Weapon of Mass Distraction

left panel: Mason ad   right panel: lines outside the Unemployment Office in Jersey City. Mason voted "NO" on a routine bond conversion for the midtown garage which will result in massive layoffs of City workers.  It didn't have to happen. Mason plays politics with City Workers' jobs.  What does she care?  She's LOADED.

So what did you think of that Mason video rolled out on her "news source" yesterday:
Councilwoman Beth Mason has taken her message to the airwaves with what sources indicate is a massive television buy intended to get the word out about this developer subsidy. She points out that citizens throughout the country are protesting governments subsidizing huge corporations with taxpayers’ money. It urges residents to call Zimmer’s office (201)420-2013 and tell her call off this terrible parking deal.
If you didn't see it yet, here it is:

Mason made us quite a gumbo: Christie + Zimmer + the anti-Wall Street demonstrations + a mysterious, unsourced 155 million dollar figure + a garage in Hoboken... everything but the kitchen sink. A weird concoction arranged slickly on a platter.   Served in your face.


Whatever the reason, it cost a pretty penny.

I asked a friend who's got a good nose for political strategy - I'll call him The Nose-  to watch it and give me his thoughts.  (I don't want to give up too much about him, just to say he's worked on Capitol Hill and been around politics for years)

The Nose consented, deploying his eyes and ears in service of his brain to make sense of Mason's pricey message-jambalaya.   After a couple of minutes he called back, breathing excitedly from- his nose.

GA took notes as these words ran from The Nose:
This is a desperate move, its damage control. A smokescreen away from the layoffs. They don't want people talking about how they've signed the death warrant for 100 city workers.

They don't want to be connected to the voting down the bond that caused layoffs... this is a sleight of hand strategy.  They're trying to focus attention away from themselves,  trying to make people forget the big pile of poo in the middle of the room. 

This is desperation strategy- the ad's not well thought out.  It was done on the fly. It's  not based on any underlying principle, it's the work of a political consultant.   Nobody spends this kind of money on fundamentally false unsupportable arguments unless they're trying to bait and switch change the topic away from themselves.

They didn't expect the arguments to be laid out so cogently and so well at the City Council. I don't think they expected the speakers to be so well-prepared. They did such a good job that there was no response, there is no response, there is no credible explanation for voting down the bond and causing the layoffs.

And the next day they saw they were getting blamed for the layoffs and for turning on their own.

And they really have no answer. So this is a desperate effort at distraction. They want a big turnout on Tuesday at the City Council to rant and rave and distract from their responsibility for forcing the layoffs.

This reeks of desperation and came from a political consultant, probably that Paul guy. (Swibinski)
A weapon of mass distraction.

That makes perfect sense.

The manic over-reaching, the fusion of Wall Street to Willow Street,  scary-big  dollar figures, a massive ad-buy prior to next Tuesday night's City Council meeting... yup, she knows she's in trouble.  MORT (Mason, Occhipinti, Russo & Terry Castellano)  didn't think Zimmer had the guts to do what they'd been warned would be the outcome of playing politics with City workers jobs. A high-stakes game with no personal risk  to themselves, only a political one.  And their calculation was that Zimmer would fold and raise taxes.

She didn't.

The thought The Nose left before he ran:  whenever Mason's in trouble, she throws money at it.

Nose, you picked it again.


  1. This is impressive analysis. The evidence proving this exactly right is the Mason411 "week in review." The City Council is mentioned as just another ho hum meeting.

    Which is exactly the message MORTe desperately needs - don't look here. (Da Horsey goes with our Italian word for death - MORTe - Beth Abruzese Mason, Terry Castellano, Mike Russo and Tim Occhipinti desperately need to try and undo the damage from their craven and cynical destruction wrought on Hoboken.

    Their bitterness the hospital is being saved followed immediately with this parting shot as the hospital goes from being on a respirator to restored health.

    The sabotage they planned for Hoboken with imploding the hospital was redeemed they thought with this later substitution. They saw the local media did not hold them accountable for that attempt and figured the same would occur this time.

    At worst, they thought deliberately blowing up the Hoboken budget would easily be blamed on the mayor with a mixture of higher taxes and layoffs.. Just like their effort at closing the hospital, they believed it would be easy to destroy Hoboken with one hand and point the finger with the other.

    But as the Nose correctly writes, the word had gone out before the meeting. Hard to point the finger afterwards when fair warning was given days in advance leading to the meeting.

    MSV predicted MORTe would in fact find its destructive impulses so whetted from the effort to lay waste to the hospital and the massive tax increases and layoffs that would follow that this delicacy would be a quick and easy snack for the Beth Russo hydra.

    And so it was.

    They led City workers like so many lambs to the slaughter.

  2. Horsey, when it comes to analyzing political strategy, always pick The Nose.

  3. GA,

    I must take issue with this latest post. You are being far too kind to the Masons, Russos, and other arch-enemies of truth and justice.

    To Beth and company: You continue to make yourselves look so dopey it is unbelievable. You have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. The question amongst everyone I know and meet in town when the subject of politics comes up is: "What is wrong with Beth?--I've never seen an adult behave so much like a child!" What makes it worse is that it is a child with $$. This just magnifies the stupidity in everyone's eyes.

    Ricky, I really did used to respect you. You have done many good things with the rewards of your occupation. But continuing to finance what I can only describe as disgusting behavior, implicates you. It also must have a corresponding effect on your firm. If I were a potential client about to fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars to retain you, I were certainly do a modicum of due diligence and Google your name. You know what I would find right away? One hint: It isn't good.

    In fact it would call into question how your credibility, and make me think that you would not do a good job in managing my interests. I probably would then move to the next attorney that doesn't stand out so much on how FOOLISHLY you spend your money.

    So, for the sake of our community, it is time to cut-off your wife's silly ego trip. Because now instead of doing good for Hoboken, you are only causing malice. Why? That's what so many wonder. And then the next thing people say is usually along the lines of: "with so much money there are so many great things that Ricky could do, instead of squandering it on behalf of his wife's fascination with herself."

    And frankly I always agree with them now. Really such a shame. Really.

  4. Really, keep-it-real? Too kind? Hmmm...

    Well, I agree with everything you said- after the being too-kind part.

    My suspicion about The Rickster is that he's way more involved behind-the-scenes than most think. And the brazenness (a.k.a. chutzpah) is astonishing; a principal at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz- a 7 million dollar man- signed off as Treasurer on his wife's 'funny' ELEC report, with the astounding 52K in Street Money... how does that pass the smell test? Why take such a risk?

    Well, the dream was to elevate her to the US Senate, and now they are both on the same downward trajectory. Taking the rest of us with them.

  5. Hey, hey, GA, let me queue up here and add that I as well agree with the what the Nose has sniffed out and run with about the video. "The Mason Layoffs" and that nasty spin machine she just put a few more quarters in are a little early for Mischief Night, but the senseless reckless abandon with a motif of destruction fit the season like um, a sardonic clown nose.

    But let's not stop there. Let's not let these poorly produced videos get too lonely. Let's have those laid off stand up and be counted. Names, ranks and serial numbers. The cause of their professional death by Nay is already know, but let's go deeper. Let's not stop until we put a face on the wanton abandon of the "The Mason Layoffs", the people like you and me who just happened to be standing on the sidewalk in the wrong place at the wrong time when a power-drunk Ms Mason intentionally ran the municipal budget vehicle off the road in a hissy fit of desperation because she wanted the Mayors job so badly that it no longer mattered who got run over. They need to stand up and be counted and not cast to the side as collateral damage to Ms Mason's lust of the Mayoralty in 2013. To those laid off, I offer my condolences and I trust GA would be more than glad to lend a listening ear and even report back to us on the needlessly lousy, jobless holiday season that awaits.

    Those people need to have their voices heard, because like any serial wrong-doer, if no one scares up the intestinal fortitude to confront Ms Mason with the same moxie as that horrible video, she doubtlessly will strike again, escalating to more vengeance and abandon the next time. Just say "we're not going to take it" to "The Mason Layoffs". They are just plain wrong and she needs to be held accountable.

  6. Stating the obvious, the "smokescreen strategy," is a tired old political chestnut. Especially popular with the Hudson Co. machine.

    Also strategically planned to be clever, but j-u-s-t not quite clever-enough. Deliberately designed to be just "outrageous" enough to "annoy" you. Hence distracting/energy-sapping for "reformers." Then, valuable "reform capital" can be expended in analyzing meaning, etc. When really, we already know what it means.

    All part of the sisyphean sociopathy.

    Historically, it's been effective to keep reform-minded folks dithering in outrage, thereby "managing" them into a perpetual "forest for the trees" position of practical inertia. You waste precious political energy & that's exactly the plan.

    They've been doing it for decades & they're very good at it. Stop falling for it. Stop with the "How Dare You! [insult my intelligence & my sense of decency, steal my $, whatever]" outrage. And stop the hand-wringing on your keyboards.

    How long are reform-minded Hoboken folks going to wait before strategizing other, real world solutions? Along with practical action-plans, implemented beyond cyberspace?

    How long will you simply stay immersed in your outrage via the "safety" of the blogosphere, but not beyond? Yes, it's excellent that the brilliant GA & MSV are often the solid investigative sources. And good resources for a cathartic blog post &/or a blackly comic laugh.

    But that's not enough & hasn't been for awhile. It's beyond time to add other tools toward organizing & taking action. The readerships of GA & MSV are not the folks you need to reach at this point. You're already preaching to the choir here.

    It's beyond time to channel your outrage more effectively.

    Some suggestions---& surely lots of folks have better & more creatively effective:

    Letter-writing campaigns---create templates & provide addresses & phone numbers to make it easy. Keep the message going out to both Dow & Christie. And the FBI.

    Create & distribute flyers to educate folks about the super-majority that nixed the garage deal. Use that flyer to highlight some of the other M.O.R.T. "high points." Be sure to include voter registration info.

    Create "neighborhood talking points" or something of that ilk. Distribute them & encourage folks to talk to other folks & spread the word. Every chance you get.
    Get over the notion of "polite company." Hoboken can no longer afford that luxury.

    Create a list of specific questions & demand written answers from your respective M.O.R.T. Send the letters to all the regional media too. Persist until s/he complies. Every time you see them on the street, ask them about their written answers. Call them and do the same. You are entitled to satisfactory answers. Let them know you will persist until you are satisfied.

    Find some energetic, progressively civic-minded law student (or pro bono practicing attorney) & get them on board to explore if there's a case to sue M.O.R.T. for fiduciary malfeasance.

    File complaints with the NYS Bar (& wherever else he may be admitted), documenting Ricky's unprofessional behavior. Ditto with any professional organizations in which either Mason is a member, documenting their lack of ethics & poor judgment. (And never, ever bring their children into any discussion. They have nothing to do with this.)

    But most importantly, get a voter registration/education strategy going. Including VBM.



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