Following Councilman Mike Russo’s declaration of war calling Nancy Pincus, a Jewish local resident anti Semitic and “using anti Semitic imagery,” for a graphic with only a vague similarity to a 1934 pro-Nazi movie poster, the battle to clear an additional zoning board position depicting Councilwoman Beth Mason as a victim of “hate” as Russo says is escalating, moving ahead on multiple fronts.
A known Beth Mason supporter and financial backer, Larry Stempler sits on the board of a national Jewish organization, that is also attacking Nancy Pincus, a sitting Zoning Board member who lost family in the Holocaust – this posted just earlier on her website Grafix Avenger.
Although Beth Mason still has avoided comment publicly, a blitzkrieg like assault is underway on her behalf, with the initially staged presentation by her ubermensch “friend,” Lane Bajardi. At the City Council meeting Monday, Bajardi unleashed a prepared speech with a screed of denunciations accusing Nancy Pincus of calling Beth Mason “a Nazi,” and was almost screaming about Pincus’ “fascism” in a tirade that surpassed his earlier attacks.
At an earlier April Board of Education meeting where the school attorney interjected during Bajardi’s comments, stating the police could throw him out for his out of order behavior, he insisted on attacking Pincus for another graphic he railed incessantly against to any reporter who would listen during the Board of Education race. *
Plenty of shilling but not one Nazi insignia anywhere
No Nazi insignia of any kind appears in the graphic Bajardi and Councilman Russo have declared intolerable for her to remain in her current seat on the Hoboken Zoning Board. The only similarity in the graphic is gothic style lettering. The attacks are being waged many local political observers suggest to obtain a decisive Zoning Board tilt in favor of a big pro-development camp.
Mike Novak, a Hoboken resident who ran with ex-mayor Peter Cammarano for a City Council seat and supporter and fund raiser for Councilman Tim Occhipinti has also entered the fray attacking Nancy Pincus as a mayoral appointment and in two twitter posts:
Mike Novak was corrected for his misstatement Zoning Board appointees are made by the mayor. Dan Bryan, the mayor’s confidential aide replied in a twitter to Novak, “When you finish drinking, look up the law. Council appoints zoning board not mayor.”
The City Council does make all appointments in a vote since in one of her first actions, Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer surrendered the appointment powers to the City Council fulfilling a campaign pledge out of the gate.
Mike Novak is a former zoning board member known for giving out numerous variances developers typically seek in their proposals. One current member of the Hoboken Zoning Board who requested anonymity described his actions doing so as similar to “handing out candy.” Novak is believed to be again seeking a zoning board slot and and possibly considering another run for the City Council in the First Ward seat currently occupied by Terry Castellano.
Talking Ed Note: Councilwoman Beth Mason was contacted for this story. She has typically not responded to email requests but if she does, this story will be updated.
Earlier today at the Board of Elections, Lane Bajardi insinuated support for the big pro-developer Zoning Board nominations the Russo’s have been known to favor telling reporters Ray Smith from the Hudson Reporter and Claire Moses of Hoboken Patch, “The pendulum has swung too far the other way.”
Although the evidence of the Zoning Board actually doesn’t support that dubious claim, it’s clear the party line is established and the fight to bring back the old guard big pro-developer candidates to the Hoboken Zoning Board should be expected.
Lane Bajardi who turned his back on reform led by the mayor’s coalition is currently allied with the Russo clan and not only following that party line, he’s advancing it even before a single person has been officially put into nomination for the upcoming open Zoning Board positions.
In the interim, the escalation to try to free up another critical swing seat looks to be the immediate focus of the new Russo-Mason council majority. That and wielding anti Semitism charges against a woman who runs a small website with mostly light hearted satire and family stories. The same woman, Nancy Pincus lost family in the Holocaust but the craven lust for power and money trumps all for this majority out of the gate. If the politics of personal destruction serve that end, so much the better to intimidate others, using the same tactics among a very small group of character assassins.
Tim Occhipinti who declared his integrity and “independence” saying he would work with Mayor Zimmer has already voted against the Corner Cars parking spots continuation in his first council meeting, one of the most popularly praised new transportation programs in the United States. He’s expected to vote against initiatives advancing the mayor’s agenda and vote to rubber stamp pro-developer zoning nominations the Russo family favors. Michelle Russo profited handsomely from real estate fees acting as the exclusive agent on many large scale properties in the past.
* The out of order behavior at the BoE meeting followed Bajardi’s assault and robbery on your host here at the BoE Stevens forum just a day earlier. After a complaint was filed, Bajardi filed a cross complaint claiming he was the victim of assault and knocked into the auditorium seating injuring his hip.
He was seen the very next day quite ambulatory pacing rapidly all over the BoE conference room handing out his pre-printed flyers