In what appears to easily be the most bitter showdown in the Hoboken City Council races that will be decided on Tuesday, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino and outgoing Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) are pulling out all the stops.Â
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A mailer campaign has been relentless against Giattino as crunch time hits election season, in one instance attacking the incumbent for opposing a 25 percent tax cut.
Other mailers have attacked Giattino for going to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, with two city directors, and another even claims that Giattino voted against a ban on assault weapons in Hoboken.
A letter sent to the mailing address for Hudson County View from “The Truth About Jen” was particularly nasty, calling Giattino “a fraud” who “violated law” by moving out of the ward for 15 months after her home sustained serious damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Giattino is also referred to as “a sneaky Republican getting away with hiding the truth from the residents of Hoboken,” claiming her move violated a city vacancy law, but it was overlooked so Mayor Dawn Zimmer could maintain a majority on the council.
Garcia told Hudson County View that he did not pay for or play any role in the negative mailers, which state they were paid for by “Real Democrats for Hoboken.”
The councilwoman, who unseated Angelo “Nino” Giacchi in May 2011, has previously stated that the damage to her home was very real and created a serious hardship on her family, taking offense that anyone would even insinuate otherwise.
In the midst of a fire fight, Giattino has refused to be a punching bag, refuting Garcia’s “outrageous false and negative attacks,” noting that gun regulations are taken care of on the state and national level, she wrote in a mailer of her own.
Additionally, she went at Garcia hard in an October 23 letter sent to Assembly Speaker (D-32) Vincent Prieto, who is also the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, where she alleges Garcia is “electioneering” by sending council mailers from his Assembly office.
Garcia caught some heat earlier this month for sending mailers with a letter marked from Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (D-1), though his office called it an “oversight” (h/t Politicker NJ).
At the HCDO’s annual fall gala at Jersey City’s Casino in the Park Thursday night, Hudson County View had a chance to catch up with Prieto and inquire what his reaction to Giattino’s letter was.
Prieto wanted it to be known that as chairman of the party, “I don’t get involved in local races,” adding that he gave Giattino’s letter to counsel at the state and left it up to them to determine if any further action needed to be taken.
“Like I said, that’s not something for me to get involved in, so I don’t know all the particulars. Anything like that I forward. As the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, I do not go into local races in the local municipalities. That is something that I leave to them.”
The Assembly Speaker also noted he has wished both Garcia and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer the best of luck in Tuesday’s elections.
Giattino is one of the five candidates endorsed by Zimmer, who is embroiled in her own longstanding feud with Garcia that, in part, stems from his termination from the Hoboken Housing Authority.
Garcia, who is suing Zimmer, her husband Stan Grossbard, the city, the HHA and others for wrongful termination, believes Zimmer played a major role in plotting his removal from the autonomous agency – which he believes was proven in emails where Grossbard communicated with HHA commissioners.
November 3 might as well be Judgement Day for Hoboken’s 6th Ward, as Garcia vs. Giattino is for all the marbles as far as the future of Hoboken is concerned.
John, I’m sure if you interviewed the Councilwoman you would find out she was not in Indianapolis on Super Bowl Sunday and certainly not on Hoboken’s dime. And of course there was never a single vote in Hoboken o gun control cause the city has no control whatsoever on gun laws.
Carmelo Garcia is the slimiest politician Hoboken has seen in some time.
Also the so-called 25% tax-cut was a one-shot Beth Mason budget gimmick to give away the city’s surplus as a “tax cut”. This in turn would have destroyed the city’s bond rating and increased the costs of all debt service.
Last, Beth made this failing proposal while she was city council president. Giattino was not on the council at the time.
It’s just another lie. It would be nice if HCV researched some of these claims instead of presenting them as potentially true.
Long story short, the purpose of this story is to show how ugly it has gotten in Ward 6. There were several examples given from each campaign. It was pointed out that Giattino has dismissed everything written in the negative flyers and it appears that the electioneering claim against Garcia is a dead issue as well.
The “electioneering claim against Garcia is a dead issue” because the head of the HCDO doesn’t want to take the side of a republican against a democratic assemblyman. Let’s not pretend there is more to Prieto’s inaction than that. The fact is the Garcia mailer only went to his ward. It appears to have only gone to republicans to boot, but that’s neither here nor there. The verbiage of the mailer only names Hoboken. Garcia’s district goes beyond Hoboken. Bottom line, he used a tax-payer funded resource to send a mailer intended to impress people in his word. That most certainly is electioneering.
If we’re going to start saying that every under-handed trick that isn’t followed up on or prosecuted is “a dead issue” we may as well close up shop. Tim Occhipinti had 575 paid workers on his ELECs in 2010. He got 1240 votes. Hundreds of those “workers” were paid $40 and voted via VBM when they have a polling place on the ground floor of their buildings. 3 of those “workers” signed affidavits that they were paid to vote. But the AG never did anything with the whole unholy mess. Everyone knows the score. Call it a “dead issue” at your peril.
I’m just saying what reality is, not that it’s good, bad, indifferent, legal, illegal, etc. As any informed person would agree, if we were going to get worked up every time a crime wasn’t persecuted in Hudson … no one would ever be able to live a productive life ever again, at best.
I think the unfortunate thing is that the media is not reporting that these flyers send by Garcia’s pals at Real Democrats are completely made up lies
If this is what Carmelo is party to as a candidate what are we to expect if he was an actual councilperson?
NMCP, the media is also not reporting that the attack fliers in the 6th ward are from “Real Democrats of Hoboken” whose ELECs are covered with the signatures of Ines and John Keim who have done Beth Mason’s dirty work for a decade. All the fliers contain long-standing Mason talking points of little to no merit. Giattino is responsible for the country’s gun fetish?
Garcia has TV ads, glossy fliers, hand-outs, block parties, mailers, huge Halloween goody bags with his literature in them, open-ended GOTV offers to Stevens students, various gatherings and events, and a daily street presence. And no ELEC filings. The media will tell us more about that just as soon as it’s too late, just as they did with Tim Occhipinti’s 575 paid “workers.”
When the media tells me “that’s the reality, I can’t do anything about it” they are referring to a “reality” in which they are collusive. The reality is one in which the media, wishing not to appear to take sides, creates the illusion of equal grievance.
-Carmelo is spending an awful lot of someone’s money.
-Carmelo is not filing legally mandated reports about it.
-Beth is trying to buy a seat for Carmelo just as she did for Occhipinti.
-Beth and the Keims are no stranger to ELEC violations themselves.
-Carmelo publishes fresh lies and half-truths daily.
There is no corresponding garbage coming from Giattino. But we’ll be told everything is more or less equal on both sides. Until the election is over.
This is why large numbers of people have abandoned traditional media. Traditional media has abandoned large numbers of people. I sometimes wonder if modern media were covering WWII if they would not bring in one each nazi and jewish spokesperson to tell “both sides of the story” and “let the viewer decide.” Symmetry is a beautiful thing. But it is much more rare that the media have the courage to admit.
NMCP, I’m particularly peeved you attack my son’s friend. Oh wait, he threw him under the bus trying to cut a deal with Zimmer.
Sorry, carry on. I got some phone calls to make anyway. Keep your doors shut people. Don’t answer the door for no one!
Ditto for Team Zimmer regarding electioneering violations.