Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Overview: a possible Michael Russo Chronology

The controversy continues.


Here's a theoretical timeline of events for Michael Russo

2008

Your campaign, "Russo for Hoboken" files its last ELEC report in September 2008

 You keep more than $18,000 in the account for a handy slush fund



2009 

 You agree to meet with a developer and bagman Maher Khalil of Jersey City. 

 You agree to accept $5,000 even with no active campaign in support of a developer project 

You say the check(s) should be made out to your "Russo for Hoboken" account 

 You explain your political philosophy to FBI informant Solomon Dwek "I did for you, you do for me." 

 Dwek says your help approving his developer project will see him "take care of our friends" and he promises more money after the election 

 Lunch meeting ends as you express appreciation for Solomon Dwek

[Something happens]



2010

You decide to run for Council again

 You have $18,000 remaining in your campaign account, but you start a new one not moving the money

 You spend $17,000 but you report and say nothing 

You enjoy many fun trips to Atlantic City. Good times.




2011

In March a book, the Jersey Sting is released detailing the biggest NJ corruption scandal in state history.


You ignore Horsey's request for an interview and call the report old news saying NJ.com reported the story

MSV says there was no NJ.com story at all


The local media says no more about it

Da Horsey contacts the authors of the Jersey Sting, they stand by their story

You tell everyone you sent Dwek away and didn't like his ways

The FBI surveillance video comes out.  You don't look unfriendly to Dwek, anything but

A firestorm breaks out concerning your agreeing to a series of bribes in the video

A protest takes place with dozens of people calling for you to resign outside City Hall

At the City Council later some ask you to resign including MSV for "trading on your office"

Perry Belfiore speaks and performs absolution telling you to say two mea culpas

You console yourself in the same council meeting co-sponsoring an email witch hunt with Beth Mason

You run for re-election against an upstart Reform candidate and win

You celebrate your big victory at the Russo Civic Association

Days later, your weekend pal Patrick Ricciardi disappears from his IT job and his office is padlocked

The FBI sweeps into Hoboken City Hall carting away records and computers two weeks later


You tell people/MSV the lease ran out. But the Russo Civic Association never reopens

Jen Giattino assumes office from lame duck councilman, email witch hunt halted

FBI refuses to release emails under criminal investigation

You and ally Beth Mason try to eliminate the evidence and force emails' release to the public

The plan fails, the suits are not pleased, handwringing begins anew

In the fall you feel better and coordinate with Beth Mason to sabotage the hospital sale

At the last minute, Tim Occhipinti bails on the plan and you change to saying you saved the hospital

You are shocked as a spontaneous chant to recall Beth Mason breaks out in the meeting

The audience boos your blatant lie you saved the hospital  

You and MORTe colleagues settle for costing Hoboken $4.5 million nixing a required simple tax change refi on the hospital garage

You go out and celebrate your consolation prize driving Hoboken toward a tax increase




2012

Mayor Zimmer considers possible layoffs after the millions lost but balances the budget anyway

The FBI asked about its Hoboken investigation responds, oh that investigation, yes it's very much an active investigation

NJ ELEC receives a complaint about your 2008 campaign account from the Wiley Coyote, Eric Kurta

You hear of the complaint but file no additional campaign reports for Russo for Hoboken

You file all your campaign reports to NJ ELEC for the 2011 Russo for Council on time even showing up Beth Mason who files all of her campaign reports late and incomplete!

You sign a political letter (is there any other kind you'd sign) attacking the mayor along with your MORTe colleagues for using Ravi Bhalla in a small personal matter over a leaky roof.

You send the mayor the letter hand delivered to her office via the City Clerk's Office

The mayor writes one back highlighting issues of your Russo for Hoboken campaign

Your letter is already planted in the Hudson Reporter and Hoboken411

The mayor discovers it and decides to send a letter in response to the Hudson Reporter

The Hudson Reporter stalls and tries to forestall printing the mayor's letter seeking "modifications"

You go to a City Council meeting and tell MORTe no one should bring up your letter

At the end of the meeting you tell everyone what a great meeting 
(No one brought up either letter)

The Hudson Reporter runs mayor's modified letter in reply to yours

Your a page one story in the Hudson Reporter but they ask nothing about bank deposits and Dwek

Some people still think the Hudson Reporter did an interesting story as it's so "unusual" for them

Monday MSV does the real story blowing your s$%& up


Future?

Tuesday you find out your previous deal is null and void

Wednesday you break the news to the wife

Thursday you are sleeping on the couch

Friday you tell the family over dinner "Ma we have a problem"

Saturday you get a special message via text, it's not your lawyer

[Something else happens]



Talking Ed Note:  MSV has no direct information on what fully transpired between Michael Russo and Solomon Dwek nor does this chronology seek to draw such a conclusion.  Any claim to the contrary that one theoretical with questions raised concludes such knowledge is incorrect.

Looks like there's a battle over the coverage of the Russo-Dwek lunch business.  The Hudson Reporter which has consistently stated as fact Russo did not agree to accepting the bribe is sounding most unhappy in the comments section:

http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/20167131/article-Follow-the-money-Questions-linger-about-Councilman-Russo’s-campaign-funds-?instance=home_Most_popular

By the way, if you post a comment there, don't assume your login/identity is protected.