Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lime on the Line

Tonight the City Council will examine additional restrictions on the very popular and widely used e-Scooters introduced in a six-month pilot by Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

It's the last of the two companies in the pilot as the mayor revoked the other, Ojo, when a reported underage or "undocumented" user rode on the sidewalk and crashed into a woman. The woman also had a baby stroller. Ravi Bhalla revoked the contract of Ojo the same day as his prerogative.

Lime is now alone facing more regulation from the City Council tonight. As of August, Lime reported the e-Scooters were a huge success in Hoboken registering over 250,000 rides.

Last week, Lime introduced its latest generation of e-Scooter with new safety enhancements featuring a larger platform, wheels and a new data screen. Further restrictions in the waterfront areas are up for a vote tonight. Lime asked users to tell the City Council their support.

Although I don't work for Lime, on occasion I've used the e-Scooters and I support Mayor Ravi Bhalla's pilot and see there's been a significant and dramatic improvement by users. Hoboken is the perfect environment for e-Scooters being a square mile.

Previously, the waterfront area, perhaps the most popular for e-Scooters has seen a significant reduction in usage. This is due to the fun factor all but eliminated with the speeds geo-controlled down more than 50% to eight miles per hour. Basically, an overweight grandmother can be seen slowly jogging past people on an e-Scooter making the rider look utterly ridiculous. They're not likely to continue riding at the increased pricing already jacked up by the City.

Complainers being what they are, parked Limes even off by a foot are described in catastrophic terms as being the end of the world. Conversations with these people are not dissimilar to talking to a Worker's Party member in Greenwich Village back in the days of the Soviet Union. Nothing you say is going to make an iota of difference to these folks including the dramatic improvements in rider behavior since the e-Scooter introduction in May.

The e-Scooter education value is ongoing and there's been a more than modest improvement by users but there's always going to be people who will pass a red light or make a bad decision as you will see on bicycles or yes, pedestrians.

The e-Scooter pilot has a couple of months left. No one should be surprised that Hoboken at the end of the six month period is the biggest success globally but removes the carbon-friendly transportation from use entirely.

The killjoy element for regulation in Hoboken is what it is.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Horse Sense: Dark Money & Hoboken dirty deeds done dirt cheap

It's election season in Hoboken and sadly, the time of year when the bad character of individuals comes to the fore among those who seek or hold power.

Dark Money is being sounded in ever-louder warnings and there's a significant basis for it with a Hoboken vendor alleged at its center.

As Mayor Ravi Bhalla attempts to fulfill his desire for absolute power over all aspects of Hoboken governance, the before, during and after patterns of behavior is revealing.

In the 2017 mayoral election, one of the dirtiest witnessed in these parts in some time, dark money blew in days before the election in a big way.

As it turned out, the Ravi Terror Flyer was not only key in the election, it was instrumental to Ravi Bhalla eking out a win with under 33% of the vote.

In the first City Council meeting after the election, Councilman Mike DeFusco attempted to unify Hoboken backing an investigation to sort out those who were behind the dirty deed.

In response, Ravi Bhalla, in his last meeting as a councilman pointedly refused. He said Mike DeFusco had not been exonerated. He failed to note he nor his allies had been exonerated either. After going on a victimization tour, he declared the matter over and said there would be no further comment.

How convenient.

DeFusco, on the other hand, raised money with his family toward an investigative effort. The Hoboken Police Department received tips from the community but that investigation stalled as lots of whispers surfaced about dark money forces.

Everyone in City Hall, every Hoboken government insider, shadow mayor wannabe and every single person in the Hoboken mayor's office knows about the dark money force behind the terror flyer in 2017. The only difference is those who learned about it later and those who knew when the dirty deed went down.

The Feds struck a hammer blow against Hoboken voter fraud hard obtaining convictions in the 2013 election, an indictment with the promise of more to come in 2015 and the echoes of 2017 fluttering in the distance. Voter fraud in Hoboken is DOA but dark money is very much alive.

Notwithstanding politics, political party or personal beliefs, the terror flyer in the 2017 mayoral race was an attack on all Hoboken. The Boys of Summer need to break up that dirty political operation. Those involved should be exposed and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

All those who knowingly and willingly engage as political operatives, paid or unpaid, and continue to push lies into the Hoboken community about the origins of the Terror Flyer should see full exposure and accountability as well.

Now it's election season and Hoboken appears about to be terrorized again. You'll see a pattern emerge. What is old is new again. These leopards don't change their spots.

There's another big reveal coming. Listen to the howls for blood and listen to them proclaim their victimization even as they victimize others and the Mile Square City.

It's what they do and who they are. Smart'en up.

This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to those who fight dark money near and far, especially City Hall.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "E-Scooters - More Enforcement Coming'

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors – 
This week the discussion on the future of E-Scooters in Hoboken came to a head when one of our neighbors was pushing her 3 month old in a stroller on a sidewalk near 8th and Clinton and was hit by an Ojo E-Scooter driven by a teen.  Thankfully, she had no serious physical injuries other than a bruised leg and the baby was ok.  It goes without saying that this paints the worst picture (with the best possible outcome) that we all fear.   Although mom and baby are physically ok thankfully, the entire family is still dealing with the aftershock and the many “what ifs.”  In response to this accident, Mayor Bhalla announced first on Twitter that he was terminating the contract with Ojo.  Although I think there is more and different that needs to be done, I applauded this decision because we needed a bold move to happen.  
Before I continue with more EScooter updates below, I would like to invite you to the City Council meeting on Wednesday night at 7pm at City Hall.  
The City Council will be voting on 2nd reading to ban EScooters from all City Parks as well as the Northern and Southern Waterfront Walkways (the areas where there are adjacent bike/multi use lanes where EScooters can and should be ridden).  If you can’t make in person, you can watch live on Facebook or online.  You would think this is an easy law to get behind - given EScooters and kids don't mix well - but because of the upcoming elections/political environment, I have less confidence that this is the slam dunk it should be.  So write your council person, come to the meeting, and let us know your views – whatever they are – on this.  I understand Ojo's CEO will be at the meeting, and as of this writing, our neighbor who was in the accident described above plans to attend as well.
Back to the update on EScooters….
Let me start by saying that my position continues to be informed by the feedback I get from many of you.  I believe:
  • We need to do as much as possible to try to make E-Scooters work in Hoboken, but in order for them to work residents need to feel safe.  And currently they just don’t.
  • It is a little more than a “few bad eggs” ruining it for everyone and that we HAVE TO GET THEM OFF THE SIDEWALKS.  
  • Anything with a motor should be banned from the Waterfront Walkway and Parks which is consistent with the State Law that has the intent of separating them from densely populated pedestrian areas (thus the sidewalk ban).  As mentioned above, we are voting to make this law at the meeting Wednesday night.
  • That the current arrangement with LIME is not sustainable – although better than when it started, we need a contract where an E-scooter provider, among other things, is financially liable for reckless riding.  
  • The City needs to do much more than it has been doing to ensure safety.
  • The City currently does not have the wherewithal to support an E-Scooter program in Hoboken through the snowy/slushy/wet winters. 
  • We should not extend the pilot in November.  I have already communicated this to our Transportation Director Sharp.
All this said, it sounds like I want to kill the E-Scooter program permanently.  And I don’t…not yet.  I think we need to continue with safety improvements – like Wednesday’s vote - during this pilot, but we take the winter off to work on what we need to see happen in order to potentially launch again in the spring.  Last time the goal of the administration was to be “first” with a program in NJ.  I think a better goal is to have a program that is “right” for Hoboken (or not have anything).

City Council President Jen Giattino: "9/24 Vote Jen Again Fundraiser!"

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors,
Please join me for some fun at my re-election launch fundraiser!
  • WHEN: Tuesday, September 24
  • WHERE 80 River Hoboken (in the location of the former Cadillac Cantina) 80 River Street, Hoboken
  • TIME: 6pm - 8pm
As many of you know the hardest thing for me to do is to ask for money but campaigns cost money. You have always been so generous supporting me. Each and every one of you makes a difference.  Will you support me with a donation of $25 or more? Checks payable to Jen Giattino for 6th Ward or you can DONATE ONLINE. 

I'm proud to represent the 6th Ward on the City Council and, with your continued support, will be honored to keep working together on what matters most to all of us, Hoboken. My focus has always been, and will continue to be, on improving quality of life issues, working to keep taxes low, helping those who have less, supporting our local businesses, and protecting our neighborhood feel that makes Hoboken so special. 
Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you on the 24th!

Vote Jen Again

Monday, September 16, 2019

Ravi Bhalla announces temporary retreat to unwind the 2011 pay to play ordinance for election attack on Councilman Mike DeFusco

Mayor Ravi Bhalla executes temporary ceasefire on undoing the 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance; will use it through election season to attack Councilman Mike DeFusco 

Councilman Mike DeFusco counters pointing to illicit Super PAC controlled by Hoboken insurance vendor alleging $150,000 in Dark Money set to invade Hoboken for Ravi Bhalla's council slate

With the Friday reveal uncovered in an exclusive report on showing Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his Administration orchestrating an assault on Dawn Zimmer's 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance, an end of day retreat last week was announced.

Ravi Bhalla will temporarily halt unwinding of the 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance leaving it intact for the duration of election season. Bhalla and his council slate instead will turn their guns on Councilman Mike DeFusco with a non-binding resolution claiming its intent "to enforce" the 2011 ordinance.

With political season exploding in Hoboken, there's actually nothing by way of any enforcement mechanism in the resolution being sponsored by Bhalla teammates, council members Jim Doyle and Emily Jabbour. 

Previously, Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia deemed the 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance "unenforceable." 

More verbiage appears in the resolution on a Bhalla Administration commissioned legal opinion seeking to unwind the 2011 Pay-to Play-ordinance by an outside attorney coordinated with the Hoboken Law Department. 

That attorney from the law firm of Hunt, Hamlin, Ridley in a September 3rd letter suggests undoing much of the 2011 ordinance due to the urging of a small Hoboken municipal supervisors union claiming it may be unconstitutional under NJ law. The union head, however, rescinded the odd late July request back on August 1st.

Unions are limited as political committees to political contributions of $500 in Hoboken. Both Bhalla and DeFusco are competing for those monies and in the end larger amounts if the 2011 ordinance is unwound. In the 2017 mayoral election, outside money contributions to the two saw their totals pop to a whopping $1,000,000.

The Doyle-Jabbour resolution Wednesday targets Councilman Mike DeFusco who's accepted campaign contributions in excess of tens of thousands in 2017 and is exceeding those limits leading into this November's council ward races.

But DeFusco dropped a bigger bomb last week launching a nuke on the mayor's office of Ravi Bhalla, his council slate and a Hoboken insurance vendor Fairview. He's alleging Ravi Bhalla's "slate of Council candidates is being supported by a powerful, dark money Super PAC controlled by the city's health insurance vendor," Fairview Insurance Agency Associates.

DeFusco first dropped the bomb in a live interview last Thursday with John Heinis, editor and publisher of the Hudson County View. Late Friday, he issued a statement of his own saying he will be offering a resolution at Wednesday night's City Council meeting

Late Friday, DeFusco said, "I will be introducing a resolution denouncing the influence of dark money on our local politics and calling on all Council candidates to reject support from Super PACs."

Ravi Bhalla and his mayor's office have been silent on the Dark Money allegations tied to Fairview Insurance, a Hoboken vendor. Coordination between Ravi Bhalla, his council slate, the Super PAC and the insurance vendor is illegal.

DeFusco also said in his interview he had opposed the big increases offered earlier by Ravi Bhalla to the insurance vendor.

The video begins at 7:58 with the discussion of Dark Money.

Talking Ed Note: It's all about the Benjamins... and power. There will be no enforcement of the 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance by Ravi Bhalla or his administration.

After the 2012 BoE election, the former Corporation Counsel attempted to enforce the 2011 ordinance in a letter to then-councilwoman Beth Mason. It was ignored. An enforcement mechanism as Brian Aloia stated previously does not exist.

No one has challenged let alone won a legal decision against Hoboken's 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance.

Although this website urged an enforcement mechanism, none has occurred then or since. It's not happening heading to November. It's all posturing for special interest money as Ravi Bhalla intends to compete with DeFusco FOR that money.

Statement from Councilman Mike DeFusco on Mayor Bhalla’s Proposed Pay-to-Play Resolution

Official release:

Earlier today, Mayor Ravi Bhalla released a statement doubling down on Hoboken’s embattled local pay-to-play law, even after a review by outside legal counsel called for it to be repealed. Councilman Mike DeFuso is releasing the following statement in response:  
“This is a blatant attempt by the Mayor to distract attention away from the fact that his slate of Council candidates is being supported by a powerful, dark money Super PAC controlled by the city’s health insurance vendor,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “The Mayor and his allies can continue trying to divert attention, but what Hoboken voters truly care about is the integrity of our upcoming election. That’s why at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting I will be introducing a resolution denouncing the influence of dark money on our local politics and calling on all Council candidates to reject support from Super PACs.” 
According to media reports, a Super PAC closely linked to Hoboken’s health insurance vendor plans to spend over $150,000 on this year’s City Council election. The vendor was responsible for the largest spending increase in last year’s municipal budget, which Councilman DeFusco spoke out against to protect Hoboken taxpayers. The PAC employs a fundraising consultant who previously worked for Mayor Bhalla’s campaign, and it comes after a different dark money organization spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect Bhalla in 2017. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ravi Bhalla prepares more dirt for the Reform Movement's grave

BOMBSHELL: Mayor Ravi Bhalla is undoing Dawn Zimmer's landmark 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance in a bid for Special Interest - Dark Money

Councilman Mike DeFusco launches atomic attack alleging Ravi Bhalla coordinating with a Hoboken vendor for Dark Money and a Super PAC in upcoming Hoboken election

In 2011, former mayor Dawn Zimmer pressed forward with an update to Hoboken's pay-to-play ordinance seeking to limit the amount of money from outside special interests impeding Hoboken sovereignty.

Eight years later, Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his administration are seen undermining that signature Reform legislation in the Mile Square City, one he co-authored at the time, as alleged Dark Money and City vendor conflicts emerge from the shadows in bombshell allegations.

Last August, obtained a public letter sent by Joel Mestre, President of the Municipal Supervisors Association union. The letter, published for the first time here, oddly sought to undo the landmark 2011 Hoboken ordinance.

The letter from Hoboken's small union complained about Hoboken's limitations on political contributions being far below those of the State of New Jersey claiming it was a handicap and a "potential liability" for a lawsuit.

In over eight years, there's never been any Constitutional challenge to the ordinance in Hoboken. Other municipalities of New Jersey implemented similar pay-to-play restrictions prior to Hoboken and have seen no successful legal challenge since.

On August 1st, in a telephone interview with Mestre, he claimed to author the letter. In a discussion of the ramifications with far larger special interests outside Hoboken, Mestre asked for additional time to review the situation and promised to follow-up.

Hours later, Mestre phoned and stated, "we rescinded the letter" saying the City Council was notified in writing the Hoboken Municipal Supervisors Association was reversing course and would not be pursuing the matter. 

Asked to explain the sudden reversal in a single week, Mestre pointed to an unwillingness to see opened a "Pandora's Box" of far larger and more powerful NJ special interest groups and Dark Money entities enter Hoboken.

Other sources within City Hall point to the mayor's office and a recent move with Ravi Bhalla's Chief of Staff John Allen moving into the Hoboken Law Department as prompting ongoing efforts to undo the Dawn Zimmer reform.

"It is counterproductive to a small municipal union to have Dark Money and statewide special interests invited in to push Hoboken around," said one who asked not to be named to avoid retaliation from the mayor's office. 

Dark Money Alliances and a PAC to invade Hoboken?

Then this week, the Hudson County View published a story identifying one potential PAC (Political Action Committee), NJ Community Initiativesas preparing to throw money into Hoboken's upcoming council ward races. The PAC reportedly hired Stephanie Wohlrab, a professional fundraiser.

According to that exclusive Hudson County View report, Wohlrab counts among her clients, former mayor Dawn Zimmer and Ravi Bhalla. 

On September 3rd, an 18-page letter to Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia from a lawyer, Raymond Hamlin of Hunt, Hamlin, and Ridley stated it had been "tasked" to write on the constitutional basis of Hoboken's 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance.

Hamlin's letter to Aloia concluded, "I trust this is responsive to your inquiry." (emphasis added).

In a follow-up interview by phone with Joel Mestre yesterday afternoon, he said he doesn't know Raymond Hamlin and had no involvement in having him "tasked" to prepare an 18-page letter challenging the 2011 Hoboken Pay-to-Play ordinance.

"I never got a call from this guy," Mestre stated. 

Who's driving this train against Pay-to-Play?

Yesterday, Mestre reiterated he had rescinded the late July letter. On August 1st, hours after the first contact from, Mestre indicated a reversal, in writing, was sent to the City Clerk's Office and City Council President Jen Giattino. The letter was also received shortly thereafter by the City of Hoboken Law Department.

Why did the City of Hoboken Legal Department "task" an outside attorney to undertake a lengthy analysis and 18-page letter dismissive of Hoboken's Pay-to-Play ordinance?

In an email late yesterday to Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia, this website asked several questions with one restated below:

What role and when did the Hoboken Law Department initiate communication with them (Hunt, Hamlin and Ridley) and why?

At the time of this story's publication, there's been no response from Hoboken Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia. Back in 2017 however, Aloia, a carryover from the Zimmer Administration is seen as a $600 contributor to Ravi Bhalla's mayoral campaign. That amount is within legal limits.

Yesterday, Councilman Mike DeFusco in an interview with John Heinis, editor, and publisher of the Hudson County View launched bombshell allegations at Ravi Bhalla saying he was coordinating with a SuperPAC connected to a Hoboken insurance vendor, Fairview, to work in tandem against him and others in the November council races. Ravi Bhalla has previously announced his own council ticket.

Any coordination, however, between Ravi Bhalla, the Hoboken insurance vendor, Fairview Insurance Agency Associates in Hoboken's council elections would be illegal under NJ law.

In the interview, DeFusco was asked about his accepting excessive campaign funds in excess of the 2011 Hoboken Pay to Play Ordinance. He's previously accepted tens of thousands in excess campaign contributions in Hoboken's 2017 mayoral election and continues to do so in 2019. 

The councilman up for re-election ignored the heart of the question stating more than once he would comply with the State of NJ and Federal campaign requirements. DeFusco did not indicate how he would vote should new legislation come before the City Council to undo the 2011 Hoboken Pay-to-Play ordinance.

City of Hoboken communication manager Vijay Chaudhuri has not denied the possibility of Ravi Bhalla backing new legislation dismantling the 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance. Oddly, he references the potential involvement of the Hoboken City Council which he typically comments on almost strictly by way of attacks.

Founder and COO of Fairview Insurance Agency Associates John Graham
and Michael J. Graham

Talking Ed Note: This story is breaking.... all over the place. Hat tip to the Hudson County View for its ongoing investigative reporting contributing to this developing story.

The Hoboken 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance was passed on July 1, 2011, with the elevation of Councilwoman Jen Giattino to office. Although threats were repeatedly made alleging its unconstitutionality by former councilwoman Beth Mason, no challenge was ever made by her or anyone else in its eight-plus years. 

Former mayor Dawn Zimmer was contacted yesterday by email and asked to comment on her feelings with Ravi Bhalla seeking to undo her 2011 Pay-to-Play ordinance. She has appeared recently on Twitter complaining about pedestrian safety but does not respond to inquiries on Ravi Bhalla's actions reversing policy and legislation under her tenure.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla will not be available to comment for this story.
Communications Manager Vijay Chaudhuri will not be available to comment for this story.
Chief of Staff John Allen will not be available to comment for this story.
Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia is again invited to comment on this story.

City Council President Jen Giattino: "Thank you for your support and looking forward!"

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors,

Thank you to everyone who signed a nominating petition for me.  With your support, I will officially be on the ballot for re-election to Hoboken City Council as the 6th ward representative!  Hoboken matters so much to all of us and I am grateful for the chance to continue to work alongside you and to be your advocate for the next four years.  

My focus has always been, and will continue to be, on improving quality of life issues, working to keep taxes low, helping those who have less, supporting our local businesses, and protecting our neighborhood feel that makes Hoboken so special.  Our track record together is strong including:
  • Making zoning changes that preserve the historic character of the community
  • Fighting to keep our taxes as low as possible
  • Adding loading zones in neighborhoods
  • Supporting building a new American Legion and six new homes for homeless veterans
  • Installing stop signs throughout the 6th ward to ensure safe pedestrian passage
  • Advocating for Union Dry Dock to be added to the open space plan since 2012 
  • Completing necessary upgrades to city parks (grass in Church Square)
  • Expanding affordable housing resources and 
  • Securing more County funding including $250,000 for dog park upgrades  
I have also advocated to ensure that local nonprofits are able to continue operating and to fix a loophole in the city’s rent control law to protect tenants and as part of the mayor's task force, I have worked to reduce homelessness in Hoboken.  A highlight for me was securing a Section 8 housing voucher and a new home for one of Hoboken's chronically homeless women.

As we look ahead, we have to continue the progress we have made including completing Rebuild By Design to make our community resilient to storm-related flooding, working even harder to keep our taxes as low as possible in a rising cost environment, ensuring new development works for Hoboken including less reliance on cars and inclusion of more affordable units, launching our new Special Improvement District to help local businesses thrive, and finishing our plans for open space including the NW, SW, Harborside Parks and connecting the last two remaining pieces of our public waterfront park.  

There is a lot to do and I am excited to have your support and together, tackle what lies ahead.  As I continue to knock on doors and meet with neighbors, I am honored to hear phrases like “you're everyone's neighbor” and "thank you for always listening".  I have strived to cultivate a reputation as an advocate for our neighborhood and pride myself on being accessible to my constituents for problem-solving while providing independent, responsible leadership on the City Council.  

Serving the residents of Hoboken is something I take very seriously and our community deserves a true advocate who has always, and will always do whatever they can to deliver to residents and put Hoboken first.  I have had the honor to lead the City Council four times since taking office as Council President, having been elected by my peers reflecting what I believe is my dedication to public service and willingness to be a consensus builder and leader.  Although we all work well together and agree most often - 83% of the time we voted 9-0 on the mayor/council agenda under this administration - at times I make tough decisions on what’s best for our city without bowing to political pressure.    

I have been proud to be your representative on the City Council and, with your continued support, will be honored to keep working together on what matters most to all of us, Hoboken.    

Thank you again for your support!  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you would like to join me on the campaign trail.


Vote Jen Again

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Matt Calicchio sentencing for his role in Hoboken voter fraud postponed


Matt Calicchio, the controversial political operative once employed by former Councilwoman Beth Mason will not be sentenced tomorrow in Newark Federal Court for his role in voter bribery as originally scheduled.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey in Newark, Calicchio's sentencing is postponed. No new sentencing date has been set.

In June, Calicchio testified on behalf of the government as a key witness against Frank "Pupie" Raia who was later convicted for organizing a Hoboken voter bribery scheme in 2013. Raia's criminal conviction is pending appeal.

Last May, Calicchio became the fifth person to be ensnared in a federal probe of criminal voter fraud activities connected to Hoboken's 2013 and 2015 elections. 

Matt Calicchio, a years long employee of former councilwoman Beth Mason will not be sentenced for his admitted role in voter bribery activities in the 2013 and 2015 Hoboken election. No new sentencing date has been set.
Below Calicchio front is Dio Braxton who also awaits sentencing and Michael "Big Holmesy" Holmes who testified in the Raia trial in lieu of prosecution for the government.

Coming a day after word of Dio Braxton's sentencing being delayed, alarm bells will be ringing in Hoboken as additional criminal indictments in the 2015 and possibly 2017 elections await. 

Last January, the first indictment in the 2015 Hoboken election came down against Fox Hill Gardens resident Willie Rojas by the US Department of Justice.

Talking Ed Note: Last May, highlighted the admitted guilt of the former Beth Mason political operative in an article inquiring who was paying for his attorney writing:

The delay in sentencing will further boost fears of further action in the federal investigation into Hoboken voter fraud.

For months, Ravi Bhalla political operatives have been pointing fingers in the fourth ward all the while misidentifying the council candidate mentioned in federal court documents connected to the 2015 Hoboken election. 

At the Raia trial, Calicchio dispelled those claims testifying he worked for the uptown fifth ward 2015 campaign of Eduardo Gonzalez.

In the 2015 Hoboken municipal ward election for City Council, $15,000 was splashed around Hoboken on "campaign workers" similar to the amounts Frank Raia spent in 2013 and similarly tied to hundreds of Vote by Mail ballots.

The 2015 funds, however, came from Councilman Michael Russo who ran that year as an unopposed candidate and is up for re-election this November. 

Russo has often been aligned with Mayor Ravi Bhalla, most recently when he said of a handful of municipal layoffs, the Bhalla Administration "would hire and fire as they see fit.

Bhalla's political operatives who have been proven wrong earlier this year in who Matt Calicchio worked for in 2015, always fail to say a word about Russo and the Ravi-Russo Alliance

Matt Calicchio is seen holding an umbrella for former councilwoman Beth Mason in this 2014 photo on upper Hudson.

Related: The January feature, "FBI arrest threatens extinction-level event for Hoboken voter fraud.