Tax exempt Beth and Ricky Mason “Civic” League filled to the gills with paid political operatives performing verified political operations


Political operative Ryan Yacco employed by Beth Mason non-profit “civic” league
Mason 2011 campaign manager identified as the third political operative working for tax exempt group

The Mason Civic League’s Gallery 1200 on twelfth and Washington St. is a designated non-profit with a mission statement claiming it performs educational, art and civic support to Hoboken and beyond.

The truth may be far different and flat out illegal based on IRS rules on organizations claiming non-profit status.  The IRS clearly states such groups can not participate in political campaigns/activities.  Such paid work can not be done on behalf of any political campaign or person.

1200 Washington grew out of a headquarters for Beth Mason’s council run in 2011 and also hosted Ruben Ramo’s Assembly run after.  The question, not an arcane one – have Beth and Ricky Mason used their civic league for political operations and are they doing so now?

There’s a number of problematic markers pointing in the affirmative the Beth Mason non-profit tax-exempt organization is less a “civic” league performing community service activities and more a tool for political operations.

Among them:

  • BoE trustee and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia’s sister-in-law Tania Garcia confessed in a Union City courtroom she holds a paid job with the Mason Civic League – but Judge Macias called it a political job where she comes and goes as she pleases
  • Matt Calicchio a known political operative infamous for accosting then council candidate Dawn Zimmer on the street in 2007 admitted to being a Mason Civic League employee going back to June 2011
  • Matt Calicchio has admitted to working on the Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti council campaigns prior to June and has not appeared in Mason’s or Occhipinti’s ELEC filings.  Through what Beth Mason vehicle was he paid?
  • Ryan Yacco of Bluewater Operations who ran the Mason council campaign last year and according to currently serves as program director for the non-profit Mason Civic League in Hoboken has been witnessed at recent Mason political events.
Yet another paid political operative of the Mason “Civic” League; Ryan Yacco, the program director shown here circa 2011 filming a City Council public speaker on behalf of Beth Mason.  Is anyone being paid to do civic not political work?      

Ryan Yacco who works on political campaigns in Passaic and Hudson County most recently teamed up for Rep. Bill Pascrell’s primary campaign this spring.  According to filed election reports, he’s earned at least $12,000 doing so.  Yacco lists himself as a:
Campaign Media & Field Consultant
Field/Media Consultant at Bluewater Operations, Llc
Greater New York City Area Political Organization
Political Organization
So what does Ryan Yacco do for Beth Mason’s civic league as program director?  He’s been seen last April working with Beth Mason handing out flyers uptown on one occasion for a hospital meeting she held at her 12th and Washington office that bombed so badly, there were far more paid operatives and hospital officials than the handful of the public in attendance.
Ryan Yacco also attended another political Mason meeting held at Fox Hills where Beth Mason talked about the Zimmer administration’s refurbished work on an uptown park.
All of this work is political on behalf of Councilwoman Beth Mason and is most certainly not an IRS approved tax exempt activity.
One commenter on Grafix Avenger noted of Mason’s “Civic” group:
Mason Civic League, Inc. (EIN # 27-3134429) is listed as a tax-exempt public charity, the first 50% of contributions of which are tax deductible to the donor. This is Beth Mason, folks…the address is listed as 921 Hudson Street, Hoboken; the President. 
As MSV has previously noted, Beth Mason has never accounted for all her expenditures, vast as they are from her 2011 council campaign.  It appears she spent closer to if not more than $200,000 versus the $140,000 she claimed to stave off Tom Greaney.  (Franz Paetzold spent less than $400 peeling off 81 votes in a non-campaign, just enough to aid Mason from being forced into a runoff by a mere 10 votes.)
Beth Mason spent untold and unaccounted monies in the fall of 2010 doing TV commercials for her council race the following spring.  She also had numerous paid ads on Hoboken411, Hoboken Patch and other places – none of which appeared on her obviously fraudulently filed ELEC reports.
(Oh say can POG see, by the Mason’s dinner light, what’s so proudly our mission failed, we were more interested in gallantly eating…)
Based on official Mason employee confessions, we now know there are three paid political operatives in the employ of Beth and Ricky Mason’s tax exempt “civic” league.
Is anyone being paid by Ricky and Beth Mason to do anything civic?  Anyone?
A man sits reading a paper on the step outside the Mason Gallery 1200 home to its non-political “civic” activities.
The place is closed the vast majority of the time but the political operative dime is paid far more often.
Tania Garcia claimed in court to work more than 25 hours a week for the Mason Civic League.
It isn’t here, so where would that be?

During the 2011 council campaign election, voters in the fourth ward were reported heard asking inside the voting poll where they could take their “number” after voting to be paid in the Occhipinti-Pinchevsky election.  The answer: 12th and Washington – the Mason Civic League.

Is that a civic service Beth Mason performs?

MSV Premium Addendum:

Ryan Yacco was contacted for this story.  Da Horsey would love to know what the program director of the Mason Civic League does for Hoboken while he’s in another county working on a Congressman’s primary campaign.  If he responds MSV will update this story and Mr. Yacco is invited to do so.  Much is opaque when it comes to what goes on with the Mason Civic League and to add one last tidbit, this one a rumor; there’s unconfirmed word Mr. Yacco has his girlfriend on the Beth Mason payroll.  The light haired woman is said to hold the title of curator for Gallery 1200.

Like Ryan Yacco’s program director title, it’s unclear what someone would do in such a “job” considering the limited hours the gallery is open with the infrequent exhibit showings.  Does she sit there shuffling baseball cards?

Let’s list her as political operative no. 4 for the obvious connection and low show curator “job.”

Talking Ed Note: Numerous problems for Beth Mason on this front is reverberating with the damage of her crude legal effort paying to hide a harassment case of her paid political operative re: the Mason Civic League.

Months ago Da Horsey broke the story Matt Calicchio was a paid political operative of Beth Mason in MSV Premium Content.

Where to begin, more fittingly where to end? This story has no ending as the Feds may be interested along with other federal agencies into learning more about what this legal effort was all about and how it ties into a political Mason “civic” league claiming tax exempt status as a charity.

Those bodies haven’t been buried long as the Mason election was only last year and the suspicions over the street money piled all over the second ward – more than $50,000 of it!

For some people, this may be the last chance to save themselves with the Feds, for others it’s an opportunity to pile on and make a better case for themselves.

Ricky Mason describes a Mason Family Civic League, a different name but one also claiming to do civic support.  This excerpt appears on the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz website.

Related: Last month a battle broke out on Hoboken Patch about an artist exhibiting work at the former Mason campaign office. The exhibition was met with mockery by some and supported by two “anonymous” commenters who thanked their benefactor Beth Mason for supporting local artistic contributions.

Directly Related: Grafix Avenger’s super sleuth One-Eye weighs in uncovering the truth on what is going on with these similarly named Mason Civic Leagues.  It’s a devastating insight into the shadowy world of Beth and Ricky Mason with one of their entities having its charter revoked for filing failures.

Oddly, it mirrors Beth Mason’s regular ELEC filing problems except this is far more problematic, at least in the number of government institutions who may have an interest: the IRS, the FBI and Federal Attorney’s Office in Newark, the NJ Attorney General’s Office, and the NY Bar Association.

You’ll never guess who is a member in fine standing on the Board of the Mason Civic League (Inc.):

James Barracato aka Finboy seen here with Beth Mason
at Tim Occhipinti’s campaign office in 2010.

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