Last minute BoE Election tactics
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And to remind you what race baiting is: “Race baiting is the term for an act of using racially derisive language, actions or other forms of communication, to anger, intimidate or incite a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests. This can also be accomplished by implying that there is an underlying race based motive in the actions of others towards the group baited, where none in fact exists. The term “race” in this context can be construed very broadly to include the social constructs which define race or racial difference, as well as ethnic, religious, gender and economic differences.”
It’s the last 24 hours before an election, and in Hoboken that means smears, misleading statements, and even outright race baiting can reach a fever pitch.
The “Parents for Progressive Education” slate mailed a flier in a plain white envelope only to voters that have Hispanic last names. This flier demonizes every other candidate in the race (including independents Maureen Sullivan and Ron Rosenberg) as “obviously enemies of the Latino Community since none chose to run with a Latino running mate.”
Why send only to Hispanic voters???
The flier is the creation of longtime Hudson County political consultant (and dirty tricks specialist) Anthony Amabile, who apparently assumes that nobody with a Hispanic name in Hoboken could be classified as anything other than a “Latino” voter. A few elections ago there was a rumor that an even more heinous race-baiting flier of Amabile’s made it into the uptown brownstone mailbox of NBC Today Show news anchor Natalie Morales.
Lots of irony in offensive flier
This year’s Latinos-only flier says the opponents of DeFalco/Garcia/Rhodes-Kearns “have been successful in defeating all Latino candidates” in the last two years. The fact is, the “Latino candidates” can only look to themselves for why candidates like Wanda Alicea, Maggie Porrata and Chris Campos lost. They have been accused of “Latinos First” bullet-voting tactics. Their candidates run with a larger team, only to turn around and tell their voters to ONLY vote for the Hispanic candidates to increase the likelihood they will be the top vote getters.
The Italians in town have caught on to this, and the last two years turned around and returned the favor by not voting for Alicea and Porrata, further showing how “tickets” and “slates” mean very little to Hoboken school board voters. Newcomers vote their conscience, and the old school politicians vote their ethnicity and/or for friends and relatives (or against their enemies).
Kids First takes a few liberties, too
The latest Kids First flier is hitting Carmelo Garcia for ethics charges launched against him by former trustee Theresa Burns. Back in 2006 Theresa Minutillo’s campaign literature called the charges against Garcia “Trumped Up” in an effort to curry favor with him. Now that Carmelo is the candidate, the ethics investigation is being used as Exhibit A against him.
Critics have also taken issue with the liberties taken issue with some fuzzy math in this year’s Kids First fliers. For instance, they say Brian Assadourian has a “30 year history in Hoboken” even though he told the Hoboken Reporter he didn’t actually move here until 1998. Apparently playing some Hoboken gigs in a band counts as “history” to the people who wrote the Kids First campaign literature. You can bet that some BnR’s may beg to differ.
The Bottom Line
Be careful what you read in the final hours before an election, and send any “Midnight Fliers” to Hoboken411 so we can shed some light on them!