Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beth Mason finally puts out one ELEC report -but 35K? Did she mean 350K?

Beth Mason 5-2-2011 ELEC

There's nothing like a milk cartoon with your picture on it to motivate your staff to get you (and your ELEC) off the missing list.  Monday afternoon Beth Mason finally got her very overdue 29 day (from election) ELEC report in and it's revealing but not in ones she would hope you'd believe.

The expenditures listed at just under $35K in this week's late report doesn't compute with a Beth Mason election campaign.  Even considering this is not a citywide election, she's been spending money on TV commercials and print mailers faster than all other campaigns combined to this point.

How can that possibly be less than $35,000?

The most prominent expenditure in her report is for consultant Ryan Yacco of Bluewater Operations.  His payments in just the first quarter total over $12,000.  Beth Mason also spent $1,500 on polo shirts.

So how are all these other people being paid?

And where is Beth Mason's ELEC report?  Yes, the 29 day pre-election report is old news now.  The 11 day is overdue as we are a week out from the election.

Beth Mason is trampling all over the ELEC requirement and the City of Hoboken's pay to play law before the ink is even dry.  Now that's some amazing chutzpah when you consider she trumpeted the passed legislation and wrapped herself in its flag.

Got transparency?

Talking Ed Note: POG the People for Open Government are still in a bad position with President Alice Crozier silent on all of this.  How can POG remain silent on Beth Mason's continual flouting of ELEC?

Beth Mason bombshell: "What's the point of being the 2nd ward Councilwoman?"

Back in the spring of 2009, Jake Stuiver acted as campaign manager for Councilwoman Beth Mason's mayoral run. The turn of events leading to her defeat, the resignation of a corrupt Mayor Peter Cammarano and swearing-in of an Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer opened the door to a later conversation after Stuiver no longer was active with Beth Mason or any potential candidate.

Jake Stuiver reveals for the first time, the inside story on Beth Mason's effort to re-enlist him for another run for mayor in November 2009.


In September 2009, I sat down with Second Ward councilwoman Beth Mason and tried to convince her to sit out the November special election for mayor, arguing that she had supported Dawn Zimmer in the runoff and could not credibly withdraw that support without giving her a fair shake after only three months.

The conversation took place more than three months after the intense spring mayoral election in which I served as Ms. Mason’s campaign manager, and I no longer held any official capacity with her. Ms. Mason was gearing up again to run in the November election to replace the recently arrested and resigned ex-mayor Peter Cammarano, seeking my renewed enlistment into her effort.

I, in turn, was laying out for her the case as to why I could not justify supporting such a run, and why it was in her best interest to start rebuilding her reform cachet lost in a series of missteps earlier that year. Her time and energy were better spent, I argued, pulling back, regrouping and reconnecting with her reform base to build herself up for a future opportunity with the full support of her traditional constituency.

Ms. Mason utterly balked at the notion, and in so doing, unveiled to me the extent of the malevolence lurking in someone I'd once held in high regard. Dripping with thoroughly dismissive disgust, she sneered, "What's the point of being the Second Ward Councilwoman?" Her point was not subtle. In her view, there was no purpose in holding an office other than to use as a springboard to a higher office.

In June 2009, Hoboken had just come off an intense, extremely close election ultimately decided by paper ballots that mysteriously turned up a day after the election. We had, briefly, an administration and City Council majority from opposite ends of the political spectrum, engaging in what was shaping up to be a heated showdown. Then, as suddenly as our new paradigm had materialized, it was radically transformed, in a once-in-a-lifetime moment in which crow pie and toldjaso surprise were the daily specials, depending on which side of the fence one fell.

Despite a handful of hardcore partisans, most people were exhausted with the fighting, exhausted with the bickering, squabbling, recriminations and online assaults. Many residents were eager to find some common ground and work together, whether or not we’d started out as Zimmer supporters, to now get behind the new mayor and help her move our community past the crisis of confidence in our leadership and into a brighter future.

It was against this unity backdrop as Mayor Cammarano submitted his resignation, that Ms. Mason decided to retreat to the Catskills and be one of the only councilpeople to not attend the swearing-in of a new mayor.

Then, just hours after the city began basking in a renewed sense of purpose with the swearing-in of the new acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Ms. Mason sullied the moment issuing a press release announcing her intent to run against the new acting mayor. This total inability to read the mood of the public was an act of shameless crass ambition that would become Ms. Mason’s politically tone-deaf signature going forward.

What Beth Mason conveyed to me demonstrates her true feelings toward the people of Hoboken, and that she really does not care about being the Second Ward councilwoman.

On May 10, I sincerely hope the voters of the Second Ward take her at her word and vote for Tom Greaney to continue Dawn Zimmer's Change That's Working.

Councilman Mike Russo to face potential charges and removal of HHA seat

Update: 5-3-2011

This resolution was on the agenda but removed by the sponsors due to the death of Mike Russo's grandmother.  Expect there to be no further discussion when  Beth Mason and Mike Russo team up with Terry Castellano, Tim Occhipinti and Nino Giacchi to eject this from the agenda and prevent any further public discussion on the proposed action.

Councilman Mike Russo thought by some to have escaped further damage in the City Council for his chatter with FBI informant Solomon Dwek in the infamous bribe tapes faces a new potential hurdle - the loss of his seat on the Hoboken Housing Authority.

A resolution for the Wednesday City Council meeting calls for a prosecutor to be brought in for a hearing charging he abused his appointment powers to the HHA demanding a commissioner's political support and offering to expedite a developer's project in return for  an illegal donation.

The resolution specifically charges Mike Russo with dereliction of his duties and misconduct for both his admissions on the tape and his agreement in the resolution put forward by his council allies at the last council meeting.  Russo himself voted on that  watered down resolution introduced at the last meeting stating his actions were "unbecoming."

The resolution introduced by the Russo-Mason faction passed with five votes while a stronger resolution calling for censure and Russo's removal from the HHA introduced by the reform council members in advance of the meeting failed in a party line vote.

The new resolution's passage introduced by Councilwoman Carol Marsh would bring in a judge to act as a hearing officer on the charges and a prosecutor to pursue the matter.

Surveillance tapes showed Mike Russo agreeing to accept $5,000 and instructing a middleman to make it out to his campaign committee "Russo for Hoboken."  At the same meeting the FBI informant promised more of such monies later.  Contrary to Mike Russo's claim, he did anything but straighten out Solomon Dwek from such notions.  The truth of the tapes show he was actually favorable to the new luxury development and this within a span of minutes in meeting someone for the first time.

A potential case with passage of the resolution against Mike Russo would be set for early May.  Citywide elections are scheduled for each of the ward seats May 10th.

The resolution even if not passed could be problematic to the Russo-Mason alliance with the election next month.  The odor of corruption has followed their council 'majority' since the swing vote installation of Tim Occhipinti in the 4th ward special election last November.  The dust has not settled on a review of voting problems in his campaign making its way up to the New Jersey Attorney General's office.

Some weeks back, a city audit made public revealed two unqualified people were receiving health benefits one being Mike Russo's father, the ex-con and former mayor Anthony Russo.  The cost for to the city and taxpayers in the latest Russo scandal was estimated to be in the ballpark of $100,000.

Talking Ed Note:  The resolution requires five votes for approval.  Councilwoman Terry Castellano who was heard by several witnesses recently telling residents on a lower Hudson St. building three reform members of the council met with Solomon Dwek and that people were "picking on Mike," is a sure bet to vote against this resolution on her godson and cousin.

If the same voting block holds with Tim "I'm independent" Occhipinti who would not dare cross his paymasters and your less than independent voice Councilman Nino Giacchi votes similarly as last time against censure and Carol Marsh's resolution, the resolution will be  one vote shy of passage.

Although MSV has already seen early reports of vote by mail activity in the fourth ward leading into the BoE race and May race, it's not clear yet if Tim Occhipinti will generate the volume rising to 500 submissions and approaching 50% of his total vote as he did last November.

Patricia Waiters who last week dropped out of the 2nd ward council race at the council forum in protest against corruption, appeared at a council meeting earlier this year lamenting the exploitation of residents in the HHA.  She detailing an account of a woman who was instructed to show up at with a ten dollar bill and vote for the candidate with the letters 9D written on it.

9D was the Tim Occhipinti line.  MSV previously posted the video of Patricia Waiter's remarks.  Other local media ignored her although several were in attendance at that same city council meeting.