Friday, July 31, 2009
Once again Beth Mason's timing on the press release is in such politically poor taste. This announcement could have easily waited until next week when the buzz of Peter Cammarano's resignation and Dawn Zimmer's swearing in had cooled a bit. Or was there fear of losing her chance at the limelight like Sarah Palin?
Now I have a good degree of respect for Beth Mason's accomplishments in transparency and some of her legislative efforts as a City Council person. She is hard working and honest but her doctrinal shift right before the Mayor's race cost her a good chuck of her base. That coupled with a series of really poor strategical political decisions really cost her political capital that will be hard to completely recoup.
I hope this isn't a sign of more of the same behaviors that I witnessed myself of her on the last campaign. With that said, Beth's proposal for the North West area has some merit even if you don't like the idea of a minor league ballpark. At least it is not all condos with very little affordable housing like the last 16 years under Roberts and Russo. I encourage anyone who would like to know more to reach out to her staff to get more information about her proposal for developing that area.
In lieu of running for Mayor, Beth Mason could bring her experience in crafting resolutions for open and accountable governement. If she so chooses she could be a key player in helping Dawn achieve a better run Hoboken Government. Both women have invested a lot of time and energy to get the coveted prize that Peter Cammarano held and squandered for a mere 30 1/2 days.
With politics being anything but certain in Hoboken anything could happen. Beth Mason certainly has a right to run as well as anyone else of a certain age and Hoboken residency. It could indeed be a large field of candidates so let the best man or woman win.
In conclusion: Couldn't this press release at least wait until Monday?
Here is her press release on a possible run:
Statement of Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason on resignation of Peter Cammarano
(Hoboken- Friday, July 31, 2009): ““While this is certainly another sad day for the City of Hoboken, Peter Cammarano did the right thing this morning by offering his resignation. This City deserves to move out from under this black cloud of alleged corruption and get on with the people’s business.
I wish acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer the best of luck and pledge to work with her in getting our local government back on track as we tackle the issues most important to our residents.
That said, many of my supporters from across the city have asked me whether I intend to run for mayor in November’s special election. In a time of crisis, people are clearly looking for a viable alternative who can unite the people of Hoboken to fix the city’s problems. As a person who has been a corporate executive living here for over 25 years and who has been a good government advocate all of my life, I am confident that I have the experience and vision this City needs to move forward. I am taking this opportunity to discuss my future plans with my family and I plan on making a final decision announcing my plans in the near future.
- 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason ◦
One of the key components to our justice system is the presumption of innocence before guilt as well as the right to a fair and speedy trial (unless you are Chris Campos with a DUI charge). For his sake I hope Peter Cammarano gets all three so he can move beyond this mess he got himself in as soon as possible. Hopefully stepping down from the public arena could help him lead himself to the path of redemption and freedom from the burden that these charges must weigh on him and his family. Redemption comes from within.
With that said go ahead and cast your vote. After all it means something (unless it is in a lost box of absentee ballots) :)
"I wanted to express a spirit of a "new DAWN in Hoboken", a fresh start after an ugly week or so, and props to our first FEMALE mayor! Yippee! If you think it's too "Hallmarky", I can change the fonts or something. "
My response: Not too Hallmarky at all. I see it as impressionistic and more importantly good content.
Note: Dawn Zimmer was sworn in at noon today by City Clerk Jimmy Farina. She gave a brief but effective speech where she stated that many people's eyes are on Hoboken and that people should visit the best mile square city that there is (paraphrased).
No one at the party had to say hey Vinny loosen up your shirt and have fun tonight. He took it all upon himself. :)
For those who wonder how a big German galoot like me got on the list for this party I'm not saying much. I'll just leave it at, hey I got connections and they aren't at the Malibu diner. Bada Bing! Bada Boom!:)
Here is the link to the story on NJ.com's Hoboken Now:
Dawn Zimmer is to be sworn in at noon today at City Hall. Here is a statement from her regarding the situation and moving forward from here:
STATEMENT OF DAWN ZIMMER UPON PETER CAMMARANO'S RESIGNATION AS MAYOR OF HOBOKEN
"I commend Peter Cammarano on making the right decision for Hoboken and resigning as Mayor. The charges facing him go right to the heart of the integrity of Hoboken government and it has become clear that he was not going to be able to govern.
Now, it is time to move forward and do the hard work of restoring confidence in City government and tackling the difficult problems that face Hoboken. Together, with my City Council colleagues, that is just what I intend to do."
(Background note: As Council President, Dawn Zimmer now becomes Acting Mayor. A special election for Mayor will be held on Tuesday, November 3. She will sworn in at 12 PM today in the City Council chambers). ◦
As you may have heard, Governor Corzine stated today at a public event that he expects Mayor Cammarano to resign tomorrow.
Mr. Cammarano's lawyer issued a statement stating that he is considering resigning. I was in City Hall in a meeting with Ms. Tripodi when this news hit, and our phones began ringing with questions from reporters.
In light of Mr. Cammarano's likely resignation, I wanted to reach out to all of you with an update.
If Mr. Cammarano resigns, then I, as City Council President, will be sworn in as Acting Mayor sometime tomorrow. A special election will be held in November for the new mayor. As you can imagine, this is a surprising way to become mayor, but I am prepared to step up and guide Hoboken through this crisis.Thanks so much for your support. I will keep you posted throughout the day tomorrow.
- Dawn ◦
Here is the link:
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Here is an article from the Hoboken Reporter that states that
- Governor Corzine expects him to resign tomorrow.
- Steve Kleinman and Angel Alicea but say he is not resigning after talking to him at his home.
- Joe Hayden says Cammarano is mulling it over.
- * Zimmer supporters possibly negotiating for Carol Marsh to become temporary Mayor.
* The Hoboken Journal believes this to be an unsubstantiated rumor. I spoke to two sources very close to Dawn and in no way is this happening with Dawn's knowledge. I do not in any way shape or form mean to discredit Tim Carroll of the Hoboken Reporter but my sources are very consistent and trustworthy on this.Here is the article on http://www.hobokenreporter.com/:
Conflicting Reports on Cammarano's Resignation
Breaking News from The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk...
Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano will resign after N.J. corruption sting arrest
Thursday July 30, 2009, 1:26 PM
Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, battered by charges in the N.J. corruption scandal, is expected to announce his resignation Friday, a report in PolitickerNJ said.
Here is the article:
My Comment: But now the angry mob will have nothing to protest. Darn! Just kidding. I am relieved that Peter Cammarano has finally decided to do the right thing for Hoboken. Do you think it was a call from the Governor that made him do it? Someone else perhaps?
Now Hoboken can truly move forward. ◦
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
There appears to be a new land use constituency in Manhattan:
The Manhattan Airport Foundation is a land-use constituency committed to the immediate development of a viable and centrally-located international air transportation hub in New York City for the benefit of all New Yorkers.
My Comment: Of course what the parody is states is that centrally located land for use of the new airport is New York City's Central Park! What a hoot!
Here is the link below, give it a good read if you love sarcasm:
Thanks to reader Eugenious for sending this in.◦
Here are the stats on Corruption:
OFFICIAL CORRUPTION (Fiscal Year 2008)
• 539 cases filed against 802 defendants–case filings increased by 14 percent
• 468 cases against 775 defendants terminated–case terminations decreased by three percent
• 695 defendants convicted
• 90 percent conviction rate
• 61 percent of convicted defendants sentenced to prison
• 32 percent of prison sentences greater than three years
• 16 percent of prison sentences greater than five years
Here is the source, the United States Attorney's Statistical Report 2008 (FY):
Here is an interesting quote about the US Attorney's role in Federal Government:
The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor -- indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows,he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.
Quoted from the Statement of Mr. Justice Sutherland in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 88 (1935)
Thanks to reader Eugenious for sending this link. ◦
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
For what it's worth, here's another voice calling for Peter Cammarano's resignation. Mine.
Reading the attachment to the criminal complaint filed against Peter Cammarano by an agent from the FBI, I was struck by how easily Peter could say whatever was necessary to accomplish his goals. To me, in an hour-long meeting at Maxwell's before the runoff, he was the great protector of Hoboken's neighborhoods.
He spoke convincingly, citing examples and facts along the way, about how he felt that new development was destroying the soul of our town. He asked for my support and, lacking that, my vote (He got neither, but he did make me reconsider). With Solomon Dwek, he was the pro-development expediter for the right people, those at the head of the line, and a ruthless politician who dealt with those who crossed him. The thing is, I can't believe either story line now. I can't give any more credence to his now famous "powder" line than to what he told me that night at Maxwell's. Regardless of the charges filed against him, we have now seen how duplicitous our new mayor really is and there is no route back to a more innocent time.
Whether he was performing for a contributor or speaking frankly, his words in that complaint have done irreparable damage. Peter Cammarano needs to step aside for the sake of our city. However, if the past is any indication, Peter Cammarano will do whatever is best for his political career, in this case trying to rescue it. As citizens we must all raise our voices. Recall won't be an available option until next July.
I applaud the conscientious souls involved with his administration who have stepped down already. These are difficult decisions and I appreciate the consideration that went into them. And my heart goes out to those who believed in him. If it's any consolation, you were taken in by a world-class performer. And I'm especially sorry for his family. I can't imagine how I would deal with something like this in my own family.
But we need to move on, and as long as Peter is our mayor that will be difficult if not impossible.
Former Candidate for Mayor of Hoboken
Note to the reader: In the runoff election for Mayor on June 9th Tom Vincent did not endorse either candidate officially. ◦
Here is the link on FailBlog.org:
See even more at: Fail Blog
The play/reading was very well acted and went over 2 hours. Some members of the Sopranos cast participated and verified the quality of the casting for those roles. The play will be shown again tonight at Sintra Park again at 7PM but it could be moved to a new location based on the weather forecast.
Here are some photos:
Attached is a photo I had made Saturday night at the airbrush book at the Festival of St. Anne. They can make any democratic slogan you want! I would love for you to post it!
Powder to the people!
And thanks for the amazing work you are doing on behalf of the people of Hoboken!
Best regards, Asha
The Sorrow and the Pity – and the Anger and the Disgust
Ira Karasick July 28, 2009
I was one of those who thought Peter Cammarano would make a better Mayor than Dawn Zimmer, and said so. I was wrong, and I am sorry, sorry for the City of Hoboken, which I love, and sorry especially to Dawn and Beth, who campaigned morally and legitimately.
While Peter never appeared to me as the reformer he has been labeled by the press, I thought that his calmness, connections and apparent command of issues would benefit Hoboken, and that this kind of leadership was more needed at this time than reform. Wrong again.
Whether or not Peter is convicted of a crime, the recordings at the Malibu Diner, an historic venue for political corruption, establish at a minimum that he does not know right from wrong, or doesn’t care; that he is arrogant and contemptuous of the people of Hoboken; and that, despite being a lawyer, he is oblivious to the law. Although these qualities were shielded from at least half of the voters, and many public officials and others as embarrassed as me, they were displayed in full force to a slimy pseudo-developer from Deal who had never even worked in Hoboken and acted willing to pay uncommonly large sums for a possible Mayor’s influence to approve non-existent projects. Fortunately. through the medium of strategically placed wires and cameras, however unsavory, these flaws were revealed to the rest of the world at the beginning, rather than the end, of Peter’s term.
The government’s paraphrase of the Malibu dealings is full of bluster and big talk, hough I suspect that it shows only one side of Peter. Unfortunately, even if unusual, it is the side that disqualifies him from serving as Mayor, and that will vex his life for the foreseeable future. I sincerely hope that Peter will overcome his faults and master his talents in years to come, but he can’t be doing it as Mayor of Hoboken. What happens in the criminal case does not change what happened at the Malibu. Peter’s first act on the road to redemption should be to resign his office and apologize to the City of Hoboken, to his opponents and most deeply to his supporters.
Just to be clear, I am writing as an individual, not as a representative of any of my clients. It seems that when I endorsed Peter Cammarano, the newspaper identified me as the attorney for Neumann Leather tenants. Those clients had no part in the endorsement, and I was not speaking for them.
Similarly, this letter is purely my own.
Ira Karasick ◦
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thanks Grafix_Avenger. I am glad to continue to collaborate with you. Keep em coming. :)
Kurt, We have received almost 600 signatures from Hoboken residents demanding Mayor Peter Cammarano's resignation. Can you please publish the link so people know about it? We plan to send the petition to Governor Corzine and Mayor Cammarano on Thursday. Thanks for your help.
Hoboken Now's Carly is on the ball with the lastest news:
Joe Garcia has resigned from the Peter Cammarano administration. In doing so he is walking away from a $125,000 with some of the best benefits in the whole country Public or private sector.
Here is the story on Nj.com's Hoboken Now:
As one of the Independent Candidates for Mayor in the last election, I want to state my thoughts regarding the past few days and on the charges against Mayor Peter Cammarano.
The past days have thrust the citizens of Hoboken into disbelief and anger. Mayor Cammarano has put us there. I echo the people of Hoboken’s call for the resignation of Mayor Cammarano.
I do not make this statement lightly; but Mayor Cammarano, has failed us.
It is not just the bribes that offend me. Mayor Cammarano deliberately deceived the people of Hoboken and broke promises to gain elected office. There is not a word in the English language that describes his level of deceit.
Mayor Cammarano was to “unite of all Hoboken”. That was a flat-out lie. Stating that people “wait-in-line” or to have people “grounded into Powder” is not the actions of someone that intends to unite.
Mayor Cammarano, throughout the campaign, repeatedly stated Hoboken needs sane and reasonable development for the citizens of Hoboken. As we now know, Mayor Cammarano was already brazenly accepting money for development potentially not in our interest.
Mayor Cammarano’s insult to the integrity, intellect and character of Hoboken Italians, our Hispanic community and seniors is beyond words. Statements such as these can not be tolerated.
Mayor Cammarano’s words expose direct lies to gain elected office. These direct lies, in my opinion, are just as serious as the Bribery allegations against him and is reason enough for Mayor Cammarano’s resignation. Such deceit has no place in Hoboken City Hall.
The fallout of his actions has also left Hoboken City Hall without leadership. Although City Services are “working”, there is no accountability, no Elected leadership and no Directors of essential departments. Mayor Cammarano has lost all ability to Govern.
Mayor Cammarano brought this upon us. Hoboken received a Black-eye, a cut….a bruise. We are in the national spotlight. But black eyes, cuts and bruises will not keep Hoboken down. We are strong and better than that. It is what we do from this point that will define us.
And what we are doing right now is standing up for what’s right for Hoboken. Mayor Cammarano MUST resign.
Hoboken has serious issues to tackle and address. We have spending issues, budget issues, tax issues, personnel issues and quality of life issues to name a few.
Mayor Cammarano lied to the people of Hoboken and took bribes.
I say to you, Peter Cammarano, resign.
Just remember there are two....or three or four...sides to every story. Please see attached press release.
Cuthbert J. Twilley
Note: This link goes to a site to buy Cammarano t-shirts.
The people made the usual arguments for his resignation. Three City Councilpeople stopped by to make a brief appearance: Beth Mason, Ravi Bhalla, and from across the street Dave Mello.
The rally was peaceful though many who grabbed the bullhorn were quite passionate and angry about recent events. There were a few Cammarano supporters there but the crowd was 99% there to call for his resignation.
On a more sad note a Cammarano supporter accross who I believe was homeless or from section 8 housing was screaming at two of my Jewish friends. She claimed that Zimmer was behind a Jewish conspiracy to take over the Office of Mayor. In attempt to diffuse the situation as one of my friends was really getting unnerved, I told the woman that I am neither Jewish or Christian and I voted for Zimmer. She looked at me puzzled and I followed up with "I am Bhuddist, look at my big belly" which I then proceeded to rub. :) The fact that I was nuttier than her was enough to get her to move on. Oy vey! It is a shame that there is such anti-semitism in Hoboken politics albeit in a woman whose mental capacity I estimate to be somewhat diminished. Despite that assessment I still have a tough time accepting there is still so much hatred.
I beleieve the rally served a public good in that it let people vent their anger peacefully. The police handled it well and I don't believe there were any arrests or citations. I would like to see the PBA who endorsed Peter Cammarano make a statement one way or the other.
I write to provide my views on the federal corruption charges against Mayor Peter J. Cammarano, III. First, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Mayor's family and the many residents who placed their trust in him.
Over the last four days, I have spent time with neighbors and friends, received phone calls and emails from constituents, and met folks at City Hall. There is a broad mix of emotions among residents, ranging from outrage, anger and frustration, to shock, sadness, and sympathy towards the Mayor's family. I share all of these emotions, and the time I have spent absorbing the feelings of various cross-sections of the community reaffirms my belief that Hoboken is a strong community and we will get through this situation in due time.
As I stated last Thursday, it is my strong belief that Mayor Cammarano should resign from office. Here is why: we all agree that this is a serious charge. We also agree that in a court of law, Mayor Cammarano is entitled to a presumption of innocence, which will carry through each stage of legal proceedings in this matter. However, what makes the Criminal Complaint against Mayor Cammarano more than a "mere charge" is the contents of a 9-page Attachment to the Criminal Complaint. This Attachment explains in great detail the factual basis underlying the Criminal Complaint. A review of this document demonstrates, in my judgment, a substantial evidential basis for the accusation against Mayor Cammarano. Additionally, the Attachment indicates that the factual basis for the accusation is not verbal allegations by a cooperating witness, but rather, a series of tape recorded conversations. These recorded conversations lend a high degree of credibility to the allegations against Mayor Cammarano and make it virtually certain, in my judgment, that he committed a federal crime while in office.
In addition to the legal implications of these taped conversations, I am also disturbed by the disrespect Mayor Cammarano displayed towards the citizens of Hoboken in these discussions, particularly against those who did not support him. The Attachment, along with my conversations with residents over the last three days, lead me to conclude that Mayor Cammarano's credibility has been damaged beyond repair, and he no longer has the ability to govern effectively as Mayor.
Accordingly, the people of Hoboken would be best served if Mayor Cammarano listened to the callings of Governor Jon S. Corzine, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, several of my Council colleagues, members of his Transition Team, and many others, and tendered his resignation to the City Clerk as soon as possible.
Councilman Ravi S. Bhalla ◦
Dear friends and neighbors -
That was a great rally yesterday!! THANKS to those who came out in the rain and THANKS to Hoboken Revolt who organized it.
We need good government and we need to make that change now. Mr. Cammarano should RESIGN NOW so that Hoboken can heal and go forward. Our town is not for sale and our town is not a bargaining chip. Enough is enough.
Our next step is to contact our US Senator, Governor, State Senator, Assembly people, and urge them to ask Mr. Cammarano to resign.
The intended target of the rally was not solely for Mr. Cammarano but the political leadership in the state of New Jersey. The KEY is to put pressure on these higher authorities. If anyone can have any influence it will be these politicians . Until he is proven guilty, Mr. Cammarano has NO intention of leaving office. Therefore, we need to contact these politicians. Here are the links that Phil Cohen has provided.
I am not sure if Hoboken Revolt will schedule another rally, but in the meantime, we need to keep pressure on our elected representatives. Please contact them and let your voice be heard and forward this email to your friends and neighbors.
Your State Senator is Brian Stack and your two State Assemblypeople are Ruben Ramos and Caridad Rodriguez
Click on the "Electronic Mail: Contact Your Legislator(s)" link in the middle of the following page below and directly address a single, original post sent to Senator Brian Stack and Assemblypeople Ruben Ramos and Caridad Rodriguez:
Your US Senators are Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, and they can be contacted here:
Your US Congressman is Albio Sires, and he can be contacted here:
Your Governor is Jon Corzine and he can be contacted by cutting and pasting the following address:
then click on the "Law and Public Safety" topic
then click on the "Courts and Court Cases" subtopic ◦
Here is the latest of defections of support for Peter Cammarano from the Hoboken Democratic Executive Committee:
By unanimous vote the Executive Committee of the Hoboken Democratic Party calls on Mayor Peter Cammarano to resign for the good of the Democratic Party, and the good of the people of Hoboken, whom Mayor Cammarano has sworn to serve.
A Special Meeting of the Hoboken Democratic Party will be held on Monday, August 10, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at Willie McBride's, 616 Grand Street, for the sole purpose of adopting a formal resolution calling for the immediate resignation of Mayor Peter Cammarano. If Mayor Cammarano resigns before August 10, 2009 at 8:00 p.m., then this meeting will be cancelled.
Chairman - Ruben Ramos
Vice Chair - Ann Graham
First Vice Chair - Phil Cohen
Second Vice Chair - John Castellano
Treasurer - Gary Holtzman
Recording Secretary - George Ortiz
Corresponding Secretary - Theresa Burns
Sergeant at Arms - Brian Assadourian
Here is the full press release. I received this from multiple members of the Executive Committee yesterday and this communication comes from the committee on the whole and not just one member for clarification. ◦
When the campaigning for the May Hoboken mayoral race was coming to a close and after an editorial board session with The Jersey Journal, this newspaper endorsed Peter Cammarano after much internal debate. Cammarano won the subsequent June runoff by 161 votes.
The Jersey Journal now calls upon the mayor to resign the office.
His once promising political career has quickly turned to powder. There is no one to blame except the mayor.
To read the rest here is the full story
The Jersey Journal has a pretty consistent track record of endorsing machine politicians as they endorsed Dave Roberts in his second term in 2005. Maybe if those on the staff of the Jersey Journal had attended a few City Council meetings to see Peter Cammarano's arrogant and condescending manner come out again and again they might have seen his candidacy in a different light.
I respect the many years Augustin Torres has put into covering local politics and he is a far better writer than I. I disagreed with his endorsement when it first came out but I am glad to see that the Jersey Journal is making the right call now. It is time for Hoboken to turn to "home rule" (Cammarano phrase) and have the citizens of this City who actually live here shape the political opinion rather than outsiders that have no skin in the game. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh but I feel that is why blogs have sprung up all over to cover local events and not just have the citizens rely on institutional reporting. ◦
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here is the notice on their website as well as the email I recieved...
IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT INDICTMENT OF MAYOR PETER CAMMARANO:
HOBOKEN REVOLT WILL BE CONDUCTING A PRESS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY, JULY 27TH AT 5:00 P.M. ON THE STEPS OF CITY HALL FOLLOWED BY A COMMUNITY RALLY AT 6:00 P.M..
CITIZENS ARE ASKED TO BRING THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO EXPRESS THEIR CONCERN AND OUTRAGE OVER THE ALLEGED ACTIONS OF OUR MAYOR.THE EYES OF THE NATION ARE UPON US...LET'S SHOW THEM HOW WE FEEL.
Here is the protest video that I took from Saturday's rally outside his home. It has about 2,000 hits thanks NJ.com's Carly for providing the link on her site:
Some constituents who'd rather not be ground into powder have created this tee to wear in solidarity. A very limited run of the shirt will be sold tonight ($10) at the protest and orders can be made at Hobokenpowder@yahoo.com. Hoboken powder unite!
See NJ.com's Hoboken now for Mike Novak's statement of resignation as well as calling for Peter Cammarano's resignation as well.
Also, Eric E. Tomaszewski of the Transition team is calling for his resignation in the comments section. ◦
Here is a very brief statement from Jason Mauer released to the local media:
Members of the media, at 12 noon, I resigned from Peter Cammarano's transition team. Much of the leadership of the transition committee has done the same.
Peter Cammarano Campaign Volunteer and Trasition Team Member ◦
Below is his statement for the local media:
The events that unfolded last Thursday were both stunning and unsettling to the thousands of supporters that voted for Peter Cammarano during the mayoral election. As an independent council candidate who endorsed Cammarano, it is especially difficult. As I stated during my campaign, I believe our elected officials should stand for honesty, integrity, and character and it is time we hold them accountable for their actions.
Effective immediately I am resigning my position as a subcommittee chairman on the Mayor’s Transition Team. I can not in good faith support Mayor Cammarano’s decision to remain in office. The public trust entrusted to him as our mayor has been shattered.
I can not foresee how Mayor Cammarano can effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities required to fulfill the office of mayor at this time. I respectfully ask for the benefit of the residents of Hoboken that Mayor Cammarano resign. We need to move this city forward and work together to resolve the issues at hand.
Hoboken Independent City Council at Large Candidate 2009 ◦
today. Either there is a press conference in the afternoon or they are
just getting ready for the press conference and rally scheduled for 5
pm today. ◦
Editor's note: see http://www.hoboken411.com/ for extensive coverage of the flooding in town.
I walked up to the Elysian to have dinner and outside the Elks Club the fire department was there. I was told by lightning struck the left corner of the Elks Club Roof. Below are photos of the aftermath. The fire department brought their ladder truck to inspect the roof for safety issues to ensure that there was no more loose debris.
Here are some photos of the aftermath:
Not an Asteroid fragment, but a piece of stone from the Elks left roof cornice
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Here is a press release from Tony Soares, former Hoboken Councilman:
Since 2001 Michael Schaffer has been a compensated commissioner (free health care) on The North Hudson Sewage Authority.
Mr. Schaffer votes on approvals for developments that come on line. He votes to allow or reject projects based on capacity of the system and Hoboken's ability to sustain each development.
In his role he decides whether of not a project is actually built. The commission's approvals are stronger than zoning. If they deny, the project is a no-go unless the developer/applicants can address their engineering concerns.
It was Mr Schaffer who on his 1st night as a Commissioner in 2001 abstained from voting on the large scale Sky Club. A project that was originally opposed by many-including the City Council.
Schaffer abstained because he said he was not familiar with the plan. The Plan was a regular front page debate in the local press for years.
At the time the project was being transferred from a developer with a 40 count indictment (Rene Abreau )to a local builder (Manhattan Building Co.) They in turn sold out to Toll Bros.
Because this project was granted nearly 20 variances, the NHSA's engineers recommended the plan be denied because flooding in the 4th ward was so bad.
Instead the Commissioners voted the project through.
While many wonderful families live there, they too experience a neighborhood that has an exacerbated flooding problem, not because of their homes, rather Michael Schaffer and the NHSA never compelled developers to address engineering warnings by their very own engineers!
Today, Mike Schaffer stands as a defendant. Now I can guess why he may have abstained on that 2001 vote, as well as doing so very little for the residents of Hoboken's Westside. ◦
This is from CarenL27 of the Hudson Reporter:
Mayor Cammarano may have not resigned yet, but our favorite cat in the clouds shows us what he thinks . . . Inspired by Charlie Schmidt: http://www.charlieschmidt.com/
This Thursday, a severe wound was inflicted upon the City of Hoboken. In the wake of this shocking news, I have tried to respect the complex feelings that both supporters and opponents of Peter Cammarano must be experiencing, by initially limiting my comments on this matter. However, having read the criminal complaint against our Mayor many times, and having had time to reflect upon what has occurred, I must insist that Mr. Cammarano resign from his position as Mayor of Hoboken immediately.
Mr. Cammarano has rightfully stated that he deserves the presumption of innocence; all Americans facing a criminal charge do. Yet, any public servant must put the needs of their constituency ahead of their own wants. Given the very serious criminal charges that are confronting Mr. Cammarano, coupled with the numerous pressing problems that Hoboken faces, I see no scenario under which a public servant could defend themselves against charges of this severity while simultaneously providing the level of service that Hoboken deserves. Mr. Cammarano must resign.
I ask that Mr. Cammarano speed the curative process in Hoboken, and that he put the needs of the thousands of people who voted for him, and the thousands more whom he represents, ahead of his own. What our City requires now is a government that it can trust, led by a Mayor whose sole focus is upon leading Hoboken to a more fiscally responsible future where corruption is never tolerated. Public service is a selfless calling, and Mr. Cammarano must be selfless in the wake of this controversy. Only then can this wound begin to heal.
Hoboken Councilman at Large ◦
From: Tony Soares
Date: July 24, 2009 12:50:24 PM EDT
To: Mike Novak
Subject: Re: Transition Team Meeting
I will not be participating in the transition team.
While I accepted the offer to help Hoboken (despite my continued support of Zimmer) where I could, I never expected Cammarano to bring this black mark on our city. Peter must resign.
Thanks again. I know you are an upstanding man and I respect your hard work. However, I simply can not trust an administration led by an official who by his own words was selling our city out and threatening to crush folks like me "into powder".
Former Hoboken City Councilman
My comment: I don't anticipate everyone on the transition team to resign but in the end it might be put on hold or disbanded altogether in the near future depending on developments over the next week or two. Mike Novak is a victim in this as well as any of his most ardent supporters. They all all put their trust in Peter Cammarano and he let them down whether or not he is convicted. He let all of Hoboken down big time. ◦
Below is an email from Peter Cunningham 5th Ward Councilman concurring with Dawn Zimmer that Peter Cammarano should resign in light of the charges against him.
Here is the brief email sent out Friday:
Friends, Family and Neighbors,
I am very sad that Hoboken continues to endure what appears to be constant lapping of inappropriate waves, time and time again. Such a great City, with great people, with a few characters making our current and future success an unnecessary challenge. But we will overcome as we have before. However with this circumstance, I reiterate Councilwoman Zimmer's comments and call for the Mayor's resignation. For the sake of Hoboken, I hope he will in short time do the right thing.
Public pressure to resign can help. I encourage you to read the complaint (NJ.com) and take the time to understand the seriousness of these charges and respond. The time and effort to fight them will be all too consuming, and an unnecessary burden on the City whether or not he's convicted.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions, and I will do my best to respond, as these moments continue to be very fluid. Also, please pass this note on to your friends, family and neighbors as well.
Hoboken 5th Ward Councilman ◦
Dawn Zimmer sent this release out on Friday so I am playing a little catchup here.
I wanted to send a quick note to share my thoughts on the shocking and disturbing events that unfolded yesterday.
As I am sure you all know, Mayor Cammarano has been arrested and charged with accepting cash campaign contributions in exchange for his promise to expedite development projects.
I am stunned by this news, and concerned about our town. I have read the complaint against Mayor Cammarano, and while he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, these are very serious charges.
I have publicly urged Mayor Cammarano to resign because I believe it is in the best interest of Hoboken.
No matter how this matter is ultimately resolved, I do not believe that the Mayor can perform his duties while the matter is pending. His criminal defense will be extremely time-consuming, leaving him with insufficient time to manage the city's business.
In addition, the nature of the charges will, rightly or wrongly, compromise the perceived legitimacy of many of the important decisions that he will be called upon to make as Mayor.
Unfortunately, the Mayor announced today that he has decided not to resign, a decision at odds with his own "zero tolerance" policy that he referred to just two weeks ago when he demanded the resignation of a Housing Authority Commissioner under very similar circumstances.
I fervently hope that after he has had an opportunity to reflect more carefully about the situation, Mr. Cammarano will reconsider and do what is best for the community he is duty bound to serve.
If Mayor Cammarano does decide to change his mind and resign, then I, as City Council President, would become Acting Mayor, subject to approval by the City Council. Ultimately, a special election would be held and the people of Hoboken would choose our new Mayor.
I will be in touch soon with further updates.
- Dawn Zimmer
Hoboken City Council President ◦
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I spoke to a few people today and I personally feel that the better venue for this is at City Hall. Some think that given the serious nature of the charges that they should protest wherever, whenever. Others agreed with me that the home should be off limits. It did not appear that Peter and his family were home but the media was there. Not a good week for NJ Democrats.
I see the point that his neighbors could be inconvenienced by this a bit but the protest did peter out after an hour or so (pun intended).
From what I heard there will be a follow up protest 6PM at City Hall Monday June 27.
Without further adieu, here are the photos:
Video to be processed later.... Stay tuned.
Here is the original email:
"THERE WILL BE A MASS PROTEST IN FRONT OF PETER CAMMARANO'S HOME AT 1113 BLOOMFIELD TOMORROW MORNING (SATURDAY) AT 11AM, AND AGAIN MONDAY EVENING AT 6PM."
Some on the distribution do not think it is appropriate since his wife and young child are innocent not to mention the neighbors on his block that I am sure don't want all the hoopla.
I am planning on checking it out to see what develops as a blogger and not a protester. Even though I think he should resign I don't believe the venue for such a protest should be at his home but rather City Hall. As citizens of the US we do have the constitutional right to peacefully assemble but I would advise that those who want him to resign show a little decorum and class and postpone this protest until the "Big Enchilada" at City Hall with all the camera crews and national visibility.
Do not take this as a defense of Peter Cammarano but from a legal perspective there is a process that has to be followed and the subtleties of the law with respect finding legal certainty beyond a reasonable doubt in a fraud case. I'll leave that to the lawyers. Lets try to keep in mind the distinction from legal guilt and political/ethical guilt.
From a political perspective he has lost all credibility. He ran on a platform of lower taxes, real change and "home rule" and the 10 page Criminal Complaint shows him selling out Hoboken to developers even before he was elected. He may get off in a legal sense but the damage has been done. His best chance is to cop a plea and turn over others that may be involved. I have seen squealers and take it to the bank he is a squealer! If you the reader are involved in this in any way (and I hope not) now is the time to pack your bags and join E Troy Washington in Cuba. :) It is pretty probable Peter will talk and quite a few more heads will roll when this is all done.
Look, even some of his ardent supporters are scratching their heads and are extremely upset and disappointed in him. The zenith of his political capital was this last Wednesday night at St. Ann's Festival . He will never get that back. Cammarano is a lawyer by trade and by personal defect a caniver. He or his lawyer will twist the words and recollection of events but you can be pretty sure once the discovery process is over and the damning evidence is all lined up, he will cop a plea in exchange for information. He doesn't have the body type to survive a long sentence in the slammer. If he is ultimately convicted, to show him some humanity I plan on giving him a prison care package with some anal lube. God knows a pretty boy like that will need it in that environment. :)
In the meantime, we will continue to see the fallout from his continuing to stay on as Mayor escalate as the days go by. I have always seen him as arrogant and in the face of serious charges this will prove to be his Achilles heel. If he treats the FBI like he treated me and how he planned to treat 49.9% of the electorate (grind them into powder) he will be in for rude awakening. The FBI does not mess around.
What a shame. What a shame.
- The Editor
PS- I would like personally thank all the FBI and IRS personnel involved in this multi year case for exposing the rancid corruption that ultimately jeopardizes the future solvency of the State of New Jersey. ◦
Dear Mayor Cammarano:
When I was approached by the Chair of your Transition Team, Mike Novak, to join your Transition Team, I was honored to be asked. As you know, while I did not support you in your candidacy for Mayor, I thought your extending an opportunity to me to contribute to the success of your administration spoke well of you and your willingness to work with others to come together as “one Hoboken”. Like many others, I had great hopes for you to help us heal and move forward after a closely contested run-off election, in which Dawn Zimmer received more machine votes, but which was decided days after election day, when the absentee votes were finally tallied, giving you the majority of the total votes cast.
Since that day, I have been an active and enthusiastic volunteer on the Cammarano Transition Team, attending three Transition Team meetings, and interviewing, along with three other members of the Transition Team, Steven Kleinman, the current Corporation Counsel, as part of the Liabilities Committee’s work. Indeed, I prepared for you and the Transition Team a detailed memorandum of our interview with the Corporation Counsel to assist with your administration’s transition to a new Corporation Counsel.
Today, I received a notice from the Chair of the Cammarano Transition Team that the Transition Team’s next meeting will take place on July 30, 2009, at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. This notice suggests that the Cammarano Transition Team will be continuing and that it is “business as usual” for your administration. However, having read the Criminal Complaint unsealed yesterday by the United States Attorney’s Office, I believe it is not possible for you to serve as an effective leader of our city.
Accordingly, I am submitting my resignation to the Cammarano Transition Team, effective immediately.
cc: Mike Novak, Chair Cammarano Transition Team
Eduardo Gonzalez, Chair Liabilities Committee Cammarano Transition Team
I would imagine that more such resignations are forthcoming. just a hunch. Question is will it be an avalkanche or a trickle? If you are on the Cammarano Transition Team, are stepping down and would like to have your resignation published send it to my email email@example.com. I will publish expeditiously. ◦
Hoboken Journal Reader Lincolnlogger had this to say about the arrest of Peter Cammarano this week on FBI corruption charges. Here is his letter/email:
Dear Hoboken Residents,
Our newly elected mayor has brought shame to our town and to himself. Those that voted for him (not me) placed trust in him to do the job well, without corruption or other methods of self-service. Those that voted and campaigned against him feared that he would do exactly what he is charged of doing by the FBI, i.e. taking bribes from developers in return for "favors".
The mayor is now in a position where he is less than a month into his position, and no one can ever trust him to do his job effectively. While he is busy preparing his defense against the Feds, he will be also fighting for what little control this town can't take away from him. He'll be facing an uphill battle with a major distraction (namely trying to avoid jail) clouding his every judgement, his every move.
With these facts in mind, there is no way he can be an effective mayor. If he is convicted, everything he does in office will have to be undone. Even if he isn't convicted, he still leaves a tarnished legacy that should be preemptively shortened.
He is protesting "innocent until proven guilty", which is hypocrisy in the face of his "Zero tolerance" remarks of only last week regarding Hector Claveria's pending bribery charges. Cammarano called for his immediate resignation, and no one can offer up a more convincing argument for Cammarano himself to resign. Apparently he lives by the "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy of life.
Your call to action as residents of Hoboken is to let everyone know that Cammarano should resign. You can do this several ways:
1) Call City Hall and let them know how you feel. They will take messages, but please be nice to the person answering the phones. It's not their fault. Phone number is 201-420-2013.
2) Use Facebook, Myspace, blogs, anything on the Web. There are several websites dedicated to Hoboken (some of higher quality than others). Register and post comments. You can message Peter directly on Facebook, or post on the "peter Cammarano for Hoboken" group page. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45005903114
3) Wear your Vote Zimmer shirts around town if you have one. Let people know you didn't vote for a crook.
4) Attend City Council meetings. The dates, times, and locations are posted on the city's website in advance.
5) Be involved, be aware, and be vocal. And when it is time, be sure to cast your vote in the special election that is bound to take place to replace our corrupt mayor.
Friday, July 24, 2009
In the meantime here is the first of what could be many political cartoons on Hoboken. I will publish more information on this artist but most of you perhaps know the song "Ricky don't lose that number"..... Well I lost Ricky's number. :)
At least I found him on Facebook:
Anyway, I asked Ricky to take less than 10 minutes to sketch something about Peter Cammarano and the Monopoly theme including The GO TO JAIL CARD. That was the limit of my art direction and to the left is the result....
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Here are some recent links that cover the action:
In case you were wondering what my take on the soon to be anally violated Peter Cammarano et al scandal of some of New Jersey’s finest Sopranos, well here goes:
1) I had decided to put my blog on vacation this summer and stay away from the politics. Of course I did watch some of the Council meeting on NJ.com's Hoboken Now Website and what a show some of the speakers put on. Thanks to Carly for her efforts in informing the Public without a hidden agenda.
2) This vacation has had positive health benefits, My blood pressure is down, I now drink in moderation, but the eating (well that is another story).
3) Thanks to Peter for interrupting my vacation plans from the blog.
4) Now to the topic. No, I did not vote for this guy because I couldn't trust him.
5) He lied about his out of wedlock child that he had at 18 years old (personally I don't care about it other than the fact he lied when the story broke), he talked out of both side of his mouth, he was condescending to me even when I tried to politely reason with him on my choice, and he lied about his voting record and his opponents during the campaign for Mayor but what politician doesn’t? Answer- Dawn Zimmer. You might not like her as Council Prez. but at least she isn't corrupt.
6) I always suspected some skulduggery, malfeasance, patronage and pandering from this guy but outright corruption on this scale, never in a million years. I am still in shock.
7) To all those so-called reformers who voted for this guy thinking he was going to do the right thing.... I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, etc.
8) I do believe in innocent before guilty but I suggest you read the complaint and judge for yourself. Pages 4 and on show this arrogant jerk's true colors and sniggering contempt for the electorate.
Here is the link to the FBI criminal complaint.
9) Peter Cammarano’s career as Politician and Mayor is most likely toast regardless of whether or not he is convicted.
10) Skulduggery and malfeasance always bring out the poet in me so here goes:
Cammarano Jail Haiku
Rising star now is distraught,
Ben Dover cell mate. ◦