussed in Executive Session the other night.  According to  a friend, "He didn't want to touch it with a ten foot pole."  Things that make you go hmmmm.
  • Where's Perry 'Best Hair' Belfiore? He showed up at the last BoE meeting; his son was on the agenda, hired in the new pool of teaching substitutes. But otherwise, the devilishly handsome man of the Greek god-like silver coif has disappeared off the scene. GA ran into Belfiore over the summer, and even touched  his soft, fluffy mane.  Did you know he washes it daily with Fructis by Garnier? Well, he'd expressed more or less that he was done with Hoboken politics, and was spending his time down at the shore.  Hmmmmm.  Okay. It saddens me to say good-bye to that silver-haired Samson, but you know what they say: if you love something set it free...

So what does the above tell us?

Just one of the above would be considered unusual; the political neutralization of Hoboken411 or the shuttering of the Russo Civic Association.

But ALL of them?

After the FBI set foot in Hoboken?

Rumor has it that City Hall servers in FBI custody  revealed a mother lode of new avenues of malfeasance to explore.  Is that what's taking so long?

Who knows.  But the preponderance of the above occurrences would leave one to believe that its too soon to abandon the station.

The train will arrive on it's own schedule.



(Update, 3:10 pm)
Ha!   It looks like I spoke too soon... the Mason checkbook seems to have flipped open to throw a certain cyber-slug a bone.  Yes, he's published another putrid Bajardi screed.   

FBI, they're at it again.

Persons-of-interest, enjoy the time you have left. Unshackled.

Birds of a Feather

Comments

  1. thanks for this recap, i sometimes lose focus on the bigger picture. have faith!

    and screw 411, NO ONE goes there anymore. i know more than a few hoboken residents (people who really don't follow local politics) who say they've been totally turned off by the pettiness and viciousness of the attacks on zimmer and crew. i believe others have indicated that perry's site numbers have plummeted.

    what lane (and perry, i guess) doesn't realize -- or, perhaps more accurately, realizes but refuses to accept -- is they are now talking to just a small circle of their own cronies on 411 because no fair-minded voter who just wants to see some local restaurant news is going to come back to a site that makes them feel dirty.

    but hey, if mason wants to pay people to blog for a few dozen already converted diehards, then we can't stop her from tossing ricky's money into the wind.

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  2. Thanks, JAM.

    It's incredible how unhinged that crew is over this little blog.

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  3. 411 has held Beth's water on the HUMC issue. There was also criticism of Dawn going to Ground Zero instead of attending a Mass. Otherwise, I agree, Lane has been silent there.

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  4. Paying Lane Bajardi to write spin for wiskeytango. Hey, it's your money, Beth.

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