Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hoboken Mayoral Forum - LIVE

Courtesy of QLC:

Due to technical problems the forum is not complete. MSV is posting the main segments:

Video streaming by Ustream


Video streaming by Ustream

Video streaming by Ustream

Live streaming video by Ustream

Victimized by Sandy, Beth Mason and Old Guard look to victimize Jen Giattino and her family again

6th ward committeeman Joe Branco opens up new attack on Reform councilwoman Jen Giattino

Councilwoman Jen Giattino

Breaking on Grafix Avenger is a story showing a new fault line breaking as the Old Guard and Beth Mason venture into new territory to undermine another City Council seat.  This time it's the sixth ward council seat of Councilwoman Jen Giattino in their sights.

Her family displaced when their home was made uninhabitable after Hurricane Sandy saw them seek shelter four blocks uptown where they are spending tens of thousands of dollars in addition to the work to repair their home.

At the last City Council meeting, Joe Branco went up in public portion under the guise of "concern" as a sixth ward Democratic committeeman expressing questions about her residency.  Take a look at this performance in the short video below.


Did you notice in the video how Joe Branco quickly went from showing concern to immediately asking if a "resolution was passed," allowing Councilwoman Jen Giattino to move after her home was destroyed?

Joe Branco went from concern to a legal question on the council seat in less then two seconds flat.

Do you think Joe Branco is deserving of an Academy Award?

Play the video again and notice who has awoken from a coma?  It's none other than Councilwoman Beth Mason who is orgasmically excited at the skepticism heard by Councilwoman Jen Giattino at Joe Branco's "concern."

Councilwoman Jen Giattino clearly doesn't buy for a second the sixth ward's Democratic Committeeman's "concern." You can faintly hear her saying at one point Joe Branco should not approach her.

As MSV understands it, Joe Branco hasn't approached Councilwoman Jen Giattino but there's word Councilwoman Beth Mason political operatives went to the Giattino's house on seventh street doing a photo recon. The plural operatives is not incidental.  Plural as in Batman and Robin, Bonnie and Clyde, Jekyll and Hyde - husband and wife.

(Will we see a "story" shortly on Hoboken411 or will it go straight to the Hudson Reporter?)

So what would have Joe Branco working with Beth Mason?  Here's a picture that will answer better than a thousand words.

Joe Branco and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia share a private moment at last week's
City Council meeting.  Joe Branco would later pose "concern" about
Councilwoman Jen Giattino's moving four blocks away with her home destroyed after Hurricane Sandy.

A legal maneuver to see Councilwoman Jen Giattino off the City Council means critical HHA appointments (to save Carmelo Garcia and his gross insubordination) along with Zoning Board appointments could be made by a Beth Mason controlled council and all the goodies that goes with it.

You know how the Old Guard loves goodies.

Who would stoop to such a level after the Giattino family was already victimized by Hurricane Sandy?  

Talking Ed Note: Well after the November election should we expect another "legal action" by Beth Mason? Or will it be underwritten by the Mason family and put in the names of her or other political operatives?

Bring back the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade on a Saturday?

An interesting question among others was should the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day parade be brought back on a Saturday. The Raia-Mason ticket staple under Timmy Occhipinti has seen some interesting campaign paraphernalia highlighted here and on Grafix Avenger.

Occhipinti who arrived late looked particularly pained with the question arising.

Timmy Occhipinti looked painfully surprised when the topic of bringing back the St. Patrick's Day Parade on a Saturday
made it into the Q&A. He's been working to develop those new single issue voters in local bars.

Surprisingly, most of the candidates voiced support to bring back the parade on a Saturday, a demand the parade committee refused to budge on leading to a replacement Irish Festival on Sinatra Drive.

Joe Mindak said he was for bringing the parade back and Peter Biancamano said 200K was spent on security for Lepercon, the replacement bar crawl largely limited to downtown Hoboken the past years.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla was next saying the residents he speaks to are against bringing it back and said he's not representing bar owners in Hoboken but the residents. He added the concerns about criminal debauchery and two alleged rapes.

Patricia Waiters said she was for bringing back the parade and complained about the sexual assaults being magnified and claimed there were crimes not reported at the Mumford and Sons concert. 

Eduardo Gonzalez was for the Saturday parade too. He said families look forward to the parade and there's still rowdy drinking.

Frank Raia went down history lane saying Helen Cunning who serves on the parade committee was the best City Council person ever and the parade has nothing to do with the problems of people getting out of hand "on rooftops, streets," etc. He added something is wrong if there can't be a parade.

Britney Montgomery Cook recounted her grandparents taking her to the parade and thought it was a shame it was gone saying it should be brought back.

Councilman Dave Mello firmly stated the parade had to be moved but the parade committee said it had to be Saturday or nothing.  He called the parade a burden on taxpayers and a windfall for bars not citizens.

Jim Doyle noted he was the only 100% pure Irishman among the candidates and noted the City did not cancel the parade. He added to hilarious laughter his temperance and said the bar owners make money.  (But how many votes do they get?)

Laura Miani said she was in favor of the parade and called house parties the problem and rhetorically asked, why can't we have this?

The only person to offer a rebuttal was Joe Mindak who said he was offended he didn't get credit for concerts at Pier A and that his group ran the first one there and "we got ran out of it" this year.

Britney Montgomery Cook - misses the parade.

Talking Ed Note: Those in favor of bringing back the St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday:
Joe Mindak, Peter Biancamano, Patricia Waiters, Eduardo Gonzalez, Frank Raia, Britney Montgomery Cook and Laura Miani. 

Those against a Saturday St. Patrick's Day Parade: Council members Ravi Bhalla, Dave Mello and Jim Doyle.

Have to say, considering the dramatic improvements in the last two years, year over year, the answers on this one were surprising.  The parade had become a mardi gras dog whistle up and down the east coast turning Hoboken into a dangerous and ugly scene with the parade being the magnet "attraction."

Sign of the Times: Stand up for what you believe in

Frank Raia was the last speaker to make closing remarks and decided to stand up and
deliver them with a less than impressed Laura Miani sitting nearby.
Subscribers will get more on this 
bizarre ending.

About last night

A brief but incomplete take through a Reform lens

MSV will be back with more but here's some initial broad analysis on the council forum last night.  First thanks to Melissa Abernathy of QLC for her effort launching a live broadcast.  MSV was able to set that up in time and tonight we're going to try to help and make it better for the mayoral forum at 7:00.

Some initial thoughts on the 10 member panel and audience.  Great turnout and a strong reform minded group on hand. Nice to see considering the circus the City Council meetings have been in recent months. Care for an encore Reform?

The well behaved crowd overall had two notable moments. First, the topic of vote-by-mail fraud came up - remarkable in and of itself.  The dirty secret in plain sight has become a dirty secret no more. When Frank Raia's turn came late in the question, many in the audience burst out in spontaneous laughter and a certain Beth Mason paid political operative looked none too happy about any of this being discussed. Perhaps he would prefer a wrestling question.

The only audience interference came on a City budget related question and again it was Frank Raia the lightning rod as he clearly has not forgotten being bounced off the Board of Ed by the voters.  He went on a tirade complaining about BoE spending and was heckled from the audience on the same side of the room.  This is a Hoboken City Council forum no?

Back to the vote-by-mail question. Council members Dave Mello and Ravi Bhalla did not shy away from the "problem" while most of the other candidates agreed to voice Switzerland answers supporting legal vvm participation.  One exception was Joe Mindak who vocalized discontent wondering why the practice of vote buying continued to exist.  (Welcome to Hoboken corruption Joe and would you care to join the fight?) Patricia Waiters urged residents "not to sell your vote" all but admitting to the ongoing blatant fraud.  The only person who attempted to make a defense of the massive voter fraud in recent elections was BoE commissioner Peter Biancamano who is on the Raia-Mason ticket. He gave a long answer decrying "voter suppression."  Where have we heard this defense before?

Most recently it was Councilman Michael Russo using those same words when a mano a mano ensued with Councilman Ravi Bhalla over the issue early this year.  Russo called it Republican voter suppression and Bhalla called it exploitation.  Back in 2010, the Tim Occhipinti campaign used the same language of voter suppression when voter fraud was brought up before its campaign irregularities found their way to the NJ Attorney General's Office.

Currently, MSV is aware of over one-thousand vote-by-mail ballots outstanding for the entire city.  Of those, about 400 were coming out of a corner of the fourth ward.  The Hudson County Board of Elections added a new measurement: ballots mailed versus ballots by messenger.  Does Da Horsey need to tell you how the Hoboken Housing Authority and affordable housing locale ballots are finding their way to the county? The vast bulk are not arriving by mail but by messenger. 

Is everybody too busy to mail a ballot in due to a hard campaigning schedule?

Can we get some love from the US Department of Justice? (Thanks for coming by MSV yesterday folks.)

Last, although on the whole candidates were well spoken and gave strong positions and answers; this election comes down to not who do you believe can complain best but who can work towards solutions and most importantly - WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

MSV recommends you watch but more importantly listen to the forum.  If you can't spare time, at least go to the final part and hear the closing remarks by the candidates in part four.

Council candidate row at the Elks last night. Tonight at 7:00 it's the mayoral candidates' turn.

Talking Ed Note: Moderator Bob Bowdon did very well using weighted questions from the audience as a focus of the debate. Rent control came out front and center and later so did Vision 20/20. MSV will be putting up a complete video clip on the controversial redevelopment project.  Questions are taken from the audience so if you have one, show up tonight and hand it in.

A question on the budget surplus came up framed quite oddly as a Beth Mason talking point although she was not there.  How did that happen? The question was would you give the surplus back to the taxpayers? Every single candidate answered they wanted a surplus of some amount for a rainy day and dedicate some of it to various areas of concern but not a one mouthed the Beth Mason canard.

For those new to MSV and there's a stream of new visitors, in her brief tenure as Council President, Mason attempted with Michael Russo, Terry Castellano, Nino Giacchi and Timmy Occhipinti to strip any surplus from the City for any emergency.  Any as in ZERO!

More to come but for now, please see the videotape.