Corruption

Is Hoboken, Finally, the Worst-Run City in the United States?

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In the June issue of the magazine, I wrote this:

Hoboken, New Jersey, is not exactly known for its good governance. Steve Cappiello, mayor from 1973 to 1985, was arrested for drunk driving in 2007 after ramming into a parked government car and then fleeing the scene. Thomas Vezzetti, mayor from 1985 to 1988, was called "the wackiest mayor in America" by the New York Daily News. And the corruption and bribery of Anthony Russo, mayor from 1993 to 2001, was so over the top that he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

Today's news brings this:

A New Jersey assemblyman and the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus were among public officials arrested this morning by FBI agents in an international money laundering and corruption probe that includes rabbis in the Syrian Jewish communities of Deal and Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell and Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega are among those already brought to the FBI building in Newark. Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini has also been arrested.

Well, at least property taxes only went up 47 percent this year!

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  1. My favorite part of the second paragraph is that five politicians were arrested, one Republican and four with partisan affiliation unlabeled.

    If you guessed that the other four were all Democrats, you were right.

  2. 34 arrests so far. WSJ is reporting some of the arrests involve trafficking in body parts.

  3. John Thacker | July 23, 2009, 12:24pm | #

    Nice catch, maybe the guy is from the NY area where it is implied Democrat unless specified.

  4. Let’s not forget the human organ trafficking.

  5. If money laundering is illegal how do you explain TARP and the Stimulus package?

  6. Thanks for the extra helping of making Italians look like total shit heels.

  7. ‘Eyy, Ska, dat’s a spicy meat-a ball!

  8. Ska,

    Do you drive an I-Roc?

  9. Thanks for the extra helping of making Italians look like total shit heels.

    It’s north Jersey, dude. No extra helping needed. Just go make some brasciole from the Pork Store in Paterson. You’ll feel better.

  10. Do you drive an I-Roc?

    Only when I’m shopping for gold chains.

    It’s north Jersey, dude. No extra helping needed. Just go make some brasciole from the Pork Store in Paterson. You’ll feel better.

    Dude, we all know how much you love the bracciole. No need to advertise it further.

  11. Dude, we all know how much you love the bracciole. No need to advertise it further.

    Just because I like rolled cylindrical pork in…wait a second.

  12. Well played, Ska!!!

  13. I’m wondering how long Epi can keep up his credentials here. He’s Seattle based now. How long before the hippiness moves into his brain?

  14. I was picking up a new set of lungs for my cousin from a van behind Vintage Vinyl when I heard this. Unbelievable…

  15. He’s Seattle based now. How long before the hippiness moves into his brain?

    As long as there’s a place in his heart for Pudsey Bear, there’s a place for him here.

  16. Naga, I have more credentials in my left testicle than you have in your entire body. I wouldn’t worry about me.

  17. Let’s not forget the human organ trafficking.

    OK, so they were doing something to ease human suffering caused by stupid government policy, but that doesn’t excuse the bribery and corruption.

  18. I have more credentials in my left testicle

    That’s what excessive and/or indiscriminate fondness for various Pudsey Bears will get you. I think they make a cream for that.

  19. He’s Seattle based now. How long before the hippiness moves into his brain?

    You don’t know your Pac NW. Hippiness resides in Eugene, Oregon. Latte liberalism is in Seattle. Portland kind of melds the two without really being either. And sleazy but really talented lap dancers are in Ballard.

  20. Okay. Now where the hell is the link for the organ trafficking?

    Epi,

    Well, of course. Your an anarcho-capitalist dude.

  21. prolefeed,

    A strip club that advertises it’s ONE pool table. Seems like a classy joint.

  22. I think they make a cream for that.

    “You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on. Why’d you put the balm on? You haven’t even been to see the doctor. If you’re gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.”

  23. A strip club that advertises it’s ONE pool table. Seems like a classy joint.

    Naga, it’s so very much NOT a classy joint (not that ANY strip club is a classy joint, unless you mean it ironically), or at least it wasn’t when I lived a few blocks away during my single years. I thought the “sleazy but really talented” line sufficiently ruled out any allegations about it being classy.

  24. Now where the hell is the link for the organ trafficking?

    Go to the second link, then click on one of the updated news stories from later today, like this one.

    It’s not like stolen organs or anything. All voluntary transactions.

  25. “You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on. Why’d you put the balm on? You haven’t even been to see the doctor. If you’re gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.”

    That was almost as bad as John’s posting from the other thread.

  26. prolefeed,

    Sarcasm, bra.

  27. prolefeed, I live in Belltown, not Ballard.

  28. Epi,

    Is that were bell bottoms are made?

  29. Episiarch: equal parts Jackie Chiles and North Jersey guido.

    Naga,

    No, Belltown is where trendy, single douchebags live, eat tapas, and hit on women in overly-croweded bars. Also, it’s the best place to buy crack.

  30. *crowded

  31. “Hi, um, I’m a recovering crackhead. This is my retarded sister that I take care of. I’d like some welfare, please.”

  32. A strip club that advertises it’s ONE pool table. Seems like a classy joint.

    It’s kind of like a motel that advertises AC and color TV.

    Which, ironically enough, you may want to take sleezy yet talented lap dancers too 🙂

  33. Also, it’s the best place to buy crack

    “Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?”

  34. Damn you! I didn’t get to finish!

  35. I thought you had to be a felon to live in Jersey.

  36. There should be some sorta preview button . . .

    Trendy? Epi, trendy?

    “Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?”

  37. Trendy? Epi, trendy?

    Fair enough. Perhaps “sleazily arrogant and well-dressed” is more apt.

  38. The best part is that mayor of Hoboken was sworn in on July 1, 2009. It only took him three weeks to get elbow deep in this crap.

    (yeah I know he was ont he city council for four years but still)

  39. As Bugs Bunny once said, “Hoboken??? I’m dyyyyyyin’!!!”

  40. OK, so they were doing something to ease human suffering caused by stupid government policy, but that doesn’t excuse the bribery and corruption.

    Huh; I immediately assumed they were stuffing cadavers with cash, prior to shipping them out of the country, and selling off the viscera on the side.

  41. “When I see a guy walking down the street in a hat like that, I say to myself, ‘There’s a guy who ain’t afraid of nothin’!'”

  42. Here is a link to the actual criminal complaint on the website of a local citizens group that I participate in. It makes for good reading – complete with envelopes of cash and assurances of favors.

  43. Thanks very much, Matt…

  44. Hoboken looks like a nice enough town when you drive over it on the way to the Lincoln Tunnel. Interesting that it’s such a den of sleazery.

  45. one Republican and four with partisan affiliation unlabeled

    It is customary to note the affiliation and city of state and federal legislators after their names, but not mayors or city legislators. But I’m sure you knew that.

  46. Joseph Donnelly: Tell me! Tell me ya like my hat!
    Shannon Christie: You’re not wearing a hat.
    Joseph Donnelly: [yelling] Say it! Say you like my hat!
    Shannon Christie: You’re not wearing a hat!

  47. prolefeed, I live in Belltown, not Ballard.

    Epi, perhaps we should get together and talk story over a beer. I’ll be in Seattle next week (my wife is the current president of the Western Orthopedic Association and is running their annual meeting.)

  48. it’s such a den of sleazery

    Hoboken is a very nice town. Which is why it charges Manhattan rents. Bit too many college students for my taste, though.

  49. I would answer the headline with another question: would you rather live in Hoboken… or in Gaza?

  50. prole, hit my email up (linked in my handle) and we can set up a time.

    And Hoboken, like Weehawken, is essentially the Upper West Side…continued across the Hudson.

  51. “One of the reasons it’s so expensive is because you have to shmear (meaning pay various individuals for their assistance) all the time,” according to the complaint. “It’s illegal to buy. It’s illegal to sell.”

  52. “Is Hoboken Finally Still the Worst-Run City in the United States?”

  53. Luckily, the city council is now solidly in the hands of reform minded people – not career politicians or lawyers. The likely outcome of this is that Dawn Zimmer (the loser of the election by only a hundred votes or so, and current council chairwoman) will take over as mayor – or at least would win a special election. Her replacement on council would likely be her pick, and reforms would at least have a chance. Despite my supremely pessimistic nature, I am actually very hopeful at this news.

  54. I would answer the headline with another question: would you rather live in Hoboken… or in Gaza?

    At least in gaza you can have a gun to protect yourself.

  55. Hoboken may have a lot of corrupt politicians, but Carlo’s City Hall Bakery makes a hell of a crumbcake.

  56. Hoboken looks like a nice enough town when you drive over it on the way to the Lincoln Tunnel. Interesting that it’s such a den of sleazery.

    Technically that’s weehawken – you aren’t in hoboken until you get across one of the two bridges going south.

  57. If you guessed that the other four were all Democrats, you were right.

    The noteworthy part of the paragraph is that a republican actually was elected.

  58. Steve Cappiello, mayor from 1973 to 1985, was arrested for drunk driving in 2007 after ramming into a parked government car and then fleeing the scene.

    Anyone not connected would have caught a much more serious hit and run charge for that.

  59. Jonny Scrum-half | July 23, 2009, 2:12pm | #

    Do you play for one of the local clubs? I thought about the bayonne bombers a couple years ago, but was too busy at the time – thinking about getting involved with the lions this fall.

  60. It is customary to note the affiliation and city of state and federal legislators after their names, but not mayors or city legislators. But I’m sure you knew that.

    True, but it’s also customary to note the affiliation of corrupt Republicans after their names, but not Democrats. At least if you read most media outlets. To be more precise, some Democrats have their party listed, but when it’s not listed, it’s almost always a Democrat.

    For example, reporting on PMA Group donations to Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Norm Dicks, Rep. John Murtha? No need to mention party affiliation. Alabama State Senator? No need to mention he’s a Democrat.

    “Name that Party” happens all the time with state and federal legislators who happen to be Democrats.

  61. domoarrigato — I played for Morris for several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, until I dislocated my shoulders too many times to make it worthwhile. Now I just coach my 3 sons in youth flag rugby.

  62. Jonny,

    Very nice – I played for about 10 years before hanging up the boots in 06. thinking about a comeback as an old boy. I played just one season at scrummy – more typically I played center or wing. Still I got a taste of what you mean about the shoulders – got a little sick of banging into wing forwards instead of getting the glory breakaways. Well met!

  63. Naga, I have more credentials in my left testicle than you have in your entire body. I wouldn’t worry about me.

    I’m going to go ahead and assume that’s the one that hangs the lowest.

  64. I took a shit in Hoboken once.

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