Beth Mason’s Chinese Menu
Mason makes runoff endorsements
In a city with so many Chinese restaurants in Hoboken, perhaps it’s only fitting we get a runoff endorsement that includes two from column A and two from column B.
At a press conference that I hear was practically devoid of press (it helps if you give more than a half-hour’s notice), Councilwoman Beth Mason announced she will support Dawn Zimmer for Mayor, and Vinny Addeo, Raul Morales II and Ravi Bhalla for City Council. Will the, umm, unique move be accepted as the self-styled Mason being Mason, or as an attempt to pander to multiple constituencies, making none very happy?
Mason on Zimmer
Whether you see it as absurd or as a stroke of genius, Mason’s press release carried her “One Hoboken” theme to another level as she endorsed four candidates from two tickets:
Mason’s decision to support this team of people was based on a shared view of three core principles:
- Cutting taxes by balancing the budget and eliminating wasteful spending;
- Making government accountable to the people;
- Implementing a smart and viable economic-development plan geared toward the improvement of Hoboken residents’ quality of life, improving public safety, securing more open space and adhering to economic development plans that are in the best interests of the majority of residents.
“With the help of this team, Zimmer will easily be able to bring Hoboken residents the change they need,” Mason said. “I believe she has the experience to lead Hoboken to a bright future, and I am equally enthusiastic and adamant about the importance of having these particular council members in place to work with other council members seeking change, and work with Zimmer to put these plans into action.”
Note to Beth: If you’re trying to impart that you truly support and like someone, you might try referring to them by their first name, no? No charge for the tip.
Mason stands by Addeo and Morales II
Though it would’ve looked ridiculous for Mason to abandon the two members of her slate heading into the runoff, we hear some people were pushing her to dump them in favor of a runoff endorsement of the entire Zimmer ticket. Others suggested Mason only publicly support Addeo and Morales for council. Every vote for another council candidate is a vote against them, and as the only candidates running without a Mayoral candidate, Addeo and Morales will need GOTV (Get Out The Vote) support Mason won’t be paying for anymore. Her decision to go with Zimmer may force her former ticket mates to accept support from Peter Cammarano.
WHY ENDORSE RAVI BHALLA? READ ON AFTER THE JUMP
(Beth Mason’s Endorsement – continued…)
Why did Mason endorse Ravi Bhalla?
The big “head-scratcher” today is not that Mason endorsed Addeo, Morales or Zimmer, but that she’s also telling people to push a button for Ravi Bhalla, who became the poster child for the nasty stuff Zimmer’s supporters were pulling behind the scenes and on the ‘net. Bhalla’s rude behavior on Board of Ed election night directed at Mason campaign chair Ines Garcia-Keim – as well as his attempt to explain it away by claiming (wrongly) that Morales was campaigning for an opposing ticket – is apparently ancient history to Mason.
I found out that Garcia-Keim was not at the endorsement announcement yesterday, but then again neither was anybody else besides Jake Stuiver, so read into it what you will. Mason’s press release points out, “Ravi Bhalla is an expert in rent control and affortable housing,” and says little else about why she chose to endorse him. No word on an overdue apology from Bhalla to Garcia-Keim, Stuiver and Morales. Cynics I know say Mason is endorsing Bhalla because she would rather see him in a Council-at-Large seat in 2009 than challenging her for the Second Ward job in 2011.
Will Mason’s gambit work?
In the unlikely event Zimmer, Addeo, Morales and Bhalla are each elected Mason will look like a Queen-maker.
Hoboken political observers I’ve interacted with, say the likelihood is slim. Split tickets happen in crowded elections like we all witnessed last week, but are very rare in runoffs. Zimmer is the underdog regardless of Mason’s endorsement, but if she beats Cammarano, it’s a lock she’ll do it with her entire ticket along for the ride, leaving Addeo and Morales behind. Meanwhile, Cammarano is counting on supporters of Mason’s last men standing to come back to the polls and help elect him Mayor.
No, Mason is not likely to see all four of her choices sworn in on inauguration day, but this hurried announcement may get all but the most hateful of her critics off her back. It may also make things a little less tense at the synagogue in coming weeks.
What do you think? Does this have any effect on your voting decision? Crazy, or just crazy enough to work? Comment below.