Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Hudson Reporter and Beth Mason: more 'splaining to do

The expected showdown in Union City Municipal Court last week where a BoE trustee would face down a Beth Mason political operative in a trial after over six months of hearings finally will be heard June 7th.  That only scratches the surface of what's transpired.

The trial where harassment charges by one elected official against the political operative of another has been ignored for months in town even as MSV has dropped hints for quite some time before finally writing an exclusive back in late April.

At the court last week, the Hudson Reporter noted in its weekend story some people in attendance connected to BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo while missing a host of people backing Mason operative Matt Calicchio if not with emotional support, compensation for their time as in dollars for donuts.  Almost all of them if not every single one is being compensated with currency from one familiar Hudson street residence.

Calicchio as a Marshall Drive based HHA resident certainly doesn't have the means to cover months of court costs with a high profile attorney but oddly has declined to sign a "no contact" order to leave Minutillo and her young daughter alone.  Doing so would have ended the matter months ago with no publicity on the case whatsoever.

Clearly Beth Mason fears it will come back to her but that's a moot point now. It has. She's been all in to see her political operative walk away from the charges with nothing sticking, of course in doing so she fails to see the moral imperative of her hired underling's alleged actions.

"Not Perry" at the last City Council meeting was so bored by Tim Occhipinti droning on he fell asleep.  He was snoring so loud, the whole side of the room was laughing until Council President Ravi Bhalla hit the gavel and finally woke him up.

Tallying the Mason players, there were four possibly five people in court last week on the Beth Mason payroll. Among them:
  • a videographer who we've penned as Stalker Tim for his hanging around the mayor's home after an abbreviated Council meeting, 
  • a man who provides direction to the videographer who has been pegged as 'Not Perry' by Grafix Avenger, 
  • attorney Elise DiNardo, the Jersey City based lawyer who has been defending Matt Calicchio who certainly can't be paying the tab on his Mason $400 weekly salary
  • Tanya Garcia who was reported by Grafix Avenger to have worked for Beth Mason at her civic association at 12th and Washington.  Her name appeared on an obvious political letter in the Hudson Reporter thanking Mason and MORTe in their bogus claim of givebacks to save the hospital. Witness testimony = perjury?
  • of course there's the defendant himself Matt Calicchio.
So with this group almost to a person getting paid to witness a favorable result, what possible chance does Theresa Minutillo and her little girl have?  

Well that all depends on the Union City prosecutor and they certainly are heavily weighed down with case after case to handle in the densely populated Hudson County town.  There's additional word there may be a relationship with the Mason retained lawyer and officers of the court - the deck may be stacked pardon the pun.

Matt Calicchio political operative for all Mason seasons heading back after walking his boss to a car during the Valentine's BoE meeting.  Mason left soon after making remarks but Calicchio returned downstairs for more of the meeting.

Talking Ed Note: Did the original Hudson Reporter cover story include some if not all of the Mason people in the Union City court last week?  Or like the story discussing James FinBoy© Barracato, were all references to Beth Mason eliminated to keep a major ad buyer happy?

MSV would love to know but we don't expect the Hudson Reporter to answer.  
Either way there's some 'splaining to do.

Related: Grafix Avenger goes deeper on the Mason-FinBoy© relationship of expectation with the Hudson Reporter on the other half of the "journalistic" ledger.

FinBoy© 2011-2012

MSV subscribers will be receiving a special addendum on this case via email today.

Monarch Project heads to Hoboken Planning Board June 14th

Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront announces:

The Hoboken Planning Board meeting to review the Monarch at the Shipyard application has been re-scheduled for the final time.  This last re-scheduling secured a special meeting and a large enough venue to hold all the residents opposed to this project.  The meeting is now scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, June 14, 2012 in the Wallace School gymnasium at 1100 Willow Avenue.  This special Planning Board meeting will only have the Monarch project on the docket.  It is incredibly important that you come out and show your displeasure with the overdevelopment of our neighborhood.  This remains the most important meeting in our fight and gives us the opportunity to be heard by our local city officials.  As a reminder, Applied Development made a commitment (and signed a Developer's Agreement) to the city of Hoboken in 1997 to put in much needed public space as part of the city’s approval for their original residential project.  Now that all 1,160 residential units are complete and occupied, Shipyard Associates has come back and is trying to amend the original application with the goal to residentially develop this last plot of land rather than provide the promised open space.  They should not be able to get away with this.  

In other good news, counsel for the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders decided to not hear Shipyard's appeal of the Hudson County Planning Board's rejection of their application.  Instead, she stated the Freeholders will simply uphold the Planning Board's rejection.  We believe Shipyard Associates will ultimately bring this action to the courts to decide, but this is another victory for our group.

Please let us know if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday, June 14th at 7pm.

--Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
@HobokenRPW on Twitter

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sign of the Times: The FBI up the road

The FBI was spotted early last Thursday morning in West New York for the arrest of Mayor Roque.

According to a Jersey Journal story, Mayor Felix Roque will not resign his office after being charged with breaking into a HCDO computer and taking down a new website calling for his recall.

Residents of upper Hudson Street and 10 Church Towers should be vigilant for early morning picture taking opportunities.

Photo courtesy of by arrangement.

Helping Ruben Ramos understand the meaning of Memorial Day

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos put out a twitter but from the content, he's in that special needs category of people who don't bother to note the distinction between honoring those who have fallen in serving our Republic and those who have served.

Da Horsey decided to provide this education to Assemblyman Ramos so he doesn't make the embarrassing habit of doing so on an annual basis.

Talking Ed Note: Just because Ruben Ramos doesn't understand the Memorial Day holiday doesn't mean you can't vote for him for mayor.  You can.  Then again why do that?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Grafix Avenger

Talking Ed Note: If you want to support the kids at Wallace and the district, please go to the link and give it a vote up.  The kids and everyone in the district will certainly appreciate it.

The goal is 500 1,000 votes to give Maureen Sullivan a fine sendoff.’t-seek-new-term-on-school-board?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

Checkbook mercenary journalism: How to get noticed and influence the editors at the Hudson Reporter


There's checkbook journalism, yellow journalism and then there's mercenary journalism sold to the highest bidder.  For a month the rumblings about a feature on local "blogger excess" at the Hudson Reporter was stalled with a bullseye aiming for this website and another political target, our colleague who generates most of the heat with her ever cherished Zoning Board seat: Grafix Avenger.

The Hudson Reporter reveals a hand, somewhat intentional it appears, in its long time dealing with a fishy mercenary after a recent avalanche of paid ads from Councilwoman Beth Mason.  The output is a less than credible newsworthy effort by Al Sullivan in his column last weekend.

How many ads do you need to buy to get a hit job done on a political opponent?  That's the inevitable question MSV is posing to the Hudson Reporter after Sullivan's column highlighting a non-issue in the form of a Grafix Avenger story last month.  How a story becomes a story is the heart of the question at hand. Which leads to one and only obvious conclusion; please make out the check to...

The story garnering tree killing column inches was a delayed Grafix Avenger piece pointing to two words and non-existent "Nazi imagery" in a post highlighting Mason's death wish for the Hoboken University Medical Center.  The painfully truthful story highlighted Mason's efforts to put to sleep the hospital that refused to die in spite of her best or worst efforts.  (We're not going to illustrate with an analogy because well you never know when a Mason henchman will ascribe it to Nazis.  Is the Soviet totalitarianism variety okay?)

Beth Mason's Soviet style assault on free speech takes various forms.  With Hoboken411
in the toilet and about to be flushed, she's turned to a compliant Hudson Reporter
to do her dirty work targeting Grafix Avenger and MSV for character assassination.
The repressive actions don't end there and extends to abuse of the local courts.

Spite was the sole reason to draw blood and counter the strenuous efforts of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and hospital board chair Toni Tomarazzo to save the hospital, more than a thousand jobs and Hoboken from bankruptcy.  As a result, even with Mason's obvious face saving effort claiming she and MORTe saved the hospital, (also printed without any required examination of equal prominence at the Hudson Reporter then or since) she has no base of voters to remotely attempt a third mayoral run next spring.  They've long turned from her and the Applied Housing vote urged to turn out on her behalf last year with tens of thousands in street money encouragement is a core voting bloc for a Ruben Ramos mayoral run.

With Vermont Klaussen on his way out, Beth Mason has lost her reliable outlet to pen character assassination on Hoboken411 but she's trying to make up for it by writing check after check to the Hudson Reporter courtesy of her husband Ricky Mason's earnings from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz where he serves as a preeminent bankruptcy attorney. From big business bankruptcy to complete moral bankruptcy in one fell swoop: Geronimo!

The month long effort to do a story on local Hoboken websites and their "excess" led to MSV along with Grafix Avenger being asked about our creation and use of Nazi parody videos on YouTube with GA told she was being given an opportunity to defend herself.  The only problem was the Hudson Reporter was eating from a sordid bag of rotten goods and rather than do five minutes of checking on their own hopped straight to taking down those "yuppie" reform writers.  (MSV hears they are very fond of hating "yuppies" at their uptown Hoboken office even with Reagan's time as President decades passed and the ironic delicacy of Mason's checkbook notwithstanding.)

So a month into a quagmire of their own making, the Hudson Reporter hosts a lengthy meeting at their office with Weehawken based political operative James Barracato, a paid henchmen of Mason who is given the ear of publisher Dave Unger due to the magical influence of Mason's checkbook.  FinBoy presents his defamatory trumped up evidence as the basis for a spoon fed "story" and Mason buys a block of page 3 ads with no end in sight. (Has it been four or five weeks in a row not counting her February Super Bowl ad?)

Putting aside this grotesque example of mercenary journalism, there's the obvious festering sore in the he said-she said Al Sullivan column not telling us anything about the he.  James Barracato is NEVER identified as a paid political operative of Councilwoman Beth Mason nor is the reader told why anyone should even remotely care about what the Weehawken fish thinks about anyone or anything for that matter in Hoboken.

In journalism we call that the first element of a story - the Who.  It's MIA but why?

One commenter over the holiday weekend posted their reaction to the sticky problem:

The Reporter should go right ahead and post a rate card as to how many ads are required for them to run an untrue hit piece. Dave Unger ought to have rates established by now, why doesn't he release them? If Al Sullivan was at least half a man he would post a counter-piece on his column. We'll see (not holding breath for him to do anything justice). Beth, keep up the good work keeping a disgusting lie infested local rag in business. Quid pro quo anyone?!? 

Of course local institutions should take their self-proclaimed roles a bit more serious, removing their political agendas from being so blatantly obvious but this is unlikely to happen.  The fourth estate has been intermingled with real estate but there's a notion the internet is the next venue where the people are rising up to replace the failed and corrupt institutions where their voice no longer matters.  The Hudson Reporter is of course within its constitutional rights to pretty much print whatever they wish and if it's solely driven by their economic interests, it's not a crime.

But can we at least see a rate card for a hit job?  Beth Mason shouldn't get the exclusive there.  People want to know how they can get in on the action.  After all, it's mercenary journalism.

Name your price.

Beth Mason is desperately attempting to drag down others with Soviet style repression tactics but the FBI is poised to get the last word with the Data Theft Ring conspiracy investigation far underway.

Talking Ed Note: The FBI's made repeated visits in Jersey City, West New York and Union City in recent months before the arrests taking down the West New York mayor and his son last week for computer intrusion.

What do you think the Hudson Reporter will say when the inevitable return visit comes to Hoboken?  Will they again be the vociferous defender of the Old Guard who are in line to be cuffed and driven to Newark for appearances in Federal Court.  Is Beth Mason's massive ad buy with no election in sight part of a PR strategy to get them to weigh in on her side when the hammer inevitably falls?

Shades of the Camarano and Hudson County crooks defense redux?  Add to the mix the Hudson Reporter last year deeming the FBI carting out computers and boxes of documents the Thursday before Memorial Day last year as applying a hammer to an insect.

In the meantime it's not only the arena of journalism corrupted.  There's the attempt to use the courts to shut down speech and political dissent.  Once again, it's Beth Mason deploying yet another Soviet style gulag operation in a plan already gone awry.

That's currently under additional legal review here.  The limited coverage at the Hudson Reporter over the weekend following up on our earlier exclusive story last April means the determination to use the court as an instrument to repress that story has already failed.

In this vein, the Hudson Reporter noted Mason's lawyer representing another of her political operatives Matt Calicchio served invalid subpoenas to BoE trustees.  MSV noted this last week and can confirm it appears Mason's lawyer attempted to serve all nine sitting board members.  One person not on the BoE majority was incensed by the tactic and had words on the street over the weekend in a random meeting with the hapless defendant who pointed to his lawyer as the culprit.  And who pray tell is paying the lawyer?

Good thing Mason believes the schools shouldn't be politicized.  She's said that for years running including to MSV before a maxed out family check showed up for a slate opposed to Kids First.

Now a Mason paid political operative is heading to trial in June for allegedly harassing a member of the BoE majority and her five year old daughter taking the term political opposition to a whole new level.  Or would that be a new Beth Mason low?

Related: Grafix Avenger weighs in with more on the unseemly connections between Beth Mason, the Hudson Reporter and her paid henchman detailing the group of people attending a trial rescheduled in Union City Municipal Court who all share one thing in common - they're all on counte$$' payroll including the defendant.

This feature is dedicated to MSV Executive Publisher Jimmy the K who never wavers in support of truth, honor, 
and the real Hoboken way. Up the Republic!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey FinBoy, Copy this!

As most people are stretching out the final day of a holiday weekend, Grafix Avenger is already back to work or is it play with a new satirical story penned by Weehawken's favored Hoboken non-resident at the Hudson Reporter - FinBoy.

We're not sure what moniker Weehawken residents go by for the former member of Mayor Richard Turner's administration who has long hitched his political operative services to the bottomless checkbook across the way with Beth Mason's rise or as is the case today, demise.

It's going to be a slow, torturous ride down for a lot of folks on the Mason payroll and they are legion with a crew at Union City Municipal Court last week.  The problem for FinBoy is everyone gets a first row view of the filthy defamatory operation he concocted with Beth Mason at the Hudson Reporter and it's reached the Anti-Defamation League.

Beth Mason thought her paid political operative James Barracato would
settle some vindictive scores by having the Hudson Reporter do a
hit job on Grafix Avenger and MSV.  Instead they and their underhanded
methods have been exposed from Hoboken to the ADL.

Now almost two years old, this satirical cartoon only gets more insightful over time. So for the thousands of new readers since, here is the original smash hit in its full 10 minute hilarity, the James B and Bet Mazin love story "Downfall of a wannabe shark."


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beth Mason's paid hatchet man James Barracato gets his pound of flesh

On Tuesday MSV will highlight weekend stories at the Mason Distorter, more commonly known as the Hudson Reporter.  It's what they don't say you'll find most fascinating.

As MSV's been tracking this for weeks, the rumor Grafix Avenger would become the target of a Mason paid political operative proved out.  Last Da Horsey heard, Councilwoman Beth Mason's henchmen lives in Weehawken, and never has lived in Hoboken.

He sure gets a lot of attention there though doesn't he.

Of course that not one but two paid political operatives are prominently featured in this weekend's fish wrap and are on the payroll for Beth Mason is not mentioned anywhere.

Another story (finally) highlighted the upcoming trial alleging harassment of a mother and young daughter - BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo and her five year old daughter noting others who appeared at the Union City Municipal Court in her support.

The Hudson Reporter failed to mention anywhere attendees in Union City municipal court who appeared in support of the alleged defendant,  ALL on the payroll and on the clock in service to Beth Mason.

MSV will fill folks in on the full story there too.

For the fifth consecutive week, Beth Mason has placed a page 3 ad in the Reporter.  Was that a stronger argument to go after Grafix Avenger than the weeks long effort by Beth Mason's paid purveyor of dirty deeds on behalf of counte$$?

James Barracato aka FinBoy finally got a pound of flesh in an old story from a month back about Beth Mason's attempts to kill the local hospital appearing on Grafix Avenger.  Or was it all those ads Mason paid for in the last five consecutive weeks with no election in sight?

Have a nice weekend folks and please remember to take time to honor the fallen on Memorial Day who have paid the ultimate price to preserve Our Republic.

Related: The Grafix Avenger story Beth Mason's political operative is trying to build into a controversy.  Let the readers decide who's the purveyor of poison:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mayor Zimmer on computer intrusion - accountability for the crime

From Mayor Dawn Zimmer's twitter account:

Talking Ed Note: Nothing ambiguous here, no moral handwringing just a matter of fact statement on theft and misusing electronic information and accountability.

You think we will be hearing that in a release today from MORTE council members?

Yesterday Councilwoman Beth Mason issued another email blast about the City's efforts led by Councilwoman Jen Giattino to bring business to Hoboken in the 2014 Super Bowl.  More of the same inaccuracies with more fabrications added on.

Will there be a statement from Mason today saying everyone involved in such criminal matters should be held to account for their lawbreaking?

Will the Russo clan be holding a press conference somewhere today with News 12?

Official release from Newark on Mayor Roque and son's arrest

The United State's Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey announces:  

West New York, N.J., Mayor, Son, Arrested For Hacking And Disabling Website Calling For The Mayor’s Recall


NEWARK, N.J. – The mayor of West New York, N.J., and his son were arrested today for allegedly hacking into an e-mail account and website associated with a movement to recall the mayor, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Felix Roque, 55, of Hudson County, and Joseph Roque, 22, of Passaic County, are charged by Complaint with gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers; causing damage to protected computers; and conspiracy to commit those crimes. Felix and Joseph Roque are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark S. Falk in Newark federal court.

“In this case, the elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their Constitutional rights to criticize the government,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who illegally hack into computers and disable websites with the goal of suppressing the exercise of that right.”

This case illustrates two primary concerns of law enforcement, the violation of public trust and cyber intrusion,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward said. “In this instance, an elected official conspired to hack into a website and email account. It's incredibly disappointing that resources have to be diverted from protecting the US against cyber intrusions targeting critical infrastructure, federally funded research and military technology, to address a public official intruding into computer systems to further a political agenda.”

According to the criminal Complaint unsealed today:
In early February 2012, a Hudson County resident and public official anonymously established and moderated an Internet website,, to post commentary and criticism of Mayor Felix Roque and his administration. On Feb. 6, 2012, Mayor Roque and his son, Joseph Roque, schemed to hack into and take down the website and to identify, intimidate and harass those who operated and were associated with the website.

By the late afternoon of February 8, 2012, Joseph Roque had successfully hacked into various online accounts used in connection with the recall website. Joseph Roque then used that access to disable the website. Mayor Roque harassed and attempted to intimidate several individuals whom he had learned were associated with the recall website.

The conspiracy charge and the charge of gaining unauthorized access to a computer in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of causing damage to protected computers carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark with the investigation leading to the arrests.

The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth Kosto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit and Barbara Llanes of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Da Vinci Founding members: Our outreach to the community

To the editor:

As Founding Team Members of the proposed DaVinci Charter School of Hoboken (a free public school), we are writing to explain our mission and program, and to clarify some points raised by Dr. Toback's recent letter to the State Department of Education.

We believe that:

-       DaVinci will provide a valuable, effective, and desired additional public school choice for the children of Hoboken;
-       Families should be able to choose the educational approach and learning environment that they believe best fits their individual child;
-       Diversity of income and ethnicity in schools is both morally right and academically and socially best for all students; and
-       Project-based, science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) focused education is a great way for children to learn, be motivated, and prepare for 21st century jobs.

DaVinci’s mission is to develop students who love learning and thirst for knowledge; can effectively solve problems, analyze information, and think critically; and have the skills, knowledge, and habits to achieve their goals, both individually and as part of a community.  We aim to create a school that nurtures every child and adapts instruction to their individual learning needs, in a climate of academic rigor and excitement about learning.

We are dedicated to reaching and serving ALL families in Hoboken.  Our enrollment process will be through random lottery, as required by law, and we strive to make our applicant pool as diverse as possible.  We are organizing a series of outreach meetings throughout the city – anyone who is interested in working with us to set up a meeting is welcome to contact us at the email address below.

DaVinci offers a unique educational approach. “There is no doubt that S.T.E.M. programs are appealing for a variety of reasons,” as Superintendent Toback wrote in his letter.  One of those reasons is the national need to educate our students with S.T.E.M. concepts to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  The foundation of success in S.T.E.M. subjects begins at the elementary level, and DaVinci would be the only school option in Hoboken with a focus on (and additional class time for) S.T.E.M., supported by partnerships with Stevens Institute of Technology and the New York Hall of Science.

DaVinci's Project Based Learning approach engages and motivates students and helps them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while also mastering basic skills and important content.  This model has been demonstrated to work particularly well with at-risk students, including both at-risk and special needs students.  Our S.T.E.M. and project-based components will be offered together with strong literacy, social studies, and arts instruction.

Families in Hoboken strongly desire more school choices.  Different children are motivated and learn best in different ways – and their parents are the best equipped to choose the learning environment that fits their child.  There is such a high demand for the existing charter schools in Hoboken that they are not a choice for most families – almost 90% of non-sibling applications for kindergarten this year were rejected in the lottery, and each charter school has hundreds of children on its waiting list.  Most of the private schools in Hoboken cost well over $14,000 a year, and most are religiously-affiliated.  These are also not true choices for most families.

We also would like to clear up a misunderstanding of law in the letter, which cites a law which caps charter school enrollment at a certain number or percentage of district enrollment.  This law states that it expired twelve years ago.

Finally, we would like to clarify some of the funding issues around charter schools like DaVinci.  Charter schools receive (and spend) much less per pupil than district schools.  The Hoboken district spends roughly $22,639 per pupil (according to the district’s projected 2012-13 budget.)  If DaVinci opens, the district would need to write a check for about $10,800 per pupil (estimate provided by the State DOE) – but the district would still receive state aid for the children who attend charter schools, as well as keeping a portion of locally raised funds – all without bearing the costs of educating the students.  Recognizing that part of that amount is made up of costs that don't easily change with the movement of a few children, the district would still retain a sizable amount for students who are not actually being educated in their schools.

More information on DaVinci’s curriculum, budget, our contact information, our application, and every other aspect of our school design can be found on our website: 

The Founding Team Members and supporters believe that DaVinci can provide Hoboken families an excellent, cost-effective, public school of choice.  We welcome your questions and an ongoing dialogue.  We can be reached at

Yours truly,

David Cappelleri
Mohsen Hossein
Eric O’Connor
Brian Philipson
Rachel Potts
Jamie Rice
Stacy Rosenblum
Laura Siegel

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Horse Sense: Snap Analysis on today's FBI arrest action

FBI arrests today comes exactly one year after sweep of Hoboken City Hall

Many readers may miss the emphasis here so let's spell it out clearly - the implications of today's arrest of West New York Mayor Felix Roque spells big trouble for the Old Guard in Hoboken.

Hoboken horsey?  Yes, Hoboken.

What stands out in the Fed's complaint against Roque and his son is the clear cut evidence of wrongdoing hacking into a HCDO backed website that called for the West New York mayor's recall.  According to Max Pizarro at Politicker NJ, victim 1 in the complaint was a Hudson County Freeholder, Jose Munoz.

Recriminations are already flying calling the FBI's arrest political payback by Senator Bob Menendez. However, any straightforward reading of the complaint shows there was an ongoing war between Mayor Roque and the HCDO forces he overthrew in a previous and successful recall effort of Sal Vega.  Unfortunately, the war lines appear to have stepped over the legal line numerous times in trying to take down a political website asking for the recall of the current mayor.  Why a relatively obscure English based website in a largely Spansh speaking/reading town would be met with such a response will be political fodder in Hudson County for months if not years to come.

The arrests of Mayor Roque and his son proves the utter seriousness the FBI and Newark Federal Attorney's Office views computer intrusions, even in the case of a small website being run by political opponents.  It spells dire warnings for the conspirators in Hoboken who looted at will far more important documents and emails of a sitting mayor.

The action against the mayor in West New York declaws the narrative being softly peddled over months in Hoboken any arrests in the conspiracy case here are manufactured by Governor Christie who formerly headed the US Attorney's Office in Newark on behalf of Mayor Zimmer.  The New Jersey Federal Attorney's Office is headed by Paul Fishman, a Democratic appointee where the State's two Democratic US Senators hold courtesy control with unwritten veto powers.

Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of today's arrests is it falls on the exact one year anniversary of a dozen and a half FBI special agenda slamming into Hoboken City Hall and departing with boxes of documents, computers including one system in the City Clerk's office.

Anyone who finds this to be mere coincidence is trying to fool you or themselves.  For those who haven't cut a deal with the Feds in Newark, there is now a much lower likelihood a chair will be left when the music stops.

MSV tried to extend a clue to MORTe minions numerous times and noted quite recently, it's safer to be on the Boys of Summer roster than not.  Some are really dense here.

For the Boys of Summer in Newark, you are either on their DTR team or not.
Some people in Hoboken are going to find out how bad it is not to make their roster.

Talking Ed Note: Folks will be on their way to enjoy a holiday weekend but MSV thought it important to keep you informed of the magnitude of today's events.  It's hardly a stretch to say the other local media will be pointing to everything but the analysis offered here.

As we recall, when the City Hall IT manager Patrick Ricciardi was arrested, the Hudson Reporter could barely summon the strength to print his name or post a picture in the paper.  When the Hudson Reporter did finally offer some thoughts on the matter weeks later - no doubt at the repeated behest of Mason political operative James Barracato aka FinBoy - their analysis noted the true problem not once, but nine times was bloggers.

This is what happens when you only listen to the Old Guard and their paid political operatives.  You get stuck so far down the rabbit hole you don't even know what daylight is any more.

As MSV noted last November, the FBI Data Theft Ring conspiracy case is not over, it's beginning and what looms for Hoboken in 2012 will be transformative.

Happy nightmares minions

BREAKING: FBI strikes in Hudson County again - arrests West New York Mayor Felix Roque for hacking website

News 4 in New York is reporting the FBI has struck in Hudson County again with a story saying Mayor Felix Roque has been taken into custody early this morning.

The mayor had been rumored to be in some trouble with word of documents seized related to medical billing.  Mayor Roque is a physician but denied there was any such visit by the Feds making a seizure of his records.

Roque was noted for his reform posture and independent nature recently announcing an endorsement not for US Senator Bob Menendez's re-election but State Senator Joe Kyrillos before switching back to Menendez.

According to Star Ledger reporter and Jersey Sting co-author Ted Sherman, Roque has been arrested by the FBI on charges of hacking into a website connected to a recall movement against him.  Sherman states Roque's son has also been arrested.

The must read story details:

In February, Joseph Roque was able to access the e-mail account of one of the recall organizers and used that to hack into Go Daddy, the internet service provider that was hosting the website Prosecutors say he then cancelled the account without authorization, taking it down.
The next day, the mayor is charged with making a phone call to another individual associated with the recall movement with the intent of harassing him, telling him that he was aware that he had contributed information to the website.

Talking Ed Note: Please make sure counte$$ is in a secure location.

Update: 9:30 am - Please, there is no cause for alarm in Hoboken.  The FBI were here in Hoboken uncovering a massive hacking conspiracy in town a year to the day.  All is well.

10:00 am - the full complaint follows:

Felix Roque Complaint

Grist for the Mill: How will you celebrate counte$$ today?

One day out before the holiday weekend for some, for others it's another momentous day to celebrate counte$$.

At the Hudson Reporter it's deadline day.  Will they or won't they be able to fit in another page three ad in from Councilwoman Beth Mason?  That would make five weeks running not counting of course the less than accurate Super Bowl ad they ran earlier.

Will publisher Dave Unger be placating, uhm meeting with James Barracato aka FinBoy, Mason's man for all defamatory operation seasons to map out the latest ransom ad demands from counte$$?  He and his paymaster want Reform writer blood on those pages or there'll be no more Super Bowl or maybe any other kind of ads. Perhaps Unger will consult with pal Mike Novak the transparent heir to the rudderless Hoboken Chamber of Commerce who once thought that vehicle would launch him as a mayoral candidate.  

Is there an all points bulletin out for Mason's coterie of paid political operatives today?  Mason has had a swarm of them around lately with no election anywhere in sight, including the Bluewater Operations team who ran her successful street money operation to retake the second ward with less votes (and a higher budget) than her first successful run in 2007.  Election?  Who needs an election, this is a payday here.

Is the Cratos Group founder Adam Alonso in town to meet up for some lengthy damage control work with a Mason employee in Union City court scheduled for a harassment trial against Kids First BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo and her little girl today?

Then who's available to pick up Mason's mail for her shell companies at their Lynhurst, NJ address?

Anyone doing overtime to keep the Union City trial out of sight and mind of the Hoboken public?  There's no extra zeroes for that work, the Mason Media Complex is on retainer.

Based on the lengthy list of problems at the Masonic Temple, every political operative in Hudson County may be collecting counte$$ checks for hazard pay soon. With the unofficial start of summer this weekend, things sure could be heating up for Beth Mason.

In the interim, she'll have to cook up something like issuing invalid subpoenas to other elected officials who refuse to bow down and kiss the Masonic ring.  One Jersey City legal beagle is far too talented to be issuing phony paper like that by accident.  More on that BM political operation later, just remember if a sheriff is knocking on your bedroom window near bedtime not to shoot first and ask questions later.  That's yeoman's work he's doing.

Hey all in a typical day when you are on the Beth Mason payroll.  Who among the list of lawyers, political operatives, videographers, etc. will be the first not to get paid when things go south?

She's a victim don't ya know.

Victim for all seasons Beth Mason right receives a targeted handshake from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno last July.  The Lt. Governor was in Hoboken to swear in Councilwoman Jen Giattino and Councilman Peter Cunningham for their council terms.  Did you know the Lt. Governor was once a Sheriff?

Talking Ed Note: Our favorite political satirist Grafix Avenger says a strange email arrived claiming 2009 mayoral candidate and BoE ally to Maureen Sullivan trustee Nathan Brinkman will be running for the BoE with Frank "Pupie" Raia this fall on his education ticket.

It's too early to reach Brinkman on that rumor, but the idea sounds beyond fanciful.  Raia walked the Memorial Day Parade route yesterday.  He wasn't telling people along the way BoE, he was saying Hoboken loves and wants Raia for mayor.

That's how he talks about himself too.  "Hoboken loves Raia, Hoboken wants Raia for mayor....Raia says...."  He's not joking when he says it either.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gov. Christie and Mayor Booker video goes viral

A Seinfeldish video staring Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker has gone viral.  It's a comic effort featuring both in the style of Jerry Seinfeld referencing his arch nemesis Newman.

Da Horsey has seen both in person, the Governor when he visited Hoboken to launch a toolkit to limit and rollback taxes and Mayor Booker at a technology conference in Newark.

Gov. Christie early in his term demonstrated his populist strength and on leaving Hoboken, his exit was akin to watching a rock star depart with a moving swarm of people and media.   After Cory Booker's speech we shared a few brief words afterwards.

Both men have tremendous ability to engage directly with the public but of course the Governor's performance handling New Jersey's deeply rooted financial problems with aplomb has seen him elevated to national prominence.

This video will see the popularity of both men lifted.

Both men do a great job here and serve the public well but in the end, We believe in Chris Christie.
He's done the heavy lifting in all of New Jersey, long overdue.

Hoboken Girl speaks out on behalf of Liberty Humane Society

Hoboken Girl, the local website describing herself as "just a brunette with straight hair, leather boots and a Louis Vuitton" with a love for our fair city came out setting the record straight on the Liberty Humane Society.

Hoboken Girl lends support to getting out the truth countering Hoboken411's Vermont Klaussen putting forward his usual pile of misinformation on anything close to a political vein in town.

While leather boots are optional, and Da Horsey sees no need for Louis Vuitton unless they start producing branded organic carrots, this personal story in support of Liberty Humane Society has strong merit:

FBI Data Theft Conspiracy Ring: 'The Hub' and Hoboken411

In Part II, of the FBI Data Theft Conspiracy Ring links to Hoboken411, MSV looks at a connection into a self-confessed target of the Feds previously deemed "The Hub."

This suspect confessed they were a target of the Feds and remarks about the FBI's interest in themselves, Councilman Michael Russo and Hoboken411.

The connections to the ransacker of mayor's communications, former IT Manager Patrick Ricciardi shown in this depiction of potential suspects with Beth Mason doesn't end there based on comment by someone MSV deemed earlier as "The Hub."  The questions extend to Councilman Michael Russo along with Hoboken411. Again. 

This story is MSV Premium Content.  It's available for $2.99 via Paypal, no account is required and payment can be made via either debit or credit card in a one time purchase.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feds in Newark announce 14 charged in varied RICO violations

The United State's Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey announces:  

Alleged Genovese Organized Crime Family Member And Associates Among 14 Charged In Racketeering Conspiracy

Scheme Involved Extortion, Illegal Gambling, Theft
and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

NEWARK, N.J. – Thirteen individuals, including one alleged member of the Genovese organized crime family and 12 members and associates of its LaScala Crew, were charged today in connection with an illegal, on-line gambling operation, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy in a Complaint unsealed this morning in conjunction with arrests in the case. Two defendants remain at large. A fourteenth defendant is charged with transmission of wagering information. The defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark S. Falk in Newark federal court.

“The acts alleged in this criminal complaint show that traditional organized crime continues to pursue its bread and butter – illegal gambling, loan-sharking and cargo theft,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “The new wrinkle here is the use of off-shore sites and the Internet for processing bets. Law enforcement will use countermeasures that are just as sophisticated to bring these criminal enterprises to justice.”

“Today's arrests serve as a stark reminder that traditional organized crime continues to operate in New Jersey,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Ward said. “Bookmaking, loan-sharking, cargo thefts, and illegal gambling in social clubs are the staples by which organized crime funds further criminal activity. The use of Internet gambling and off shore locales demonstrates an evolution and increased sophistication, but the threat of force or violence to serve their purpose remains the same, as does the negative impact of organized crime on the citizens of this state.”

According to the Complaint unsealed this morning in Newark federal court:

The Genovese Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra operated out of smaller groups, sometimes referred to as “crews,” that operated in northern New Jersey and elsewhere. Each crew was headed by a “captain,” “capo,” or “skipper.” Each captain’s crew consisted of “soldiers” and “associates.” The captain was responsible for supervising the criminal activities of his crew and providing the crew with support and protection. In return, the captain often received a share of the crew’s earnings.

Joseph Lascala, 80, of Monroe, N.J., was a “capo” and a made member of the Genovese Crime Family, directing various criminal activities of a group of associates referred to in the Complaint as the “Lascala Crew.” These activities included the theft of goods and cargo, the receipt of stolen property in interstate commerce, extortion, illegal gambling, and the collection of unlawful debt.

Members and associates of the Lascala Crew and others, together with individuals that own and operate the website (“Website”), used the Website to profit through the operation of an illegal gambling business that operated in northern New Jersey and elsewhere.

High-level associates of the Lascala Crew acted as “agents” of an illegal gambling business that was operated through the Website. Before the advent of computerized betting, these agents would be referred to as “bookmakers” or “bookies.” Through the use of a username and password, the agents accessed the Website and tracked the bets or wagers placed by their bettors. This “electronic portfolio” was referred to as the agent’s “package.” The agent also had the ability, through the Website, to create packages for sub-agents. Sub-agents, who also were members or associates of the Lascala Crew, operated under the agent, maintained their own bettors, had access to the Website related to their package, and were required to share their profits with the agent and ultimately, Lascala.

Bettors first received a username and password from the agent or sub-agent, which could be used to place bets. The bettor, however, did not use a credit card to either access the Website or to pay gambling losses or to receive gambling winnings. The bettor usually was assigned or chose a player name, such as “Shark,” “Colt,” or “Ace.” The agent or sub-agent also established a betting limit for each bettor. The bettor used his or her user name and password to place bets through the Website or over the telephone.

Hoboken Fire Department members to be cited for valor

City of Hoboken announces:

Public Invited to Hoboken Fire Department Valor Awards

Mayor Dawn Zimmer is pleased to announce that at 5pm on Wednesday, May 23rd, members of the Hoboken Fire Department will be honored during a ceremony for the Fire Department Valor Awards. The ceremony will take place at City Council Chambers in City Hall, 94 Washington Street, and all members of the public are invited to attend. The Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps will be honored for their service as well.

Hoboken woman fired for "hotness"

A Hoboken resident was recently hired then fired working for a lingerie store in Manhattan due to her to being too "hot."

In an economy where jobs are scarce, Lauren Odes took a job with Native Intimates only to find her attire at work an issue.  Finally, after being forced to wear a red bathrobe at work, she went shopping to find another outfit accommodating to the owners only to be contacted and told she was being terminated.

She's filing a discrimination case against the owners with high profile attorney Gloria Allred.

The story is receiving heavy media attention.


Talking Ed Note: Hopefully the publicity will aid Lauren Odes in finding a better employment opportunity. A similar case occurred with Citibank back in 2010. Debrahlee Lorenzana though refused to accept a settlement negotiated by Gloria Allred and was critical of her handling of the case after the cameras were gone. That story came out earlier today:


Monday, May 21, 2012

Liberty Humane Society clears record on misinformation and fabrication

The Liberty Humane Society based in Jersey City appeared at the last council meeting and spoke about providing services for Hoboken.  Here is a clip where their policies are spelled out.  The are an open admissions shelter accepting all animals including sick, those mistreated and injured.  They have no policy of killing animals in seven days as was fabricated by Hoboken411.

In the short video below Liberty Humane Society explains they have had dogs for more than a year and animals for several months on average and for their policy of care have NO TIME LIMIT.

They deserve your support and MSV kindly asks if you would do so:

Here is a short video clip where a representative explains this to the City Council and clears up the false allegations made by Hoboken411 and Tim Occhipinti.

Talking Ed Note: The woman speaking on behalf of the Liberty Humane Society is not shown in this clip. We have no idea why the cameraman didn't move the camera on her when she was speaking.

What do you get when you combine the FBI with Equinophobia?

Caption this

Talking Ed Note: There's a technical glitch with adding comments on the previous story on Mason Street Money and her FBI correspondence.  We'll see about fixing it but comments should be fine if you wish to do so here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What really happened with Beth Mason's massive street money operation and FBI "correspondence" last summer?


Last August, MSV finally obtained the details of Beth Mason's $52,000 in street money.  On July 1st, in an interview after a City Council meeting, Mason claimed the complete campaign report was filed, but it hadn't.  Much later the details of her massive street money campaign would be separately filed and revealed in detail here.
(See original story below.)

Did Beth Mason really pay Michal Russo's expectant wife $1,000 with her so close to delivering a baby girl Russo himself would mention had already been born on election night?

At Church Towers Mason doled out nearly $8,000 to individuals close to the Russo's including Michael Holmes' wife ($1,500), his in-laws ($1,000), Ray Monaco Sr. and Jr. ($1,200), David Machuca ($1,000), Ahesette Santiago ($1,000) among others.

Were all these monies paid out to to the Russo family and Russo loyalists clear across town from the second ward for campaign work or was it tribute for other election activities of a nefarious nature?

A year later, these and other payments including some odd itemized payments to Bluewater Operations remain suspicious.

Who is the mysterious Alex Lesiak (Lesniak?) listed as paid more than $4,000 but with no address listed as legally required?

This laundered campaign report smells as bad almost a year later as last August.

The Feds should take a close look at the report and all the individuals.
Let's find out what these payments were really made for!

Talking Ed Note: At a special meeting of the City Council last June, then chair Beth Mason complained her effort to zero out the surplus was being obstructed by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs who were required to approve the Hoboken budget.

They declined to do so citing numerous clearcut financial errors forcing the Hoboken City Council to make the corrections in July when lame duck Councilman Nino Giacchi would be replaced by Councilwoman Jen Giattino.

More curious than the obvious intent to leave the City of Hoboken helpless to any extraordinary expense was a statement Councilwoman Beth Mason made defending her criticism of the DCA.

She claimed she would make public the correspondence between her and the DCA and also the FBI who she repeatedly said was willing to work to make thousands of emails public under investigation.

Councilwoman Carol Marsh expressed interest in seeing the correspondence on both.
To our knowledge she's never received any.

Here's the actual unedited 17 second video clip:

So why hasn't Councilwoman Mason made public her FBI correspondence?  
She said she would "absolutely" do so.


Mason street money revealed: "permanent press" or merely laundered?

Councilwoman Beth Mason has finally provided the detailed expenditures for the extraordinary $52,000 in street money for the second ward election in May and it raises as many questions as it appears to answer.  No one is paid for friendship so what are they really all being paid for in these hefty amounts?

It has the familiar scent of Tim Occhipinti's page after page after page of paid campaign workers who also voted in some shape or form revealing standard earnings usually in the $40 range.  But the difference is this is the Beth Mason campaign and $40 just won't do.  The amounts are far higher and there's circumstantial evidence this has been concocted with the idea of anything but transparency.

Church Towers is well represented in Beth Mason's street money operations especially the Baptista family
who are now also part of the Russo family. (Click to enlarge.)

For example, Beth Mason paid a consulting company Bluewater Operations on a regular basis through the campaign in amounts usually in $5,000 increments.  But in this detailed street money report she also directly pays its two owners, Brian Walensky ($4,100) and Ryan Yacco (2,450).  Odd?  Certainly.  Definitive? No.

There's a series of payments to Church Towers residents and many come in chunky $1,000 amounts.  Among a group of 10, there's one curious resident, a mom of a newborn who instead of being preoccupied in a different ward with a baby seems to have found work for Beth Mason on her campaign to the tune of $1,000 and also happens to be the wife of 3rd ward Councilman Mike Russo - Lisa Baptista.  Then there's also two more Baptista's who also happen to reside in Church Towers: Amelia and Anthony. They come in at $500 a pop.

Are you starting to get the freshly laundered smell?

Then there's the numerous residents with 2nd ward addresses who receive typically $70.00 each for 'campaigning' or is it voting?  Oddly, there is a strong preponderance of Spanish surnames and they reside in Applied Housing buildings.

There's one person, Alex Lesiak (sp?) who is suspicious not for the two payments of $2,050 but for the blank space where an address should be for both listings.

The numbers of people from all over Hoboken and outside is impressive with just one example being a Justin Belfiore of 11th street for $25.00.  Did they all work on election day in the 2nd ward?  Or did they also carry a presence in the 5th ward for Scott Delea?

Will the local media continue to show no "permanent" interest in any of this?  Maybe so, but more importantly will the NJ Attorney General and/or the Feds?

Hoboken's absolute street money queen Beth Mason
(Click the travel mug for more.)

The complete Street Money Mason listings at the jump: