Monday, May 3, 2010

Beth Mason doubles down....

With the Condon report not even reviewed and digested by the public (made available on MSV earlier today) Councilwoman Beth Mason has decided it's time to go all out and demand the resignation of Councilman Ravi Bhalla.

Hey, you know the saying, if you fail then try, try again.  Clearly, there's something that gets Councilwoman Mason wee weed up about Councilman Bhalla.  Some speculate Mr. Bhalla would run for the 2nd ward Council seat next year with Councilwoman Mason's popularity in a free fall.

The Jersey Journal is running the latest antics of Councilwoman Mason no doubt urged on by her consultants outside of Hoboken who also got paid a tidy sum when she ran a second failing effort for mayor in November last year.  The story raises questions about filing reports for officials and Mr. Bhalla is interviewed and explains his rationale for a filing's lateness.  ELEC may review it and decide if a fine is warranted but it's not clear such would be pursued in this case.

Update:  An invitation only press conference Tuesday morning will be held by Councilman Ravi Bhalla this morning addressing this issue and Councilwoman Beth Mason.

MSV had posted just earlier Monday, the consulting firms in the employ of Councilwoman Beth Mason would choose attack but even Da Horsey is shocked how prescient the prediction.  As it happens, the attack comes not even two hours after that story was posted containing the complete Corporation Counsel report on the Condon contract. While the Jersey Journal is a respectable publication, the timing of additional questions on proper paperwork filing coupled with quotes from Councilwoman Beth Mason shows all the earmarks of a planted story.  To the consulting firm responsible for this effort (and there's at least two to choose among) MSV wishes to say, "Well done!"

In her continued over the top embrace of her political consultants' pay to play strategy - she pays and they get to run amok in the Hoboken playground, Councilwoman Mason demands Councilman Ravi Bhalla resign.  And the legal charges - there are no legal charges!  The demand for resignation is entirely based on ethical concerns with Councilwoman Mason acting as judge, jury and executioner.

It's notable there are no other City Council members interviewed for this story.  It's a glaring omission and the question is why?  What was the rush to get this story out with only Councilwoman Beth Mason quoted?  Is that any semblance of balance?

Photo: Councilwoman Beth Mason at a City Council meeting earlier this year.
All rights reserved.


Better safe....

Mayor's Office announces:

Statement from Mayor Zimmer Regarding Incident
at 5th & Clinton Streets

This afternoon, Hoboken's Fire Department received a call about a strange clicking noise coming from a vehicle near 5th Street and Clinton Street.

"First and foremost, I want to assure everyone that our city is safe," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "In light of the recent attempted bombing in Times Square, our residents should know that we take all potential threats like this very seriously."

After receiving the call, the area in question was cordoned off, and the Jersey City bomb squad was called in. All schools were notified of the potential threat.

The bomb squad determined that the noise was coming from an alternator hanging from an automobile and posed no threat.

"We thank the Hoboken Fire and Police departments and the Jersey City Bomb Squad for their professional and prompt response," added Mayor Zimmer.

Corporation Counsel Kates on Condon matter: No violation

Corporation Counsel Michael Kates submitted his report on the Condon matter to the City Council and the documentation is available for release.  In his conclusion he states there was no violation of pay-to-play and recommends no action on the current charges by Councilwoman Mason on her colleagues Council President Peter Cunningham and Councilman Ravi Bhalla.

It'll be interesting to see the reaction by Councilwoman Mason who based on a recent story by has two consulting firms currently on her payroll.  Will they advise she apologize?  As many recall, Councilman Peter Cunningham was away to attend a funeral for his mother-in-law when Councilwoman Mason launched an attack in a City Council meeting on him and also Councilman Bhalla in what she called the "most blatant" violation of pay-to-play.

MSV is going to guess no paid consultant would advise Councilwoman Mason to apologize for her over the top attacks.  Their checks are cashed on coming up with new ways to attack not apologize (when they aren't making election flyers with no election in sight on behalf of the Councilwoman).

A recent story by the Newark Star Ledger is raising questions about Mayor Booker and his contracts issued to many parties, including one attached to Ravi Bhalla's firm in Hoboken.  Although there are many questions worth asking, it's clear no law was broken.  Fair questions are worth asking all around.

The local POG group has a statement issued at the uptown smear merchant of Hoboken411.  It's quite odd that such a statement would appear on that site, known for its censorship and blanket support of Councilwoman Mason (and the ex-mayor Peter Cammarano).  As many questions arise on how that happened and the linking of a Newark contract to various elected officials in Hoboken where no such link exists.  In addition, no one from the local POG group has even spoken to Councilman Ravi Bhalla on this to our knowledge.

There's already quite a discussion kicked off at Hoboken Revolt.  Lots of hot air, demands from Hoboken411 minions and political operatives (re: Mason hatchet wielders) for Councilman Bhalla to resign but no indication of any law broken.

Let's see where the questions take us all around before we start the executions shall we?

In the interim, here's the full Condon report from Corporation Counsel Kates.  Be sure to read the comprehensive conclusion on all the respective parties.