Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tonight's City Council meeting will air live here @ 7:00. Uncensored chat is also available. If you have not registered it only takes a minute.
Dive in and enjoy the fun. Will Occhocinco tacke City Council President Carol Marsh and demand his $1,000 per meeting meal money? Will Councilwoman Beth Mason complain she doesn't have adequate documentation from the Board of Elections? Will Councilman Russo bellow endlessly that his candidate needs to be seated immediately even before 500 vote by mail ballots are examined and the election certified?
Expect lots of grandstanding with the next election around the corner? Huh? Yes, around the corner. Hoboken has become a 24-7 election cycle with power and ambition leading the way against the people who actually take good government seriously.
But now they are going to take the helm? What does that mean? Tune in because you are going to find out.
Impact from the loss of Mike Lenz begins tonight and Tim "I'm independent" has to begin paying his handlers. Expect there to be a brawl on Occhipinti being seated as there's 500 paper ballots twisting in the wind - the ballots have not been reviewed nor the election certified.
Tim Occhipinti leads in the election by 50 votes on the machines. Councilman Mike Russo who backed Occhipinti is demanding he be seated immediately.
Don't they know the hard work put in buying all those paper ballots? Again an obvious tell. Who needs to count the votes when you know you already bought all those votes.
Let the hilarity begin.
The Hudson Reporter broke news of the plan earlier:
Related: Grafix Avenger made this graphic and weighed in on the election in prescient fashion:
The election results last night produced some surprises, some good, some bad and some very ugly. For Tim Occhipinti, the warning was clear - there's major problems with over 500 absentee/vote by mail ballots showing up in a small isolated Hoboken fourth ward election. He managed to get over the line of the most glaring fraud leading by 50 votes on the machines.
Occhipinti won the election with a combination of old guard forces pooling behind a huge outlay of street money. Is this the same Tim Occhipinti who spoke against street money appearing in the 2001 ELEC for Mike Lenz? It is indeed. How does he explain it?
Looking at the figures, it's clear the mayor and her people stepped up and produced a strong turnout. The difference in this election is the unbelievable numbers combined from the Hoboken Housing Authority in both machine and VBM/absentees. Much more examination needs to be done. The idea the HHA (and the 4th ward) is not represented in elections is actually the opposite of the truth. The HHA is not served well but it's by the very people that swoop down upon them election after election and feed them a paltry pittance for their vote and then going back to what they do - using power to serve their own ends.
No one dares call it racism.
Tim Occhipinti will be the next councilman for the fourth ward. Assemblyman Reuben Ramos sent out a twitter calling the election "a blowout." How he deems it so with a 50 vote win at the machines and more than 500 to be tabulated on paper is interesting. It demonstrates they knew what those vote by mail ballots exactly were and how they were manufactured. As the saying goes, they had it in the bag all the way.
Now the City Council will shift but to what? If you thought the grandstanding and obstruction was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet. You will see the old guard negative destruction being mapped out and pushed right before your eyes. It won't be pretty and moving Hoboken forward in a positive way is not likely possible until the May City Council elections.
On the county side, we're hearing the review of more than 500 ballots at the Hudson County Board of Elections is looking bad for decency and vote integrity. The only way you beat the Machine is to generate more votes on the machines than can be manufactured and bought. Kids First at the BoE is the example there and needs to be followed. Hoboken will not get any help it seems anywhere but from itself.
The joke the fourth ward is where reform goes to die is not true in this case. The Machine however pulled out all the stops on this one. There was a superb stand made and it bodes well for the spring elections. The old guard will tell you otherwise but don't believe it. Every dirty trick in the book was used here from attacking people's property to sending in people who couldn't provide their address when challenged (as retold by the Hoboken Journal). It generated over 600 vote by mail applications alone! MSV agrees with PolitickerNJ on this one. As they wrote of one observer, "Someone is going to jail."
(So let it be written, so let it be done.)
Although Tim Occhipinti escaped the worst exposure by eeking out a win on the machines, he can't escape the odor from hundreds and hundreds of more than suspect paper ballots. When it's all said and done, he will be the beneficiary of the most massive bought paper ballot purchase in Hoboken elections ever. "The Anomaly" of 78 of 79 campaign workers appearing in his ELEC all voting for him vote by mail, a near mathematical uncertainty is going to linger over him for a long time. He'll never be able to distance himself from the stench. In the end, he no longer tried. Instead he did a 180 and embraced it. Just like an old guard original.
He knows it, you know it and it's important that all the voters of Hoboken know it.
In the end, as MSV said in an editorial yesterday, this fraud became bigger than anything making yesterday not about one election, one candidate or one coalition. This is about the integrity of Hoboken entering into the 21st century holding free and fair elections.
Let the battle cry be heard, "Remember the fraud in the fourth!" Don't let them forget it.
Here is video obtained from last night's Lenz for Council campaign. Councilman Mike Lenz concedes the election and talks about the next round of City Council elections in May. He also addresses the problems epidemic in this election saying the rules need to apply in Hoboken and "people have to be held accountable" for breaking the law.
Mayor Zimmer also speaks and addresses the campaign attendees thanking Councilman Lenz for his help carrying a lot of difficult work through on the budget and overall. She also thanks everyone out there who fought to get people to the polls.
Talking Ed Note: There's a lot of questions swirling around over 500 paper ballots (vote by mail) and it's extremely problematic. Indications that a whole list of problems are not going to be addressed at the county level. More on that later.
We're not confirmed on the final figures on all those paper ballots. No one believes the volume will change the outcome. Those numbers will be posted and then Tim Occhipinti will be the fourth ward councilman.
The next election for the fourth ward is also next May.
Thank you all for supporting Mike Lenz as my 5th vote for
moving our City forward, and thank you to Mike Lenz for
your dedicated service to our City.
Although the Lenz campaign, thanks to leadership by Campaign
Manager Sam Briggs, held strong in 4-2 and 4-1, the campaign
was defeated significantly in the Housing Authority. This was
disappointing to me for several reasons. Obviously I am concerned
about losing a 5th vote on the Council and must be up front with
saying that the next 7 months will be quite challenging with
getting things done for our City.
I was also very disappointed because somehow Housing Authority
residents don’t understand how hard my Administration has been
working to improve their quality of life. I’ve been trying to do
development in a new way that could bring jobs to Hoboken, I’ve
been working hard to address the flooding, and my Administration
has created innovative programs such as Corner Cars, which gives
access to car ownership without the exorbitant costs of owning a car.
I want to thank each of you for casting your votes last night,
and voluteering your time if you were able. I want to assure you
that I am ready to recommit myself in this time of reflection. If at first
you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again is a motto that I live by.
I am writing to make sure you know that despite this setback, I will advocate as strongly as I can to continue implementing positive
change in the 4th Ward and for our City.
As I reflect on this election result, I realize that I have not been out
enough listening to residents, hearing your concerns, explaining the
issues and talking about how my Administration is trying to not only
lower costs and reduce taxes, but truly improve the quality of life for
all Hoboken residents.
I am taking a pre-planned trip with several Hoboken families to
Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday, but next week, look for announcements from me about community meetings on the issues
and how you can get involved.
Bringing change to Hoboken is harder than I ever imagined,
but it is the toughest job I ever loved. I need your help to
make sure we keep making our City more efficient, bring new parks, balanced development, protect the arts, keep moving Hoboken
towards a greener, environmentally friendly place, ensure our city
is safe and pedestrian friendly, and so much more.
Last night I called Tim Occhipinti to congratulate him. I sincerely
hope that he stands true to his last mailer, and does want to work
with me in the best interest of the 4th Ward. I hope to meet with
him next week to roll up my sleeves and begin that work.
At the Council meeting tonight that work continues as my Administration tries to move toward civilianization of the Police force to reduce costs
with a salary ordinance on for second reading, and we work to green Hoboken with an ordinance that makes it much easier and cost-effective
for residents to install solar panels, among other issues on the agenda.
Thanks for listening and thanks again for your support.