Horse Sense: A call to arms in the Battle of the BoE Bulge

There’s a saying in recent years in Hoboken, as goes the BoE so goes Hoboken.  There’s truth to that with recent trends mirroring ward by ward output in last year’s elections.  Although the BoE election last April was scheduled in a very challenging period during spring break when many parents were not focused on the election with trips out of town, the results in the end did mirror the Council ward elections last May.

The fifth and sixth wards came out ahead for the BoE’s Kids First majority while the second ward was just within an eyelash behind.  In the council races that May, ratios remained the same. Reform won those two wards and came within an eyelash of forcing a runoff in the second ward against Beth Mason, this even with her spending vast sums of money – well into six figures, including a colossal $50,000 in unreported street money.

Unlike the ward council races, it’s top three vote getters citywide for the BoE and Frank Raia’s slate swept the 2011 election.  In that win, there was the ugly farming we’ve seen out of the fourth ward’s low income housing authority districts, the 4-4 and 4-3 where massive paper balloting takes place completely out of logical ratio to any vote by mail balloting in Hoboken or even Hudson County.

The next battle lines are drawn with Tuesday’s BoE meeting.  The Old Guard
is targeting stopping BoE elections to November.
Sound the alarm and “Occupy the BoE” Tuesday night.

There’s been a war like mentality going on since.  Michele “five-dollars a tow” Russo, Frank Raia and their unruly band of miscreants have been going to meetings regularly verbalizing abuse to Hoboken moms and Hoboken’s Superintendent Mark Toback.  Last April one Hoboken mom for Reform and Kids First working as a challenger was assaulted with her phone forcibly stolen by a Church Towers resident who has been seen in recent months with both Raia and Michele Russo.  There’s been at least one other similar incident reported involving the Hoboken police since.

Although Raia has voiced confidence in winning either an April or November election, the expectations are wildly different.  Whereas 10% of the eligible voters may turn out for a “quiet” spring BoE election, the numbers for November are expected to dwarf that total several times over.

On Hoboken Patch, its poll shows 88% of voters desiring November elections but the Old Guard has a set pool of voters to work from and is looking to do everything possible to stave off a circumstance where it could face-off against a far larger group of voters who don’t sell their votes for $40 (Hoboken Housing Authority) or $75 (Church Towers).

Old Guard operatives continue to repeat their same talking points over and over again looking to peel off any potential votes from Patch’s readership that would clearly vote Reform.  The amount of noise they make, all coming from the same likely paid operatives even as they can’t even muster four dozen votes in the poll demonstrates the latest Old Guard massive fail.  (It’s 88% pro November BoE elections.)

Tuesday night there’s going to be a big show with the Old Guard trotting in an army of backers from subsidized housing along with a petition from those buildings.  If Grafix Avenger is correct you may see them claim a petition of two to three thousand votes collected from the Hoboken Housing Authority, Church Towers, Marine View and Applied – not a taxpayer among them.

It doesn’t matter how many signatures they claim.  The governing body will vote as the duly elected representatives of the BoE and the election will be moved to November with gnashing of teeth by the Old Guard and their online political operatives the whole way.  Any signature claims are irrelevant and will likely not even be certified by the Hoboken BoE itself.  (Unconfirmed word is they are not going for a referendum but a non-binding initiative.)  It’s all moot, although from the Hoboken Patch story last week you wouldn’t know that.

That’s what MSV is here for.

Outside last May’s Democratic Committee election, Frank Raia (l) chatting with Michele Russo the defacto head of the Old Guard faction now eyeing the Hoboken BoE and it’s $60 million budget and $1 million budget surplus.  Russo scored a taxpayer paid BoE job – but in Union City.  Think she’d like to come home with a nice patronage job here?

So with this, the call to arms is for you to answer the question of will you lend your presence and make a stand on behalf of our governing body?  There’s been problems emanating from the Old Guard to intimidate mothers with young children, one recent Beth Mason paid political operative among them.

What are you doing on Valentine’s Day?  Just taking a seat early and anonymously on the right side of the room being a presence in a room in support of the Superintendent and the rule of law would be very useful in taking on the Old Guard’s forces.

MSV strongly suggests you consider doing so and putting one nail in the Old Guard’s coffin.  One can not just stand for opposing corruption.  There are times when lending your presence, quietly and dignified counts for more than you may think.

This is one of them.

Talking Ed Note: The BoE meeting with the resolution on the agenda for moving to November elections will be heard at the Board of Education downstairs at 1115 Clinton Street Tuesday at 7:00.

The latest reverberations on the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club is sounding with an article from Amanda Staab on Hoboken Patch.  It’s mandatory reading and a cautionary tale on what happens when a city building given to serve the neediest children fails to live up to that mission.

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