Deep Dish: How it Went Down

 GA just had an extraordinary chat with an acquaintance from the 'Old Guard' who decided to spill his guts to me.

It's hard to express how odd that is, since Grafix Avenger doesn't represent his natural constituency in any way, shape, or form.  So I take the fact that he unloaded on me as a measure of how fed up he is.

He is so fed up in fact, for the purpose of this blog post I'll call him Fed Up, or F.U.for short.

F.U. had an interest in seeing the hospital kept open, and was extremely pissed off about the way it was handled. According to him "the employees are still ticked off and think that their lives were played with like they meant nothing."

F.U. is a guy who deals with people at the County level.  And according to the dish he served, the County's belated intervention into Hoboken's hospital mess late last week was a key factor in how Sunday night's vote went down.

Timmy was no maverick.  But I'll let F.U. tell his own story.

From notes:
The elders of the party were upset with the mess that Beth created and Mike allowed to happen with the sale of the hospital.   

These elders are the executives behind the scenes, they run the County-  they're the real powers that pull the strings, the ones that have the real money and the real power.  They leave Hoboken alone for the most part.  They only care if Hoboken causes trouble elsewhere in the County, they only care about Hoboken when it has an effect on the County . And the last thing int he world they want is for Kurt Gardiner to be a Freeholder.

Because Gardiner will cause all sorts of trouble. Meetings in the open, requests for copies of contracts, he's gonna ask questions; questions that will get repeated on the blogs or in the newspapers.

So here you have the hospital firing up everyone up in Hoboken in the wrong way.

Stick was at the Sunday meeting on marching orders to shut fucking thing down and didn't care what these guys had to do to save face. Joan humiliated Michael. That wasn't happenstance, it didn't just happen. Joan prepared her remarks in advance as did Stick Romano.

It got out of hand in Hoboken. The County stepped in because it got out of hand, crazy out of hand by stirring up everybody into an anti-old guard mode.

The elders thought that the events played out so badly that an awakening was occurring and they wanted to end the standoff with the Mayor before too many of her troops got mobilized to vote. There was too much noise being made that might affect the turnout in the Freeholders race.

Low turnout is key to keeping Romano in office.

So why were they stirring up a hornet's nest now?

A message was sent to Castellano and Russo. End this. End it now. We don't care how you get out of the mess that you created, but the hospital will not be closed because you withheld your votes.

Watch the tape - Russo's body language confirms everything I told you. Faced with the edict  delivered no less than by Romano and Joan Quigley, in person and in public, Russo and Mason had to come up with something plausible to hide behind to change their votes.

Beth went to try and get something from the buyer that would say she negotiated great new terms. She failed, but still tried to make it seem like she did do something great.

As back up, Timmy was told to vote for the deal. It wasn't his idea. He didn't do it out of the goodness of his heart or because of that gray matter between his ears.

So the Mayor's people and the hospital people were told that Timmy was available to be convinced to swing his vote. I heard that the story was leaked to Al because he prints anything that is leaked to him. It was leaked to Roman Brice because that would make it credible.

Now, Timmy can be played as the hero of the hospital deal and can claim that he is an independent.  Real concern exists that without Beth's financial support, Timmy is unelectable. He needs to get propped up and out from under Beth's shadows. He has been a disaster at council meetings anytime he has tried to speak.

I also heard that if this mess results in a recall campaign against Beth, she will only get lukewarm support from the old guard. General feeling is that she is more trouble than she is worth as an elected official.

If she loses, she still will write checks, or so the theory goes. The idea that Timmy, on his own, thought about the hospital issues and came to his own conclusion is a joke.

Everyone was stunned at the level of animosity exhibited Sunday night by the public toward the Council minority.

Well... F.U.  That's quite a heaping platter you served.  Thanks.  And I hope you will talk to me again sometime. 

Where to begin? 

Hmmm, so the County was worried about the blow back of the hospital going under on Stick Romano's re-election, that Reform would mobilize and GOTV for Kurt Gardiner. That's who's afraid of a giant.   So Stick and Assemblywoman Quigley were dispatched to shut 'it' down.  

Fascinating that elders think Timmy's a dud- unelectable without Beth's dough.   GA thought the opposite; that he was being groomed by the Dark Side for Big Things.  Maybe that's why Paetzhold's been such a presence llatey; because Timmy's not quite filling those new shoes.

And, they aren't going to bat for Beth if there's a recall. 


GA's wishing the County would send people to our next City Council meeting, to make the crazies (Russo, Mason, Castellano, Occhipinti)  permit Arch Liston pay the City's bills thus and to make the crazies vote for the costless garage bond refinance ordinance- to save City Workers from LAYOFFS.

But the election will be over then, so I suppose we're on our own.

Vote Kurt Gardiner for Freeholder
Column C 
on November 8th

(Updated, 11/06/11  10:30 am)
A reader just contacted me with an interesting detail from last Sunday's meeting.  According to this witness, it looked like Stick Romano and Timmy were texting each other during the public portion of the meeting.  And the exchange went on for a while, back and forth, back and forth.

What was that important to be texting about during the meeting?


  1. I'm glad the clocks are turning back one hour because I'll need the extra time to digest this one. Fascinating.

  2. Kaaazam!! Wot-a-scoop!! So it's up to us to see if we can keep awake the sleeping Giant.

    To forward your point Ms Avenger, IMO Mr Romano's behind on the line or not, these "cavalry's comin' any minute now" voter fraud arrest whispers are very entertaining and such, but it is totally time we snapped out of the "somebody's got our back" assumption / fantasy and realized we are on our own. How many mil$ in lost progress have we had since the May "elections"? Since the November "election" and the Mason Kangaroo Council? Does it look like anyone has got our back? Once again our clocks "fall back" with no comeuppance. "Patient to a fault" should be the Reform motto at this point.
    Let's start with the recall of Ms Mason. At least then we can say SOMETHING was done about it.

  3. However, instead of just bein' a freakin' pessimist let me say half-heartedly hope springs eternal for democracy now that we have found out if corrupt intentions reach a point where they threaten the entire economy of the town, thousands of jobs and stand to crash the quality of life in Hoboken, that somewhere out in the ethers the Wizard of Oz declares it an emergency soley because it might cost the wrong crony a freeholder seat and tip the balance of power. So very refreshing in a "Soprano State" kind of way. It's like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are back at the helm over here.

  4. Wow. What a scoop. It all makes sense now.

    Let's see if the county politicos have like influence on this week's council mtg, before the state has to come in.

    I think Franz is after Mason's seat.

  5. Franz has been more visible lately. Mostly standing next to Hans. But they part -briefly- so that Franz can play violin for the council minority in its unappreciated struggle to bring the city to the brink of ruin if that's what it takes to glom some of the credit for the hospital sale.

    He is the Occhipinti upgrade. Post-BNR version 2.0. This pose-able figure guarantees hours of enjoyment for its owner. It has a vastly improved speaking program over version 1.0, with most of the made up words removed in their entirety! We know that a lot of children were made afraid by the penchant for air-stabbing, so that's gone too! It's a kinder, gentler, smarter Occhipinti! And just as pose-able!

    The biggest problem is that it whines. We'll work on that with version 2.1, but don't get your hopes up.

  6. Agree with all of the above. But Franz is smarter, and more calculating. And he lives in the 2nd ward if memory serves. A recall is the fastest way for him to ascend to power. He is after Mason's seat. Gives the machine a back up if the recall goes through.

  7. great stuff, ver interesting. i mistakenly gave tim the benefit of the doubt, what was i thinking?? btw, i haven't found video of stick and joan speaking, wish someone would post.

  8. JAM,

    A reader volunteered to cut video of the 2 speaking, so will post if he does.

  9. CC, people need to look at the recall as an end in itself.

    Just doing it is very healthy for the citizens, ie, going beyond what we're doing here to taking real action.

    Second, if the recall petition succeeds, the election is a pretty safe bet. The degree of consciousness raising just to get enough signatures would do-in Paetzold, the machine apologist, as well as Mason. By a comfortable margin.

    It would also raising polling numbers in an under-voting ward in time for 2013.

    Paetzold isn't a threat accordingly; spends way too much time with Mason rental, Matt Calicchio, as well as Ramos, and the rest of the dead enders.

    But at this moment, I don't know who the right person to take the seat is. I wish it were that Doctor that spoke so eloquently last Sunday. But no doubt his plate is quite full.

  10. Maybe I'll move to the second ward if I do well enough in the Freeholder Race.


Post a Comment