Tim Occhipinti backer Maurice Fitzgibbons announces:
It is certainly not my style, having served in public office for 15 years as a Hudson County Freeholder with an unblemished record, to take the time to publicly answer a campaign candidate who is not my opponent. When is Michael Lenz going to face his opponent Tim Occhipinti instead of running a campaign against Peter Cammarano? Although the New York Times called Michael Lenz Hoboken’s own Karl Rove, I am sure that his strategy is to attack anyone in his way that is even remotely supporting Mr. Occhipinti. For months, supporters of Mr. Lenz have repeatedly attempted to tarnish me and my reputation using the various blogs affiliated with his campaign, blogs which regularly see fit to promote racism, attack ethnicity, and belittle an individual’s sexual preference. Mr. Lenz would have liked to run on his reform playbook. However, since he is now the candidate and not the campaign manager, reform does not apply to him. Michael Lenz, who served as school board president in 1993 orchestrated the firing of the first Hispanic Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Duroy. His actions subsequently were called into question with several school board members calling for an investigation. Today, Michael Lenz serves on two taxpayer-funded public payrolls – one a patronage job to which he comes and goes as he pleases. He is also the political “boss” with a grip on both City Hall and the Hoboken Board of Education. To attack me with my record of public and community service for over 30 years and a former president of the New Jersey Association of Counties is simply a pathetic sign of desperation. I am proud to support Tim Occhipinti, as I was to support elected officials in the past including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Robert Menendez, State Senator Bernard Kenny, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and most recently President Barack Obama. All were appreciative of my role in their campaigns. I also say to Michael Lenz that attacking businessman Michael Novak who represents the so-called “new” Hoboken living here for over 20 years has done more in community service in one year than has Mr. Lenz in his entire time living here in Hoboken. Let Mr. Lenz deny that he has recently been seen campaigning in the 4th Ward with an individual whose own home was raided on the morning of July 23, 2009 with some 30+ other individuals. I also ask Mr. Lenz if he did not on two separate occasions ask me for my support for his candidacy. In closing, if the public had to choose between me and Mr. Lenz in an election today, it would be my biggest victory to date.
Talking Ed Note: Maurice Fitzgibbons, the former Freeholder who liberally throws around the term ‘county hack’ now that he no longer serves as such is standing up for his adopted candidate Tim Occhipinti. After introducing and promoting his last protege Peter Cammarano to Hoboken, Tim Occhipinti is now Maurice’s new “independent” he hopes will bring him back from the political wilderness.
First MSV can’t speak for any other unnamed blogs Maurice attempts to tarnish but if he wishes to claim this website serves Councilman Lenz, let’s see the proof. The truth is no one was harder on Councilman Lenz on the North Hudson Sewage Authority vote among other notable issues. None of it endeared the Councilman to MSV but the dialog and disagreements between us have been squarely on the issues. On some, such as advocating the payment of the $4.2 million retirement fiasco, the Councilman in fact proved correct.
Now Councilman Lenz has a record and if you want to attack his voting record on the City Council, Maurice Fitzgibbons could certainly do so. But he doesn’t. The reason: any objective watcher of the City Council meetings since Councilman Lenz came on board can’t criticize his effort and work or in fact many of his votes. He’s far exceeded expectations and that’s not something MSV anticipated but it’s out there for anyone who wishes to look and learn for themselves. Lenz’s voting record on the City Council has been excellent and he’s acted as a leader on any number of key issues from reducing the budget to obtaining inexpensive bonds to buy back the Municipal Garage. (That garage was costing Hoboken taxpayers $100,000 a month in a lease over years. Through Councilman Lenz’s persistence the vote to obtain favorable bond financing for Hoboken removed that lease cost and the city now owns the property paying only in the neighborhood of $20,000 a month – quite an achievement.)
The idea Michael Lenz is some kind of Karl Rove however, a phrase often tossed about by supporters and opponents is for lack of a better term frankly nonsensical. The defense of Mike Novak as some sort of new Hoboken leader is equally farcical. Mr. Novak was part of the inner circle for Peter Cammarano, appearing on his ticket and leading his transition team. There were no bigger Peter Cammarano backers than Maurice Fitgibbons and Mike Novak – and both are eager to obtain insider power again leading the Old Guard power structure with Councilman Mike Russo in the hopes of spearheading the Tim Occhipinti campaign and all the benefits of a controlling swing vote on the City Council.
Maurice Fitzgibbons delves into wild unsubstantiated charges against websites he claims are working on behalf of Michael Lenz. He also lets fly with the usual gutter charges of someone who is bereft of any substance tossing out the race card, bigot card, etc. If he has any evidence he should put it forward and name those he claims are responsible. Otherwise he looks like a whiny, bitter ex-Hudson County rat politician.
Unlike his proud public stance for Tim Occhipinti, MSV doubts the long time taxpayer subsidized Church Towers resident has the courage to do so.
Maurice Fitzgibbons brags of his flawless record but he is in fact on a short, special list of those who have been fined $2,100 for blatant ELEC violations.
Typical of many Hudson County pols, being cited for such violations doesn’t preclude you from bellowing to the heavens of your “unblemished record.” Hoboken should expect nothing less from the man who brought you Peter Cammarano.
Note: Maurice Fitzgibbons press release comments and photo come courtesy of NJ.com via the Political Insider column.