Horse Sense: November elections the swan song for the Old Guard?

In the beginning there was Election Day and the Republic thought it good.  In Hoboken, the Old Guard heard the words Election Day in November and full out panic ensued.

On the loveliest Valentine’s Day last February, the Old Guard came out to stand against this concept of November elections on (gasp) Election Day.  A Hoboken commenter showed exactly what the Old Guard was afraid of:
Council members Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Beth Mason were joined by Frank “Pupie” Raia, Jamie Cryan, Michele Russo and a number of their supporters in a less then spontaneous orgy against letting more people decide at the voting booth.

They came, they complained, they jeered and they were conquered in a 5-4 Kids First led majority vote.  The Old Guard cried, whined, and sniped about the outcome even later in the City Council vowing to overcome the larger electorate, by hook or by crook.

Vote analysis especially on four digits of paper ballots is required ahead but they really tried, especially the crooked part.  In early August, a long planned SLAPP suit was issued against more than a dozen Hoboken residents who demonstrated too much eagerness in expressing little tolerance for corruption and the ugly antics of Beth Mason and the Russo clan.  No major sin went unnoticed and they showed how citizens of conviction can beat down the local rumor mill (and the Hudson Reporter) punishing the Old Guard line of the moment with in-depth details on any number of issues including the Mason led attempt to shut down the hospital and bankrupt the City.

The refusal by a reform independent citizenry to allow the paid Masonistas sycophants push their party line in the Hoboken blogosphere (minus the totalitarian controlled Mason411) drove their Mason internet strategy manic, foaming, and desperate enough to use the courts all with the objective of silencing them (including MSV) before the BoE election.

It was a fail far beyond the ruse Michael Russo tried in offering a petition at the February 14 BoE meeting to hold a vote on November BoE elections, yes in November.  The idea clearly to buy a year’s time and take over the $63 million budget with a spring election victory: job mill, patronage superintendent appointment, audit violations by the dozens, you know… good times.

The argument to let the people decide was turned on its head as they decided last month at the polls.  Here are the votes tabulated in the BoE elections over the last five years, courtesy commenter Journey:

November 2012 ——–24,900 
April 27, 2011 ———-10,523 
April 20, 2010 ———– 9,941 
April 21, 2009 ———-15,056 
April 15, 2008 ———-11,215

Let the People Decide!  Indeed.

A couple of weeks back the Hudson Reporter aired the concern the professional class of Hobken voters was not likely to find the Old Guard candidates endearing in November elections.

No kidding.  Based on data not specified, the Hudson Reporter noted Kids First had pulled even in areas of Old Hoboken the Old Guard thought it should own.  (Who has paid most for all the money directed outside the classroom and for “shared” services planned by Move Forward?)

In the war of between the “On the Waterfront” world and 21st century good governance, the current century is pulling ahead.  Even while breaking numerous election laws, flouting tenets of anti-wheeling rules and an unknown number of paid for vote-by-mail ballots, the Beth Mason – Frank “Pupie” Raia underwritten efforts for Move Forward was crushed in a sweep.

A source to the Kids First team at the Wicked Wolf victory party said the hurricane had halted their campaign efforts and if Sandy had not intervened, they “would have blown it out.” (Many instead volunteered to aid other residents such as those in high rises without power re: Marine View.) 

For the Old Guard where feeding at the public trough is a way of life, those ruminations are going to give them shivers right into the next November election.

If that’s the sole price, they are getting off lucky.  Prison time is overdue for more than a couple.


Talking Ed Note: Phil Cohen who serves as a member of the Hoboken Zoning Board and was a member of the committee for November elections appeared at the last City Council meeting highlighting the outcome where over 20,000 Hoboken voters made it to the polls even with power just coming online.

Cohen notes the Hoboken City Clerk’s Office did a great job having a relatively smooth Hoboken election with the superb efforts of Jimmy Farina, Jerry Lore and company.  Preparation for a possible powerless vote included arranging for 30,000 ballots on hand.  Thankfully, it wasn’t required and the vast majority of Hoboken voters hit the polling machines.

The Hudson County Board of Elections gets a nod by Cohen too for handling the new voting option approved by Gov. Chris Christie with extended time lines for collecting valid ballots.  A few day of the election machine issues arose with district changes but were handled on the whole exceptionally well.  Kudos to Michael Harper and the Hudson County election team for helping Hoboken get through a very challenging election environment.   

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