It goes without saying your vote matters a great deal today and if you've already voted, any time and effort you can offer to spread the word and GOTV (Get out the Vote) can be the difference between progress and falling back into a wretched culture of corruption. Doesn’t matter if you undertake the effort solo or in tandem with a campaign. Talk to friends and neighbors and make sure they know to get out and vote.
Hoboken voters are showing up in the ward races in higher numbers early today versus the 2011ward elections across many voting districts. The big push however lies ahead in the evening rush and that tally will determine most if not ALL the ward outcomes.
There's been a litany of problems surfacing and bad actions by the usual (and expected) bad actors.
Here's one snapshot from a local activist on Facebook just earlier:
Overheard today from a poll worker in Hoboken's 4th Ward while serving as a Challenger for Dana Wefer: "If you have to do so much work (referring to having to vote provisionally after applying for a mail-in ballot), the candidate should know that $50 is not enough."
We all know that our opponents pay folks $50 a vote in the 4th Ward. It was somewhat jarring to hear to said so blatantly today and in a polling station by a poll worker. To be honest, my first reaction was a shrug of the shoulders and the thought that "This is the way it goes here, we'll just have to push through it to win." BUT it doesn't have to be that way. There are still three hours left to vote for Dana and other Reform candidates in town. They're fighting for us, let's show up for them. If you've voted already, please tell your friends to vote. This doesn't need to be the way things are. Please vote.
Let's take a short ward by ward analysis.
First time council candidate Mike DeFusco is working his election campaign to the bone showing a commitment his opponent in Councilwoman Terry Castellano could not have seen coming. He has been blistering away at her voting record on the hospital, 9-11 Memorial, etc. in recent days to good effect.
In addition, the secret weapons referenced by MSV earlier can be told. Hoboken's anticipated new NJ Assemblywoman, Annette Chaparro is a First Ward resident who can turn votes with the additional effort of Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
People on both sides have called DeFusco's campaign efforts outstanding even without the full motion campaign pieces most have and need to win victory in a Hoboken election. However, the mayor's efforts on his behalf and funds in two Reform slate fundraisers offer council candidates adequate if not the the desired support for GOTV efforts.
This race among others may turn on late GOTV efforts.
Again, a first time candidate without lengthy campaign exposure is leading a self-directed effort but Reform strength uptown is offering solid backing coupled with volunteers in the Hudson Tea Building. The GOTV effort in that district is critical and other nearby locations where many votes have been untapped over previous council elections. Has the sleeping giant awoken after Eli Manning’s 2013 mayoral endorsement? We’re about to find out.
Fisher launched an effective mail effort with the mayor's endorsement and Council members including Ravi Bhalla have pitched in with Mayor Zimmer knocking door to door.
A last minute hit job making false accusations on Beth Mason sponsored Hoboken411 will not be of consequence this time.
Biancamano's campaign will turn out as many of the Barry family votes as it can in Applied Housing.
Bonnie Murray is trying to get votes out of Maxwell Place in a third effort cause no one has identified. Her husband has been vocally supportive of Carmelo Garcia as she says she's independent of factions.
MSV is pulling for the better criminal. Solomon Dwek by write-in. Michael Russo and sidekick Old Guard Beth Mason sidekick Matt Calicchio have been illegally entering voting locations in Fox Hills and Wallace based on multiple reports.
How do you stop Old Guard contempt for law? You can only do it with your vote.
Vote-by-Mail issues surfaced and were highlighted in connection to the Ruben Ramos campaign but as of this writing only about a dozen ballots have been thrown out. Quite a poor effort by the County BoE even though they offered indications business as usual would not be tolerated. Now it's a resource "problem."
The three way race has tightened considerably but there's 400 Vote-by-Mail ballots attributed mostly to the Ramos campaign giving him a huge head start. Can you hear the pro Old Guard rag making more noise about moral equivalence between the sides as this goes on? Is the pope Catholic?
Dana Wefer has seen a creative strong mail campaign with the mayor's endorsement who claims the fourth ward as her home. Tim Occhipinti is reportedly all over the ward trying to get out votes today.
The Hoboken Housing Authority however looms over the race like a preying mantis about to strike. There'll be more on that situation no matter what the outcome is today.
This is a highly anticipated race due to the revelation last night by Councilman Peter Cunningham of almost 200 questionable Vote-by-Mail ballots. About half are coming out of the uptown HHA senior building Fox Hills based on MSV’s document analysis.
Cunningham's opponent Eduardo Gonzalez and his campaign isn't commenting on the Russo faction Carmelo Ticket’s Vote-by-Mail effort. Gonzalez said little during the campaign about his time on the Hoboken Housing Authority where he faithfully voted the way Carmelo Garcia wanted in almost each and every instance. That's a bad record with the illumination after Garcia's departure there. Are enough voters aware? Some are and some mabye not.
If the fifth ward is closer than the margin of VBMs expect trouble and possible legal action with investigative efforts but it's unclear where and if that's mounted. Hoboken has seen this scenario in too many instances.
The biggest contrast between Reform and good governance responsive to the public and the Old Guard and its latent (if not active) corruption as Councilwoman Jen Giattino takes on the challenge from lame duck Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.
No one knows how much money Garcia took in as he once again showed his contempt for the law and did not file any campaign report of contributions and expenditures. The four mailers clearly executed on his behalf by the Beth Mason backed PAC Real Democrats for Hoboken is reportedly backfiring. Will it suppress votes for him or both candidates?
Giattino's consistent service to Hoboken however and the taping of Bernard Kenny, a respected former NJ State Senator and President will garner her even more votes.
On the BoE race, there are too many variables among seven candidates. John Madigan is the biggest looming Old Guard threat. The final vote between all the candidates should be interesting.
There's three hours left for voters to make a difference. Get out the vote!