Friday, October 2, 2015

Coming to an election near you in 2015? "the way Applied strong-armed the vote for so many years"


Applied Housing "strong-armed" voter intimidation tactics against Hoboken residents highlighted as November 3rd election approaches

On Thursday, MSV reported allegations of threats against residents in Applied Housing in the second ward and the arm twisting by its building management to vote against council candidate Tiffanie Fisher and for Peter Biancamano.

Back in 2009, this was openly discussed in the Beth Mason campaign among her coterie of political operatives.

In a March 7, 2009 email, this Beth Mason political operative email highlighted the pros and cons of putting a son of Applied Housing management, Raulito Morales on Beth Mason's City Council ticket with that "benefit." (Michael Russo told FBI informant Solomon Dwek on surveillance tape in a Jersey City restaurant he was picking all three of the council candidates on Beth Mason's City Council slate around the same time.)

The calculus in the email references the online political operative activities of controlling speech on Hoboken411, Mason's favorite "news site" and in chilling fashion, dismissively highlights the upside of obtaining the votes through "Applied strong-armed" tactics against the mostly Hispanic residents.

In the 2011 City Council ward races, this "vote" kept Beth Mason in political office occupying the second ward City Council seat although the Russo faction majority was overturned with Hoboken's 6th ward electing Councilwoman Jen Giattino.

Pointedly, of those who would rise up and speak out against this nefarious practice, possibly on Hoboken411 and/or other local websites, this Lane Bajardi email with Beth Mason ominously predicted:

"...people who live here less than 10 years have no sense of the way Applied strong-armed the vote for so many years, and probably don't care. Others will make an issue of it but we can deal with them."

The Applied Companies office in Hoboken. Anyone unveiling its voter
intimidation tactics against Hoboken residents, "we can deal with them"

said Beth Mason's political operative Lane Bajardi.

The following top half of an email obtained in the frivolous SLAPP-suit Bajardi v Pincus is unedited below:

From:Beth Mason <>
Sent:Saturday, March 7, 2009 1:00 AM
To:Kimberly Cardinal & Lane Bajardi & Family <>
Subject:Re: Hi Beth -- RE: Candidates

Did u send rhis twice?
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

From: Lane Bajardi 
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 00:51:28 -0500
To: <>; <>
Subject: Hi Beth -- RE: Candidates

Hi Beth, 

I'm sorry we kept missing each other today. I know you are at an important crossroads and the decisions you make this weekend will set in motion the rest of the campaign. I feel I have a duty to tell you how I see the current situation. I very much fear the wrong moves now will sink everything. 

First, a few thoughts on the current mood. Your vote on the Underbridge Redevelopment Zone set some tongues wagging wondering why you did what you did. Most of the active anti-Mason comments came from screen n ames associated with the Tumpson/Fallick/Ondrejka crowd, so they were pretty easily contained. Your vote on the Church Towers Pilot has now extended the widespread criticism of your decisions to include many active and notable commenters on 411 that have traditionally been solidly in your corner. Combine that with new screen names established by the newly active Revolt people as well as the Zimmer and Cammarano campaigns and you have a big problem in the blogosphere. 

My concern is not the Revolt/Campaign shills as much as it is the longtime reliable HONEST posters who have established themselves and their reputation in the most active online community in the city. You have very few allies online right now, and not just because of politics. I actually don't think there is much that can be said about the Church Towers PILOTS now that can change any minds. Defending you online has become a very lonely endeavor because nobody else is doing it. Your natural supporters are leaving you. 

This is a dream scenario for Lenz, Marsh and Zimmer (and by extension, Cammarano). The new tax hike-driven voters will not be the boneheads in the Revolt group, but the silent majority of homeowners who are angry but don't have time to jump into the fray until the election. We need these voters to win. Right now many people are trying to take these voters away from you. 

The best way to lose them permanently is to continue on the current course. That course includes making what I believe is the grave mistake of building a ticket solely from groups that have not represented anything you stand for. You need to have at least one person who has some reform credentials to make a case that YOUR ticket is BALANCED for ALL of Hoboken. With that in mind, and since we have not spoken, I offer you m y insight into the current crop under consideration. 

Raulito Morales

Pluses: Obviously the relationship to Applied voters and his father. 

Minuses: Obviously the relationship to Applied voters and his father.

My Take: If you get a promise from Senior that he will deliver the votes for Junior AND YOU then make it happen. We can work with him to make him the candidate he needs to be on this ticket vis-a-vis talking the talk. By and large people who live here less than 10 years have no sense of the way Applied strong-armed the vote for so many years, and probably don't care. Others will make an issue of it but we can deal with them. 

Dawn Zimmer: 'Let's do this'

From the desk of Hoboken's Dawn Zimmer:

Blog      Volunteer      Contribute
Dear Friend,

In case you may have missed my email last week, it would be great to see you this Tuesday, October 6 at Arthur's Tavern to support our City Council team. I can't emphasize enough how important this election is to ensuring our City continues on a solid track moving forward. This means continuing our AA+ rating record of financial responsibility, infrastructure investment in our roads like Washington Street, protecting our City from flooding, and so much more. Please come out to meet Jen, Peter, Mike, Dana and Tiffanie this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Arthur's Tavern.

Thanks again, and I look forward to catching up.

Your friend,


PS - We'd love to see everyone and want to let you know the minimum donation is just $100. Since elections are expensive I hope you will consider giving $250 (Guest), $500 (Host), and $1,000 (Chair). Thanks!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Grist for the Mill: Newest "Darksider" Kaufmann going under the bus?

When you embrace what Grafix Avenger affectionately dubs "the Darksiders," there's risks. The idea of immortality for one sounds nice until you discover there won't be any summer days at the beach in Miami or the Caribbean.

Get wrapped up in some darksider vampire hype can be a real pain in the neck.

When it comes to the Hoboken Board of Eduction races, the Darksiders like to throw curveballs and lop on a spitter when the mood strikes them and a "yuppie" is temporarily under their spell.

Officially, their BoE ticket is Britney Montgomery, John Madigan and Alanna Kauffmann. Unofficially, there's some darksider chatter about sneaking former Carmelo Garcia Assembly aide and racial bomb thrower Patricia Waiters into a seat.

Which of course means that if there's a whisper campaign to insert Patty Waiters onto the BoE, one of the three official candidates must find themselves thrown under the bus.

It won't be John Madigan, hometown hero to those who enjoy vulgarity tossed at female BoE opponents. So too, you can probably cross off Britney Montgomery who was a City Council throw-in on the Pupie ticket in 2013.

Which leaves Alanna Kaufmann who is pictured below as the answer to the question "Which of these doesn't fit with the others?"

Should the BoE numbers on election night show a disparate lower vote total for Kaufmann versus her two other darksider running mates, she can't say she wasn't warned. Maybe she can consult with Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano, a developer superhero to the Darksider ticket.

Related: Grafix Avenger has a side-splitting brilliant satire on the council forum last night. You won't want to miss it:

Team Dark Side 2015 graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to All email is kept confidential until mutual agreement and is protected by Da Horsey's proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson Superior Court.

Snippets from first council forum

Last night, the first of two council forums is encapsulated in this video report from John Heinis of The Hudson County View:

The complete report by Hudson County View is available at the link:

Talking Ed Note: Typically, MSV doesn't highlight any horse sense perspective/editorial to the generous video reports offered by HCV so this will be a rare exception.

The contrast between sixth ward candidates was perhaps most vivid here. While HCV sees the candidate conflict as palpable, MSV saw it as restrained. Carmelo Garcia generates strong feelings with a long checkered history, most recently in the conflict of seeking to represent Hoboken residents and taxpayers while he's actively suing them. His infamous "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit has bitten Hoboken residents for $150,000 to date. (Garcia sits atop the Old Guard Carmelo Ticket with many smiling photos with his former Hoboken Housing Authority commissioner "yes" vote Eduardo Gonzalez and running mate Peter Bianacamano only seats away.)

Giattino's criticisms were from this vantage point, muted and typical of her professionalism seen in four years of strong service on the City Council where she lets her actions do most of her talking. Garcia's claim of her lack of visibility in her ward is contrasted with his claim he'll be available 24-7 to Hoboken residents. His reign over the Hoboken Housing Authority (there's no more apt description) was anything but as he was known for being on the east side of Hoboken at a local gym in the middle of the day and attempted to skip town entirely before Hurricane Sandy. Reality once again meets Hoboken illusionary politics.

The fifth ward saw the most fire and rebuttals of all exchanges. Peter Cunningham grew visibly emotional about the odd proposal of Eduardo Gonzalez before the City Council to do a developer deal on the six acres of the BASF property the City of Hoboken is seeking to acquire. Cunningham highlighted those six acres will be obtained using a park trust fund and not in tax increases as Gonzalez offered. Cunningham highlighted the decades of broken developer promises and concluded by pointing to the Old Guard's "Council of No" politics which he said has greatly harmed Hoboken in recent years. Gonzalez retaliated to criticism of his "running mates" by equating his conversations with parents of his kids school with that council ticket. Some may see a most odd strain in that equation.

Strain was more evident when the second ward issue of the Monarch towers arose. Bonnie Murray voiced agreement with Tiffanie Fisher (who was absent due to a conflict with a Zoning Board meeting) she opposed the Monarch Project albeit for what she said were differing reasons. Peter Biancamano sought to blame the Hoboken Planning Board for the legal battle between the Barry family (Applied Housing/Ironstate Development) stating he supports open space at the location. The legal battle however is underway in both state and federal court and its origin is due to the Barry family reneging on a contract with the City of Hoboken.  Unfortunately, Biancamano is in a political vise and word of arm twisting at Applied Housing uptown is reportedly underway with residents being threatened with eviction, rent increases and urged to turn over Vote-by-Mail. Those mostly Hispanic residents are being ordered to vote for him. The Monarch Man finds himself in a most unhappy situation. Developer "protection" comes at a cost.

That veneer of the heavy handed Old Guard past and present was not far as Michael Russo hovered over the proceedings as a worried looking Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano stood by and Ma Russo circled.

"This is a war," Romano declared of the City Council elections a week prior. By the looks of it, the front may be collapsing. Much rests on the effective outreach of candidate campaigns and the grassroots getting the word out.

Is there an opportunity for Reform to finally turn this town around from its lingering "On the Waterfront" past? It rests in the hands of Hoboken's voting residents with November 3rd's approaching Election Day.

Michael Russo offers a good humored smile with Stick Romano during the council forum near the entrance of the Elks last night as Old Guard Beth Mason lackey Matt Calicchio attempts to block a photo. In a huddle with Carmelo Garcia, who blew off half the forum to attend a fundraiser; Romano offered some final words before Garcia left, who arrived late and leaving early; his signature role in government positions which he contrasted with his voicings he'll be available 24-7 to Hoboken residents.

Related: PolitickerNJ's reporter filed this report. 

Sign of the Times: The heat is on

The Council forum last night for wards two, five and six went down at the Elks Club. Some sparks and a few surprises along the way.

More to come.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Michael Russo war cry: "Change it back to the Hoboken we all know”

Michael Russo running unopposed declares: "It’s time to take our city back” and
"This is our town."

The following report comes courtesy of John Heinis and the Hudson County View:

While he no longer has to endure another grudge match in the 3rd Ward, Hoboken Councilman Michael Russo hosted a campaign kickoff where he called for a clean sweep in both the city council and board of education races. 

For the complete Hudson County View story see:

The Carmelo Ticket: Eduardo Gonzalez, Freeholder Anthony Romano, Carmelo "The Wire" Garcia, Alanna Kaufmann (BoE), Terry Castellano, John Madigan (BoE), Michael Russo, Ruben Ramos and Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano

Peter Biancamano is... Monarch Man

Able to sign off on a pro-developer resolution in a single bound,
Running mate of 'do the developer deal' Eduardo Gonzalez
Beloved to wet dreaming big developers with the Carmelo Ticket
Capable of blocking off the waterfront with the Monarch Project

Peter Biancamano is... Monarch Man

Peter Biancamano, City Council candidate for the Carmelo Ticket is a superhero to big developers. He's a candidate for uptown second ward and is Hoboken Applied Housing's
Monarch Man.

Monarch Man graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Michael DeFusco: Time for policy over politics vs a quarter century of Terry Castellano

From the desk of first ward City Council candidate Michael DeFusco:

Mike Defusco
Friends and Neighbors,

As Election Day gets closer, I wanted to put my thoughts into a short video to help everyone understand why I'm standing up for downtown Hoboken and running for City Council. On November 3rd, have your voice heard, come out and vote.

Also this Thursday, October 1st, please join me for happy hour at McSwiggans (110 1st Street) from 6-8pm, I'll be there chatting with neighbors about issues facing downtown Hoboken. Come join me for a beer, I hope to see you there!

Tiffanie Fisher highlights difference on her community activism, experience vs. Peter "Monarch Man" Biancamano

The following report comes courtesy of John Heinis at the Hudson County View:

Hoboken Ward 2 Council candidate Tiffanie Fisher, a member of the city’s zoning board of adjustment, is taking a hard stance on opposing the controversial Monarch project.

For the complete Hudson County View story, see the link:

Reach Higher: 'Let's engage our community'

BoE slate Reach Higher announces:

Dear friends and neighbors,

Thank you for joining us at the Reach Higher Hoboken kickoff party last week. We’re going to need your continued support to be able to build on the steady progress made in the Hoboken district schools over the past several years.

Tom Kluepfel is running for re-election. He is joined by Sheillah Dallara and Addys Velez, two energetic and committed district parents. The Board of Education needs their kind of integrity and commitment.

You can help in lots of different ways: contribute to the campaign, register to vote, spread the work by “liking” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, put a campaign sign in your window, canvass with a candidate, hold a candidate “Meet and Greet,” and tell your friends why it’s important to vote for the Reach Higher candidates.

But most important is informing voters on Election Day and getting out the vote.  Please consider volunteering an hour or two to help elect Tom, Sheillah and Addys on that first Tuesday in November. Simply reply to this email to let us know you want to help continue the progress!

Contribute: We are an all-volunteer grassroots campaign. Every contribution -- no matter the size -- makes a difference. You can contribute online via Facebook or at this web page. To contribute by check, simply reply to this email to let us know. We’ll provide the details.

Register to Vote: Don’t forget to update your voter registration if you have recently changed your address. The voter registration deadline is Tuesday, October 13th.

Register to Vote By Mail: If you can’t vote in person on November 3, you can apply to vote by mail. To receive your ballot by mail, your application must be received by the County Clerk seven (7) days prior to the election. A voter may also apply in person to the County Clerk until 3:00 p.m. the day before the election.

“Like” Us on Facebook“: Visit Reach Higher Hoboken on Facebook to read more about the candidates and their campaign. And share Reach Higher with your Facebook friends.

Follow Us on TwitterFollow us for campaign updates.

Campaign Signs: Put Reach Higher Hoboken campaign signs in your windows to show your support and create awareness. Reply to this email and tell us how many you need. We deliver!

Canvass with a Candidate: Join Tom, Sheillah and Addys when they’re out talking to voters. Or take them on a 30-minute door-to-door and introduce them to your neighbors. To canvass with a candidate, reply to this email.

Hold a Meet and Greet: Introduce Tom, Sheillah and Addys to your friends and neighbors. Hold a casual event at your home or in a building common area. It can be big or small, during the day or in the evening. Reply to this email and let us know what works best for you.

Be a Polling Station Challenger: On election day we need people to ensure polling stations follow proper procedures. Reply to this email to let us know you want to be a challenger.

Get Out the Vote on Election Day: This is the most important thing you can do! We need to make sure voters don’t forget to cast their three votes on November 3rd for Tom, Sheillah and Addys. Just one or two hours of your time on election day will make a world of a difference in this election. Reply to this email to let us know you can help.

Finally, PLEASE forward this email to your friends and neighbors. Spread the word about the Reach Higher team. And vote for Kluepfel, Dallara and Velez (Column F, Rows 2, 4 and 6) on November 3rd.  Let’s make our district schools “even” better!