It was considered something of a surprise in Hoboken not long ago when former "reform" mayoral candidate and tenant lawyer Ira Karasick, who had unsuccessfully run against Mayor Anthony Russo in 1993 and then moved out of town, backed Peter Cammarano for mayor instead of Dawn Zimmer.
Well, Karasick sent a letter to the editor today saying he was very very wrong. He also says he knew Cammarano wasn't a reformer, but thought aspects of his personality were what Hoboken needed right then.
He also says of Cammarano that "despite being a lawyer, he is oblivious to the law." Oh, snap!
This letter, like many we are being sent on this issue, will be published in this weekend's letters section. So that we get yours, please send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you must include your phone number for verification.
Here's the letter:
The Sorrow and the Pity and the Anger and the Disgust
I was one of those who thought Peter Cammarano would make a better Mayor than Dawn Zimmer, and said so.
I was wrong, and I am sorry -- sorry for the City of Hoboken, which I love, and sorry especially to Dawn and Beth, who campaigned morally and legitimately.
While Peter never appeared to me as the reformer he has been labeled by the press [editor's note: We guess Ira must be referring to this past weekend's New York Times!], I thought that his calmness, connections and apparent command of issues would benefit Hoboken, and that this kind of leadership was more needed at this time than reform. Wrong again.
Whether or not Peter is convicted of a crime, the recordings at the Malibu Diner establish at a minimum that he does not know right from wrong, or doesnt care; that he is arrogant and contemptuous of the people of Hoboken; and that, despite being a lawyer, he is oblivious to the law. Although these qualities were shielded from at least half of the voters, and many public officials and others as embarrassed as me, they were displayed in full force to a slimy pseudo-developer from Deal who had never even worked in Hoboken and acted willing to pay uncommonly large sums for a possible Mayor's influence to approve non-existent projects.
Fortunately, through the medium of strategically placed wires and cameras, however unsavory, these flaws were revealed to the rest of the world at the beginning, rather than the end, of Peter's term.
The government's paraphrase of the Malibu dealings is full of bluster and big talk, though I suspect that it shows only one side of Peter.
Unfortunately, even if unusual, it is the side that disqualifies him from serving as Mayor, and that will vex his life for the foreseeable future. I sincerely hope that Peter will overcome his faults and master his talents in years to come, but he can't be doing it as mayor of Hoboken.
What happens in the criminal case does not change what happened at the Malibu. Peter's first act on the road to redemption should be to resign his office and apologize to the City of Hoboken, to his opponents and most deeply to his supporters.
Just to be clear, I am writing as an individual, not as a representative of any of my clients. It seems that when I endorsed Peter Cammarano, the newspaper identified me as the attorney for the Neumann Leather tenants. Those clients had no part in the endorsement, and I was not speaking for them. Similarly, this letter is purely my own.