If you haven't read Blue Jersey's expose which starts with the conclusion that Hoboken's 4th Ward Election was bought, what are you waiting for?
It asks: "How much does it cost to buy an election in Hoboken's 4th Ward?"
And answers it like this:
Outgoing Hoboken Councilman Michael Lenz's supporters say it costs about $22,000.
That's how much his opponent Tim Occhipinti spent on "campaign workers" to win Ward 4's Council seat in November. What's unusual about that? Well, nothing, until you consider that there were about 575 of them, and that for all that Election Day "field" help there was little Occhipinti campaign presence visible on 4th Ward streets (say the Lenz folks). And that Occhipinti paid 575 workers for an election in which only 2,076 people cast ballots (Lenz Election Day paid workers = 17). Most alarming is a spike - a big one - in vote-by-mail ballots, and who it was who turned them in: overwhelmingly it was Occhipinti's "campaign workers". Hoboken Ward 4 absentee voting dwarfs that of every other election in Hudson County, according to the Hudson Clerk's figures. The county prosecutor's office recently referred 190 vote-by-mail ballots to the state Attorney General's office, though it's not known if any investigation concerns the Lenz campaign's allegations.
Now these are familiar details to those who've been following the 4th Ward election shenanigans.
What is noteworthy is that the conclusion of a tainted 4th Ward election has spread beyond (grudging) local media to state-wide level via it's publication in Blue Jersey. And there seems to be way more media-enthusiasm to pursue this story beyond Hudson County. We can expect the details of the 4th Ward corruption to spread further from here... and it's only a matter of time until the national media catches a whiff. Perhaps the New York Times?
Expect the name Beth Mason, the buyer of a 13.4K chair, to take center stage as the stink of this election spreads beyond our city borders, over Trenton and beyond.
This bodes well for the majority in Hoboken screaming for clean elections, and for justice from the Attorney General.