Beth Mason's self-promotion for county office creates backlash with ongoing recovery efforts
Hoboken residents weeks away from direct PATH service in town and many fighting uphill battles with their respective insurance carriers are not pleased with Beth Mason's latest "charity" effort where donations go through her shadowy Mason Civic League to advance her political profile with Hudson County politicians.
As word has gotten around about Mason's political efforts via her Hudson County recovers group, residents expressed resentment for both the time and money being given to Hudson County (and a Weehawken PAC) as they are fighting through the wreckage left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy among other concerns.
The Hudson County recovers group is not a direct charity but operates under the auspices of the Mason Civic League which has employed a number of political operatives including one on its three member board, James Barracato, Mason's 2011 council campaign manager and Matt Calicchio, the 4th ward Democratic committeeman who has been named in numerous unsavory acts of a political and non-political nature.
"How can she make a push for her political (county) ambitions on the backs of Hoboken residents who have suffered the lion's share of damages," said one local resident who declined to be named for fear of a retaliatory Mason lawsuit.
A report with data from FEMA states over 2,200 Hoboken building have suffered damage from the storm, many of the serious variety and far more than all the rest of Hudson County combined.
|Beth Mason departs the State of the City event at Stevens with political operative Matt Calicchio last January.|
"We pay her salary and she does nothing for this City but get in the way of progress," said another who added "I can't get my insurance company to pay more than twenty cents on the dollar for my family's losses. Mason's selfishness with that council seat crap (Jim Doyle) only angers me more. The nerve of that woman, when this town needs everyone pulling together." Another resident listening chimed in saying, "I've seen your site and no one deserves to be on the end of that goon squad either. Maybe Hoboken will finally see action on the other front," implicitly referring to the FBI investigation in town.
One Old Guard supporter separately offered a differing view saying, "She's with us and sure she spends money in stupid ways but the flow benefits us. You (MSV) have a beef with her because she's suing you and your reformer pals. We don't care about her (county) campaigning for another office as long as the money keeps flowing here."
A well known member of the Reform community added late to the SLAPP lawsuit said of Mason's cache, "It used to be citizens who didn't give mind to local government listening to me tell them what's going on. Now they come up to me saying how horrible Mason is with more than one complaining about the self-indulgence of that huge red generator on 12th and Washington. They said it could power up a block of local businesses"
The blow back isn't restricted to Hoboken either. Last June, the Hudson Reporter covered the harassment trial of one Mason Civic employee. It didn't fully highlight Judge Macias' concluding comments, but of Mason political operative Matt Calicchio, the judge said plenty about both him and his employer regarding the treatment of BoE trustee Theresa Minutillo and her five year old daughter leaving school:
"I personally, not as a judge, I -- I find it very disturbing, very uncivilized. Very. It's like bullying somebody...and it's childish... You're just a fool that's been used by -- by -- by whoever. And what I find really, really, really, really disturbing is that people lied in that, you know, after swearing that they would tell the truth. People lied. Openly lied, which is -- which is worse than -- than a harassment charge, you know. I would have -- I would have taken a charge of harassment better than somebody calling me a liar."
Judge Macias would also call the claim Minutillo had filed a complaint for political reasons, "completely garbage." Hoboken Patch saw a full blown Masonista operation attacking Minutillo calling her complaint "overly litigious," before the transcript was released here last August.
As for where it all leads, there's one classical music number where it won't. The video by yo-gregory captures the moment at last year's special council meeting during the hospital sale saga. As seen below, Mason complains about the lack of participation by herself and her fellow allies who tried to subvert the hospital sale as the audience suddenly interjects "liar" and chants of "recall."
Talking Ed Note: Disparate voices are making various calls for Beth Mason. Some are asking for her to resign as MSV did last November while others seek her recall. Alternatively, there's more who are wishing for Mason's arrest and seeing her led away in handcuffs and brought before a federal judge in Newark.
At some point, one of them is going to see its request answered. Just you wait.
Sunday Update: The Reform commenter and gadfly said of the criticism of people not wishing to have their names in the article, "They don't want to be gualagged."
Can you blame them?