Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grist for the Mill: Occho-corrupto, Minion411 and hating ethics legislation

There's a lot being bandied about Wednesday night's City Council meeting and much of it utter nonsense, devoid of any real substance.  Let's catch folks up who missed it because well the truth eludes some local media editors and those feigning to be media.  

Speaking of phony media, has anyone seen the rumored Mason411 minion in Cairo video?  He's said to have attacked some journalists and run off with their camera mumbling about the will of the people.  He still managed to watch the City Council meeting remotely and get the trash up in service to the queen of wheeling or ethics or is it still transparency?  Ask Bet.

Tim Occhipinti, aka Occho-corrupto was patting himself on the back at Wednesday's night City Council meeting for having a bus line rerouted by NJ Transit.  Apparently no one told him the request had been outstanding for quite some time from the Administration.  Guess someone in NJ Transit forgot to tell him too.  True the route was moved but why the response now to the junior "elected" councilman?  Tim keeps telling anyone who'll listen he's been elected but some have their doubts, others far more than that.  It doesn't seem to be helping him get in to Condo Association meetings either, especially Councilman Dave Mello's.  His meandering complaint to Councilman Mello was met with steely indifference and a less than subtle kneecapping.  (Would you like to see the video on that?)

Rumors the law enforcement review of the 4th ward special election and its untimely death along with Tim Occhipinti's 550 man invisible army of paid campaign workers was circulating among both the Reform and Old Guard camps.  Was it in fact mistaken after all?  MSV heard the information weeks back and attempted to get confirmation.  One source could not believe the NJ Attorney General's Office would kick back down to the county prosecutor level and another believed the matter had been and the Hudson County Prosecutor's office would punt.  At last night's council meeting an update was offered by Corporation Counsel, or rather a limited comment was presented on request stating NJ State Attorney General Paula Dow's office considers the matter under review.  Sorry Tim, the nightmares-to-life scenario ain't over.  However, confession can salvage the family name.  Think about it.

If the NJ Attorney General's Office performs even a cursory investigation in the 4th ward special election, the festering sore will explode for the hypocrisy sitting next to Beth Mason.  Tim likes to use words ending in s-y for some odd reason: hypocrisy, travesty, hypocrisy - even while he's moved into an apartment directly above the site of his campaign office.  The landlord is in fact one and the same and connected to Academy Bus.  Big transportation sure has a love for Tim but you have to wonder why.  That and what's his rent.  His campaign didn't seem to cough up much of it for the office space.  History repeating itself?

4th ward council candidate Rami Pinchevsky kept it short and sweet last night advocating for the resolution to move forward the process of revamping the Mama Johnson Field.  The council itself failed to do so expediently turning it into a typical long winded process where the result was never in doubt.  The resolution passed unanimously and was followed by a twitter from Tim Occhipinti - during the Council meeting itself!  A reader emailed it last night:

2/2/11 8:13 PM
#hoboken Thanks to my council colleagues for supporting our resolution to get started on work to rehab Mama Johnson field in the 4th Ward!

1st ward Council Candidate Eric Kurta, the Wiley Coyote is gearing up his campaign having done extensive analysis on how to win the ward over years never expecting he would be the one to do so.  An advocate and member of Corner Cars, he's gone out shovel in hand to correct the oversight Hertz failed in clearing their vehicles in the last snowstorm.   Both Councilwoman Castellano who has yet to file for the spring election and Mike Novak have been eerily quiet, the latter not cashing his chips for his $2,500 Tim Occhipinti investment for a Zoning Board seat.  Is Novak going to bury his Cammarano blues once and for all and go for the 1st ward council seat or is he plotting to leapfrog into the mayor's seat at City Hall?

Councilman Mike Russo has yet to hear a candidate announced against him in the spring for the 3rd ward but he's still doing the people's business burying the election reform package sponsored by Councilman Peter Cunningham lickety split.  After saying he had not read the package (it went out last Friday) he immediately moved to eject it from a first reading but not before asking the sponsor to join him in doing so.  It was a touching moment, quickly ended with Tim Occhipinti making an ultra lightning motion to second the idea.  The legislation if passed, would put a big dent in his campaign, stopping Beth Mason from wheeling another five figures of loot into his campaign coffers.  Way to go Tim!

Here's the video detailing the incident along with Beth Mason unsure where to entomb, uh send it to the correct subcommittee.  Councilman Nino Giacchi, an old hand at such measures was eager to see it mummified as well.  Are these the same people who bumrush resolutions at midnight declaring a power grab an emergency?  Yes indeedy.

Beth Mason initially showed reluctance to send it to the rules committee, one of the subcommittees not overhauled after the successful power grab.  The word finance surfaced and it looked like Mike Russo, a long time opponent of pay-to-play reform legislation would see yet another planned maneuver fulfilled.  Instead he be will joined by with cousin Terry in the Carol Marsh headed rules committee.  A frog has a better chance at surviving a dissection than what will occur to the package there.

At one point during the meeting last night, Mike Russo got so excited after listening to the POG President detail its lack of knowledge (and possible endorsement) of the updated pay-to-play ordinance with the added portion on wheeling, he jumped to split the sections in two.  The only problem the proposed ordinance wasn't even on the table.

Watch the five minute clip, there's a lot going on to suppress this legislation.  At one point, Mike Russo tries to push the meeting along to New Business and end the discussion on where the legislation is going.  Slick.

Only in Hoboken folks, only in Hoboken.

Talking Ed Note: Tim Occhipinti was not the sponsor of the Mama Johnson legislation although he and Mason411 would have you think so.  The person who sponsored it was Peter Cunningham.  The person who worked on this plan for the longest time and deserves big props is Director Leo Pellegrini.  

MSV spoke at length about this idea with both Director Pellegrini and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia at the Parks meeting the mayor held several weeks back.

Nice job! 

Mayor to hold Quality of Life meeting Tuesday night

City of Hoboken announces:


Mayor Dawn Zimmer invites residents to a community meeting on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 to discuss quality of life issues. Topics for discussion will include Mayor Zimmer and Police Chief Falco’s plans to implement a revised noise ordinance to address noise concerns, a proposed change to the sidewalk cafĂ© ordinance, and other resident concerns. The meeting will take place at 7:30 pm in the upstairs room at the Garden of Eden, 226 Washington Street.

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Author Christopher Whalen to appear at Republicans of Hoboken Dinner

Christopher Whalen Featured Speaker at Republicans of Hoboken 2nd Annual Speaker Series

Christopher Whalen will be the featured guest speaker as the Republicans of Hoboken celebrate Lincoln Day at their 2nd Annual Speaker Series Event on March 1, 2011 at the Madison Restaurant in Hoboken, NJ . Christopher is the author of the new book, ‘Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream” with introduction by Nouriel Roubini. Christopher will be speaking about the topic of his recent book and the outlook for the U.S. banking and housing sectors in 2011. The book will be available for purchase at the dinner and signed by the author.

Christopher Whalen is the co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics, provider of bank and company ratings, custom analytics and consulting services for auditors, regulators and financial professionals. Christopher currently edits The Instructional Risk Analyst, a weekly news report and commentary on significant developments in and around the global financial markets.

The author frequently appears on such media as Bloomberg News, Kudlow Report/CNBC and Fox Business, and frequently writes for Financial Times, Barron’s, and the Wall Street Journal. He has appeared before the Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission to testify on a range of financial and other issues. Most recently appeared before the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel.

Praise for “Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream”:

  • “Chris Whalen leads a fast and insightful tour through the historical and current battlefields of U.S. fiscal and financial class warfare.A fascinating and rewarding read.” - EDWARD J. HANE, Boston College
  • “He traces the deep roots of our financial system soiled years ago and brings them right into the 21st century. The book is a MUST read….” - LAWRENCE G. McDONALD, New York Times Best Selling Author

Diana Davis, Chair of the Republicans of Hoboken, stated that the organization is honored to have such a distinguished author and expert in the field of Global Economics and Financial Markets. The topic is relevant to all of us living through these extraordinary times. We also thank Wiley & Sons for working with us on this important event.

Event Details:

Christopher Whalen Featured Speaker at
Republicans of Hoboken 2nd Annual Speaker Series

The event will be held at:

The Madison Restaurant
1316 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
validated parking available

Welcome Reception 6:00-7:00 PM
Dinner - 7:00 PM
After dinner - Presentation by Christopher Whalen
followed by book-signing

Price : $65
hors d’oeuvres, three-course dinner, presentation
and book-signing
Inflated: How Money & Debt Built the American Dream
will be available for purchase

Form to participate in the event:

Beth Mason squashes ethics reforms

Last night's City Council meeting was sad on so many levels, inverting the universe is hard work and burying the truth along with much of Hoboken's business is far easier.

Although you are unlikely to get the context anywhere else in the editor controlled local news universe, the true story of the night isn't the amount of work tabled re: removed from the agenda, this council led by Beth Mason and Mike Russo is becoming regulars at stopping progress.  Although you will see the coverage elsewhere on the process to fix up Mama Johnson field and get that up and running more for all of Hoboken; that too is not the real story.

There was a another front in a war begun last night.  It's going to be a battle for the heart and soul of Hoboken leading into May's City Council elections.  Councilman Peter Cunningham sponsored a package of ethics reforms consisting of two main elements, an update of People for Open Government's earlier pay to play ordinance along with another hot area of NJ municipal and state reform: wheeling.

Beth Mason who declared herself a champion of such matters now finds herself working hand in hand with its very enemies embracing the other side, re: Mike Russo who certainly is no friend of ethics reforms or a budget hawk as he likes to say.

Beth Mason in her term this year has abused the powers of chair in the City Council but this blatant attempt to misuse power was the absolute worst to date.  She was desperate to impose unilateral powers that do not exist in order to stop any discussion in front of the public on one simple matter:


Corporation Counsel later explained the full body could act on the sponsored legislation as they see fit.  In other words, Beth Mason tried to impose dictatorial powers she doesn't have to crush ethics legislation and depose it into a subcommittee re: a circular file where she (and Mike Russo) wish to see it die.  (Earlier last month she manipulated all the existing subcommittees for just such opportunities.  Yet another example of the benefits of Tim Occhipinti's fraudulent elevation.)

This is a big issue and it's not going to die.  Stay tuned, more episodes to come....