In this tale, people like Tony Soares, Carol Marsh, and others picked up their slingshots with the hope of bringing down Mayor Roberts' well-funded slate.
In the aftermath of the election, with four runoffs looming, many of the spin doctors have taken a different tack, disagreeing with election results that showed Roberts' candidates did well despite their fierce campaigning and negative subtext in the weeks leading up to the election.
Roberts saw two of his six council candidates win on the first ballot, incumbent Councilman Christopher Campos in the 4th Ward and incumbent Councilman Michael Cricco in the 5th Ward.
The much touted clash between Campos and At-Large Councilman Soares turned into a rout as Soares finished third, more than 600 votes behind Campos.
Still claiming to be upbeat about the results, Soares said his candidacy had been designed to divert Roberts' resources away from other critical races.
"I knew it would be a rough battle from the beginning," Soares said. "I went into this believing we needed to put up a full slate. Mayor Roberts needed to spend their money and focus on me. I was this campaign's whipping boy."
In two of the three runoffs, Roberts' candidates led the voting in their wards.
In Hoboken elections, a candidate needed to get 50 percent or better of the vote to avoid a runoff. The runoffs are June 10.
The only outright loss for Roberts came in the 1st Ward, where the untested Shelley Miller fell out of the running, leaving incumbent Theresa Castellano to face Ron Rosenberg.
Roberts-backed Councilman Richard Del Boccio will face Beth Mason in the 2nd Ward. Councilwoman Roseanne Andruela will have to beat former Mayor Anthony Russo in the 3rd Ward, where he finished with the second best vote count in all the ward races, but still was short of the 50 percent needed for an outright win. Councilman Nino Giacchi barely missed a 50 percent vote margin in the 6th Ward, and now faces Daniel deCavaignac.
The spin doctors still call it a "David and Goliath" tale, but in this case, four of the Goliaths are still standing.
"But they had to spend a lot of money to get those victories," one observer said. "Considering how much Roberts spent, they should have done a lot better. Cricco, for instance, only won by seven votes."
Spin the election any way you want, in the end, the Roberts team came away with what they wanted, and although the election may not be the mandate Campos claims, Roberts can breathe a little easier. After his ticket swept the Board of Education election and came out on top in the first round of municipal election, Roberts has less to fear in the June 10 runoff - except perhaps that a Russo victory might be the first step towards a mayoral challenge in 2004.
Stealth attack on Cunningham? The Hudson County Democratic Organization won another victory this week without a vote being cast in the June 3 primary.
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Thomas Olivieri issued an injunction to prevent the Jersey City Reformed Democrat Organization - one of two main fundraising organizations for Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham - from expending any more money to support the alternative Democratic slate in the 31st state Senate and Assembly district.
The suit named Cunningham and his slate, which includes Anthony Chiappone and Lou Manzo in the Assembly race, county executive candidate Melba Walsh and county clerk candidate Willie Flood. The Hudson Democratic Organization supports L. Harvey Smith for state Senate, incumbent Assembly members Joe Doria and Elba-Perez-Cinciarelli and the re-election of Tom DeGise for county executive. They argued before the court that there were irregularities in the Cunningham fundraising organization, and promised to seek a similar injunction against Cunningham's other main fundraising organization, Jersey City First, at a hearing slated for May 27. The Hudson County Democratic Organization claims that the two organizations exceeded legal expenditure and contribution limits.
The court did not rule that anything illegal had been done, but suggested there were enough questions to put a halt on spending until the matter could be investigated further. This continues HCDO's pre-emptive strikes on its opposition. Previous attempts to invalidate petitions for several alternative candidates failed, and now the organization looks to undermine Cunningham's financial support at a critical time in the primary campaign. Vincent Militello, the third candidate running in the Democratic primary against Smith and Cunningham, has made Robert Janiszewski the target of his campaign. He announced he would submit legislation the day he takes office to strip Janiszewski and his wife, Maribeth, of county paid pensions - for which the former county executive is still entitled, despite his pleading guilty to extortion.
Cowards and cheaters in Secaucus? In Secaucus, Mayor Dennis Elwell has been slugging it out with two opposition council members over the process for cutting the recently defeated school board budget.
Elwell called Councilmen Robert Kickey and John Bueckner cowards for not coming forward to propose cuts, and being critical of the committee Elwell appointed to meet with the Board of Education. Kickey called Elwell "a cheater" claiming he, Bueckner, and other council members did not get their fair chance to meet and discuss the cuts before the committee met with the school board.
Meanwhile, a politically divided school board has problems of its own. Board member Tom Troyer said he had been approached by Elwell-supported members of the board to ask his support to fire Board Attorney Denis Maycher. Maycher has been a thorn in the side of the Elwell Administration over the sale of board-owned land, which Troyer opposed. Lately, however, Maycher also seems to have offended Troyer by supporting several Elwell-backed moves on the board.