Last night, fourth ward candidate Tim Occhipinti arrived late as a surprise guest to the event hosted by the Republicans of Hoboken. The wine tasting event held at Amanda’s was a jammed packed bi-partisan affair. As always, Tim was polite and came over to say hello and shake hands. Later we reconnected in a brief discussion where an interview was raised. Tim suggested another time might be suitable. He was again invited to do so as his campaign manager Jamie Cryan had reneged on a promise to set one up for last week.
Tim Occhipinti speaking with presumptive 2nd ward candidate Tom Greaney
MSV conveyed it’s anti-democratic in Hoboken for a candidate running for elected office to refuse to answer even one question. That’s what occurred after the Jubilee Center debate where he accepted an invitation to answer a couple of questions, but then walked away without doing so. It was one question off the cuff and framed this way: “The candidates aren’t responsible for the questions tonight. But you say you are an independent candidate. What issues were not discussed tonight that people have not heard from you that reflect your independence?”
Tim paused for a few seconds, and then tried to defer the question to a staffer. “Tim you’re the candidate, I’m talking to you,” came the response to his suggestion. He then again paused and started walking away while asked, “Tim you aren’t going to answer even one question?”
Enter Occhipinti spokesman David Cruz, whereupon a quick introduction and his offer to help was met with a request for a time to ask questions. Cruz turned to walk away and said, “We only accept questions from credentialed journalists.” When asked, “David if I show you a credential will you get me five minutes to ask a couple of questions?” That was ignored along with the follow up, “David do we have an agreement?”
Back to Amanda’s, Occhipinti said he had already answered questions at the debate and elsewhere and would limit questions to “accredited members of the press.” MSV offered to provide one and he again referred to a staffer suggesting follow up that route. His offer was declined based on the earlier outcome at the Jubilee Center.
At that point, with clearly no future opportunity to discuss issues forthcoming, Tim was asked what he thought about the widely disparte 500 plus (vote by mail) absentee ballots mostly out of the Housing Authority in the 4-4. Occhipinti responded, “I don’t even know about it. It’s vote by mail.” MSV posed the follow up, “What do you thing about it?” and Tim responded, “I think everyone has the right to vote.. as long as they vote.”
Talking Ed Note: In the impromtu chat with Tim Occhipinti, he said he also said he doesn’t read “your stuff.” He said the website is “very pro” but didn’t complete the thought. No issue there. This website supports good government, accountability and the reform movement in Hoboken. The thousands of readers who come week after week know exactly where MSV stands and they come back to read about Hoboken’s governance.
MSV told Tim, “I’m hard and don’t like the direction of where things are going. I don’t like the idea that people don’t answer questions.” More on that to come.
In case it’s not clear, this website serves Hoboken. Questions are asked on behalf of the people to get answers they deserve, often unasked and sadly not investigated by the resident media.
To illustrate the state of our press locally, here’s three simple words: vote by mail.