Mike Russo’s corruption turns Hoboken on its ear

The release of the tapes showing the Peter Cammarano-ish depths of corruption depravity by Councilman Mike Russo is going to resonate long after its release.  The best characterization actually comes from Grafix Avenger’s Russo machine insider who indicated no one saw it coming saying, “It’s a f*(@$%& tsunami.”

That about captures it.  The echoes of this are not bouncing into all the corners of Hoboken, it’s now reverberating off every end of town like a lead guitar at a heavy metal concert.  The full impact on the May 10th elections isn’t even clear to this point.  Media will be digesting what’s transpired but the video will be chopped up and presented for evaluation for weeks to come among the council races.

There’s some word now of a protest calling for Mike Russo to resign.  The only positive he has in his corner really is he is not likely to be arrested for selling out Hoboken as bad as his campaign manager Peter Cammarano, but it’s only short of him taking the envelope.  He’ll most likely hang his hat on that and hope his hard core support stays with him.  But that’s not altogether likely either.

Outside of the third ward, the situation is more dire for the Mason-Russo ‘majority.’  Tim Occhipinti may be out on an island and he’s in a very vulnerable position against a surging Rami Pinchevsky who will need to further embrace the value of the corruption message.  Councilman Nino Giacchi was already in a struggle against Jen Giattino and may just decide to stick by Mike Russo and go down with the ship.  Councilman Peter Cunningham in the 5th ward who has been always consistent and a strong voice will see people rally around his long time fight against corruption in the Quarters Ripoff.  Councilwoman Terry Castellano will try to rally the old guard of her core support but will it be enough against long time corruption Russo nemesis Eric Kurta?

Then there’s Beth Mason.  She’s in deep trouble now and depicted as a lackey to Russo in the video handing him the City Council and allowing him to pick the slate when she ran with his support for mayor.  She can’t pull out now, it’s far too late.  She sat by for more than a week and said nothing about “The Jersey Sting” and Mike Russo’s little sit down with Solomon Dwek agreeing to sell Hoboken out.  Now it’s all there in black and white.

No one will be confused to the context of that meeting.

And so let us begin with the short takes.  Here’s Mike Russo working out how to launder the money into his political action committee – “Russo for Hoboken”.  He actually instructs the bagman where to write out the checks they plan before and after the spring 2009 mayoral election:

The details of the video are far worse than anyone anticipated.  MSV broke the story on the revelations in “The Jersey Sting” the previous Sunday and went back to the authors asking for comment on Mike Russo’s claim anyone who says there was a bribe is lying.

That clash is what brought Hoboken to where it is today, not unlike the spring in 2009 with Peter Cammarano.  Word is spreading of a protest before the City Council meeting on Wednesday calling for Mike Russo’s resignation.

The ‘pro-development’ marriage between Mike Russo and Beth Mason is in trouble now with citywide council elections May 10th.

Once again the voices of leadership are arising from the people.  MSV will be updating you on the developments.

Talking Ed Note: No words can express proper appreciation to the authors of “The Jersey Sting.”  Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin have done a great service to Hoboken.  The only way to reward them is in person and at City Hall with a plaque.

The two authors return to Hudson County with an appearance at the Jersey City Greenville Library from 6:00 – 8:00 tonight.  They will be having a forum hosted by former mayor and education commissioner Bret Schundler.

The event will include a discussion, Q&A and book signing.

For more info, or

Gratitude gentleman.

Related: Reader Infotainme, a highly respected online voice in town has submitted a guest piece appearing on Grafix Avenger.

Hoboken Patch did an analysis of the tapes’ content and captures many important moments.

The Hudson Reporter highlights the pro-develoment discussion and the carcass walking around town from the second ward in the person of Beth Mason.  It’s illuminating to say the least.

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