Here is my take on Hoboken's 2011 Municipal Election winners and losers in two parts. Here is part one for now and I conclude with part 2 later in the week:
Loser: Scott Delea 5th Ward
Mirror mirror on the wall,
who lost another election once and for all,
at least Scott bested Belfiore and made up ground,
but he didn't quite make it to the second round.
He as a politician was vaccous and non-committal,
and the truth in his flyers he did distort,
but put up a detailed policy question for submittal ,
and only a stuttering non-answer was his retort.
Another lost election for Scotty in the month of May,
Surely not enough "old guard" support to win the day,
But Party with a Purpose will keep him from going astray,
here is another word that rhymes, can you say toupee?
Anybody But Cunningham "Das Killer Klown Klaussen" would rage,
but can you take him seriously with alleged multiple roommates at his age?,
Cunningham won outright and predicted it like a sage,
and now with Scott Delea its time to turn the page.
Loser X2: Perry Belfiore 5th Ward
He got crushed. He came in third place. He had a few poorly printed comical fliers full of lies and distortions. He without a doubt had the best hair but he got beat by Dave Roberts light in Scott Delea for second place. All the big words and mea culpas couldn't buy Bellfiore "Old Guard" support. Boys and girls: can you say political dinosaur? Perry, how about a slush puppy? My treat!
Loser: Michael Russo
Predictably he won his re-election bid by about a two to one margin. So why do I have Mike Russo in the loser column? Simple: he lost his political narrative and the City Council Majority. If you remember on the FBI tapes he was bragging how he was going to have control over the City Council when Beth Mason's slate came to power in May of 2009. Mason came in 3rd place in that election.
He then thought he had redemption when his puppet friend Tim Occhipiniti won by buying at least 400 votes in November of 2010. Mike Russo's belly fat exposed in jubilation at the announcement of Tim winning back then will forever be etched in the annals of Hoboken politics. Longer shirts next time Mike!
This election has him back in office without the finance chair and a majority. Leaving future FBI activity out of the picture Mike Russo remains as a Hoboken relic, "The Clown Prince of Corruption".
Advice to the New Majority: give this politrickin' gum flapper his 5 minutes and move along. Nothing of substance other than subsistence and subsidy.
All three of these winning candidates got out their vote and none of them resorted to vote buying but rather good old fashioned pound the pavement campaigning.
Winner: Theresa Castellano 1st Ward
Theresa exceeded what many thought her maximum base of 600 by 70 votes. Almost half of her votes came from Marine View Towers. Old ladies in walkers, whole families, and all sorts sprung from their apartments and showed up for her on election day in those two buildings.
Winner: Jen Giattino 6th Ward
Jen Giattino supposedly hit every street address in her ward 10 times. Now that is pounding the pavement. The result speaks for itself for Jen as a politician. Nino, never really stood a chance. Some call her Dawn 2.0 for her grassroots appeal. She may turn out to be even more formidable than Dawn as a Politician. Time will tell as she migrates away from her "green period".
Winner: Peter Cunningham 5th Ward
Peter Cunningham said to me on election day that he was taking this in the first round. He gave me a breakdown that was largely correct but he was actually under by 100 votes due to the low overall turnout. He still avoided the runoff anyway. I always thought he could win but in a runoff. Peter knows his ward well and it showed on election day. He even carried Fox Hills Senior building. Amazing!
Cannon Fodder Award goes to: Greg Lincoln
Greg Lincoln ran for City Council realizing he was a long shot to win at best. What he did the most for the Dawn Zimmer slate was occupy Michael "Mea Culpa" Russo's ground troops on election day. While they were busy breaking all kinds of minor ELEC rules on election day his hooligans could have been better deployed elsewhere in the City where things were up for grabs. Once place might have been Nino Giacchi's campaign. Just goes to show that things are not as always as unified as they always may appear in the land of the "Old Guard". Like the takers that they are (when you are subsidized you are a taker) egos and self-interests get in the way for the old guard. Greg was in it to win it but his efforts distracted Russo enough to hog his campaign resources when he really didn't need to in hindsight.
Puppets don't win, only their handlers. Push goes to Tim Occhipinti. More vote buying, more arrogance, more stilted speech, more BS, no leadership, and more anti-Zimmer sniping. Nothing more to see here: move along. Oh wait, there is still an investigation from the AG. I guess we will have to wait.
Oh, Mike Novak's new plan being pimped by BOE vote buyer Carmelo Garcia for knocking down the housing projects in 4-4 and upzoning indicates the razing of Mama Johnson field that Hoboken just spent money on to evaluate. Will Timmy the "independent " stand up to that by golly or simply roll over for his political bosses?
Push: Beth Mason 2nd Ward and Perpetual Mayoral Candidate
Sure she won re-election but missed the possibility of a run-off by only 10 votes. With all that money? With a challenger who wouldn't mix it up with her because as a person he is really that nice? Some victory. Push.
Winner: Beth Mason's 2013 Mayoral Race (Existentially)
The day she won re-election as 2nd Ward Councilwoman is the day she kicked-off her 2013 Hoboken Mayoral Campaign. The only way she doesn't run is she gets offered a bigger position. Who is going to do that for a woman who needed full on Ramos and Russo support in Applied just to squeak by? Don't hold your breath.
To be continued: More later in the week. There will be some people on part 2 that may surprise you.......