As a reformer completely disheartened by the status quo in Hoboken, I am paying close attention to the mayoral election under way. We have the potential to institute a new era in Hoboken.
Both Beth Mason and Dawn Zimmer have come across to me as strong prospects for moving forward and ending the Roberts era of mismanagement and putting the interests of developers and other outside business interests ahead of our own community. But it concerns me that two prominent candidates with backgrounds in the reform movement are going up against one another, potentially splitting the base and enabling Peter Cammarano, whose nefarious intent to continue the Roberts administration policies that have led to a 47 percent tax hike is clear as day to anyone paying attention, to win.
For a little while I was leaning toward Zimmer as the candidate reform-minded, good-government types like myself should get behind, as I was hearing a lot of unfounded and unsubstantiated innuendo that Mason had gotten herself mixed up with the wrong crowd and somehow changed.
Then I did my research. Dawn Zimmer ran for City Council two years ago with support from the Hudson County Democratic Organization, which backed Roberts. I have heard rumors that they are now supporting Cammarano. Why would a political committee support two candidates running against each other?
Then I learned that Mason is running ahead of the pack, while Cammarano and Zimmer are supposedly neck and neck, each vying to face Mason in a potential runoff. So why is Zimmer always attacking Mason instead of running harder against Cammarano? I almost never hear her attack Cammarano.
And what was a supposedly reform-oriented candidate doing running around with the HCDO, including having its former vice chair on her ticket? It just doesn’t make sense. Except it does!
I suspect the HCDO is fielding Zimmer as a spoiler, to help Cammarano beat Mason. I also think Mason, contrary to the rumors, has a ticket that represents the entire community and constitutes a team of seasoned professionals and people who deeply love this city and want to help it become the best it can possibly be.
Those who think Beth has abandoned her base are dead wrong. She’s made some shrewd compromises to ensure reformers don’t have to settle for a purely moral victory yet again, but she’s still the same Beth we always knew, who fought for open public records, transparency, government accountability and proper budget practices for decades. She has a record with results. She’s got the local machine scared, and they’ve responded by fielding not one but two tickets to split her base and try to beat her.
Sorry, Dawn. I like you and the things you talk about, but the circumstances behind your run make me uneasy. I can’t help but suspect that whether you realize it or not, you’re not intended to win, and scary Cammarano is laughing all the way to the bank. If there winds up being a runoff between Cammarano and Mason, who would you endorse? Your platform is much closer to Mason’s, but I seriously have to wonder whether your handlers will force you to support Cammarano, who has always stood against everything we’ve fought for.
I’m not taking that chance. On May 12, Beth Mason, Vinny Addeo, Raul Morales II and Anthony Pasquale are getting my vote, for the real good-government principles Beth has always stood for and always will.