The Pupie Maneuver
If there was any doubt that Frank “Pupie” Raia would enter the race with victory his goal, those questions can be safely dispelled with his stated intent yesterday to legally challenge his main rivals petition submissions for office of mayor: Councilwoman Beth Mason and Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
As reported in Hoboken Now, Raia indicates he will engage the NJ courts to evaluate the legal entry of both of his main rivals for office of mayor in the November 3rd special election. The rumors being pumped furiously not a day after the official petition filing deadline that Pupie was merely a stalking horse in the race and a deal cut with the Acting Mayor for later electoral support have died a quick, brutal death.
The Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer was issued a valid receipt upon submission of over 400 petitions to enter the race, but a clerk in the office suggested additional signatures were required. As a precaution, Dawn Zimmer arrived and signed the additional sheets, receiving a second receipt minutes after the 4:00 deadline. Her legal counsel indicated those additional signatures were not necessary. At least one other potential candidate expressed concerns about late signatures and notarization procedure.
In what can only be described as an Act of God, Councilwoman Beth Mason’s campaign spokesman, Paul Swibinski claimed she was lost in the building having been directed to three incorrect rooms and in addition was trapped in an elevator for an unspecified time. All this he says led to her entirely missing the 4:00 deadline.
Talking Ed Note: If you had any doubts this is a Hoboken election, let’s rest that concern. Should Raia file a legal challenge, the Pupie Maneuver will without question earn him the unqualified loyalty of numerous “birthers,” those town born residents who will eagerly embrace the disqualification of Zimmer and Mason without a ballot being cast.
The NJ Courts however are a different matter. Election law application previously has shown some wild interpretations on what appears to be clear cut statute. When Senator Toricelli dropped out of his Senate race in 2002, Frank Lautenberg was placed on the ballot long after the deadline passed. The NJ Court later ruled in favor of Frank Lautenberg’s late entry. This potential case, pales in comparison.
Should Raia file a challenge, legal opinions indicate Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer already holds a valid receipt for her submitted petition while Councilwoman Beth Mason does not. The secondary issues about county error in requesting additional signatures would not disqualify the Acting Mayor but Councilwoman Mason may face a different hurdle with the complexity of her “trapped in an elevator” defense.
As for the wild rumors that Raia cut a deal to be a stalking horse in this race, consider the source.
The likelihood of a successful legal challenge to either Dawn Zimmer or Beth Mason by Frank Raia is remote. A new candidate on the Hoboken scene, Nathan Brinkman released a press release yesterday indicating he did not support Zimmer or Mason being barred from the race. His spokesman, Bill Pascoe, is a veteran of the controversial late entry of Frank Lautenberg into the 2002 race when he was campaign manager for the Douglas Forrester campaign. Pascoe referring to that court outcome, suggests it will not be problematic for either Beth Mason or Dawn Zimmer.
Earlier today, we cited that exact race as a significant factor in any legal challenge here.
We missed a previous article with a similar conclusion over at Politickernj.
Hat tip: Hoboken Now/Agustin C. Torres/Amy Sara Clark