Pyethwacket corresponds once again:
Warm greetings from fair Trenton - you must visit again soon! The fine-particulate count and railyard lowings are quite tolerable this time of year...
I see your little hamlet on the Hudson there is - excuse the pun - creeping its politicians into the county news yet once more. Incumbent , and soon to be recumbent, Maurice Fitzgibbons comes up (inherently) lame in the Great Freeholder Race, shuffling off his mortal coil and succumbing to the slings and arrows of outrageous...Farina, who has pulled himself up on all six legs once again for another embarassing run at public office well above his skill level. That's Jimmy 'Knuckles' Farina, I mean, your City Clerk, school-board member - and reigning swelterweight champion since his huffing and puffing TKO of fellow roly-poly pork baron, Dave Roberts, in last spring's city-hall slugfest. The Ali/Frazier-esque "Wrath by the PATH", I believe you called it.
Well now, here's what's been circulating about this elsewhere. It seems Farina is throwing his hat in the freeholder ring just as Fitzgibbons is throwing in his towel. Well, sort of, anyway - on both counts. Fitzgibbons, attempting to think outside the pine-box, is trying to create a viable and vicarious 'protege' candidate out of Michael Passante, a young Harvard lawyer relocated to the Hoboken flood plain and aspiring perhaps, in an urban-fringy way, to be the white Cory Booker. (Fittingly enough, as that's whom he lawyers for.) Farina, on the other hand, may already seem a viable candidate (to anyone over 60 given to excessive drink), but his election-law and campaign-finance violations from last spring's school-board races are probably not nearly as swept under the carpet as he thinks.
Farina claims in the papers that the State's Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) hasn't notified him of any violations from his school-board run - hopefully leaving some readers to think there really aren't any. But he's apologizing for some anyway, very curiously claiming this somehow rectifies the situation. But what situation? Oh, that's right - the one created a month ago when it hit the local media that Farina and his running mates had an offical complaint filed against them with ELEC for filing absolutely nothing about their campaign-finance activities - which Farina also spins in the papers, pinning it on his treasurer underling who 'failed to file the proper paperwork for the school board run'. As if a good-faith attempt at proper filing had been made, but an unfortunate error intervened? As if Farina himself did nothing wrong? Sadly for his 'integrity' bid in the freeholder race, ELEC holds the candidate Farina, the campaign chair Romano, and the treasurer equally and individually responsible for election-finance violations. Farina isn't off any hook: he's just as responsible for the legal breach as his treasurer is - and certainly even more so. In his other job as Hoboken municipal clerk, Farina is responsible for the proper conduct of all municipal elections! Including his own school-board election last year, the one in question. ELEC is hardly so stupid as to believe a word of this weasely spin.
Odds bodkins, Hobogomil! How can you hold your head up? This freeholder race is truly epitomizing the political circus Hoboken has long been. Look at the parade of clowns! Just how many can climb out of that subway car? First there's the politically decrepit Fitzgibbons for freeholder pairing with mayor-hopeful Peter Cammarano, the election lawyer(!) who's under investigation by the State for his own serious election-law and campaign-finance violations (shades of Farina!) - but they're both dead in the water. Then there's Farina patching it up with Mayor Roberts as another axis of weevil. Michael Russo, 'Son of Scam' as he's known in Hoboken, really wants badly to follow right in daddy's beshackled footsteps - but he needs a freeholder. Frank 'Pupie' Raia's name is whispered - well, muttered under one's breath actually - but he recently got crushed in a council race....by Russo. Maybe the callow Passante mentioned above gets passing grades? No - what could be more discrediting, belittling or greater evidence of personal failure than being Fitzgibbons' protege? Most importantly, Russo's mom can't stand Fitz, so forget Passante right off. How 'bout...the redoubtable Michael Schaeffer, the campaign lawyer who's name is being mentioned prominently for freeholder? Nope - feel free to doubt him again: he too is under investigation by the State for serious election-law and finance violations; he was one of Cammarano's treasurers for that slew of alleged wrong-doings. There must be someone...
Whatever will you do for a freeholder, Hobogomil? It's getting late - very, very late - only a couple weeks til the filing deadline. "Freeholder Ines Garcia-Keim" to be financed by "Mayor Beth Mason"? Nah - been there, dunned that. (And came up short.) Union organizer and Russo-mom sidekick, Vince Addeo maybe? Certainly some talk about him. Hmmmmmm. We may have something there...yeah - lots of minor baggage. Something about spousal abuse a while back; that stand-in role for the convicted political boss Anthony Russo; Fitzgibbons subordinate on the Democratic Municipal Committee...not lookin' too good on second thought. 'Vince Adieu' is more like it.
But then...then you got a guy, a born-and-raised guy, a union kinda guy; yeah, maybe he's got a rough side, but then he's a really friendly kinda guy, too, if ya know what I mean - one who really knows how to talk to people, ya know, where they live; everyone knows he's a good soldier, an order-taker for the political boss...when you think about he really is Hoboken, ya know. (How youse say in Hoboken? He's really down there 'on the waterfront'. A real Hoboken guy.) So, yeah, that's yer ticket!! Addeo/Russo. Perfect. Perfectly acceptable to Russo, who's perfectly acceptable to the real boss here, Union City Mayor Brian Stack. You come full circle again to a new regime of Russo-fronted, outsider control of Hoboken. Absolutely perfect.
Very glad you got that taken care of, Hobogomil. I'll see you in the funny pages...