Hoboken's got a 3-WAY mayoral race!

As if our Mile Square hasn't had enough drama so early in our election season- in comes local businesswoman Karen Nason to shake things up!

Welcome, Karen! 

Nason is the owner/chanteuse of Hoboken Hot House, a sweet cafe/performance space on 2nd and Monroe.  And boy, girlfriend can sing.

Has Hoboken ever had a singing mayor?  

Nason also was the owner of FUSE- an event space in the First Ward, which closed, after a zoning battle with the city.  In short, Nason needed a conditional use variance to host private events in the R-1 residential district; the HR wrote that the "issue seems to come down to language that is missing or nebulous in the city’s zoning ordinance."  Nason balked at getting the variance, citing the cost and her past contributions to the Hoboken community. The experience left Nason furious- at the City, and especially the mayor.  No, Nason's not shy about blaming Zimmer for the demise of FUSE.

What was First Ward Councilman DeFusco's position?  

DeFusco agreed with the City's zoning enforcement, telling the HR that it was "correct due to a “caveat”.  

So, those are possible reasons Nason has taken the plunge into Hoboken's mayoral race.

My first thought when I read the news was, who does she hurt- Zimmer or DeFusco?

Okay, nobody knows the answer.  But GA was interested to discover Nason's ties to 'old Hoboken'; she's a good friend of Freeholder Anthony 'Stick' Romano   and her husband is former Hoboken Zoning Board Alternate Frank DeGrimDeGrim also served as Treasurer for A Smarter Future, Stick's 2015 BoE slate, and the campaign account appears to still be open.

In fact, on January 27, 2017,  DeGrim filed a 48-HR ELEC for  (3) donations from Anthony Romano made in 2015.  The amounts of Romano's contributions are $1,000 (Oct 24), $600 (Nov. 2) and $400 (Nov 4).

Treasurer DeGrim never filed a single R-1 ELEC report for A Smarter Future, so it is impossible to see the flow of money in and out of the campaign; the donors, the disbursements, the contribution amounts, and the account balance.   But he appears to still be managing the finances of that campaign account.

DeGrim is also Treasurer of Nason for Mayor.  The D-1 was filed on Feb 22, 2017 (Frank, you have to file the full bank account number without redactions).

So... two months after A Smarter Future's November 3, 2015 election, DeGrim was nominated for ZBA Alternate #4 by Tim Occhipinti and Mike Russo; he won on an 8-1 vote.

Stick Romano... Mike Russo...  same constituency as DeFusco.

The candidate and her family's friends and/or alliances may (or may not concern) the DeFusco folks.
But now there will be (at least) 2 anti-Zimmer candidates campaigning on how much Zimmer sucks, how she should be laying new water mains herself.

Who knows, maybe a few more residents will hop into the race- it's still early.  But Nason is smart to throw in now... she will have plenty of time to get her name out there.

What GA really finds interesting is that though Stick's run is uncertain (looking unlikely), a good friend has picked up the gauntlet.

Who knows if that means something or means nothing.  That's the weirdness of Hoboken..

What's unique about this Mile Square City, is that folks engaged in politics in any way, shape, or form know each other, some very well.   Hoboken's political world is weird, insular and most of all, we don't want outsiders picking our next Mayor. 


  1. It is always odd to me when people say they want a fair and unbiased government and then get upset when they don't get special treatment.

  2. Hey Grafix Avenger! Karen Nason here. Thank you and I mean that for putting that video up. I wrote that and it's on my CD all songs that I wrote. CD is "Talk to the Hand", recorded in Nashville with Lou Gonzalez. I am sure we have never had a singing Mayor. I also am involved with "The Rose" movie by Bill Kerby to put on

    Broadway we hope soon. I owned a Jazz Bar in NYC so I have professionally sang for a long time. We actually tried doing music in Fuse and Hothouse. As far as being
    upset and this is somehow revenge against Dawn not at all. I endorsed Dawn her
    2 term and have had a good relationship with her and Stan. I also have great relationship with Anthony and wish him all the best. The guy has done many wonderful things for this city. Good man. Dawn has also done many good things but
    there are many things we can talk about that need change. My husband Frank is the nicest guy, great lawyer and civil engineer who did someone a favor to help open the smarter future fund for Brittany and we actually had nothing to do with it
    except for someone asking for help. So much for being nice yes? Also, the current master plan had no "Events" classified on the books so I was told for "FUSE" to go to
    planning to help define. Too costly and why would I if I was given the rights on C/O
    for Cafe/Events. I and Shaun McGarr both have done awesome things for the city were sad to close this place as it is so needed. We were told by DeFusco that there will be a subcommit on the matter with Doyle and Russo. Never happened what a shocker, and the fight was too costly. Announcing to run has nothing to do with revenge. If perhaps you would like to come and sit and chat I can tell you why. I read your stuff a lot. I think you are one gutsy chick. So am I. Interested in a meeting?
    Frank DeGrim should also have never been removed from Zoning. Civil Engineer, Lawyer well needed on that Zoning board and a real standup as we'll as show up gentlemen. Please reach out to me you now have my email. I am serious, I would love to meet you. Can you also let folks know I am hosting for Phil Murphy who did have a private event at FUSE that VJ and Dan Bryan attended. Question why not shut me down then. St.Patty's Day at Liberty house. Contact me for tickets !!! or stop by Hothouse and find out about this wonderful event. Thanks again look forward to meeting you! Five older brothers from Portland, Maine so not shy would love to talk.

    1. You got it, girl. Would love to meet you, too. I have hair-envy, love yours... my mom was a redhead, she must have dropped my gene somewhere. How about we meet after the snow? Funny but I didn't know your name until I saw your pic in the HR- I just knew you as "that sassy redhead who speaks Council meetings." I will def get in touch. I have your email? Mine is grafixavenger666@gmail.com. Thank you for stopping by, Karen!

  3. Hothouse120@gmail.com Tell me what time and day!! I have great coffee and killer Bacon egg and cheese on Homemade Biscuits!!! Gonna love em! Let me know ANYTIME!

    1. YUM!!!! I will, offline.

      My apologies about the dooshy comment infestation- they're DeFusco's out-of-town doosh whisperers. Bunch of losers.

    2. No apologies necessary from you!!! Thank you. What a great sense of humor!!!!

  4. Did you have anything to do with the closure of FUSE GA?

  5. Nope, but if you shoved a stick of dynamite up your ass, I'd be happy to light the fuse.

  6. What a great set of comments, thanks Karen and GA for showing Hoboken (and North Bergen strongmen) that politics can be reasonable and non-douchy.

  7. This blog is nonsense.. please read the Hudson reporter for real news ..

    1. Best case scenario - you're the dumbest guy on your team. If they have anyone dumber they're flat screwed.

      No one - I mean NO ONE - reads the Reporter. To go to blogs which exist specifically for that reason is epic dumbass. Dumbass.

    2. So you get donations from October to November 2015 .. and the town is finally aware on February 2017 just because your wife is now running for something?

  8. Nason's an interesting character. Sounds like she's got a very full life, more fun than she'd have in a full time government job. Not sure she's serious but I guess we'll find out.

  9. Karen is an obvious spoiler for Zimmer. It won't work. She has no organization and ability to get votes out to the polls. Zimmer is trying to crowd the field but it won't work.

    1. Karen will get plenty of votes because she's well known in Hoboken's small biz community, and is well-liked. Frank DeGrim is close with Romano and Russo. Spoiler? She's in it to win it.

    2. Definitely not an operativeMarch 15, 2017 at 8:32 AM

      I'm definitely not an operative so you can trust everything I say. Why just yesterday I was at the coffee shop that has the tables and chairs - you know the one - and someone was saying "well YOU certainly aren't an operative." Just like that, out of the blue, unsolicited. So that's settled.

      My opinion as a non-operative resident and house-owner on the street with the curbs and fire hydrants is that you are spot-on 8:18. Karen - if that is even her REAL name - is running as a favor to Zimmer - if that is even her REAL name. So-called Zimmer gave so-called Karen a HUUUUUUUUGE pile of cash to run because the job pays so well that there's always plenty left to fund alternative candidates on the sketchiest possible pretext. As everyone knows.

      Signed Bill the non-operative.

      PS. As a single mom I really have to question whether someone who sings in bars is a positive image for my city. I want my children to grow up in a town where the mayor's main focus is fighting crime and making sure undocumented migrant farm-workers aren't taking jobs away from hard-working residents of Hoboken New Jersey population 52000, The name "Hoboken" was chosen by Colonel John Stevens when he bought land, on a part of which the city still sits. The Lenape (later called Delaware Indian) tribe of Native Americans referred to the area as the "land of the tobacco pipe", most likely to refer to the soapstone collected there to carve tobacco pipes, and used a phrase that became "Hopoghan Hackingh". To name a few.

      PPS. Go local teams in the sports you play! Hooray!

    3. Dead on 8:32. Karens secret agent Zimmer spoiler spy code name is "ABC" Zimmer's going to work her way through the alphabet.

    4. You sure do wax-on about Karen.

  10. That's awesome. First of all....I was closed at my Cafe yesterday. Smart. Second I work my butt off all the time as most see me do at Cafe as I am there A LOT!! As a Mom I have to question someone who says that because you SING you are a bad influence. It truly is an ignorant thing to say, as music, is what all young kids love and care about. Try taking away music from your kids and see what happens. I raised my son as a single Mom alone, and he is graduating Summa Cum Laude in April and does amazing things, do not think my singing was a BAD influence. As a matter of fact Music needs to be more prevalent in the school system. I am sure when I was on stage with Les Paul ,who was history in making , he did not have his kids tell him Dad you are a bad influence. NO DAWN did not give me a pile of cash. Hysterical. I am not opposed if she would like to donate to my campaign!

    1. Karen, you will fast discover the amount of drivel folks will post about anyone who dips their toe into Hoboken's political swamp. Since last week, I am a lesbian, fornicated with a horse, and my blog sucks... oh, that is just one week! Anyone who can sing with your kind of passion, has done a lot of living, and learned a lot. F*ck 'em. Also remember, being a candidate you are subject to criticism, and they may say things that are unfair and not-nice. Look on the bright side, it will get worse. I know a couple of pols who don't read the blogs. Anyway, anybody who criticizes your beautiful, wonderful GIFT is a jealous scumbag. Case closed!

  11. Proposed 2017 Hoboken City Budget: A 1.25% decrease in City taxes.


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