HOBOKEN -- Apparently, last week's anonymous "midnight flier" related to the upcoming Hoboken school board election was only the start of the rough campaigning that residents are in for over the next two weeks until Nov. 6.
The school board flier, left on cars last week, made an issue of local blogger and Zoning Board member Nancy Pincus, who has done graphics in the past for one of the two slates that has a ticket in the upcoming election, Kids First. Pincus was thanked in the past in the Hoboken Reporter's letters to the editor for doing graphics work for the slate.
Now, Kids First has a new slate of candidates in the upcoming election. They are opposed by a slate called Move Forward.
Tuesday night, during a contentious school board meeting in Hoboken, an advertising truck drove around town and parked in front of the school board building displaying the type of Nazi imagery that had appeared as part of satire on Pincus' blog and others. The voice in the ad criticized the school board members for not condeming Pincus for the graphics.
Imagery was used on Pincus' blog for a parody two years ago in which she took aim at Councilwoman Beth Mason, taking the Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Wills" and changing it to "Triumph of the Shills." Beth Mason is a political rival of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, whom Pincus supports.
At the time, a minority of council members who are politically opposed to Pincus and Zimmer took issue with her use of the imagery, as did a Jewish group, to which Pincus apologized. Pincus and Mason are both Jewish.
Apparently, the Move Forward school board ticket, which opposes the Kids First ticket whom Pincus supports, is making her a focus of the current school board campaign, saying Kids First should condemn Pincus.
However, Pincus has said that she is not the graphic designer for the slate this time around. Supporters of Pincus have said that while Pincus used the imagery on her blog, it's another matter to have a truck driving around town displaying her graphics.
When contacted for comment on Thursday, Pincus said she would have her attorney contact the newspaper regarding her response. Pincus later sent a response but said the Reporter could not use it unless the entire statement was published verbatim. Thursday afternoon, the Huffington Post picked up on the story.
When contacted Thursday, the Move Forward slate distanced itself from the truck.
Campaign co-chairman John Castellano released this statement: "The Move Forward campaign is not responsible for the video truck or content it was playing outside of the Hoboken BOE meeting. We do not support sensationalism of that nature; however, we also do not condone Ms. Pincus' long history of inappropriate behavior on her blog."
Pincus was recently at the receiving end of a $2 million defamation lawsuit from a Hoboken couple, Lane and Kim Bajardi, who are strong supporters of Councilwoman Mason. The couple were frequently a target of Pincus on her blog. The couple's lawsuit noted that on another website, someone with Pincus' screen name repeatedly made posts one morning saying that people should call the state Divison of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) on the couple, who have a toddler. The posts from Pincus' screen name were made in response to an anonymous commenter who criticized the public schools, which Pincus supports. The person with Pincus' screen name apparently thought the anonymous commenter was one of the Bajardis, and wrote repeatedly in response, "You 2 suck as parents. Somebody call DYFUS."
The couple also mentioned other posts Pincus had made on her blog and around the web that made allegations about them. The couple also alleged that Pincus sent a letter to Lane Bajardi's employer, making untrue allegations against him.
Pincus has said the suit is an attempt to silence her blog.
Castellano said Pincus should not protest the use of an image she has used.
"Our position is simple," he said. "We denounce the bully tactics used by Ms. Pincus, and we call on Kids First to do the same. Now it is time to get back to discussing ways to improve test scores [and other school issues]."
For past stories in the Hoboken Reporter on the current school board campaign, the candidates, and related past political issues, click the links below or use the archives at hudsonreporter.com.