Monday, September 30, 2013

HAS ANYBODY GOT A CANDIDATE?

photo credit: NJ.com

BAYONNE - The coming Bayonne mayoral election next year has already created interest, in Jersey City of all places. Sources there say that the camp of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop is looking for a viable candidate to dethrone incumbent Mark Smith.

According to these same sources, it is really a case of “payback” since word has it that Smith and his political guru father-in-law, octogenarian Neil Carroll, double-crossed Fulop in the last Jersey City election. The sources say that Fulop met with both of them and received assurances that they would remain neutral in the Jersey City Mayoral race. They shortly thereafter endorsed Fulop’s opponent, Jerry Healy, and gave the latter over $100,000 of the Hudson County Democratic Organization monies then controlled by Democratic Chairman Mark Smith.

It could be a tough battle. Smith is personally still popular even though his father-in-law has created a ton of enemies. But if a viable candidate arrives on the scene, he or she will get a ton of street help and probably plenty of financial support also.

WIRE, WIRE, WHO’S GOT THE WIRE?

"I HAVE A DIRECT LINE TO THE FBI"     "I CARRY MY WIRING AROUND WITH ME"

HOBOKEN/WEST NEW YORK - Shades of Bobby J. The bloody war in Hoboken and the recall in West New York have brought out two more practitioners of the art of spying – namely low-life sleaze-ball Hoboken Housing Authority executive director Carmelo Garcia and West New York Freeholder you-can-hardly-understand-what-I’m-saying-when-I’m-talking but I’m an FBI informer named Jose Munoz.

Carmelo was exposed as wired by an attorney in a deposition, a fact that is certain to make him most welcome in the General Assembly of New Jersey to which he will probably be elected in November if he’s not in jail first.

Some of the questions that should have been asked of Garcia in the deposition but were not are: Did you attend classes at Stevens Institute of Technology when pursuing a degree during the same hours you were being paid as a Director at City Hall? Did you rent out the Multi-Service Center under your oversight as that same director for communions, birthday parties, etc. charging a fee (cash only) but never making any deposits in the city treasury? Did you dispense cash to voters to buy their votes during your school board campaigns without ever reporting it to ELEC? Did you put relatives on the Hoboken Board of Education payroll while you were a board member? And, best of all, did you tape Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack while you were wired?

Of course Carmelo shouldn’t be surprised when he appears in Trenton that his legislative colleagues will pat him down rather than shake his hand as a greeting.

As for Munoz, those Freeholder private conversations must now be kept to a minimum. Why he is an FBI informant is beyond most people. As for wiring one’s self or spying, that’s usually the result of someone being caught committing a crime and looking to gain leniency by helping the arresting authority. But in neither of these cases was that the issue. At least not yet.

PUPIE’S CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST

"Carmelo, how could you do this me?"

No good deed – or bad deed for that matter – goes unpunished. Just ask Hoboken Council-at-Large candidate Frank “Pupie” Raia. The most amazing aspect of Frank’s career raises the question of “how does a wealthy man who makes so many right business decisions, make so many wrong political ones?

As for right ones, Frank and his wife, Karen, recently purchased a $970,000 home in Belmar , ostensibly a shore house or is it to become the main domicile? Also, inside sources report that Frank just closed a business deal that will net him over $2 million. How much of it will he spend in the campaign?

As for his good deed not going unpunished, consider the following: (all the facts herein were supplied by Tony Amabile of Meadowlands Associates, Inc.) Frank was the campaign treasurer in 2008 for the “Parents for Progressive Education” team in the School Board Election composed of Carmelo Garcia, Frances Rose Kearns (Bubbles) and Philip DeFalco.

Their campaign was handled by Anthony Ama bile of Meadowlands Associates, Inc., who had also guided both Frank Raia and Carmelo Garcia to previous victories in Board of Education elections. The candidates were also supported by then Mayor David Roberts, who, at one of the campaign meetings pledged to cover all costs in the event the fund raising fell short.

The three candidates won the election. However, neither they nor Roberts ever paid the total bill. Meadowlands Associates Inc. billed the campaign in two invoices totaling $24,571.89 which covered fees, printing, newspaper ads, photography, campaign buttons, posters and out-of-pocket expenses.

Meadowlands Associates received one check in payment for $8,750 and one for $191.38 which was used to close out the account. The balance of $15,630.51 was never paid. During this period of time, Raia never filed the second invoice of $12,931.90 on the ELEC report. Amabile mailed it a second time and called Raia to urge him to file the report. It never happened and Amabile complained to ELEC, which informed him that there is no penalty in the law for not filing bills and that there was nothing they could do about it. To this day Amabile believes that he was given the wrong information by ELEC.

So, Meadowlands Associates sued in court. Defendants in the suit were the three candidates and David Roberts. By some stretch of the imagination, Roberts was successful in getting himself removed as a defendant.

During the meetings with the initial judge in the case only Kearns and DeFalco were represented by counsel. Garcia never responded although the judge informed everyone that his computer showed that Garcia’s wife had been served with the complaint. He advised the parties to settle the matter. Meadowlands decided to settle with Kearns and DeFalco since the judge was willing to rule Garcia in default and issued a judgment in favor of Meadowlands Associates, Inc. for $15,000 against Garcia.

Garcia went to court and had the judgment vacated and a trial was held. During the trial, Amabile, Raia and Garcia testified. Amabile was also cross-examined by lawyers for Kearns and DeFalco who were defendants of a cross-complaint by Garcia.

On the stand, Frank Raia committed perjury according to Amabile by claiming that he never received the second bill in the campaign, even though he admitted to Amabile on the phone that he had received the bill but that there was no money left to pay it. Garcia claimed that there was a $10,000 budget struck for the campaign and that the work was not authorized by the candidates which were not true according to Amabile. The latter points out that Garcia’s previous successful campaign for the board cost more than the 2008 campaign and that he knew a $10,000 budget was unrealistic. Just some more perjury.

To make this long story short, the judge, in her ruling, stated “Raia testified that he did not need to review Amabile’s work because Amabile knew that needed to be done. Garcia acknowledged that Amabile had run his first campaign which had been successful. The Court finds Amabile to be a credible witness. The Court does not find the testimony of Raia with regard to the second invoice or authorization of the work to be credible. In particular, the Court finds incredible Raia’s testimony regarding overpayment of Amabile.” She awarded a judgment for $15,000 in Amabile’s favor.

Garcia’s lawyers have tried on three occasions since then to subvert Amabile’s garnishee of Garcia’s pay at the Housing Authority in settlement of the judgment. They have been denied all three times by the court.

Now, as for no good deed going unpunished: in return for his perjured testimony on behalf of Garcia, Raia was called a “f—k—g buffoon” by Garcia on the now famous transcript of Garcia’s testimony in a deposition in an unrelated case. In addition, Garcia is now waging a war against a Vote by Mail (VBM) campaign in the housing projects similar to the one Raia waged on Garcia’s behalf in the Board of Education election. With friends like Garcia, Raia doesn’t need any more enemies.

But Frank’s troubles aren’t over yet. He has been or is about to be sued for bills allegedly not paid in one of his own campaigns handled by consultant Paul Swibinski. Is it something in Hoboken’s water?

CAN’T GIVE YOU WHAT I GOT



JERSEY CITY – Isn’t it ironic that Journal Square Councilman Richard Boggiano “abstained” on Mayor Steve Fulop’s initiative to mandate sick time for most private workers. This from a former cop who enjoyed the best of benefits at the expense of the Jersey City taxpayers and probably even got compensation for unused sick days when he retired from the force. So far, Boggiano has proven to be a knee-jerk “if you’re for it, I’m against it” type of councilman similar to the buffoons on the Hoboken Council which pursue those same tactics against their mayor. 

TIP OF THE WEEK:  Keep a close eye on the 20/20 vision plan being championed by Carmelo Garcia. As they say in the law enforcement arena, “follow the money.”