Hoboken411’s House of Scandal

A Grass-Roots Community Blog’s Bias and Hypocrisy is Finally Exposed

Joe Concha

Realhoboken.com wishes to extend an open letter of thanks to the Hoboken Reporter for their well-researched column for their revelation of a Hoboken-based blog owner (or wait, maybe he doesn’t own it…he won’t say) being a solvent political hack for at least two candidates who are running, or have run, for election in town this year.

The cozy arrangement you are about to read about—as laid out by respected Reporter political writer Michael Mullins—clearly illustrates that Perry Klaussen (the formerly anonymous owner of Hoboken411) is the most morally handicapped “reporter” since Jayson Blair after taking money from local candidates while writing political news and editorials against their rivals for a relatively highly-visited local website.

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Never one to admit error, here’s Klaussen’s latest headline in explaining being caught with his moral compass down:

“Being transparent: Hoboken411.com”

Yeah, much the same way Bill Clinton had no choice but to be transparent only after there was indisputable DNA proof on Monica’s blue dress. Did you decide to be transparent before or after Mullins contacted you with the angle of his column, Perry? Would “No-choice-but-to-be-transparent” more appropriate here?

  To review, Klaussen’s actions were discovered when Mullins contacted him after discovering his name on the 4th Ward candidate Dawn Zimmer’s ELEC (a campaign finance report). Klaussen, knowing that the story would portray him as a charlatan, proceeded to write a pseudo-confessional to his readers last Friday to attempt to preempt the Reporter story before it was published on Sunday.

Klaussen: “Dawn and her campaign manager had approached me because they needed a website in a hurry. I obliged, and made clear that it will not influence what posts are made on Hoboken411.”

What Klaussen failed to do way-back-when, or admit now, which is, you know, a major point in all of this, was to inform his readers of this relaxed, first-name-basis-relationship when the financial agreement between Zimmer and Klaussen came to fruition back in the winter, and not following two elections (a third will occur in early November) after a newspaper does its homework.

Peter Cunningham of the 5th Ward also hired Klaussen, as if there were no other web designers in the Tri-State area, to handle I.T. duties for his campaign website as well. On September 8, Klaussen accused Cunningham challenger Perry Belfiore of voter fraud despite police reports to the contrary. When asked publicly to make a retraction by Hoboken blog Mister Snitch, Klaussen adamantly refused, according to Snitch owner Jeff Faria.

Klaussen’s refusal is understandable considering he was only protecting one of his best clients while spreading lies about his master’s rival.

Good dog…

But here’s the real punch line regarding this whole mess: Klaussen has often claimed to serve as an equal-opportunity, objective voice in his election coverage, but it has been abundantly clear that the day-in, day-out content on his grass-roots community blog, particularly when involving the 4th Ward, was and is as negative to candidate Chris Campos as MoveOn.org is to anything Republican.

Here’s one example found by Mullins on Klaussen’s unbiased perspective of Campos: “You can read more poignant observations of Mr. Campos’ obvious short-comings and retardation in the comments section…people want this blabbering buffoon who thinks knowing a few multi-syllable words automatically qualifies him as a good leader, then the 4th Ward is in big trouble for sure.”

And just six days ago, Klaussen breathlessly ran a story on a Campos campaign worker being arrested for placing anti-Zimmer signs around the 4th Ward. That’s not a big deal until you see the title of a link to a “story” that runs directly above the sign/arrest piece…

“Zimmer fundraiser at NINE.”

It gets even better, as the first sentence of the story/announcement reads like this:

 “You can meet Dawn Zimmer, talk about the 4th Ward, support her campaign, and even learn more about the Flood Forum she’s hosting next week!

Unless you’re on the Zimmer payroll, is there really any reason for an exclamation point at the end here?

Klaussen also decided to plead the 5th Amendment when asked by the Reporter to confirm or deny whether he owns 411 (you have to love it when an omnipotent writer berates local politicos for being secretive, but when caught in his own compromising situation doesn’t take his own condescending advice). Remember, this is the same blog that has written plenty of editorials against its political enemies (see: those who aren’t lining his pockets), and always did so while pretentiously preaching against the eeeevils of pay-to-play politics.

An email inquiry from Realhoboken.com to Hoboken411/Klaussen was not responded to in time for the first-time run of this column. The questions included:

1) Do you own Hoboken411?

2) How much has Zimmer paid you in 2007 for advertising and IT services?

3) How much of 411’s commentary–message boards not withstanding–are you responsible for?

If Klaussen responds to these questions, we will post his answers on an updated version of this column.

It’s hilarious yet sad that only now, nine months after the first city council election campaigns began, that it took the diligence of the Hoboken Reporter—whose integrity is attacked weekly by the high standard of journalism that is Hoboken411—to tell us that Klaussen and in essence, his blog, have been on Zimmer’s payroll since her campaign began in the beginning of the year.

Can the Hoboken political arena ever be taken seriously if selected members of the local media can’t be trusted?

Klaussen states that he’s a DJ as well. As he puts it, “…does it matter that I have many talents?”

If that’s true, it explains his admirable ability to spin.

And that faint sound you hear?

It’s the last drop of Klaussen and 411’s credibility as an impartial news source going down the drain.

At least one area of Hoboken won’t be flooding…