Cammarano announces council ticket
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Cammarano announces council ticket
Mayoral hopeful Peter Cammarano’s ticket of Council-at-Large candidates has been officially announced. All three have ties to Mayor David Roberts, who Cammarano emerged from obscurity to run with in 2005.
In fact, “The Cammarano Team” of 2009 is structured very much like “The Roberts Team” of 2005. Cammarano’s understudies seem to be playing the roles of the original 2005 cast.
Let’s take a closer look:
Angel Alicea, playing the role of Ruben Ramos
Angel Alicea steps into the Ramos role of “Fourth Ward Housing Authority Vote Getter” on the Cammarano ticket. Alicea is no stranger to Hoboken politics. Both he and his wife Wanda Santana-Alicea have been elected to the Board of Education. Wanda has the unusual title of losing her seat on the board twice in two years, showing the Alicea’s vote-getting skills are somewhat less than infallible. Angel is a Union City Police Officer serving in the Internal Affairs department. The born and raised Alicea has a score to settle with Michael Russo, Dawn Zimmer, and Beth Mason. Their votes removed him from the board of the Hoboken Housing Authority, a position he used for years to help get his allies elected to public office. Jumping on Cammarano’s ticket puts a thorn in their side.
Understudy Factor: Alicea is hardly the voter draw that Ramos is. Unlike Angel, Ruben has never lost an election and is a consistent top vote getter in Hoboken.
The Dave Roberts Connection: The Mayor supported Alicea for the HHA board, and his wife for the Board of Education.
“Bubbles,” playing the role of Terry LaBruno
Frances Rhodes-Kearns stands in for LaBruno in the role of “Daughter of Old Hoboken with lots of family on the public payroll who will say things in public that surprise you.” Rhodes-Kearns is better known by her nickname “Bubbles”. Former Freeholder (and Cammarano promoter) Maurice Fitzgibbons is her cousin and political patron. Currently the President of the School Board, Rhodes-Kearns routinely has to abstain on votes because so many of her relatives are on the payroll. Like LaBruno, Rhodes-Kearns has connections to the Police and Fire Departments. Her brother is a retired HFD Captain, while her father was on the HPD. In typical Hudson County style, Rhodes-Kearns was given a job at the Hudson County School of Technology shortly after she was elected to the Board of Ed. Before that she worked at Signore’s Lounge (also known as The LoveSexy Lounge.)
Understudy Factor: While LaBruno brought Roberts real support from the Public Safety departments, Rhodes-Kearns’ Public Safety connections are more history than current events.
The Dave Roberts Connection: Rhodes-Kearns ran on the Mayor’s Board of Education tickets in 2000 (while he was still a councilman), 2002, 2005, and 2008.
Michael Novak, playing the role of David Roberts
Ah, since Cammarano is still playing the 2005 role of “Political machine connected attorney who masquerades as a typical Hoboken yuppie,” it means someone else will have to play the role of “Successful small business and family man with ties to developers” that Dave Roberts assumed at the top of his own ticket.
That person is Michael Novak. He is the President of Atlantic Environmental Solutions, which consults for developers, real estate professionals, architects and engineers on development projects. Novak has served on many volunteer community boards and the Rotary Club, but acquaintances say his quest for status in town may be blinding him to who he is getting into bed with here.
Understudy Factor: Like Roberts, another middle-aged guy with money.
The Dave Roberts Connection: Just this January the Mayor appointed Novak to the Zoning Board in a move now believed to give him the political position he lacked on his resume ahead of his run with Cammarano.
So, there you have it. The Cammarano understudies take to the stage hoping for a full house to see the new production of “Dave Roberts’ Third Term”.
See Cammarano’s original Mayoral announcement after the jump…
Kicks off at coffee shop
Councilman Peter Cammarano officially announced his run for Mayor this morning at the Frozen Monkey, which was open for regular business.
At one end of the popular café Jennifer Hindman Sargent and Camille Korschun Bustillo were being loudly saluted by a group of supporters for their work as “The HoLa girls” while at the other, a small army of campaign suits surrounded their candidate. The Councilman who ran on Dave Roberts’ ticket in 2005 and supported each of his spending plans and back-door borrowing deals is now running under the slogan of “Lower Taxes – Real Change.” The event was orchestrated by Vision Media Marketing’s Paul Swibinski, also known as the go-to guy for the HCDO. Swibinski also handled the literature for Cammarano when he was on “The Roberts Team”, and an example of his work can be seen in the “Dave Roberts on Neumann Leather” thread.
Unlike most campaign kickoffs, Cammarano was not surrounded by a group of supporters other than his charming wife and beautiful daughter. His two biggest fans among old school Hoboken politicos – Maurice Fitzgibbons and Perry Belfiore – were not there. Newly minted Zoning Board member Mike Novak, who is telling people he’ll be running on Cammarano’s ticket – was also absent. Early Hoboken Obama supporter Jennifer Riggins and Chris Campos street soldier Nick Callicchio were there. Both are rumored to be under consideration for the Cammarano ticket. Cammarano would only say he will run with a full slate, but has not been decided who will be on it. One minute the councilman was claiming government transparency was important to him, and the next he was attacking Councilwoman Beth Mason for suing the city for access to public records.
Cammarano began his campaign focusing on the vote taken in June when the council was given the opportunity to vote on an underfunded budget that would hide $12 million in overspending by Mayor Roberts, or follow the law and let the chips fall where they have. Cammarano was in favor of hiding the overspending, and is using creative license to claim it was actually a profile in courage on his part. When asked about the polls that show him far behind in this race (three to four percent) he shrugged it off as information which is not relevant before a campaign begins. Some of his opponents are concerned that polls show so few people are actually familiar with Cammarano and his record that they will be swayed by Swibinski’s campaign message talents, which helped convince people Dave Roberts was the candidate of parks and conservative government in 2005.
The question is, will Hoboken get fooled again?
Below is a brief video with some of Cammarano’s top platform points (lots of customer chatter):
Peter Cammarano announces run for Hoboken, NJ Mayor from Hoboken411 on Vimeo.