Monday, March 14, 2011

BREAKING: Audit Discovery - Ex-mayor Anthony Russo received illegal city paid benefits into 2011!


A review of the City Council resolution pac before Wednesday's meeting reveals this startling discovery: convicted felon Anthony Russo, who served a prison sentence for extorting $300,000 from one city vendor while serving as mayor of Hoboken was earlier this month kicked off the city's health benefits insurance program.

As mentioned in a mayoral letter with multiple items to the Council following ethics training is this blockbuster:

It's unknown how long the felon and Hoboken mayor was receiving taxpayer paid health benefits but it must have been going on for quite some time.  It's clear in the letter, the former mayor did not qualify for health benefits and certainly his family must have known about the scam.

Is this the reason the hostility from Council members Mike Russo and Theresa Castellano has been even more vitriolic than usual for them toward the mayor's administration?

Without doubt as both are relatives of the convicted mayor, they must have known Anthony Russo did not qualify for city paid benefits as neither appears to have voiced a complaint when the freebie was halted earlier this month.

Former Hoboken mayor Anthony Russo - caught illegally receiving taxpayer health benefits
At the last City Council meeting, a host of bond ordinances for open space and parks were tabled in rapid order with Councilman Mike Russo moving to table (and eject) each while Councilwoman Theresa Castellano quickly seconded.  The only measure to survive (for the moment) was the $20 million bond ordinance to purchase parks but not without their effort to catapult that measure out of the council too.

The last bond ordinance survived the rapid fire tabling motions when Councilwoman Beth Mason put in a final vote NOT to table the measure.

What did Anthony Russo's cousin Terry Castellano know about the latest Russo ripoff?
Councilwoman Castellano like Mike Russo is running for re-election.

The City Council letter from Mayor Zimmer can be found on the City Council website and at the link:

Talking Ed Note: Hoboken residents will certainly be buzzing about the latest Russo scandal to emerge just as election season begins.  The question is what did the Russo clan know and when did they know it?

There needs to be a full scale investigation into this latest Russo fraud on Hoboken taxpayers.  While the FBI is here, maybe they can finish the job.  As many know, Anthony Russo has an outstanding bill of over $300,000 to the city of Hoboken.  He claims he gambled away all the ill-begotten gains of his extortion on businesses doing work for the city.

Mason411 and its minions have been in assault mode on the loose coalition of reform candidates both on Hoboken411 and in a recent article on Hoboken Patch about 3rd ward candidate Greg Lincoln.  The Russo's are allies of Beth Mason and have been getting the full monty of support from that website and the political operatives posting most recently on patch believed by some to be Mason minion Lane Bajardi and Tim Occipinti campaign spokesman David Cruz.

What pathological lies will they toss out now to avert taxpayer's eyes on the latest Russo ripoff?

Photo Anthony Russo, courtesy the Star Ledger

Notes from the Barn:  The filings are in and the match ups now set for May:
1st ward: Eric Kurta takes on incumbent Terry Castellano
2nd ward: Beth Mason faces Tom Greaney, Franz Paetzold and Patricia Waiters
3rd ward: It's Mike Russo versus Greg "Honest" Lincoln
4th ward: Tim Occhipinti faces off against Rami Pinchevsky
5th ward: Peter Cunningham takes on a group including old challengers Perry Belfiore and Scott Dela along with Leonard Luizzi.  Scott Delea would not admit he was challenging but did allow a photo at the ROH dinner as he was featured prominently in a Bet Mazin push poll.  Leonard Luizzi was not featured in the same poll although he had publicly stated his intention to run.  Hmmmmmnnnn.
6th ward: Long time incumbent Nino Giacchi faces Jen Giattino

Kids First throws full house kickoff for April 27th BoE election

Kids First threw a kickoff party at Turtle Bay on Sunday filled with a room full of supporters in the dozens and energized to make a push with a slate led by Jean Marie Mitchell.

Here's video from the event:

The Hoboken Journal has additional coverage:

Grist for the Mill: Pre-Election Edition

Pictured for your disapproval: the Beth Mason boys of hate411 spotted lurking together at last week's filing deadline for the Board of Ed election election scheduled for April 27th.  Although believed to be under orders by the Masonic Temple on Hudson St. to stay out of the political limelight, Lane Bajardi who is now years into unemployment continues doing what most have believed to be a full time gig now ghostwriting  for Mason411 while performing Channel 78 Anchor 'duties' at City Council meetings while Perry Klaussen fills in with the garish cartoonish graphics.  Which reporter is going to ask the obvious question on the financial arrangements among these three?

The post filing BoE deadline led to a ridiculous attack on first year BoE commissioner Jean Marie Mitchell suggesting in some slipshod way she is stepping out on her Kids First team.  Now leading the Kids First slate while wrapping up her one year term,  Jean Marie at the Sunday Kids First Kickoff laughed off the vapidity by the local blog with the fastest spiraling audience.

Not to be outdone by her 'paid' minions, Beth Mason took a different route with the filing deadline for City Council seats due at 4:00 pm.  Instead of focusing in on repairing the damage to her image which is close to fatal even she knows from the Bet Mazin poll, she decided to go all out for the pre-election KO by deceiving people who signed the petition of Tom Greaney.  A campaign to find those signers and have them also sign the Beth Mason petition was an active strategy to knock them all out out of the box in the hopes it would leave her and the mysterious candidate Franz who has been working on his own petitions for the same 2nd ward council seat alone together in the race.  (How will UBS be taking the news on their employee entering the race?)  Since signing two petitions is a disqualification, Beth Mason was looking to keep Tom Greaney out of the 2nd ward council race before it officially commences with him falling short on the required petitions at filing.  Now that's transparent.

Lane Bajardi - absent and silent mostly from recent City Council meetings
but spotted spending quality time with Mason411 pal Perry Klaussen.

Perry Klaussen of Hoboken411: those familiar dead eyes of hatred.
Beth Mason's smear merchant moved on to a new target at the BoE last week

The only question is why Tom Greaney was solely targeted?  Word to the wise, at 4:00 pm Monday, don't get your hopes there Queen of Transparency, Bet.

While this City Council meeting Wednesday promises to attract interest on the mayor's proposed $20 million bond ordinance, the question on what the 4th ward seat holder Tim Occhipinti will do as he voted down the issue on introduction.  Not only did he vote supporting Mike Russo to eject the ordinance, he seemed completely surprised when Beth Mason voted instead twice in favor advancing it on first reading.  While he's now moved into an apartment above his former pet shop campaign headquarters connected to a major transportation bus outfit, what other surprises are in store for him?  He'll find out late Monday.

The 5th ward looks like it will be a game of Risk with multiple land armies trying to take the ward from incumbent Peter Cunningham.  Expect to see several or more candidates line up at the finish line.  The only question is how many of Cunningham's opponents will be getting checks from the Beth Mason PAC?  Will the monies all be traceable?  Some people expect it will not be "transparent," to the public.

Kids First threw their big BoE election kickoff at the Turtle Club Sunday to a packed house introducing their new candidates Steve Feinstein and Cliff Godfrey.  Both gentleman clearly brought a fresh new energy with a jam packed crowd in attendance with some new and not so new faces including Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Council members Peter Cunningham  and Carol Marsh along with council candidates Eric Kurta (1st Ward), Tom Greaney (2nd ward), Rami Pinchevsky (4th ward) and Greg Lincoln (3rd ward).

Although reform is running a group of rookie candidates in every ward but the fifth, the enthusiasm and unity from the BoE race is sure to follow them through May.

Monday the filing deadline for city council races is up next.  Did your Beth Mason checks clear yet?  Yes, not check - but checks.  If she really likes your promise of obedience she can give you double fisted checks from two different accounts exceeding the individual contribution limit of $2,600 for a whopping $13,000 plus.  She'll tell you it's all on the up and up, no ethics need apply.  Ask her muppet Timmay O how.