Since MSV broke the story of Beth “Street Money” Mason’s 52 G’s hitting the street last month, there’s been little said by the local media and government watch dogs. The one exception is our colleague Grafix Avenger who is becoming a snoop of sorts, part time satirical Avenger and part time muckracker.
Original Avenger Emma Peel, she kicked ass too
Da Horsey loves being a muckracker being this town is sorely lacking in same and isn’t fond of sharing the moniker, but it was Grafix Avenger who broke the story on Peter Cammarano’s early departure from Club Fed, with his getting almost a third off his sentence even before becoming eligible for good behavior. MSV was behind Grafix Avenger that day and was proud to give well deserved props.
Hoboken media is operating on a different standard. Its editors are sympathetic to the status quo and business as usual, and maintaining access and “relationships.” They view themselves as the gatekeepers of information and reflexively protect the Old Guard, even trotting out defenses for their criminality (don’t they have lawyers to do that) while maintaining a laser like focus when anyone remotely connected to Mayor Zimmer jaywalks or has an expired car registration sticker.
When it comes to that Old Guard corruption, it’s disinterest is apparent in non-descript headlines and burying the story. You can almost hear their tears hitting the floor when they reluctantly are compelled to do so.
Part of the reason is not so nefarious. The Old Guard gives them love and attention for writing nice things (or not writing certain things at all) while Reform maintains a professional demeanor and doesn’t show the love in hugs, warm embraces, or money under the table at local eateries for that matter. Add to it, the overall intellectual dishonesty and less than veiled hostility to Reform and its leader Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the recipe makes for one ugly stew.
As a follow-up to the July 1 interview with Councilwoman Beth Mason, there has been no update with filings online to NJ ELEC showing a breakdown of the $52,000 in street money strewn around like campaign bagels on a Saturday morning. Mason indicated she believed NJ ELEC erred and the complete report was filed in City Hall but in fact it has not.
Not one story has appeared anywhere on this amazing amount of cash unaccounted for in one small ward race.
In addition, the People for Open Government (POG) who were rightly pushing for a local compliance officer to be appointed at City Hall got their wish with Hoboken legal counsel acting in that necessary capacity. The compliance is not being complied with, receiving zilch from the one time member who claims founding status for the organization – yes that would be Beth Mason.
For weeks now, the local media has shown not a shred of interest in any of this, eerily similar to the Peter Cammarano early release story. MSV doubts if the name behind this odd application of street loot in quantities sufficient to pave certain ward streets in gold occurred under a campaign of the current City Council President, we’d be hearing crickets. You’d see it on the front page if that was the case.
At a minimum, one would likely see a letter from POG in their story condemning the current Council President with a demand the mayor apologize for once breathing in the same room together at one time or another.
Since Beth Mason flushed her reform credentials down the toilet a while ago taking a roll in the hay with the Russo clan, she’s received warmer and warmer local media coverage. How does the local media explain this oversight? Is $52,000 in street money alone not worth a story let alone unaccounted funds of such magnitude?
Well since Beth Mason is thoroughly in league with the Old Guard nowadays, she gets more leeway. Notice, it’s not Beth Mason that changed the Russo’s, it’s the other way around with various unethical and semi-legal funding schemes across elections around town including the family checkbook teaming up with Frank Raia to fund his ticket against Kids First in the BoE last spring as just one example.
Although we’d like to believe Hoboken is an island unto itself, it’s fairly recent in its unofficial declared independence under Mayor Zimmer who has taken on all adversaries foreign and domestic while pushing change and tax reductions with gusto against the powers that been. Both she and Reform are reviled for it. You’re messing with the status quo and the status quo ain’t none too happy about it.
Well let’s toss all that aside and have another Frank Raia party while Beth Mason skates on more blatant campaign law violations.
New and improved: The Street Money Mason Store is open again. There’s no explanation or ELEC compliance forthcoming from Councilwoman Beth Mason on the humongous amounts of cash strewn on Hoboken’s streets. Hoboken media and POG have not shown any interest on such an outrageous action. Grafix Avenger has though and has raised the issue there. Thanks GA!
Talking Ed Note: A free Street Money Mason mug to the first person who files a complaint with NJ ELEC. Send MSV a copy to qualify. Apparently, the current “leadership” heading POG have no interest in doing anything either. Perhaps planning Thanksgiving dinner at the Masonic Temple on Hudson Street is more their thing.
Will the Feds care to look? Or do they need bother at this point with what they’ve already accumulated?
Councilwoman Beth Mason posted her final ELEC report and it’s not an eye opener, it’s a full scale riot. Officially she states she contributed over $160,000 for her 2nd ward race in a self-funded spending orgy – but $52,000 of it is in street money and unaccounted for to Blue Water Operations, a firm owned by her consultant Ryan Yacco.
We’ll have more on this but for now it’s important to know that there are a lot of bodies buried here, actually more than a lot.
Beth Mason received only 670 votes for her 2nd ward re-election in an eligible pool of 5,600. Based on the street money she admittedly pumped out, that comes out to more than $77 a vote!
Based on her ‘official’ final expenditures of more than $138,000, that totals over $206 per vote!!
The authorities are probably going to need to add this to their agenda because this is nothing short of outrageous.
Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason’s ELEC reports also confirms $15,000 to Tim Occhipinti and almost $5,000 to Mike Russo.
Bottom line: this ELEC report is an absolute whitewash and smells to high heaven. It’s a coverup and only people in authority will be able to even begin to get to the bottom of it.