The Hoboken Sopranos ready the double cross?

The paint on the new campaign HQ isn’t even dry but according to an “Earwitness Report” on Grafix Avenger, a Hoboken Sopranos stab in the back to Ruben Ramos could be in the offing if word of a third slate materializes.

According to the story, a third ticket for Hoboken’s November election is real and and could see Councilwoman Terry Castellano atop.  It wouldn’t be a complete surprise as Frank “Pupie” Raia who is not fond of the idea of a Ramos mayoralty and has been flirting for some time with fielding a headless at-large council slate.

Castellano, godmother and cousin to Councilman Michael Russo is best known for her role in covering up the $1,000,000 quarters theft or as she is wont to say, “We uncovered it before we tried to cover it up.” She only mentions the first part of course to her infamous thrice saying, “It’s been cleared up.”

In her fourth term as a councilwoman, Castellano is notorious for being provincial re: hating “yuppies” re: newcomers, despising everything and anything Mayor Zimmer (she was a vocal enemy to Corner Cars), voting to prevent the sale of the hospital and is recognized for her sniping chirping in council meetings.

While she may not make the best mayoral candidate, she could drive more votes to a ticket where unseating one at-large chair means more of the same chaos in Hoboken since the Mason legal hi-jinx to remove the fifth seat entirely for reform.

For Castellano, Old Guard corruption no matter how unseemly is merely “a mistake” – no concern to how much it costs or how many crooked enterprises are involved especially when the Russo clan has a hand on the wheel.  Castellano is a staunch apologist for her cousin Anthony Russo, the ex-mayor and felon convicted of extorting 300K from a single Hoboken vendor alone.

If Raia chooses to go with another pick atop his slate, there’s the always willing and not so able puppet in Tim Occhipinti who said aloud in a council meeting he’d “love to” run for mayor. While criticizing the reform council members for what he calls no record of accomplishment, it’s unclear what Occhipinti would claim as his successes.  He’s best known for being a Mason lapdog and a petulant tool who can’t show minimal decorum to allow others to speak during council meetings.  As the hours wile by, there’s almost always a ritialin waning outburst where he refuses to shut up and allow others to speak.

That’s actually his best quality.  As one council meeting observer who is not a resident of Hoboken said, “He’s dumber than a box of rocks but I don’t want to hurt any of the rocks feelings.”

Frank “Pupie” Raia (rear center) holds court outside a 2011 City Council meeting.
He’s holding the cards on any possible third slate for Hoboken’s November elections.

Talking Ed Note: As the November election clock is ticking, Pupie Power is laying in the weeds. So, in due course we’ll see who pulls the trigger.  If a council slate emerges, expect Jamie Cryan the local Democratic chair to have his name appearing on it.  He’s been pushed up the ladder by the Old Guard since 2010 when he was named to be campaign manager for the Tim Occhipinti run in the fourth ward. Cryan has yet to run for any office so this would be required.

The Old Guard will be placing side bets to take the ninth swing reform seat on the council and keep Mayor Zimmer in check from advancing a reform agenda.  They’ve been miserable with her professionalism, tax cuts, budget restraint, ending corrupt fun and games both publicly and sight unseen along with her relentless advocacy for Hoboken.  Then there’s how the mayor saved the hospital and kept the City from falling into bankruptcy.

For the Hoboken Sopranos, that was the most unforgivable sin of all. No one thought the hospital could be saved let alone remain open and have the City $52 million bond guarantee removed. They were ready to take the whole city of Hoboken under just to get at Mayor Zimmer and that plan too crumbled.  That sabotage effort led by Beth Mason has left the power hungry councilwoman a wreck ever since.

For now, this is all up in the air and it’s Frank “Pupie” Raia holding the steering wheel.  He’ll let everyone know what he decides, when he decides.

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