Friday, July 24, 2015

All over for Auggie after five decades

According to a news account, another hit of double digit layoffs at the Jersey Journal caught up to the five decades career of Augie Torres.

The online political website Politico wrote:

Augie Torres (l) at a HudCo event pictured with Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken

Talking Ed Note: Torres is a very talented writer who authored the Political Insider column since 2004. He didn't write about Hoboken often but when he did, he packed a punch and remarkably would often get a lot correct. 

In the summer of 2012, he hit a grand slam out of the stadium writing of the Bajardi v Pincus now infamous SLAPP-suit in his sidebar notes:

Torres may have been less than familiar with the details of Lane Bajardi and his wife, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and their allegations in a 170 page frivolous SLAPP but - he knew of and had encountered like many local media the obsessive frothings of Lane Bajardi.

In a rare conversation with MSV, he did speak about his infrequent Hoboken coverage and his run-in with the rabid Beth Mason SLAPPer. (Da Horsey was ordered to gather witnesses for the SLAPP trial.)

In the opinion of this horse; he didn't like him. Didn't want anything to do with him and certainly didn't want him anywhere near his stuff as he called it. He knew enough to know a political operative when he saw/dealt with one.

In this instance, he called a spade a spade. Fortunately for him, unlike others, he was never sought out for political assasination and added to the SLAPP-suit with a bounty of $2,000,000 placed over his head for calling Lane Bajardi a political operative. (That was the going rate if you didn't already know.)

Torres' political column certainly was seen far more widely by many more readers then that reference to Lane Bajardi made on obscure Hoboken Patch political blogs. Lucky for him, he wasn't a Masonic target.

Torres was taken aback when a call came his way years into the SLAPP-suit thinking Beth Mason had given up the ghost. His departure from the scene will be a void unfulfilled as he takes decades of stories and characters with him into the sunset after the summer.

His departure leaves Sully at the Reporter as the senior political denizen on the scene. While that Between the Lines column does somewhat better on Hudson County, its track record on Hoboken falls below sea level often. It doesn't approach the Political Insider by a long shot. (How's the Mayor Zimmer resignation prediction working out? The HR editors and publishers are in an official mourning period with the SLAPP-suit illuminated and its political column remained totally silent with the mammoth First Amendment and frivolous litigation result.)

Torres was one of the few columnists with enough stature to elevate the First Amendment issues surrounding the Hoboken SLAPP-suit but chose not to.

He did however offer a golden nugget inadvertently to the defendants about a "less-than-shy" Beth Mason political operative. He wrote the truth.

Thanks for that Augie. There's a book dying for you to finish it, no doubt.