Monday, August 20, 2012

Political Insider Augie Torres lurches toward the truth on Hoboken SLAPP suit

Political Insider busts out with the truth on SLAPP suit "political operative"

The big news breaking over the weekend involves one senior journalist from the Jersey Journal who lurched toward the truth signaling where this crud of a SLAPP civil suit needs to be dumped.  The tar pits in California is the suggested destination where it can then move on to being fossilized.

That's the blunt assessment of a decades long Hudson County political writer/reporter - Augie Torres in his Political Insider column where he wrote:

-- Hoboken. You hate it; you love it. What more can anyone say about the rhetoric coming out about a $ 2 million lawsuit less-than-shy political operative Lane Bajardi brought against a pair of city administration symbiotic bloggers -- Nancy Pincus and Roman Brice -- who have targeted Bajardi as their favorite punching bag. The threat of going to court has only turned up the vitriol in cyberspace. We're better off just marking this issue a hazardous Superfund site and avoid it for now. After a bit, like a tar pit, nature may take its course and all this will be part of the fossil record.

California tar pit - the desired location Augie Torres suggests the SLAPP
civil suit needs to be converted into a "fossil."

Adding a question to that assessment, is this a story of a political operative versus critics of who he serves?  Torres all but comes out and says he knows who this "political operative" serves.  Whether it's in pay or not - past, present or future - direct or indirect through a proxy, third party firm, spouse or any number of avenues is immaterial.

A political operative is a political operative.  If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - it's a duck.

Augie Torres is speaking as a decades long Jersey City-HudCo senior observer and not someone who appears to pay much attention to the ins and outs of the Hoboken scene.  But he amps up from last week's ridicule of the lawsuit by noting a truism in the first couple of dozen or so words.

Did Augie Torres just kick out a leg from underneath the elephant?
That truth is not about weasel words written in the present tense in a lawsuit but comes in intimate knowledge of who the players are in HudCo including Hoboken and those who are actually involved in playing the game.

Perhaps Augie took a look at MSV history and came across this little staged political operation in 2011 when Beth Mason was running the council in her abbreviated stint as council chair.

More importantly, Torres can speak with authority on the truth of who has been actively involved in political operations by simply revealing not what his sources say but who his sources are.

In regards to political operatives and the one named by Augie Torres - who is this political operative connected to?

Hi Beth!
The elephant in the room is one degree from separation being tied to a "political operative" in the Hoboken SLAPP suit based on the weekend story from Augie Torres in the Political Insider.

Councilwoman Beth Mason is quoted in the Hudson Reporter commenting on what she calls "cyberbullying."  It doesn't appear she's in any way referencing the numerous attacks on Hoboken elected officials, employees and residents at the notorious cyber-sewer she backs - Hoboken411.  Beth Mason is a known sponsor of Hoboken411 and that's the nicest way of putting it.

(Ask Peter Cammarano in the runoff against Dawn Zimmer for mayor how and most critically which Beth Mason political operative he negotiated with to stop the hit jobs on him at Hoboken411.)

Mason provided some other interesting but ill-timed answers people may find in direct conflict to what was stated on Augie Torres' Political Insider column Saturday and notably no answer whatsoever appears on her family's possible or probable funding of the civil suit, either direct or indirect.

Why would the Hudson Reporter ask the obvious of their weekly advertising client?

Talking Ed Note: The Hudson Reporter featured this story over the weekend and there's nary a surprise here.  You shouldn't expect much from the pro-Old Guard rag.  They wave the flag and do so proudly.

MSV was contacted last week for that weekend story but declined.  After the Nazi YouTube and gas chamber meme was sunk, no editor at that publication even returned a call or an email earlier this year.

Instead they hid like cowardly skunks after dropping a stink bomb.

The antipathy for Reform and "yuppies" as they are known to call parts of the Hoboken population along with what we consider to be some very unsavory ethical practices are troublesome to say the least.  The fact this town is being cleaned up from corruption and is exceeding most any expectations doesn't fit into any of it.

MSV can say we don't reach out to local restaurants to do reviews for pay; can the Hudson Reporter?

Reform is hated more than ever for dragging this town kicking and screaming into 21st century professional governance. It's hated not for failing to meet those expectations but for exceeding them.

It would be interesting to know if Beth Mason had even been asked about her relationship swirling around Hoboken411 over years.  The longtime attacks at that toilet fits a "who's who" of a Beth Mason enemies list, remarkable in at least that consistency.  Even a former legislative aide Ann Holtzman after making a career move taking a position in the Construction Office saw her good name savaged on Hoboken411 last year with the typical plethora of lies by Mason's friendly ghostwriter.  Holtzman's crime?  She made a career move - away from Beth Mason.

The late Fiscal State Monitor Judy Tripodi reached out to MSV long after our interview out of the blue lamenting in an email, "Look at what they are doing to me."  After our interview was complete, Tripodi made clear she didn't think too highly of Beth Mason.

Has Beth Mason ever addressed in any way, the smearing, the fascist censorship, the "cyberbullying" she sponsors at Hoboken411?

This has been going on and on for years!

MSV questioned Beth Mason in a City Council meeting about all this in 2011 and the leaked Hoboken Police discrimination suit legal documents in particular and all Mason could muster was to say she didn't own or control Hoboken411.  Perhaps that's at least partially true.

Did the Hudson Reporter take this opportunity to ask Beth Mason about any of that?  Of course not.
Mason is a beloved weekly advertiser.  Her comments were carefully worded and arranged in the story before any response from Grafix Avenger.  Just one among too many oddities to list here.

The biggest of course who is underwriting a massive litigation against scores of Hoboken residents?  The Hudson Reporter didn't find that particularly newsworthy.  Gee, wonder why?

Separately, Hoboken Patch has seen a number of changes to their story Friday; the most important being a quote has finally found its way into the story.

Last can't leave this story without again thanking all those who continue to contribute and generously so to the Hoboken Free Speech Legal Defense Fund.  Thank you!!

Thanks to everyone near and far for their kind support.

Councilman Dave Mello: HHA redevelopment/expansion but 20/20 plan kaput

A number of other important developments in the August City Council meeting came to pass and an important one here is the subject of redevelopment in the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Councilman Dave Mello announced a series of HHA board meetings with a verdict on the controversial 20/20 plan presented at the previous meeting.

Mello broke the news rather gently noting the doubling of the number of units in the wall to wall large buildings was not viable from any number of quality of life issues affecting both the HHA residents and the surrounding areas including a senior building along with all of Hoboken.

Councilman Michael Russo in a rather melancholy state with this announcement raises some issues including the impact on the previous planned expansion into the third ward and concludes with an inquiry on the impact of additional retail space.

It should be noted the Russo family has profited greatly from any number of building transactions in town and Ma "Five-bucks-a-Tow" Russo benefited enormously from the development and with government action used via eminent domain.  She is currently listed as a realtor with Riverside Realty.

Councilman Mello also noted there will be a presentation of two NJ Transit plans September 5th.  
One will be by NJ Transit and the other will be from the City.

Can you guess which one Tim Occhipinti will back?

Riverside Realty sales agent

Talking Ed Note: While the doubling of the HHA in the 20/20 plan is all but dead, there's expansion here on the table and it's more than 10 percent.  Councilman Mello says the overage is required to maintain the stability of housing for the existing families during the redevelopment.

It's unclear what position the Administration has if any in the redevelopment of the federal agency but MSV will go on the record and say it opposes any expansion.  Across the United States the sizes of housing projects are being reduced to better fit into the community.

Hoboken should be following the national model.

Then of course there's the political aspects as politicians splash money so the HHA residents can vote on paper ballots in exchange for $40 for "campaign work."

When MSV has written about this practice, it's been described as abusive and treating the people of the HHA like they reside on a plantation.  It's this exploitation we've repeatedly decried and any review of ELEC reports in recent years demonstrates who are among the abusers.

For the record we're pointing the finger directly at Councilwoman Beth Mason.

Mason has tried to make issue of the use of the word plantation by MSV both in a council meeting out of the blue with an attack and also earlier this spring when her stinkbreath fishy political operative FinBoy brought it to the Hudson Reporter along with a YouTube Nazi parody video.

MSV sent the reporter on the paper our work on the matter including the video confrontation with Beth Mason in City Council.  We noted this work is a proud centerpiece of our effort on behalf of all of Hoboken and is featured at the top in the exclusive feature, "City For Sale."

That's where the matter died.