I confess, I always enjoyed watching Gloucester Township politics as a casual observer. It’s fun, with all the rumors about the lifestyle of Mayor David Mayer, or that time Mayor Mayer had a plaque dedicated in his honor.
There’s just never a dull moment in New Jersey’s 19th largest municipality. People in Gloucester Township even got excited when Mayer shaved off his mustache.
Now, we have the recently completed school board election and folks are starting to draw connections to the mayor’s office.
Just yesterday The Bob & Steve Show reported Gloucester Township’s Communications Director, Regina Caristo, secured the domain name for the campaign website used by Brian Reagan and his running mates.
Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out how this young lady went from being the Assistant Store Manager at a retail store in the Deptford Mall to being the Communications Director of Camden County’s 3rd largest municipality. That’s the experience listed on her LinkedIn profile:
Based on voting records I’ve been able to access it doesn’t appear Caristo has been participating in the electoral process in Gloucester Township for too long, only since 2016. Based on a quick search on ELEC it doesn’t appear she, or any family member are big political donors.
The only connection Carsito has to politics is the fact she used the address of the Venus Adult Superstore in Southwest Philly as the registrant address for the domain of the campaign website used three school board candidates.
Well, it’s just my luck that I discovered the owner of the Venus group of adult stores, Joe Caristo, is likely the communications director’s father. He’s the right age and the two share the same voter registration address in Gloucester Township.
And, it turns out this isn’t the first time a Venus adult store has been involved in a political scandal.
An April 4, 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer article posted to Philly.com with the headline, “Porn may play role in Traffic Court-related case” happened to include the elder Caristo and a Venus location.
Here’s part of the Philadelphia Inquirer story:
It was Alfano's lawyers who opted to bare all.
Their motion Wednesday identified them for the first time as pornographic and named the shop where they came from - Venus Video, an Essington Avenue storefront owned by Alfano and leased to the business' owner, Joe Caristo.
Caristo and Alfano discussed the videos Perri requested in a February 2010 conversation caught by an FBI wiretap, the motion states.
Alfano's lawyers have also asked U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly to bar that recording from court.
"The conversation, with its derogatory remarks toward women and the references to the adult nature of the DVD videos, is extremely inflammatory and prejudicial toward the defendant," their motion says.
As for what titles the judge favored, no one is willing to say. Not Perri, not Alfano, not their attorneys.
None of the men returned calls for comment Thursday.
Caristo, Venus' owner, however, was hardly so circumspect when reached at his shop.
"I lent the DVDs to Mr. Alfano," he said. "Who he gave them to, I couldn't say. I can't remember which ones, but it was normal boy-girl stuff. Nothing weird."
Who knows, maybe the elder Caristo is still lending videos.
Like I said, Gloucester Township politics can be fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what Monday brings.