Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jake Stuiver: 'I elected to go public on the Beth Mason meeting with Solomon Dwek'


Jake Stuiver, the 2009 former campaign manager for Beth Mason released a statement on MSV expressing deep concerns on the line of attacks clearly being aired as part of a strategy to discredit people by tying them to FBI informant Solomon Dwek.  This was shown in last night's City Council meeting using a politicized watered down resolution to reprimand Councilman Russo while pointing at other council members and people in the Administration - all without any evidence.  

If Councilwoman Beth Mason wishes to substantiate such charges, MSV will print it.  However, it's unlikely she will do so, instead choosing to use paid political operatives and Hoboken411 to do it for her.

Jake Stuiver's remarks appear below:

Jake Stuiver, in a Powder to the People t-shirt at yesterday's protest

Last night, Council President Beth Mason correctly noted that I accompanied her to her meeting with Solomon Dwek on the afternoon of May 10, 2009, at a diner in Bergen County.  What is odd is that she seemed to imply some nefarious action on my part for having accompanied her to her meeting, in my capacity as her campaign manager. 

This morning, Hoboken411, a blog that has an uncanny tendency to appear to be coordinating Councilwoman Mason's political messaging, misleadingly referred to other Hoboken officials who allegedly met with Dwek, including “Hoboken Housing Authority board member Jake Stuiver and Council President Beth Mason." This allegation is carefully worded in a way clearly intended to leave the impression that I took a meeting with Dwek independently and separate from the one to which I accompanied Ms. Mason, and that I did so in my capacity as a Hoboken Housing Authority commissioner, a position I did not even hold until four months later. Both of these insinuations are patently false, and part of the endless barrage of smears Ms. Mason and her affiliates point at anyone who speaks out against her poor stewardship of the city’s interests, to deflect against the City Council majority’s own very real, not insinuated but real, array of improprieties.

I did join Ms. Mason at her meeting with Dwek that day.  I am on record as saying that she handled herself properly at the meeting and did not allow the conversation to even reach the point of any explicit campaign contributions or quid-pro-quo arrangements being discussed. While I stand by that statement, I’d like to add that the day after former Mayor Cammarano’s arrest, when I saw Mr. Dwek’s picture in the paper for the first time and recognized him from our meeting, I immediately called Ms. Mason to confirm that he was in fact the person we met with, and insisted that we immediately go public with the information.  When I met with resistance on her end, I made a statement to the Hoboken Reporter on her behalf, but without her blessing or consent.

I would also like to add that, in hindsight, it was a bizarre sequence of events that led us to that meeting in the first place, on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon two days before an election, when we were not wanting for money and should have been hitting the streets campaigning instead of meeting with a prospective donor far outside of town. This was a highly unusual meeting, and was clearly perceived as such by everyone in our campaign leadership.  A major factor in the reasoning behind sending me with Ms. Mason to the meeting was the fact that there was a shroud of mystery surrounding the nature of the prospective donor who wanted to meet with her, and it was deemed prudent to have her accompanied by someone of potentially intimidating physical stature. In other words, there was some concern that the person seeking a meeting with Ms. Mason may have been shady and potentially dangerous, and I was asked to accompany her as a physical presence for her comfort and protection.

The Jersey Sting to return to Hoboken April 30th!

The award winning authors of "The Jersey Sting," will be appearing in Hoboken on April 30th, but this time they will stick around for a while for a discussion, Q&A and book signing.

Better yet, this time the men who introduced us to the Mike Russo Bribed FBI surveillance tapes are coming on a Saturday.  They'll be appearing at the Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Avenue from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Books will be available at the event.  Bring the kids, you don't want to miss this one.  

For more see:

Rami for Council announces:


I, along with over 50 other Hoboken residents, rallied for the removal of Councilman Russo on the steps of City Hall yesterday. While we are happy that Russo stepped down as Council Vice President and Chair of the Revenue and Finance Committee, the Council Majority's continued effort to close ranks and protect their political ally shows a complete disregard for the public interest.

First, replacing Councilman Russo with 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti as Vice President is like replacing one crook with another. The FBI surveillance video of Councilman Russo raised serious questions about his campaign finance reporting because the $10,000 offered by the informant was well above the $2,600 political donation cap and would have needed to be funneled through other channles to prevent too many red flags. How many other donations did Russo launder this way? How many meetings with developers went exactly like this one, but ended with Russo taking the money?

We know for a fact that 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti launders any money he can get by passing it through various channels. That's how Councilwoman Mason laundered the $13,000 in contributions she gave to 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti during the November special election. 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti is still under investigation by the Attorney General for using all Mason's donations and tens of thousands of dollars from other real estate developers for massive voter fraud. How is that an improvement over Councilman Russo as Council Vice President? It is the same unethical, and potentially criminal, behavior.

Second, the Council Majority's actions reek of a conspiracy to give political cover to Councilman Russo so they can continue with politics as usual. If Councilman Russo did nothing illegal, then why did he step down without asking anyone to review the facts? If he has nothing to hide, then why did the Council Majority refuse to investigate themselves? Why was Russo allowed to vote on the resolution which was clearly a conflict of interest for him? The answer is obvious: there must have been some criminal activity afoot, but since the Council Majority cannot withstand the loss of even one member, they organized a political coverup. They try to make it look like they are taking action by removing Russo's honorary titles of VP and Revenue and Finance Chair, give the titles to other political cronies like 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti, and immediately change the subject so they don't have to conduct their own investigation.

The Council Majority is clearly more interested in self preservation and self interest than in the public interest. The residents of the 4th Ward are not well represented by Councilman Occhipinti and his allies. If the Council Majority continues to refuse to police themselves, then we, the people of Hoboken, must vote them out of office on May 10th.

Mayor Zimmer: 'Council whitewashed Mike Russo's corrupt behavior'

Office of the Mayor announces:


Councilman Russo has broken the people’s trust. His removal as Chair of the Finance Committee and resignation as Vice President of the Council were appropriate, but did not go far enough to renew the people’s trust.

Instead of recognizing the seriousness of Councilman Russo’s actions, the Council majority tried to minimize the significance of the fact that the Councilman tried to generate campaign contributions in exchange for expediting development rights. 

Councilman Russo’s behavior is not the focus of attention because, as Councilman Giacchi asserted, “it is political season.” It is an issue because it was a clear betrayal of the public trust.

Councilman Russo is not guilty of simply speaking foolishly and immaturely as Councilwoman Castellano asserted. He agreed to accept a campaign contribution while promising to expedite development projects.

It was not simply “brazen” as Councilman Occhipinti and Council President Mason stated. Brazen, a word defined as “bold and without shame” does not even have an implication of wrongdoing. It was wrongdoing that goes to the essence of his obligations to the people of Hoboken.

In a transparent attempt to deflect attention, the resolution passed by the Council calls for an “investigation” implying wrongdoing by others. I am not aware of any basis whatsoever to believe anyone in Hoboken government, other than Councilman Russo and former Mayor Cammarano, has behaved in this reprehensible manner.

I call on everyone who voted for this resolution, including Council President Mason, Councilman Giacchi, Councilwoman Castellano, Councilman Occhipinti, and Councilman Russo to immediately produce factual information justifying such an investigation or to immediately issue an apology to all those who may have been defamed by their comments and their supporters. 

Thank you.

Mayor Zimmer

Sign of the Times: The Jersey Sting and Russo Bribe video returns

Yesterday a pre-City Council meeting protest was held outside of City Hall.  The weather didn't cooperate leading in but an MSV headcount showed 75 people were not deterred from expressing their discontent with the actions of 3rd ward Councilman Mike Russo.

Two signs at the protest yesterday.  One man has totaled the known damaged in recent years by the Russo family referencing both ex-mayor Anthony Russo and son 3rd ward councilman Mike Russo.  

Several council candidates appeared and spoke at the protest including 3rd ward council candidates Greg Lincoln and Rami Pinchevsky for the 4th ward.  6th ward candidate Jen Giattino also attended.

On the TV side, Ch. 9 and Cablevision covered the protest and the early part of the meeting featuring Mike Russo's bid to reinvent himself.

People gather around a truck showing video of the Russo bribe FBI tapes before last night's City Council meeting.  The truck was part of a protest held outside City Hall.

The truck even with the bad weather managed to stop people in their tracks and showed key portions of the now infamous Jersey City sit down of Mike Russo and Solomon Dwek.  The videos put to rest numerous lies the 3rd ward councilman put forward before the tapes were released late Monday.

Talking Ed Note: Additional speakers at the rally yesterday included organizer Jake Stuiver.  The Hoboken Journal's Kurt Gardiner also spoke and MSV stepped in on behalf of Hoboken Revolt to read their statement.

MSV doesn't even see mention of this truck that was rolling around Washington St. and then eventually parked across the street on any other local website.  It was pretty tough to miss.

Why do you think that is?

Mike Russo: sorry, well sorta

Mike Russo showed an uncharacteristic sheepish side tonight watching a completely packed audience dissect his every move and in the end he delivered a performance art speech worthy of a Greek tragedy except it's Hoboken that's the victim.

His political mea culpa consisted of losing his honorary title of VP, the title a designation he earned only last January when the midnight power grab from the end of 2010 had gone into effect.  In a surprise, it was learned during public portion Mike Russo also lost his role as chair of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee.  This only surfaced during former Councilman Mike Lenz's remarks when he was critical of the lack of action by the council.

During his remarks, Councilwoman Beth Mason interrupted him so she could interject, "I removed him" from the role earlier.  Lenz responded by criticizing her for not performing that action in a transparent manner before the public.

We'll have the video of Councilman Mike Russo's remarks later but let their be no mistake; he's damaged goods citywide but never had any intention of surrendering his seat by doing the honorable thing and resigning.  But close observers of the City Council rarely see them held accountable for their actions and one man act Shakespearean plays.

In most bizarre fashion, the censure resolution with teeth put forward by Councilwoman Carol Marsh was replaced by another last second toothless no action resolution from the Council of No, officially sponsored by Tim Occhipinti and Councilwoman Terry Castellano.  The coordination among them on who could say what and go how far in criticizing Mike Russo was the most transparency you'll get from them until election day.

Still Da Horsey as a citizen went up and let Mike Russo know his betrayal to his neighbors, the 3rd ward and all of Hoboken is unacceptable.  One can only hope enough 3rd ward residents will register and vote in numbers to correct the obvious.

Later in the hallway, Mike Russo shared a hug with a group of supporters but an especially long one with his mother.  One could only imagine for them it was akin to seeing the family business saved by firemen who arrive just in time to keep the it from burning down to the ground.

MSV will be back with more including scenes from the protest, and video of Mike Russo trying to both apologize, dismiss and move on from his "behavior," all in one fell swoop.

Although he and his family would like to believe he'll be okay, that's not altogether clear, not by a long shot.  The long shot used to be Greg Lincoln, but that's not the case either anymore.

Talking Ed Note:  The Council of No may be split asunder based on Deep Uvula's latest  on Grafix Avenger, but as far as the 'majority' vote, it's not a dead entity.  There's more posturing and it was evident in the hollow resolution brought removing Mike Russo from VP, but it was filled with additional political garbage attempting to tarnish other council and administration members with possibly meeting FBI informant Solomon Dwek.  It was a tremendous waste of time and utter nonsense.  It got so bad, one city employee watching who is usually indifferent blurted out it was pathetic.  MSV looked over and could only offer assent.

That fiasco of the Russogate handling will get around and most people don't know it and many won't say it but this election was just finalized in many ways last night.  I'd be very worried about my standing if I was on the Russo-Mason team because some of them are not going to survive the fiasco.

Nino Giacchi, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti can't sleep easily.  They won't right into election day.  The damage from this "show," was that damning.

More to come...