Six Days from Cammarano

GA would like a dollar for every time political mudslinger Lane Bajardi has called me "Zimmer- appointed"- he did it again on Patch.  

Which got me thinking.  And thinking...

You all remember WHO became Mayor on July 1, 2009?

Cammarano loyalist Lane Bajardi, gushes like a schoolgirl at the new mayor's side.

What else happened on July 1, 2009?

The new City Council held it's reorganization meeting, which included the introduction of an ordinance to remove Mayor Cammarano's authority to appoint zoning board members.    It passed 5-4.  Voting against: Russo, Mason, Giacchi, Castellano.

On the City Council Meeting Agenda of July 22, 2009 was  the 2nd reading and FINAL vote of the ordinance to transfer zoning appointment power FROM the mayor BACK to the City Council.

Many impassioned members of the public came to speak in favor of the ordinance. Very few spoke against.   Of those pleading for Mayor Cammarano to keep his zoning appointment power, the most forceful, impassioned argument was made by Lane Bajardi. 

Bajardi admonished the City Council for trying to take Camarrano's authority over the zoning board away,  calling the move "legislation designed to poke the new mayor in the eye, and that's a shame". 

Making a forceful defense for Mayor Cammarano to retain control of ZBA appointments

Here's what he told the City Council:
After the last 3 years of acrimony, what Hoboken needs now is an attempt to cooperate and move this city forward. Instead what we're getting in this legislation is argument for argument's sake. A first salvo fired by a vanquished opponent and her new allies on the council. Couldn't this Council majority, couldn't this council majority have given this city even an hour's hope that our elected officials would tried and move forward together to build on common ground. No, instead we have this needless attempt to remove power from the Mayor's office. I didn't think it was possible to legislate sour grapes but this ordinance shows it is. It's been drafted based on assumptions and innuendo, I see your internet clowns are here Councilwoman Zimmer, Its been drafted based on assumptions and innuendo that have no basis in fact.

If (redacted)is an example of the type of person Mayor Cammarano would appoint to the Zoning Board then I see no reason to remove the authority from the mayor. No reason that is beyond sour grapes.
Impressive, huh? 

Such an impassioned defense of a Mayor who had promised zoning board 'favors' to F.B.I. informant Solomon Dwek ONLY 6 DAYS EARLIER on July 16, 2009.

From The United States of America Vs. Peter Cammarano  III  vs. Michael Schaffer (pages 9, 10):
 On or about July 16, 2009, the Consultant and JC Official 1 met the CW ("cooperating witness", Solomon Dwek)  at a diner in Hoboken, where they were joined by defendants Cammarano and Schaffer. During the ensuing meeting, the CW informed defendant Cammarano that “[t]here’s two properties. There’s a property on Grand Street that my guys are looking at. I, I haven’t seen it yet.” In response to defendant Cammarano’s question about the property’s exact location, the CW indicated that the CW did not know the cross street, but stated that “I think it’s, it’s a parcel of land or something that’s available.” The CW added “[a]nd then on, uh, Hudson, uh, Street, there’s an apartment building that’s all rentals now . . . and the whole building might be coming on the market.” The CW told defendant Cammarano, with respect to that building, that “maybe there’s an opportunity to go higher, add some density, go wider.  I don’t know, you know, there will be different things so–- between the two projects.” The CW then remarked that “I’ll, uh, let you know as, uh, we get, uh, closer. So, I know I got your support so,” prompting defendant Cammarano to reply “[y]es, wholeheartedly.” The CW quipped “[a]t least I bet on the right horse this time,” to which defendant Cammarano replied “[y]eah, you did.” Subsequently, the CW stated “so, uh, Peter, and I know 10 [the Consultant] and [JC Official 1] said that, you know, you needed some, uh, help or something.” Defendant Cammarano responded “I need all the help I can get.” The CW remarked “[m]e too, at some point will need you.” Defendant Cammarano was then informed by the CW that “I’ll give the, uh, uh, Mike [Schaffer] the, the ten thousand, uh, you know, green,” and defendant Cammarano stated “[y]eah.” The CW then reminded defendant Cammarano “[j]ust make sure my name, like the other times,” prompting defendant Cammarano to state “[y]eah, I’m planning, and we’ll, uh, yeah.” The CW again remarked “[j]ust don’t put my name on nothin’. I don’t need any, uh, issues.” Defendant Cammarano then asked the CW about the location of his proposed project on Grand Street, and the CW promised “I’ll get you all the info next week.” A short while later, the CW, in the presence of defendants Cammarano and Schaffer, asked the Consultant “[w]hat was that? They wanted twenty [thousand], ten . . .?” The Consultant replied “[t]wenty altogether.” The CW then stated “so what I’ll do is I’ll give ‘em the ten, ten now. And then we’ll meet again, you know, and next week or something, I’ll do the other ten. This way, you know, we’ll be in good graces.”

18. The group then left the diner and walked into the diner’s parking lot, and the CW and defendant Schaffer walked to the CW’s car. The CW opened the trunk and handed defendant Schaffer an envelope, stating “[h]ere, this is the ten thousand, uh, cash,” prompting defendant Schaffer to reply “[o]kay.” The CW reminded defendant Schaffer “[d]on’t put my name like . . .,” prompting defendant Schaffer to laugh and state “I know, I . . . I know the drill.” The CW noted “then we’ll, we’ll see you, you know, we’ll do end of next week or something,” referring to the next $10,000 payment. Defendant Schaffer agreed and then told the CW to “let us know the address.” Defendant Schaffer then walked to his vehicle and placed the envelope containing the $10,000 in cash in the trunk of his vehicle. The CW then walked over to where defendant Cammarano was talking with the Consultant and JC Official 1. Defendant Cammarano thanked the CW who stated “I’ll be in touch with you next week.” The CW then added “I’ll take care of the other, uh, the other ten,” prompting defendant Cammarano to respond “[y]eah . . . just give me a holler.” The CW promised to provide defendant Cammarano with “those two addresses,” and said “[j]ust, you know, make sure I have your support . . . expediting my stuff.” Defendant Cammarano replied “[y]eah, yeah,” and added “I’m with you.”

Do you get it?
  • July  16, 2009- Cammy  promises a zoning variance to Solomon Dwek at the Malibu in exchange for cash.
  • July 22, 2009 - Lane Bajardi urges the City Council to let Cammy retain control of the ZBA
Political operative Lane Bajardi appears FOR for Peter Cammarano at the City Council  to keep control over the Zoning Board LESS THAN ONE WEEK after Cammy 'deals' a Grand Street variance at the Malibu Diner in exchange for CASH.

Does anyone think this appearance wasn't coordinated with Camarrano?

What did Cammy's City Council defender know about the Dwek variance deal only 6 days earlier?

Did the FBI ask Cammy's Zoning Board advocate what he knew and when with respect to the exchange of money for 'influence'?   GA knows the Feds read our blogs.  Another question: when are we going to Mamoun's for a falafel?  Mel is going to join us.

GA wonders if the F.B.I. has explored this avenue of interrogation when they questioned the not-paid-for-friendship operative.

GA had no idea the timeline was this close.  It smells to high hell.

Guess what happened just ONE DAY AFTER Bajardi begged the City Council to let Cammarano control zoning appointments?
Cammy was arrested.   On July 23, 2009.


  1. yet another great connect-the-dots post from GA! it begs the age-old questions: what did he know, and when did he know it?

    1. Thanks, JAM. I had no idea the timeline overlapped like this. NONE.

      But with all the yapping from him, I decided to take a look. Wow. He's in it up to the neck.

      As the City Council hatchet man to execute political strategy at the podium, he is at best, an unwitting co-conspirator with Cammy. At worst... that's up to the FEDS to determine.

  2. Here's a thought that may make you shudder:

    Suppose for an instant that Cammarano is not arrested the next day. Maybe there's a delay in the FBI plan, maybe it happens a week later, or even months later.

    Do you think the ordinance would have stood?

    Not a chance. He'd have vetoed it right away, and very different people would have been installed. Construction may have been approved on the outlandishly sized NJ Transit project, and Hoboken is a much different place.

    But because the FBI acted right away, we were saved from that fate.

    Thank you, FBI. Please don't leave until the job is done.

    1. You are so right, Greg.

      The ordinance would be up for final adoption at the next council meeting. If it were to pass, Cammarano said he would veto it. In the event of a veto, the measure returns to the council and a "super majority," six votes, would be needed to make it law.

  3. Agreed with Jam. Oh please let this little silver tongued, one unibrowed, jerk go to jail!

  4. PS, I'm totally in on the falafel! :)

    1. I wouldn't go without you, Mel.

    2. Wow, thanks for pointing this out GA - just 6 days; it's almost surreal - and Tim, council puppet in training, gave us an early glimpse of his talking points speeches as well that night.

  5. Great job, GA!

    Wonderful if the FBI is monitoring. Meanwhile, the reform-minded wait with bated breath. So how about barraging Bajardi's 1010 WINS honchos with this, as well?

    As for Mr. Lincoln's post, the point is shudderingly spot-on, regarding any further degradation from over-development that might have been, had the FBI not taken action when it did.

    But MBB suggests folks do well to not kid themselves around what may still come to be. Christie & his developer/campaign contributor pals surely have their own designs, especially for the northern & southern borders. Please don't be naive & assume that's not somehow factored into the "help" he's offered Hoboken. And it appears Menendez is not going away either.

    Moreover, some quality-of-life-minded folks with longer histories in Hoboken might shudder more, with the awareness that Hoboken had already become "a much different place." Long before Peter C.'s corrupt designs were thwarted.

    One glaring example is the travesty that's taken place along the waterfront. In part, because both public referenda were summarily tossed by pervasive corruption. And so Applied & the PA were free to wreak havoc.

    Any review of some of the public interest-driven proposals reveal some very inventive plans were developed, much more appropriate to scale for the Mile Square's (no longer so) unique character. Income-generating adaptive re-use of some of the beautiful & historic existing waterfront structures, for example. All lost to the wrecking ball & replaced with mostly undistinguished, poorly-constructed behemoths, without appropriate attention to the piers' critical infrastructure needs.

    So many lost opportunities along the way.... But no time like the present to keep the momentum moving forward!

    1. i've been here almost 30 years and remember when those factories were still along the waterfront. and i distinctly remember reading in the hoboken reporter, during the earliest talks about the area, someone saying that while there is great potential in developing the waterfront, the last thing the city would do is "wall off the rest of the city" with a string of huge buildings. with a few exceptions, that's pretty much what happened.

    2. So true, JAM!

      Do you recall those lovely arched brick pier buildings, also featured in OTW? So well-built, special equipment (at much additional cost) was required to raze, as the standard-issue wrecking ball was too feeble. Buildings quite similar were beautifully re-purposed in Philadelphia, along the Schuykill, ca. 1980. Hoboken's could have also been transformed into wonderful low-rise, mixed-use residential/commercial.

      And need we rehash what might have been with Maxwell House, with its Bauhaus industrial design significance?

      Alas, all water under the rotting pier....

  6. Many people were impressed by lame Bajardi's speeches around the time when the 50% tax increase hit us in the face. That is, because a lot of new people (including myself) started coming to the city council pathetic shows to meet the crooks and find out how they do it.
    Nonetheless, Lame smelled like a rat with all the fancy empty twisted words he regurgitated from the get go. I stayed far away from him since there was some sort of negativity coming from his persona, and I said it out loud 'there's something rotten about this fellow'. Guess what? It didn't take long until my prophecy came to light. But it took a little longer until people realized that he was Mason's rotten minion.

  7. You probably prefer not to answer GA, but I'm curious as to why you redacted the name of the zoning board member cited by Bajardi as a shining light. I went back and listened, and it is interesting to get that bit of extra information.

    While I "enjoyed" the stroll down memory "Lane" here (I think), I suppose that whenever the Council might have taken up an ordinance like this, were an object of his adoration the mayor, Bajardi would have given this same type of speech. And of course the opposite speech were it politically expedient.

    That said, of course I need no convincing that they were all in on it - the minority council members, Bajardi, all the other hangers-on - in on it in at the very least the sense that taking away the power to appoint zoning commissioners from the Old Guard and its lackeys was strongly against their interest.

    Yes, we are lucky the arrest came as quickly as it did, though I might argue it would have been better about one month earlier. Considering that our federal tax dollars paid those bribes that supported Cammarano's May and June 2009 campaigns, were the FBI working for our convenience they might have considered saving us trouble of the 30 days he was mayor. And maybe even the cost of one of those $10,000 bribes.

    Your tax dollars at work!

    I'm glad they didn't wait.

    1. Hiya HD.

      You're aware I sit on that board, so redacted the name because it was peripheral to the point I was making, AND more importantly, I don't discuss other members- past and present, in the context of their board service. (Sure, delighted to slam his ass on everything else)

      That's the way it is.

      But don't let me stop you! Discuss away!

      Yeah, those 4 were going to rubber stamp the inevitable Cammy veto- if he hadn't been arrested the next day.

      It was Russo's Daddy, Anthony, that transferred zoning appointments from the City Council to the mayor in 1993. No doubt those 4 wanted to keep it that way.

      It is the timeline here- the overlap of the crucial Dwek-Cammy meeting at the Malibu where specific addresses were discussed for variances WITH the Bajardi scripted performance 6 days later that seems to make him (at best) an unwitting co-conspirator or (at worst) a knowing conspirator... and then there's the issue of compensation. Was there any?

    2. My tardiness a result of a busy day. I bow to you, Miss Goody Two-Shoes.

      Redacted = Novak.

      What I mostly see here is people going about their nefarious business. But it is exciting that Cammarano ("Super Hubris Man") took that bribe the day before this Council meeting.

      In the Hollywood version he would have been taking that bribe DURING the Council meeting. But reality is still pretty good.

      Well, then again, perhaps he was taking a bribe from someone else during the Council meeting. I have always assumed his little strolls across the Malibu parking lot were merely the sample involving FBI surveillance.

  8. For the record there were 8 other people who like me spoke in favor of the ordinance. There was an equal number opposing it. I actually thought that Mr. Redacted had an area of expertise that was useful.

  9. this story has hit a major nerve, multiple references to it on patch have been deleted. where there's smoke, there's fire.

  10. Sorry, but this is a non-story, folks. This is merely what I like to call a REMARKABLE HOBOKEN COINCIDENCE. I have come across hundreds of similar remarkable coincidences here in Hoboken. What is truly remarkable about Hoboken is the sheer number of remarkable coincidences one can find if one goes looking...

    [Place winking smiley-face emoticon here}

    1. Indeed!

      For this epic saga, wouldn't you agree a piquant melding of "The Celestine Prophecy" & "The DaVinci Code" is at work?

      [same emoticon]

    2. Whew, what a relief, Eric. Because the term the feds use for the sort of not-friendship Lane engaged in that night is called accessory after the fact.

      While admittedly clunky, not-friendship is more comforting in helping one imagine there aren't felons and proto-felons by the score all over town trying to claw their way back to relevance.

    3. All of this that's so kinky, MBB hopes will become "clinky" rather than "clunky."

  11. Priceless! Curious Kim explains it all for you: "A coincidence is by definition not a relationship."

    Yep, it's all a big coincidence.


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