Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Report: Cory Booker wins US Senate Seat

Cory Booker the current mayor of Newark appears to have won his bid to be a US Senator from New Jersey.

According to the Star Ledger, Booker is the winner against Republican Steve Lonegan with a projected margin of 55-44, far closer than most pundits and pollsters predicted.

While one poll had Lonegan in the range of ten points, most others showed far larger margins and it wasn't expected Lonegan would have the means to muster a strong closing challenge.  He was operating at a wide disparity in campaign funds: almost $10 million for the celebrity aura of Booker versus less than $2 million.

The final numbers are not official but it's safe to say Cory Booker will be the next Senator from New Jersey.

US Senator-elect Cory Booker with Mayor Zimmer on a recent campaign visit to Hoboken.

Photo courtesy by arrangement

International Union of Operating Engineers endorses Mayor Zimmer

Union Local 825 announces:



SPRINGFIELD, NJ, OCTOBER 15, 2013 – The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 announced today that it is endorsing Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer for reelection on November 5.

Citing her commitment to modernize Hoboken’s aging infrastructure through partnerships with public and private stakeholders, union members are lining up to support her reelection.

“Last year, Hurricane Sandy highlighted the critical need for new approaches to help eradicate the flooding problems that face many parts of the city,” said Local 825 business manager Greg Lalevee. 

“Her commitment to tackle this problem with a multi-faceted plan that includes flood barriers and breaks will help protect residents and businesses from this worsening threat,” Lalevee said.

Lalevee noted that mayor Zimmer came into office with a government in crisis. She has worked to stabilize the city and lead it through a difficult period, stabilizing taxes and working to address quality-of-life issues. Zimmer has demonstrated a willingness to take on tough challenges with innovating ideas and by working together with public and private groups.

Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield, N.J., and represents more than 6,500 operating engineers throughout New Jersey and five counties of lower New York: Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware.  Its members operate heavy-equipment – such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, pile drivers backhoes and loaders – to execute large construction tasks and earthworks operations.  

Hoboken Fair Housing Association will join Mayor Zimmer in Voting NO on Hoboken Ballot Question #1

The HFHA announces:

Hoboken Fair Housing Associate was pleased to hear that Mayor Zimmer not only took the position that she will be voting NO on Hoboken Public Question No. 1, but also asks everyone else to join her in voting NO.

HFHA members were also surprised to see a recent viral email allegedly from Hoboken Revolt, an organization completely dormant since Mayor Zimmer has been in office, asking residents to vote yes.  It is particularly surprising since more than one of the original Hoboken Revolt steering committee members have advised that they are supporters of rent control and have given small donations to HFHA to support rent protections in Hoboken.  There clearly is an indication that this email represents a hijacked email list and not the consensus of the community members that provided their emails in order to get access to a community website over four years ago.

Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA), the organization that sponsored this anti-rent protection ballot question in 2012 and lost that election, also sponsored an election contest in the courts where false evidence of displaced Hoboken voters was submitted to the courts to overturn a legitimate democratic election.  MSTA are a group of large-scale developers and real estate interests.  They are not concerned with the citizens of the city nor the quality of life, just astronomical real estate prices and huge development no matter what the cost to the city.  Sky high rents mean a transient population that doesn’t vote nor care about the city.

The developer/real estate interests that have hijacked the Hoboken Revolt email list neglect to point out the fact that all tenants can be evicted under our current laws and that providing extreme economic incentive to evict tenants puts many of our friends and neighbors at extreme risk.  Tenants that live in owner-occupied buildings can be evicted at the end of the lease or within 30 days for tenants on a month to month lease.  Tenants in a non-owner-occupied building can be evicted if the landlord says s/he wants to occupy one unit.  The tenant in that one unit is thus evicted turning the building into an owner-occupied building so that the other tenant(s) can be immediately evicted at the end of their lease or within 30 days if the tenant is on a month to month lease.  Four unit buildings are routinely converted to 3-unit buildings when an owner joins two empty units, putting the remaining tenants at risk of the same immediate eviction and tenants in larger buildings can be evicted through condo conversion.  It is disingenuous for the author of this email to suggest that the MSTA sponsored ballot question does not put existing tenants at extreme and often immediate risk.

The often cited assertion that rent control deteriorates property values is not supported by the facts.  Recent property sales show that property values in Hoboken are extremely high for all properties, including multi-family buildings. 

It is also a fact that many rents in rent controlled properties are already legally at or above market rents.  The MSTA initiative is directed at long-term tenants, many who are older and often part of the artists’ community that so many of our elected officials emphatically want to protect.  Some of these long-term tenants are the remnants of the Hispanic population in town that was under siege during the years of Hoboken fires. 

HFHA does not believe that the good citizens of Hoboken have any interest in returning to a time when a large swath of the population lives in fear of displacement. We will be joining Mayor Zimmer in voting NO and ask that our friends and neighbors send the same message that they already sent last year by voting NO…again on Hoboken Ballot Question #1 on November 5th.

Hoboken Revolt weighs in on rent control ballot question

Hoboken Revolt announces:

As a taxpayer coalition, Hoboken Revolt has taken the position that passage of the upcoming referendum on rent control is in the best interest of not only the taxpayers but the entire Hoboken community.  This is why we are asking everyone to VOTE YES TO CHANGE THE RENT CONTROL LAW.

By voting YES you are agreeing that only condo units and one to four unit buildings be allowed to come off of rent control - but only upon vacancy.  This referendum does not apply to large scale apartment buildings and has nothing to do with developers and real estate agents.  It has to do with YOU, the taxpayers of condos and one to four unit buildings.

Under the proposed change, rental increases for a condo unit being rented or an apartment in a one to four family building must follow the rent control formula, until the rental unit is next vacated.  At that time and only then would the owner be allowed to raise the rent of the newly vacated unit to market level.

Artificially holding down rents is a direct loss for small property owners.  Rent control on such small buildings is especially burdensome when a one to four family is often the owner's major savings, which is the case for many long-time residents of Hoboken.  These taxpayers must absorb the loss of income even if there are incoming tenants who can afford to pay higher rents.  In many instances these buildings can not be maintained to the same standard as owner-occupied homes and rentals with market level rents, and that downgrades the neighboring community.

The argument that removing small buildings and condo units from the current rent control law is somehow a disadvantage to low income renters is baseless.  There are no restrictions on a tenant's income in order to lease a rent controlled apartment.  Other than government supported housing, no other rentals are ever subject to income testing.  Therefore, no advantage exists anyway for anyone, no matter their income on the units included in the proposed change.

For over a decade the City Council has vowed to reform the law, but has failed due to misguided political pressure.  This is why the proposed change has been brought to the voters of Hoboken to be decided on November 5th.  It is YOUR turn to change the law.  Give the taxpayers of condos and one to four unit buildings the ability to make Hoboken a just and better community.  Vote YES on the referendum to change the rent control laws.

Update: Hoboken Revolt requested an update to this release and it was accommodated.

With three weeks out, cash on hand raises questions on campaigns


Raia-Mason slate shows bizarre balance of $631.40 cash on hand

Every campaign needs money to get out its message and the Hoboken mayoral and city council at-large campaigns are no different.

On Tuesday, NJ ELEC reports were required to show where each of the campaigns stand. MSV has not reviewed in detail each of the three main campaigns but here is the final tally of cash on hand:

Mayor Zimmer's Campaign: $49,831.74

Ruben Ramos' Campaign: $19,986.42

Frank Raia Ticket: $631.40

Having less than a thousand dollars for one of the self-declared most wealthy resident candidates raises lots of questions.

Raia was rumored to be willing to put 500K into a campaign but he's also known for coming up short on an original monetary plan. He's also been reported on a new local website for not paying the bills in previous campaigns.

As the Raia ticket supported by Beth Mason has shown an investment in a campaign office and shows full page ads in the Hudson Reporter with the most highly paid staff, there's money coming in from somewhere and most definitely going somewhere.

So where's the loot?

Update: As an FYI, the most costly part of the race is in the final three weeks meaning the fundraising aspect will be critical to all campaigns approaching the finish.  

The Raia-Mason slate however is not expected to raise any money unless some person wants to donate to the wealthy political interests of Pupie and/or the Mason family.

Frank "Pupie" Raia (l)  the main underwriter of the Raia-Mason slate shows a strange cash balance in the
ELEC report filed for the deadline yesterday.  Beth Mason reportedly paid for the office furniture.
Where's the campaign bucks?

Talking Ed Note: In recent days a solitary figure in the form of Timmy Occhipinti has been spotted uptown and in various midtown-downtown locations trying to talk up people on the street.  If there was a serious effort behind him for mayor, visible resources would be devoted to backing him out on his lonely sojourn.

What does that tell you about the seriousness and unity of the Raia-Mason ticket?

Wine and cheese event with the Vision for Hoboken campaign

The Ruben Ramos for mayor campaign announces:

Join Me for Wine & Cheese
Join Me At Headquarters For Wine & Cheese!

Every week from now until Election Day we will be hosting a series of information sessions with our ticket. This Thursday, October 17th, come out for some wine & cheese and hear about my vision for a better Hoboken. Our topic for this week will be Education.

We will also be joined by special guest host and school board candidate Brian Murray.

I hope to see you there!



When: Thursday, October 17th, 7:30 pm

Where: Vision for Hoboken headquarters
              801 Washington Street, Hoboken

Contact: John Castellano, campaign field director

Mayor Zimmer: Meet Ravi

The re-elect Mayor Dawn Zimmer campaign announces:

Blog      Volunteer      Contribute
Horsey & MSV readers --

I could not be more proud to have Councilman Ravi Bhalla on my ticket once again.
When Ravi and I took office four years ago, Hoboken had been mismanaged so badly that we were under State fiscal control and had just endured an almost 80% tax increase. In four years, we have accomplished an enormous amount. We cut City taxes almost 12% , passed a balanced, gimmick-free budget four years in a row, saved our failing hospital from closing (and taxpayers from default on a $52 million hospital bond guarantee), opened two new parks, acquired land for new parks, and renovated our existing parks.

I needed Ravi by my side to get these things done for the past four years, and I need him by my side for the next four years to keep the progress going.
Ravi's strong but calm leadership truly stands out on our City Council. He lays out his positions clearly and logically and always treats his colleagues with respect. Whether it's promoting parks, fiscal responsibility, or enacting our anti-wheeling campaign finance reform, I can always count on Ravi to be the voice of reason on the City Council.

 Please watch the short video below and share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.


             share-buttons-twitter.png   share-buttons-facebook.png

Thank you,

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Sign of the Times: Election Day for NJ US Senate

Polls are open today until 8:00 PM in a special election to fill the New Jersey US Senate seat.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) campaigned with Mayor Dawn Zimmer yesterday by the PATH Station.

Steve Lonegan (R) appearing in uptown Hoboken on tour as a US Senate candidate

Mayors Booker and Zimmer photo courtesy Bond, Greg Bond.