Carmelo Garcia Hosting Kids Party in Local Bar

Party on, kiddies.

Folks, this one floored me.  Are you ready?

Assembly candidate and Christie-endorser Carmelo Garcia will be hosting a graduation party at a local bar for Hoboken High School and Charter kids!

The other host is Garcia's BFF and bar-owner, Joe Branco, former campaign manager for losing BoE slate, Move Forward.  He announced the party at Tuesday night's School Board meeting.

You recall Move Forward hired a video truck to sit outside Wallace Primary School flashing swastikas. The offensive images were also flashed for hours up and down Washington Street; the truck was condemned by local rabbis and local media coined it 'The Nazi Truck'.  It was a huge disgrace and repudiated by voters at the polls when Move Forward was creamed by Kids First.  No one on Move Forward apologized nor publicly condemned the use of swastikas in a School Board campaign.

Ruben Ramos supported Move Forward- he attended fundraisers and loaned his Chief of Staff to the Campaign for "campaign design."  Ramos never publicly repudiated the use of swastikas in a School Board election, nor the Nazi Truck- by the campaign he supported

Why not?

 left: District 33 NJ State Assemblyman Ruben Ramos,  middle: Move Forward $300 disbursement to Ramos' Chief-of-Staff for "campaign design",   right: Move Forward's Nazi Truck on October 16, 2012 at Wallace School.

So, this party for kids is being hosted  by Assembly candidate and Ramos ally at a bar with the enticement of "free food, soda and juice". 

That's NOT okay.

Have the party in Romparoo or McDonald's playroom, not in a bar surrounded by alcohol and the enticement of returning with a fake ID.   Graduating High School is no rite of passage to the bar scene.

If I were a cynical gal, I'd say that this was a combination campaign event and business marketing for fresh-faced doe-eyed kids, some of legal voting age.

SOME.  I graduated High School at 17, one of my sisters graduated at 16.

Call me a square, but I don't approve of this, not at all.  You can dress up a pig, it's still a pig.  You can serve milk and cookies at a BAR, but it's still a bar.

What kind of message does this send to our kids?  

Does Brian Stack endorse kids' parties in bars?  

Does Ruben Ramos endorse kids' parties in bars?


  1. Back in High School, one of the math teachers owned a local bar and a pizzeria. Guess which one he hosted events for the students at?

    1. Oh, Jeez. I'm guessing the bar.

      I'm also guessing it wasn't hosted by a candidate for State Assembly who is also a School Board Trustee and a member of the 'Hoboken Dads' parents group.

  2. What was the reaction of this announcement at the meeting?

  3. The Hoboken Party is Over! It's all over.....

  4. Nancy, I don’t see your point of view at all and disappointed that even when someone tries to do something good or give back to community, there are people waiting in the wings to put a negative slant? We are providing a safe place for them to celebrate 4 years of high school with their classmates.
    I feel fortunate that I have a business in town that affords me the ability to donate my space and do things for the community that I would otherwise not be able to do. So if I host an event or offer my space I’m a bad guy? I'm thrilled to be able to open my space for events, charities and people that I care about.
    In addition, we host kid’s events birthday parties, baby showers, communions, bat mitzvah, & organizational events
    like this one

    or fundraisers - like this one

    and all types of family events. Like this one -

    And when is it a children's event, the alcohol is even removed from the bar.
    So again, write what you want about me and my intentions if that’s what makes for good blogging but I know that when I get involved I do so because I care despite what you and others think.

    Here is a link to a campaign kickoff party, please notice where the party is being held and who is sitting at a fully stocked bar.

    Joseph Branco

    1. Joe,

      Just like you didn't take responsibility for your campaign's Nazi Truck, you must own up to how others may feel about you hosting an event for minors in your bar with a School Board official who is a candidate for State Assembly.

      If this is the second year in row you've held the event, I would have commented last year had I known. Did you announce it at the BoE last year too? When you stood up to make a public announcement at the BoE meeting I am sure you realized there might be parents out there not so keen on the idea.

      No one has ever criticized your adult events and charitable works for adults that you've held in your bar. I haven't.

      If I think this is unseemly, that's my opinion.

      If you take it to another venue- one that isn't a bar or night club, no one can complain. Inviting kids into your bar, no matter what you serve them, is something you should NOT expect unanimous agreement on.

      How about that Nazi Truck? Anybody who would be a part of that disgrace has a black heart. So don't talk about your "charity" to the community. The same community that your campaign entertained with a sick, twisted video.

    2. GA

      I recall The Nazi Truck was just showing images from your website, please explain you can post on your site but your context on here can not be show to the 99.9 percent of Hoboken that does not read this site?

    3. I call bullshit on you, Anon.

      I took that Beth Mason image off my website 3 years ago on November 17, 2010 after apologizing to a Jewish leader. Which takes maturity and character- something not a single person on the Move Forward campaign can claim to having.

      After my retraction, anyone who uses the image OWNS it. I never published the one with the swastika, you jackass.

      By the way, it's called 'republication'. Move Forward REPUBLISHED the images, and therefore own them. And foolishly paraded them around town in a SCHOOL BOARD election. Jews and Gentiles alike thought Move Forward's truck was disgusting.

      It takes character to apologize, as I did. As you can see, no apologies forthcoming from the cowards of Move Forward.

      Now Ruben can explain what he knew about it and when. And Brian Stack, who is supporting Ruben, needs to know that the Jewish community never got an apology for it.

      Maybe Carmelo and Joe ought to invite the kids from Union City to the bar and see how Stack likes it.

    4. From above:

      "I recall The Nazi Truck was just showing images from your website, please explain you can post on your site but your context on here can not be show to the 99.9 percent of Hoboken that does not read this site?"

      Reminds me of a joke that goes essentially like this - Guy runs around, showing everyone a big pile of dogsh*t he's holding in his hand, saying "Look what I almost stepped in!"

  5. Joe,

    I think there is skepticism because you were a campaign manager for politicians and work on Garcia's campaign and that Garcia is running for assembly.

    Why is this the first year you have thought to do this? I assume it is likely because Carmelo as a candidate for assemblyman asked you to donate the space or did you 2 come up with idea together?

    We can all try to pretend that this has nothing to do with politics and that it just dawned on you and Garcia to do this for the HS seniors, but you're both heavy politicians/political workers and are with the same team who gives away $40 election day money to nearly 1000 people.

    About the bar concern;You have to admit, upon first glance, it sounds awkward having a graduation party at a bar. Glad you clarified the alcohol issue.

    1. The same 2 years you ran/worked a political campaign, you had a party for High School graduates (18 year olds).

      You've been in this town for how many years?
      The thought never occurred to you to hold a party for graduating students before working on/running a political campaign?

      Odd, don't you think? Did you come up with this idea or was it a joint effort between you and Garcia?

  6. It is actually our second year in a row. We did it last year. You can ask the graduating class of 2012.

    Joseph Branco

    1. That makes you a repeat offender, IMO.

    2. The same 2 years you ran/worked a political campaign, you had a party for High School graduates (18 year olds).

      You've been in this town for how many years?
      The thought never occurred to you to hold a party for graduating students before working on/running a political campaign?

      Odd, don't you think? Did you come up with this idea or was it a joint effort between you and Garcia?

  7. A lot of these high school seniors will be first time voters this year. Graduation party or campaign event, hmmm? Who is footing the bill?

  8. Not so long ago, high school students were considered dating material for certain people in Hoboken's public life. At least now they're waiting for them to be almost legal.

    If this were truly for the students and not a campaign ploy, it would be hosted at the school gym with the food and music provided there.

    Wouldn't an event that is specifically about and for our students that is being held in a private venue need to be vetted by the school board and the school administration? There are, I'm sure, huge insurance liabilities associated with such an off-site party, not to mention background checks for the hosts and their staff.

    The bar owner needs to check with his insurance company and attorney and mention a few things: It's not sanctioned by the school system. Minors will be in abundance. Adults, who are not the parents, will be interacting freely with the children.

    It's clear that honest Hoboken residents are presumed to be as naive as the Old Guard is corrupt. No one's buying this line of bull.

    1. Isn't this a private party?

      If they had it at the HHS, they wouldnt be able to politic.

      How much ya wanna bet that there will be voter registration forms all ready to be filled out. lol!

    2. Bingo, Anon 4:42 PM.

      Registration forms and candidate Brian Murray's School Board slate shaking hands. (Branco pal Murray is rabidly anti-Kids First)

  9. it is inappropriate to house it in a bar, this year, last year, any year. donate the food and set it up at the HS after the graduation. a good deed with a logo on it, is not a good deed, it is advertising.

  10. I'll bet Branco is aligned with Ruben's 'Vision for Hoboken team' campaign. Is this their idea of trying to improve the public schools? Par-tay in a local bar? Soo classy. Will you have Juice-Pong as an activity for the kids?

  11. aside from bringing back Carrie Nation with her inspired
    "hatchetations" and taking Beer signs off our soccer fields where
    the towns children play their games, there is not much we can do but say BOOZERS ARE LOSERS. Perhaps this three time bar owner can donate to open a rehab in Hoboken as opposed to advertising his barrooms for the towns children.....................that would be his money and his politics better spent...

  12. This town has too many drunks already, and inspiring our HIGH SCHOOL seniors with free food in a lit up bar atmosphere brings back thoughts of CARRIE NATION. How many signs are lit up there to DRINK? ALCOHOL IS POISON FOR MANY PEOPLE and there are demons in the bottom of all of those empty glasses waiting to be filled...AA should have a lot more members soon...

  13. This one I don't see GA.
    My Grandfather managed a Fraternal Hall called "The Eagles" like the Elks.
    It had a bar.
    My cousins must have had every christening, graduation and kids party and even on christmas day our huge family would gather there for dinner.
    It had a bar and a club room.
    Many kids work as Bar Backs in High School.
    This is one I'm sorry I can't agree with you on. Kids in NYC go to teen nights at clubs, towns hold local after-prom parties at local clubs so the kids don't go out on the highway and can stay local. My high School Friend's Bar Mitzvah was at a "Disco" in the late 70's and had a campy Saturday Night Fever theme. I Know a lot of Hoboken High School Kids from my days involved in politics, with all the influences out there, I think having a party at Room 84 is not going to be one that harms them. --Tony

    1. Tony dear, I respect your opinion. We'll agree to disagree.

      Please note there is no apples-to-apples comparison between the Fraternal Orders you've cited, non-profits dedicated to charitable works in their community, and a private business owned by a partisan politico, whose business is selling alcohol, and is not a 501(c)(3). This par-tay is sponsored by the folks who constantly trash the High School kids efforts, using them as a proxy for their battle with Kids First; those are the same folks introducing them to "Hoboken's Premium NightClub".

      Why don't the hosts use the par-tay money on gift cards to Barnes & Nobles, or do something to advance those kids (whose performance they trash) in college or in a competitive world? Maybe buy each kid a copy of "Bartlett's Book of Quotations" with the par-tay dough.

      I don't believe anyone would take issue if the event were held in the non-profit charitable organization, the Elks Club. I wouldn't.

      Many kids deal with alcoholic parent(s) and/or siblings and may be pre-disposed to having substance abuse problems. Some of my friends have. Why is a School Board Trustee hosting a party in a BAR? Perhaps some children have had that experience, but I'll bet most have not.
      "The Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international non-profit organization uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope."
      "The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of
      the United States of America, is a nonprofit fraternal organization dedicated to charitable works."
      "Minimum purchase to obtain a table is 1 bottle of liquor or a bottle package. There is no additional charge for the table."

      Nothing illegal here. Just an unseemly combo of politicking and marketing a private bar/nightclub to kids. My opinion.


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