Monday, October 25, 2010

New BM video announces her re-election

Coming on the heels of the fourth ward special election, actually nipping at its feet as the candidates try to move forward, Councilwoman Mason does what she does best, try to center the attention back on herself.

We can only guess she told Tim Occhipinti she'll make it up to him with greenbacks.  Or maybe she just told him to be quiet and keep following her stated political reality that too often is no true reality at all.  In this video, BM takes credit for the recent county work paving Hoboken roads.  Why?  Because she can, that's why.

There's little doubt next spring the 2nd ward will be the most expensive council race in Hoboken history.  Will anyone even contest that big checkbook?  MSV believes they will.

Here's a hint on who is up to it:

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Tom Greaney is believed ready to take on the challenge of facing Beth Mason for the 2nd ward council seat next spring.  Here he posed with 2nd ward resident Patricia Waiters at the recent debate hosted at the Jubilee Center.

Update: Early reaction to the news is a mixture of shock and disbelief.  To further the insanity, people are emailing Da Horsey saying BM has commercials up on Monday Night Football.  We just missed it flipping the dial.

You want more? No? We'll she's here to say yes, more! Mason going for 2nd ward again

Dear Friend,
            Over the past four years we have worked together to continue to make the 2nd Ward a better place to live and raise a family. I am very proud of the things we have accomplished, but there is more to do. Most importantly we need to make sure we use the current budget surplus to lower our property taxes. 
            That is why I am taking this opportunity to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Hoboken City Council.   I hope you’ll consider supporting me.   In the coming weeks I will launch my re-election website and introduce my platform. I am looking forward to an exciting campaign. 
            I look forward to seeing you soon. As always do not hesitate to contact me if you are in need of any assistance at (201)-916-8244
            Thank you for your time.

Councilwoman Beth Mason gets the jump on
November 3rd announcing now.

Congressional Candidate Henrietta Dwyer 'Albio what bridge are you trying to sell us?'

Henrietta Dwyer for Congress campaign announces:

The 13th district needs competent and responsive representation.

Congressman Sires boasted to the Star Ledger this week that improvements to the Bayonne Bridge would create 150,000 new jobs. That’s almost 10 times the people it took to construct the Hoover Dam! Our district can no longer afford a congressman who remains aloof from his constituents and oblivious to the economic realities our country faces. Henrietta Dwyer commented on her opponent’s statement this morning.

“I strongly support improvements to our roads and bridges and I also support our small businesses and the jobs they create. Improvements to the Bayonne Bridge are not going to employ 150,000 people or even one tenth that number. Unfortunately, comments like this explain my opponent’s warped view of our economy.”

Albio Sires has given the people of the 13th District uninspiring and feckless leadership when he has given any at all.  He has refused to address the voters and the issues. Every constituent deserves a representative they can depend on.  Henrietta Dwyer stands ready to fill the leadership void.

“This campaign is about more than ribbon cutting ceremonies. With record unemployment in our district it’s time to focus on creating jobs.  Our district needs the kind of jobs that can build and maintain economic recovery. My opponent’s fantasies can not sustain us.”

There is only one candidate in this race that is committed to listening to the people and committed to more jobs for this district, Henrietta Dwyer. Candidate Dwyer renews her call for her opponent to debate the issues.  

"I travel up and down this district every day and listen to the real concerns of the voters. The people I speak to are trying to make ends meet. My campaign is about them and it's well past time we focused on their concerns. My pledge to the voters is that I will work hard, work smart, and work honorably to bring jobs back to our district."

About Henrietta Dwyer 
Ms. Dwyer was born in Jersey City, grew up in downtown Union City, and has lived in West New York for the past thirty-five years.  As a lifelong resident of Hudson County, she calls this district home. She received her undergraduate, and Masters Degree from St. Peter’s College and professionally, served as the marketing director of a major New York University Hospital. picks up the online political "ad" hits

Katie Colaneri who has been doing some pretty professional work since her arrival on the local scene highlighted the new wave of online political communications by local political mavens on youtube.  She highlights two pieces and interviews a professor at Stevens who states this is the wave of the future in political advertising.

Well that's true in the sense that they are easily transmitted at no cost.  But the real skill is in doing so with adequate entertainment value that communicates both insight, fact and hits the funny bone.  Greg Bond the creator of the "Tim Occhipinti sings," hits the mark on all three counts.

The other example Colaneri uses is one intercepted earlier by the Hoboken Journal.  It's a rather Lame attempt to pick up on the cult classic success last July "Jimmy B, downfall of a wannabe shark" using the same website tools at xtranormal with far less effectiveness.

Here's Greg Bond's surefire hit that will no doubt soon become a cult classic:

And here's the original July satire a Lame copycat tried to mimic rather unsuccessfully:

Occhipinti unleashes the dogs against law firms doing city business

Occhipinti for Council announces:

Occhipinti: Lenz votes for no-bid contracts to politically connected law firms

Michael Lenz’s campaign of political contradictions continued with his vote to award what amounts to open-ended, no bid contracts to three of the most politically connected law firms in New Jersey. Independent 4th ward city council candidate Tim Occhipinti says the vote shows that Lenz is firmly entrenched in the political establishment he says he has fought against.

The council majority approved one-year contracts to Chasan, Leyner & Lamparellowhich includes a number of high profile political lawyers like North Bergen’s Herb Klitzner; Florio & Kenny, which includes former State Senator Bernard Kenny; and Weiner Lesniak, including powerful political State Senator Ray Lesniak. (That firm also employs current corporation counsel Mark Tabakin, part time for over $100,000.)

“If Michael Lenz says he fights against the political bosses, how does he cast a vote to give no-bid contracts to some of the most politically-connected law firms in the state,” said Occhipinti. “These firms are made up of power brokers and political deal makers. Voting to give them contracts is not reform, it’s more business as usual.”

Earlier this year, the council also approved a contract with McManimon & Scotland one of the most politically influential law firms in New Jersey. Partner Bill Northgrave was chief of staff to disgraced former County Executive Robert Janiszewski and represented Mayor Dawn Zimmer in a voter fraud case.

Lesniak was recently the subject of press criticism for his move to abolish the corruption-fighting state waterfront commission. Star Ledger columnist Tom Moran said Lesniak is “close to developers and an enemy to most environmentalists and affordable housing advocates.”

The city has nearly run through its entire budget for legal services in just a few months, yet no dollar limits have been placed on the new contracts. The money for more lawyers would come from the city’s nearly $20 million surplus. “I guess this is the kind of ‘rainy day’ Michael Lenz has been waiting for,” said Occhipinti.  

Talking Ed Note: This hyperbole of alarm from Tim Occhipinti's handlers sounds more like a note of dread from his supporter Mike Russo worried the prosecutor's office is the next lawyer coming to get them.  

The law game in New Jersey is pretty political through and through.  The best any municipality can hope for is to have good to great representation at a fair price.  The connections in law firms to government is pretty immense throughout the State of New Jersey.  In this economy, even they are feeling the pinch and turning on each other.  That's what this political statement really amounts to.

The best Hoboken can expect is that no local firms, near or not so near get their hooks in.  Then the dirt starts building really fast.  The Old Guard in Hoboken appears to have an antipathy for Senator Lesniak's law office.  That has more to do with the old guard's connections to Hudson County law firms and its power brokers and next to nothing with concern for Hoboken.  This wasn't the case when their friends were feeding at the trough which was early and often.  

Does anyone think Tim Occhipinti is going to come up with ideas to reduce and/or eliminate the need for legal services for Hoboken?  There's almost one real issue here and that is how to control the huge costs in legal fees to the city.  It's amounted to $3 million annually and to make an issue of the cost only via a political lens is cheap and insulting.  Then again most of the Tim Occhipinti's handlers are cheap, county political hacks so what would you expect?  

Suggesting that the firms brought in to address the city's numerous legal issues and say "it amounts to being open ended," fails to take the issue seriously.  Tim Occhipinti can't be taken seriously as he's been bought and sold before this election even began.  This release is just one more perfect example of how lacking Tim "independent" Occhipinti truly is.  He's foolishly signed off on another even more politically transparent piece of garbage than the last.  He probably doesn't even have the wherewithal to recognize it.

If his handlers don't like MSV's quick take on this, they can have another campaign worker write a letter complaining to the Hudson Reporter.  No doubt it will get printed even if the mayor can't do similarly.

Sign of the Times: Ricky's doing a booming Halloween business

Ricky's on lower Washington St. is doing a booming business with Halloween just around the corner.  Here's a shot taken on a busy Sunday:

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A little girl tries out a mask looking at Da Horsey.  She was thoroughly enjoying it even looking in the mirror, her mother less so.

City Hall: 25 mph is speed limit but 20 is safer

City of Hoboken announces:

Public Awareness Campaign Aims To Make Hoboken Streets Safer For Pedestrians

The City of Hoboken is launching the "Twenty is Plenty" driving and pedestrian safety public awareness campaign to encourage drivers to consider driving no faster than 20 mph despite the 25 mph speed limit on most Hoboken streets. The campaign is inspired by the “20’s Plenty for Us” effort started in Britain.

“We live in one of the most walkable cities in the world, but if we want our streets to be truly inviting and safe for everyone – including children walking to school and the elderly and disabled crossing the street -- then we all need to slow down a little bit,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Making our streets safer and move vibrant is good for residents, visitors, and businesses.”

While driving in New Jersey is often high speed, Hoboken’s community streets are full of people on foot, so slow driving isn’t just the law – it saves lives. Most streets in Hoboken have a 25 mph speed limit, but that is a maximum speed limit; driving just 5 mph slower has a profound impact on the safety of walking residents.

During a collision with a vehicle driving 40 mph, the chance of pedestrian death is 85% according to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, but the risk of fatality drops dramatically with lower speeds.

“In fact, for drivers speeding along our streets at 30 mph, the risk of pedestrian fatality is 40%,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. “If drivers keep to 20 mph on our streets, the risk drops to just 5%!”

The City is promoting the Twenty is Plenty effort through newspapers, flyers at the Parking Utility, and with electronic street signs at major incoming streets.

Since everyone in Hoboken finds themselves walking from time to time, advocacy for slower driving is advocacy for all of us. For that reason, the City is advocating slower driving for the safety of you, your family, and your neighbors.

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The Hudson Reports snubs Mayor Zimmer's letter?

Coming on the heels of MSV's feature on vote by mail overcrowding, the following letter came way by a close associate of the mayor.  The letter was confirmed last week by the Hudson Reporter for publication but then mysteriously never appeared.
Dear Editor,

Tim Occhipinti’s letter published last week provides the strongest possible argument for supporting his opponent, 4th Ward Councilman Mike Lenz.  While I have no reason to believe Mr. Occhipinti is not himself well meaning, his letter, and his performance in the debates last week, make clear that he lacks the requisite understanding of important issues to be able to properly represent my neighborhood - the 4th Ward.

For years, 4th Ward candidates, including me, have promised to move forward on flooding solutions.  All 4th Ward residents know that a solution is not (as Mr. Occhipinti said to the City Council),  is not merely something we we want, it is something we desperately need.   During my short time as Mayor, we have finally, for the first time, made real strides toward solutions.  The wet weather pump on Observer Highway is the most important pump and the one which by far will have the most impact on 4th Ward flooding.  I fought hard to make certain that this crucial pump was built FIRST not LAST, as originally proposed by Councilman Ramos and others.  Under the original Roberts/Ramos plan the first pump built would have been uptown on 15th street and would have done absolutely NOTHING to reduce flooding in the 4th Ward.  The new 4th Ward pump should be operational in time for next spring’s flooding season, providing enormous relief to the 4th Ward.  Mr. Occhipinti seems not to know that this pump was scheduled to be built last, or else finds it politically inconvenient to acknowledge this fact.

The three additional pumps recommended by the North Hudson Sewerage plan will cost at least $36 million not one penny of which will be paid for by the Sewerage Authority.  It is the Hoboken taxpayer who is expected to pay this enormous cost.  By a 9-0 vote, the City Council approved the use of Emnet Sensor technology which could help Hoboken craft more effective and less expensive solutions, potentially saving the taxpayer millions.  In the only example of independence he has shown from the Russo obstructionist agenda, Tim Occhipinti has opposed Hoboken’s investment in this technology, making him the only candidate in the history of the 4th Ward to run AGAINST a flooding solution.

Mr. Occhipinti blames various blogs for publicizing his ties to his political patrons who are the same people who misled Hoboken about Peter Cammarano and who have worked on the City Council to obstruct positive change.  Mike Lenz and I don’t always agree, but we are proud to be on the same team.  Mr. Occhipinti is on a team too, but instead of proudly acknowledging it he denies it and blames others for letting people know.   The voters of the 4th Ward have a right to know who the major backers of each candidate are so they can cast an informed vote on Election day.

Mike Lenz and the rest of the Zimmer Team have started to deliver real positive change to our City, after years of corruption, irresponsibility and neglect.  Please support Mike Lenz on November 2nd to enable us to complete the job.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Talking Ed Note: MSV hears that maybe for the first time in memory, the Hudson Reporter didn't do a front page story with candidate profiles, a story usually run the second weekend before an election.

In addition, there's word several other letters favorable to the mayor were not published but also oddly were confirmed they would in time for last weekend's paper.

Look out below! Here comes the avalanche, over 500 vote by mail ballots confirmed!


The hopes for a clean and fair election for Hoboken's fourth ward is all but a dead man walking with the latest tally of vote by mail/absentee ballot applications now over 500. Almost half of the 500 ballots have already been returned to the Hudson County Board of Elections. Where a thousand votes or less may decide the victor's tally in the fourth ward special election, a heavy tilt on these paper ballots for one candidate means the election may land up being challenged in court.

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Expect a boatload of vote by mail ballots out of the 4-4 but don't
expect any admission of a problem from Occhipinti's campaign.
How would the likely breakdown of these 500 ballots break down?
Based on the repeated clean campaign requests from the Lenz for Council campaign, it's clear a paper ballot threat was anticipated from the Occhipinti for Council campaign.

Tim Occhipinti has steadily retreated in a series of backward comments from his earlier statements of a fair election in the summer even parroting his campaign's press release calling concerns about electoral fraud and pay for vote schemes "campaign silliness" in the Hudson Reporter debate. Meanwhile his communications spokesman David Cruz (l) earlier denied any "shadow campaign" exists.

Standing with Cruz in the above photo from the Jubilee Center debate is Matt Calicchio who was mentioned during the Hudson Reporter debate for some potentially problematic activity in vote by mail activities in the fourth ward. Many veterans of Hoboken elections are not surprised by any of this.

Although it's been highlighted several times before at MSV and also by Tim Carroll of PolitickerNJ after he left the Hudson Reporter in Hoboken, the purchase of votes in the fourth ward usually in the area of $35-50 per person is viewed as standard operating procedure for the old guard. Word on the streets from multiple independent sources reveal a shadow campaign has been in full force working the poorest part of town, the Hoboken Housing Authority in the 4-4. In an earlier story, MSV obtained documentation of vote by mail applicants. The data is public information available from the Hudson County Board of Elections. A majority of the listed addresses fell into this lower income area of the HHA.

Lenz for council campaign manager Sam Briggs replied in a statement acknowledging there are over 500 vote by mail (absentee) ballots in this election stating, "Unlike our opponents, we are not running a coordinated Vote by Mail campaign. There are supporters across the district who are voting by mail because they are out of town, working, or unable to get to the machines on Election Day, but we have no specific campaign to collect or push Vote by Mail ballots personally or through third parties."

The Occhipinti campaign was contacted for this story but no reply is expected. MSV along with the Hoboken Journal were no longer receiving press releases including one where the Occhipinti for Council campaign falsely charged a "bounty" being placed for information on Vote by Mail applications by unnamed websites. Also a letter by a Hoboken resident who has been a paid worker on numerous previous campaigns appeared in the Hudson Reporter, believed to have been orchestrated by the Occhipinti campaign. The letter complained about anonymous commenters appearing on unnamed websites. (None of the named commenters in the letter appear to be from Hoboken411, a website in the paid service of Councilwoman Beth Mason where political censorship is maintained with an iron fist.)

Hoboken resident and Planning Board commissioner Perry Belfiore who is devoted to opposing the mayor's administration and her current working council majority due to the upsetting of the Cammarano apple cart and their lack of Hoboken birther credentials has been tilling the soil of the HHA since the summer. MSV quoted him earlier sorting out "the universe" of outstanding vote by mail applications although he quickly contradicted himself denying any personal role in such an assessment. He later described Frank Raia who earlier announced his intentions for "a war" in the fourth ward special election as being out on his own like himself "doing his thing" describing him as a large island, in this case a continent. "He's Australia," he said of the long time candidate and officeholder.

Belfiore, a former HHA commissioner lives in the fifth ward but is well known for an earlier, infamous comment about Hoboken's current government being a "South Africa situation" where the organized minority rules over the unorganized majority as he described it.

Occhipinti who has repeatedly attacked Councilman Lenz for "street money" listed on his 2001 ELEC apparently sees no problem with massive amounts of street money finding its way into his campaign now. He's mentioned citizen group Common Cause as a defense of vote by mail even though it's a straw man in the areas of concern for paid voters and electoral fraud in this election. Occhipinti continues to say his campaign will operate within the letter of the law but how will he explain a huge disproportionate amount of his vote coming from vote by mail/absentee ballots in the poorest area of Hoboken is unclear.

Statewide on average four percent of election totals come way of vote by mail ballot previously called absentee. Although the Occhipinti campaign earlier sent a letter to the State Attorney General Paula Dow, all its accusations were completely opposite to any concern for vote by mail fraud where "campaign workers" vote by paper ballot in large numbers. Instead, they claimed "blog surrogates" for the Lenz campaign were responsible for an attempt to get the names of vote by mail applications and claimed minority voter suppression was also the objective.

It's unclear what the State Attorney General will do in this election but expectations are not strong there will be any reaction to the Occhipinti letter. A letter also followed to the State Attorney General's office from the the Lenz for Council campaign detailing numerous specific instances of election fraud it found needing attention heading into the November 2nd special election.

Talking Ed Note: MSV does not anticipate a comment from the Occhipinti for Council campaign. If one does come, this story will be updated. Tim Occhipinti at the Jubilee Center debate initially accepted a conversation to answer a couple of questions. After one question was posed, he walked away after attempting to have the question deferred to a staffer.

Repeated interview requests have been ignored although campaign manager Jamie Cryan gave assurances an interview would be forthcoming after the Jubilee Center debate.

Tim Occhipinti has declined going back to late summer to answer a question or submit an article for publication on the how to handle the surplus. He's not been seen at recent City Council meetings leading some to speculate a gag order has been placed on the candidate by his handlers.

Related: Tim Occhipinti earlier gave indications street money was back in play in an earlier MSV exclusive feature.

MSV detailed concerns for this election in the ever popular "Grist for the Mill."
Operation Bounty responded to false accusations by doubling its reward.