Reporter Roundup – 10/29/2007


Won’t bore you with the details about the 80%+ pages dominated by advertising this week again.

What did our local rag print this week? See cover stories below, plus what’s inside after the break.


Round 3 in Ward 4 dominated the Reporter again this week, with two full articles in the front and many letters to the editor in the back.

“He said what?” 5 cops sue city

hoboken-bias-suit.jpgThe Reporter’s coverage of five Latino policemen suing the city over alleged racist behavior is much different than other media. The daily papers and local TV ran with the most incendiary charges and photos related to the case. Instead of pictures of improvised Klan hoods or men in confederate army caps, the Reporter uses a stock photo of Police Headquarters on the front page. Bold quotes support the police department’s point of view.

Beyond the mud in the 4th

The first of two articles on the fourth ward battle, this one tries to set aside the mudslinging for a moment to take a look at the issues that separate Campos and Zimmer. An excerpt:

“Zimmer posted on a local internet site in March a very clear statement saying she would not accept money, either personally or for her campaign, from the powerful countywide political group the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO). But since then, she has received $6,000 from two major HCDO politicians, including the group’s chairman.”

What the Reporter conveniently leaves out of that sentence is the fact that the post was right here on Hoboken411. (See Dawn’s initial response to the HCDO contributions in the video posted in this thread.)

Read “beneath the covers” after the jump

Page 3: A very disturbing case of deja vu

Open the paper to find yet another article about the fourth ward race, but this one highlights the latest charges of voter improprieties. Both candidates have asked officials to investigate the legitimacy of specific voters’ absentee ballots and other records. The paper says 63 voters and voter records have been challenged so far.

The paper quotes a county official as saying Zimmer campaign manager Jenny Davis dropped off 81 absentee ballot applications on Oct. 19th. In question are not SkyClub voters, but names of people who claim to live in the Hoboken Housing Authority. These people may not be on the lease at the apartment they are attempting to vote from with the help of the Zimmer campaign and in at least one case, Frank Raia.

The Reporter quotes HHA Executive Director Bob DiVincent as saying none of the 9 individuals being challenged by the Campos campaign are on the leases where they are registered. Since you have to be on the lease to live in an HHA apartment, DiVincent says officially these people may not be residents of the HHA. The Campos campaign also charges 8 of the 9 absentee votes they are challenging are listed as paid “campaign workers” on Zimmer’s ELEC reports. Zimmer’s retort to the challenge is listed in our Fourth Ward Thread.

Page 5: Previewing a fait accompli

Here the Reporter covers the essentially uncontested races for Hudson County and state offices November 6th. With Republicans greatly outnumbered, the Democratic Party is a monopoly in Hudson County. These elections were decided during the primary back in June.

Page 6: Between The Lines

Here we have the latest on the ongoing battle for power and patronage between the HCDO and DFHC. Al Sullivan’s column updates us on talk of a truce between the HCDO’s Jerry Healy and DFHC’s Brian Stack. It even includes talk of the HCDO picking up some of the DFHC’s campaign debt just to keep the hundreds of millions of tax dollars flowing freely through the county political machine without further hostilities.

Page 7: Our Creepy County

Here we learn over a million bats live in Hudson County. “Our Creepy County” might be a better name for the political column.

Page 9: Save the Save the Youth

The Save the Youth program is in jeopardy after losing a $190,000 federal grant.

Page 14: Shooting Buried in Police Briefs

The shooting this week at a garage in the fourth ward got a lot of coverage here and elsewhere, but it was buried as the last of three items in the Police Beat. The top story? A guy from Union City busted for marijuana possession. The second story? A guy allegedly dealing drugs on the 300 block of Jackson Street who swallowed a bag of white powder before being taken into custody.

Pages 57 & 58: Letters to the Editor

Hoboken reporter letters to the editor Hoboken411If you wanted to get a nasty letter in the Reporter about Chris Campos or Dawn Zimmer, you missed your chance (unless, god forbid, there is a Round 4 in Ward 4.) This is the final week the paper will print negative letters.

  • Dawn Zimmer leads things off again talking about flooding and open space.
  • Chris Campos writes about flooding for a third week in a row.
  • Terry LaBruno notes Campos sponsored the Open Space Referendum resolution in June, before Zimmer was sworn in. The councilwoman-at-large writes, “I don’t know where Dawn grew up, or how she grew up, but I do know how Chris did.”
  • Councilman Ruben Ramos writes a predictable letter of support for Campos.
  • “Skyline Resident” Michael Petrikat takes some shots at the negative campaign tactics Campos and Gerry McCann are using against Zimmer.
  • Damaris Caraballo says Zimmer should be embarrassed for getting caught on tape campaigning with Frank “Pupie” Raia, a developer who “sat on the sewerage authority for several years and did nothing to address flooding”
  • Barbie Roman says the Zimmer Flood Forum was a flop. Roman wrote that she had high hopes for the event, only to find it was an “exercise in frustration” that suffered from poor planning.
  • Margaret O’Brien was also at the Zimmer Flood Forum. She brought a storyboard with information about short-term flood solutions from around the globe. She said it was ignored on favor of political grandstanding.
  • Nicholas Calicchio claims Pupie Raia is going to flood the fourth ward with cash for Zimmer during the last few days of the campaign when it is “impossible to have access to campaign spending reports.” No mention of the repeatedly missing Campos ELEC reports for months. What was he hiding?
  • Jim Doyle responds to letters written against the Open Space Referendum by John Koppisch in the Reporter and Peter Cammarano in the Hoboken Family Alliance newsletter. Doyle rejects Koppisch’s suggestion that people who want parks should move to the ‘burbs, and disintegrates Cammarano’s argument that it would be better to rely exclusively on grants and developers to decide the future of parks in Hoboken.
  • Leah Healey makes the case to support the Open Space Referendum, noting urban park standards indicate Hoboken should have 112 acres of parks for 45,000 residents. Today there are little more than 35 acres, and the population keeps growing.
  • Other letters: Ruth Charnes thanks those involved in the Friends of the Hoboken Library “Novel Night” dinner fundraiser… Barbara Gross thanks those involved with the Hoboken Museum’s “Chocolate Sunday” fundraiser… Lisa Sanes thanks the Mayor for sending her as a chaperone on a trip to Great Adventure… And David Milne salutes the memory of Mike Turner, Sr., who organized youth sporting events.

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23 Comments on "Reporter Roundup – 10/29/2007"

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[quote comment=”50538″]Why don’t they focus on the parks that are already on the drawing board.
That’s one of the problems. The drawing board is the master plan, and many of the parks on it aren’t happening. I think they’ve finally taken down the picture of the master plan in city hall because it’s become too embarrassing. If we were following through on the open space provisions of the MP, I wouldn’t think we need this referendum either. It grows out of broken promises.
[quote comment=”50538″]Here’s a suggestion: put a soccer field on 1600 Park and let me keep my money.[/quote] I don’t think it would fit. They’re thinking about tennis courts for that space, which is probably more workable.

Did you mean ‘let me keep my money’ generally, or is the expense an issue? Or is it just that the idea of Terry Labruno with your money causes a headache? Which I wouldn’t try to argue you out of.


Sorry, 411 recapper, you usually play it straight but I think you’re too cozy with the park people. The folks speaking out against the referendum (and whispering to each other cause you’re vilified if you have a different opinion) just don’t trust the likes of Terry LaBruno to spend our money wisely. Leah and Jim come off like naive Al Gorians: let’s put the money in a lock box! Why don’t they focus on the parks that are already on the drawing board. Here’s a suggestion: put a soccer field on 1600 Park and let me keep my money. I’m sick of hearing pseudo facts from Leah like Hoboken has the least amount of parkland in the state. So we have a worse standard of living than Camden and Newark? And pleeeeeze stop saying that we need more parks cause Church Sq is crowded. It’s crowded cause of its location. Those 1,300 kids won’t have gym class in SW no matter what. They won’t even walk to Columbus Park now.


My BnR opinions are a little more nuanced than that. I don’t have time for that subject now. But, I didn’t get here with the last Uhaul full of Ikea furniture. My kids were born here and went to school here. You raise kids in this town, you know all the other parents who are trying to do the same. Having a hard-on for all the BnR’s doesn’t quite work. Nor does it describe me.

And Beth is still my 1st choice for mayor. Like I said, nuanced.

Red Haven
Red Haven

Funny Westful, it wasn’t that long ago you were on here drafting Mason for Mayor. Though I agree with many, many things you post I don’t think it’s been lost on frequent readers that you have a bit of a hard-on for the BNR population.

You have often pointed to every one of them as the reason for everything that is wrong with Hoboken. I don’t agree, and neither apparently does Dawn Zimmer, who is accepting much help from BNR’s like Frank Raia and Andrew Amato, among others.

When we pay our cops under $30k a year to start, but tell them they must live in Hoboken, you can make a real good case that we need some workforce housing. That also goes for starting teachers and firefighters.

As for having an “uneasy feeling” as opposed to a “theory”, it is others who have offerred the all-out BS “theory” which may be leading to your “uneasy feeling” now.


[quote comment=”50508″]It’s almost 5pm, shouldn’t you guys be out knocking on doors for Dawn?[/quote]
And will you be out drumming up support for PQ#5? Or don’t you care about it one way or the other? I asked about that a while ago. Never heard back.