Michael Russo hugs it out with the race card as Dave Mello explodes in indignation over “anti-Semitic rants”
Reform supporter David Dening is appointed in 5-4 vote
News analysis from last night’s race card eruptions:
The open HHA commissioner seat promised heat with controversial Executive Director Carmelo Garcia facing potentially stronger oversight in the shadow of his paid aide making racial remarks at the last Hoboken Housing Authority meeting.
It was the elephant in the room unsaid through much comment on the HHA board appointment.
The worst fears of the Old Guard became reality when Hoboken resident David Dening was appointed 5-4 with some of the ugliest race baiting and racist charges coming in recent months, not from the usual cast of Carmelitos, but from Old Guard council members themselves.
If you like Old Guard below sewer level race baiting and playing the race card, this meeting didn’t disappoint. Isn’t Hoboken special?
Timmy Occhipinti who is not a minority himself kicked off the political refuse saying he was “troubled” about the number of white appointments made to the local boards and pointed to the discredited Hudson Reporter article last weekend as evidence. Occhipinti obviously doesn’t know one of the recent appointments, James Sanford is himself Asian. Later Councilman Michael Russo would foolishly follow with the same easily proven fabrication.
Occhipinti laid out numerous charges, one claiming recent appointees haven’t attended HHA meeting at all prior to becoming commissioners. HHA commissioner Dana Wefer however attended more meetings as an observer months before becoming a commissioner than Occhipinti himself.
With a relatively small group of the same Carmelitos present to speak on behalf of their benefactor/landlord Carmelo Garcia, Councilman Michael Russo would not be topped by bland race baiting which was conveniently featured in the Hudson Reporter days earlier. (MSV revealed that political operation ad buy in its Saturday story.)
Sinking to the rankest level of race baiting since he told then Council President Peter Cunningham to don a KKK hood months ago because he wouldn’t vote in favor of the undocumented Vision 20/20 plan, Councilman Russo unleashed a bevy of falsehoods claiming the Administration didn’t appoint Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians to local boards.
“There is 100% an underlying racism in these appointments,” Russo calmly tossed onto the dais following what some say (and MSV predicted) was an obvious political plot started in the pro Old Guard rag Hudson Reporter.
Russo then waded into what was a topic raised repeatedly (often by the Carmelitos) not on the agenda but certainly part and parcel of the race baiting political operation: requesting a “letter of need” so taxpayer funds can flow into the hands and be directed by Carmelo Garcia. (It requires a PILOT agreement as well but that never fits the political agenda talking points.)
Then Russo directed his attack on “politics” pointing the finger but revealingly saying in the same breath the next time the reform council put up a candidate for a board, “At least let him have the balls to come up and defend himself.”
The Carmelitos enjoyed this immensely and burst into applause. Russo never explain what a candidate not of his choosing needed to defend himself from but one could conclude they should prepare to “defend” themselves from him.
Councilman Dave Mello would become incensed and although no one had said a word earlier about the previous anti-Semitism emanating out of the previous HHA meeting, that ended. Mello would voice outrage at the “anti-Semitic rantings” at HHA meetings and how Carmelo Garcia stood by as his paid employee did so. Russo would attempt to counter with his special brand of moral equivalence, trying to change the subject to imagined racist sayings and Mello informed him he had never done so. (Video to come.)
Councilman Michael Russo continued to exhibit enthusiasm to roll in the mud or in this case, the race baiting gutter while next to him Councilwoman Beth Mason made contorted faces, yelling out an attack on Grafix Avenger. As for unabashed bonafide anti-Semitism spoken in government meetings in Hoboken at present, Mason said nothing. (See the picture below of Beth Mason pictured with her political ally, fellow corruptocrat Carmelo Garcia for the answer as to why.)
No media other than MSV has reported on the actual anti-Semitic comments Councilman Mello referenced at the last HHA meeting by a paid member of Carmelo Garcia’s Assembly staff.
David Dening spoke briefly after being verbally assaulted by Russo and said there was a need for transparency in the HHA and mentioned the lack of documentation on the Housing Authority website. Some of that information is legally required to be made public such as minutes and it has not been made available over months.
Former HHA commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez was often lauded for asking questions of Carmelo Garcia by the pro-Carmelo public speakers and some council members. Left unsaid was how he was never “independent of any faction” as Russo falsely claimed. He’s been a stalwart approving vote for Garcia.
He would speak and make a plea for a fifth vote on his behalf not forthcoming. One of Gonzalez’s best moments in a HHA meeting may have been when he declined an invitation by Carmelo Garcia to verbally “denounce” MSV and Grafix Avenger. (Garcia has bitterly complained about any investigative stories on the HHA not glowing of himself, even mentioning MSV in his last civil suit mostly thrown out of court earlier this year.)
Gonzalez has been a reliable vote for Carmelo Garcia even voting numerous times to renew the counsel contract of Charles Daglian. Those votes putting Daglian up again and again and again was described as a repeated act of insubordination by members of the majority of the HHA board who have expressed grave problems with Daglian’s actions and “advice.” Daglian’s promotion of his own contract in a HHA meeting was rescinded by HUD who called it and Carmelo Garcia’s procurement actions “legally flawed.”
Carmelo Garcia wouldn’t take no for an answer and put Daglian’s contract up more than half-a-dozen times. Now he sees one of his most reliable votes in Eduardo Gonzalez off the seven member board. As Councilman Russo recognizes, there’s no rubber stamp from one of Carmelo Garcia’s managed tenants replacing him either.
That’s what the race baiting is all about – a desperate attempt to protect the self-proclaimed “Banana Republic of Carmelo” from oversight and the razing of the voter farms in the HHA. The color in question isn’t white, black or brown – it’s green.
Gimme some of that Vision Money Money. Again, there’s millions in pure profits at stake. The depths of playing the race card is about putting money into politician’s pockets.
Talking Ed Note: All this race baiting has everything to do with protecting unrestricted rein of Old Guard ally Carmelo Garcia in the Hoboken Housing Authority. Councilman Peter Cunningham mentioned the problem of lifelong Hoboken residents who apply for HHA apartments and never move up the list. He concluded, “It’s time for a change.”
On that point, how apartments are used as part of back room political deals, the Old Guard remained mum. Nothing but crickets.
Do you think Timmy is ready to resign and let say Ruben Ramos take the fourth ward seat now so minorities can hold more leadership positions? Ruben’s waiting Timmy.
After the Old Guard race cards were exhausted and the Carmelitos departed, the City Council went on to complete the rest of its agenda business. If you caught the end of the meeting, you wouldn’t be the wiser what had occurred earlier. The later portion was rather droll.
Next stop on the Old Guard race baiting gutter tour: the Hoboken Housing Authority meeting Thursday night. 5:30 is the reorganization and 6:00 is the meeting. Carmelitos will be in attendance led by one individual who is paid with your tax dollars saying ugly lies up and down. We’ll let you decide if that’s reference to the him or her.
Not quite a year to the day Councilman Michael Russo tried to play the race card and that too blew up in his face when Councilman Dave Mello retaliated telling him to “desegregate” Church Towers, the subsidized building the Russo family lives in and many say is controlled by them.