Sunday, June 5, 2011

Democrats for Honest Government for Democratic Committee

The following editorial was submitted by Hoboken resident and Democratic Committeeman Phil Cohen:

To The Editor,

I write to ask our neighbors to come out and vote on June 7th and show your support for an outstanding city-wide slate of candidates working to bring transparency and accountability to local politics. We are Democrats for Honest Government running for Democratic Committee under Column C.

Each year, the local Democratic party elects representatives from each district of every ward (72 in all). In 2006, two reformers, Ann Graham and Rick Kamber, were elected to the Democratic Committee. When they requested copies of the Committee’s bylaws and financial records, they were met with silence. So four years ago, a number of like-minded neighbors decided to run together to reform local party politics. We made an impact, winning a third of the 72 seats. Three years ago, along with other reformers, I was elected to the governing Executive Committee, and appointed chair of the By-Laws Committee. Two years ago, I spearheaded the unanimous, historic passage of the Democratic Party’s by-laws which ensure transparency in spending and, among other things, prohibit funneling the party’s fund-raising to campaigns for non-partisan elections, like Hoboken’s mayoral races. Last year, for the first time, reformers took majority control of the local Democratic Party. We worked hard to build the party, successfully supported our Democratic Team in the General Election, and stayed true to the spirit of our new by-laws.

In the recent past, the Democratic Party wheeled hundreds of thousands into former Mayor Dave Roberts’ election campaign and former Mayor Anthony Russo’s election campaign. Thanks to our by-laws, we have changed the way our local party does business.

We need your support on June 7th to continue the fight for Honest Government. We are Democrats for Honest Government, along with Councilman Ravi Bhalla who is running for State Assembly. Vote Column C for Change.

Thanks for your support.

-Phil Cohen
Vice Chair, Hoboken Democratic Party

- Posted via Blogpress

Mayor Zimmer endorses Councilman Ravi Bhalla for NJ Assembly seat and Column C

Bhalla for Assembly
Dear Friends,

My name is Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken. This coming Tuesday, June 7th are Democratic Primary and Democratic Committee elections throughout Hudson County. In the 33rd Legislative District, I am enthusiastically supporting Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla for State Assembly in Column "C".  I urge you to do the same.

Like me, Ravi is an independent idealogical Democrat, working to end the machine culture of patronage, ensure fiscal responsibility, and fight for strong public schools.  With Ravi's help on the Hoboken City Council, we have improved City services, replaced political hires with professional and highly qualified directors and cut taxes by 10% over the past year while the rest of the state, including Jersey City and Hudson County keep increasing taxes

Ravi to his credit also worked with me this year to introduce campaign finance reform legislation inHoboken that would help end the culture of corruption in the Democratic Party. 

I know that Ravi will work to bring these same reforms to Trenton. We need legislators at the state level who are willing to work with local government on issues like tax reform, campaign finance reform, improving educational achievement, and sustainable job growth. 

We must change the way the Democratic Party operates here in Hudson County.  I urge you to vote for Ravi Bhalla in Column "C" for Change.  

Mayor Dawn Zimmer 

Find us @ Join me @

Talking Ed Note:  There's a number of positive factors coming together on behalf of Ravi Bhalla's campaign to nail down the second Assembly seat against Jersey City's Sean Connors.

Union City Mayor Brian Stack has not shown much interest in backing Sean Connors, many say he is viewed as an ambitious threat and the same holds true in Jersey City itself with declared mayoral candidate Steve Fulop.

In Weehawken the whispers are that Mayor Turner told Sean Connors not to come.  It's unclear if it was meant to say no need to bother or more along the lines of the votes will be there.

The HCDO slate led by Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith initially threw Ravi Bhalla under the bus although some believe Ravi initially ran at his behest.  Now Mayor Stack is not lifting a finger in a key voting demographic on behalf of Sean Connors and an influential Councilman in his own town is organizing votes against him.

Meanwhile Councilman Ravi Bhalla has fielded a full campaign operation with dozens of workers hitting all areas of the 33rd district.  There's little doubt Ravi is closing and a victory is within reach here.

The decisive final factor may be turnout in Hoboken.  Which means once again, Hoboken voters may be having more say in both the County and State if they make the effort and turn out the vote here.

A side benefit is that Column C is facing a full out effort from the Old Guard led by Councilman Mike Russo's mother, Michele Russo.  They are desperate to get their hands on any local machinery possible as a mechanism to move campaign money into Hoboken.

Historically the Hoboken Democratic Committee has been one of their favored vehicles in doing so.

Phil Cohen: Please Re-Elect Me and Melissa Abernathy in our District, Vote Column C

From the desk of Democratic Committeeman Phil Cohen:

I am running for Democratic Committee with my running-mate Melissa Abernathy in my district, and a great team of Committee people across Hoboken also are running for Democratic Committee.  You can find us under Column C, running as "Democrats for Honest Government"

Our influence in the Democratic Committee over the last few years has led to the passage of by-laws that stopped the massive funneling of money from political machines and developers to Hoboken's mayoral campaigns, as was done to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, when Mayors Russo and Roberts controlled the Democratic Committee.  Michele Russo (Mayor Russo's wife and Michael Russo's mother) heads the HCDO's opposing Democratic Committee team.

We appreciate your support on Tuesday.



Beth Mason in likely Open Meetings Act violation with Monday meeting

According to the NJ Open Meetings Act, a body such as the Hoboken City Council must provide 48 hours notice before holding a meeting fulfilling several requirements.

Included among them is 48 hours written notice with complete details including the agenda of the meeting to the extent known.

Another essential aspect required is the public meeting notice must be transmitted to two newspapers and published in advance of the 48 hours.  The letter Beth Mason sent to the City was on Friday with the Jersey Journal included in the distribution.

Without two publicly advertised ads published on Friday, Beth Mason's call for a Monday meeting is a violation of this provision.

A voicemail to Beth Mason questioning this remains outstanding.  Should she respond this story will be updated.