Thursday, July 27, 2017

On that censorship thing

A late dinner invitation to an outdoor barbecue with local reformers and a nice Aussie led to some discussion on censorship.

The guests at the onset wanted to know what did this Horse say that caused the trigger finger delete button to go off. DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE

Well, it's rather simple. It only required a response to false accusations and noting simple facts.

This Horse dared to venture in the land of party line thought and action on behalf of a candidate tossing in some common sense.

The unhappy website hostess was upset with earlier comment on the immigration policy of nations in Western Europe and Japan who were noted for taking steps to protect their citizens from massive male invasion and subsequently the dramatic increases in sexual assaults and terrorist murders seen in other nations.

In response to that factual mention on a post discussing a Supreme Court upheld temporary travel ban from seven countries in the US, came this comment in response:

A horse pointed out that like all UN nations, Japan does in fact actually have borders and that a personal greeting wishing Councilman Ravi Bhalla's father a very happy birthday had been extended only days ago.

A concluding question about her making false accusations set off a litany of deletions with the comment below being reposted and requests that it not be censored. The question was declared an attack. The pleas became comical with further deletions and yet more personal attacks on this visiting farm animal.

The censored comment in full:

Talking Ed Note: I take no pleasure in this but people are already asking so here's the censored comment in its entirety. This after a litany of attacks by her here and there against this website in recent weeks. Never a complaint made here. Not. A. Single. One.

It's pretty sad, yes but what can you do? I'd like to add that I do hope that Mr. Bhalla had a wonderful birthday as I said with his beautiful family around him enjoying a great day.

Here's to many more Mr. Bhalla!

Hudson County View: 'Ravi Bhalla the national candidate'


Councilman Ravi Bhalla announces national campaign focus in appeal to voters

Hudson County View released a video of the official campaign office opening relaying in its headline a campaign strategy announcing Councilman Ravi Bhalla as the national candidate writing: "Bhalla: You can count on me on the local, state and national level."

In contrast to his mayoral rival City Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Ravi Bhalla is appealing to Hoboken voters with a national candidate focus. Giattino in her policy speech at Moran's last week said she would continue in the footsteps of Mayor Zimmer and not use Hoboken as a stepping stone and focus on delivering on local issues.

The rival candidate are competing for both professional and reform oriented voters. Previously, some believed the differences on local issues such as the massive PILOTed Bijou project on 7th and Jackson would be an area of disagreement. The contrasts however along with the stakes are increased.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer in her remarks excised Councilman Dave Mello who is seeking an independent third term council re-election bid. Mayor Zimmer stated Councilman Jim Doyle was on her council slate since 2009. Doyle was elected on the mayor's ticket in 2013. She made no attempt to correct the record.

Councilman Dave Mello is a current two term councilman and ran with Mayor Zimmer and Councilman Ravi Bhalla in 2009 and 2013.

Here is video of the event: courtesy of the Hudson County View:

Talking Ed Note: The mayor's office and Bhalla campaign are moving ahead with a strategy to appeal to Hoboken voters nationalizing the mayoral election. The new Hoboken Democratic Committee was the first linchpin used to get behind the Bhalla campaign and the strategy is now officially in place.

City Council President Jen Giattino is focusing on local Hoboken issues but it's clear the Bhalla campaign hopes to subsume a local focus in its political communications to Mile Square voters.

The Bhalla for mayor campaign is furthering its efforts to leverage new members of the Hoboken Democratic Committee to focus attention beyond Hoboken local issues in an appeal for votes.

MSV earlier reported as part of that strategy an effort to overthrow the Hoboken Democratic Chair Tiffanie Fisher who is supporting her council colleague Jen Giattino. No one from the mayor's office, the mayor or the Bhalla campaign contacted have denied the effort.

A vague anonymous statement allegedly by a member of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and Mayor Zimmer appeared on another website promoting the Bhalla campaign. (In Hoboken411 fashion, it has been trying to avoid mentioning the name of mayoral candidate Jen Giattino and personally attacking and censoring comments including an innocuous one by this editor.) The anonymous statement allegedly from someone among dozens of Hoboken Democratic Committee members said they have no knowledge of the coup attempt planned against Tiffanie Fisher.

The anonymous statement came with a claim alleging the MSV report is "paranoid gossip." No evidence was provided in typical Grafix Avenger "reporting" and MSV was not contacted by that website on its multiple independent sources.

Among the dozens of people on the Hoboken Democratic Committee, the anonymous person couldn't muster their lack of alleged knowledge of the coup attempt against Hoboken Democratic Chair Tiffanie Fisher by even identifying themselves. No one would expect the dozens of committee members would have such knowledge. Only the coup plotters closely working with the mayor's office and the Bhalla campaign would.

In poker, we call that a tell. MSV stands by the accuracy of its report.

As for the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment, MSV supports all of it and is not changing its policy. It will however respond to any Loser and their party line brethren who embrace censorship and their purple pillow imitators in kind. Look in the mirror when you project, why don't ya?

Sadly, some have invested their self-esteem in a local election and everything is on the table: erecting and pummeling straw men, personal attacks, urinating on the First Amendment and embracing censorship in a win at any cost effort to advance their candidate.

It's truly unfortunate. Used to like the place with the funny pictures when it was funny.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Angelo Valente: On an "Independent Leadership for Hoboken's Future"

Official release:

Hoboken Neighbors and Friends,

I believe in the greatness of Hoboken and I believe in you! I also believe that our city deserves leaders with passion and vision, whose only special interest will be the residents of our great city. Whether you chose to live in Hoboken, one year ago, or over one hundred years ago, the future belongs to all of us. 

I am proud to announce that I will be asking  for your support, and vote, to become an independent Councilperson-at-Large representing our entire city.

In a little over 100 days, residents of the great community of Hoboken will through the ballot box determine the next chapter in Hoboken’s history. November 7th’s election will have an enormous, lasting  impact on the future of our city. 

We are all on this journey together. One hundred and fourteen years ago my great grandparents left Italy in their late teens and chose Hoboken to begin their life journey 5 generations later, my wife Jane and I still choose Hoboken as the community we want to live in and raise our children in. 

Why Hoboken in 1903 and why now in 2017?

It was and continues to be the unique and special quality of life. First and foremost it's all about community; we have a small town atmosphere is a big city’s where neighborhood block parties are the norm, and you still know your local barber and dry cleaner by name--and they know yours.

It's tolerance for the tight space of land we all have to share; our beautiful tree lined blocks, and our magnificent waterfront.  It our bustling Avenue and diverse civic, cultural and religious celebrations that fill our calendars.Hoboken is just a great place to live!

But like you, I am extremely concerned…because the future of this quality of life is on shaky ground.

Recent decisions are challenging the Hoboken quality of life that we all cherish...there is a war on residents who use automobiles and this war has to stop---immediately.

We are now invading our beautiful residential community with parking meters that are just wrong at every level...we are taking away traffic lanes and parking spaces; and causing our neighbors and friends to spend hours each week in traffic and circling blocks to find a space that not in a yellow, red, purple or orange zone.  If you drive a car you know exactly what I mean.

Our restaurants and retailers are concerned as well, as we now have a reputation among visitors as the town with a tow away sign that has replaced the welcome sign. There are some who look at our public streets as yet another veiled way to tax our already overtaxed tenants and homeowners, and now our children, and grandchildren.

We  also have a town with very few cultural and recreational facilities to enjoy in return for the high rents and taxes we all are's time we refocus our attention, our money and efforts on building facilities for our residents of all ages. It’s time to put the people of Hoboken first, and not the politicians who are losing sight of the cherished vision you and I share for our city. 

Hoboken’s infrastructure needs immediate attention. Our Community is fortunate enough to be the home of one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the country, Stevens Institute of Technology. It is time we partner with Stevens to develop practical solutions to protect our residents in those sections of town that are in dire need of flood prevention initiatives.

Hoboken has experienced unprecedented development that generates millions of dollars in new taxes annually . It’s time that condo and small home owners start seeing real tax relief.

Over the next 100 days I hope to share in person with each of you my plan and vision for Hoboken’s future.
A vision for Hoboken’s future filled with hope and bold new innovative plans that will bring our community together -- with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for every resident, while bringing efficiency and innovation to our government. 

Now the naysayers and skeptics will say that these plans, our shared vision, and more importantly my promise to each of you cannot be all of them I say: Watch Us! Because together, with your support, and vote, there is nothing that we can't accomplish. 

       Angelo Valente 
       Independent Leadership for Hoboken's Future

SLAPP Anniversary - Lane Bajardi's frivolous litigation reaches five year milestone

The following feature is a special presentation by your friendly neighborhood Horsey and may contain legal references, analysis and opinion obtained in first hand experience in a NJ court of law.

In an unofficial NJ frivolous litigation milestone, the Bajardi v. Pincus court designated SLAPP-suit, (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is five years old today.

Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal wanted $2,000,000 from about a dozen Hoboken commenters or as some say bloggers.

On this day in 2012, political operatives filed what they hoped would silence all opposition online in Hoboken against a former councilwoman, the notorious Beth Mason and her Old Guard allies, the Russo Clan, first and foremost.

Most of the commenters had never made mention of either plaintiffs but were politically targeted for extinction. Some of those screen name commenters/victims: ss1959, davidd, plywood, Redrider765, JAM, Bludiamonds, Smarty Jones, Bob R, Hobbs, Klaussenfluffer and Bet Mazin. The civil lawsuit claimed it would seek to add more screen names, re: victims.

Under oath, this farm animal confessed to what everyone knew, Smarty Jones was a moniker used and the character Bet Mazin (see below) was Horsey's cartoon masterpiece. Apparently there was more than one Klaussenfluffer running around, sorry Perry. Nothing published on MSV was ever alleged defamatory in the lawsuit. Didn't stop the efforts to shut it down.

For a select few, this was a cause for celebration and for many others serious concern. The active commenting on Hoboken Patch literally dried up as many regular commenters there found themselves targeted at $2,000,000 per person. Others decided public online commenting was simply not worth it and opted out. The First Amendment in Hoboken had been chilled.

For years, the Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi lawsuit was a barrel of laughs. Frivolous motion after motion, dozens and dozens piled up averaging two per month for more than two straight years by two out-of-state law firms led finally to a two week trial in Hudson Superior Court.

Most of the frivolous claims and defendants were tossed out of court prior to trial. The judge hearing the pre-trial motions after evaluation said the case had been eviscerated. Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi in their unique obtuseness would agree by lowering their demands of $2,000,000 per defendant to $1,850,000 in total.


The case never made it to a jury and was thrown out of court mid-trial lacking ANY evidence. (Did you finally get that Caren or are you still hiding under your desk from the phone call of a horse?) Later a sanctions hearing would be heard in Hudson Superior Court with lawyers representing the Bajardi lawyers, each trying to avoid sanctions for their respective roles in a frivolous litigation. None did.

Each of three law firms would be sanctioned but the biggest prize for frivolous litigation went to Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi. They were slammed with sanctions of over $276,000.

The sanctioned parties have appealed. Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi have incurred legal fees since the issuance of sanctions in May of 2015 on par or more than the original $276,000 in penalties. That's the last defendants know of the outstanding bill, it could in fact be well higher. The Bajardis continue to plea poverty to pay defendants for their frivolous litigation while legal fees skyrocket all around well into seven figures.

This Horse will be back in Superior Court next week seeking truth, justice and the American way. In five years, you learn a lot about who friends are, the First Amendment and most importantly of all patience and faith in God. Thanks to everyone, especially Alex Booth and Counsel for the Joint Defense. Most especially, thanks to the Lord our Creator for preservation and enlightenment along the way. A horse actually learned a few big words in five years.

But now a few words of wisdom from the MSV classic, "Downfall of a wannabe shark." The original was written and created in July 2010. Efforts to keep it off both YouTube and the internet would fail as it's been viewed more than 25,000 times.

The sequel isn't completed but it's coming. Bet.

Downfall of a wannabe shark from Da Horsey on Vimeo.

Protecting Hoboken from flooding

Official release

My wife Alyse and I have lived in Hoboken for 26 years. Alyse is a public school teacher, and I am the owner of the furniture and kitchen store, Battaglia's Home, on Willow Avenue.  We have witnessed the evolution of Hoboken first hand, and we know what is required to lead this wonderful city into the future. For this reason, we are enthusiastically supporting Ravi Bhalla to be our next Mayor of Hoboken.

Our next Mayor will be tasked with protecting Hoboken from various types of flooding, including potential storm surge events. Ravi Bhalla has proven that he's up for the task. Unfortunately, like many Hoboken residents, we have first-hand experience with flooding. The day after Superstorm Sandy, which devastated large numbers of homes and businesses in Hoboken, I arrived at our store to find doors pushed off the hinges, floating furniture, and much more damage that took weeks just to clean up. While we bounced back after many years of financial hardship, the storm underscores the vulnerability of coastal cities like Hoboken.

Fortunately, with Ravi's steadfast support on the Council, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her team applied for and won $230 million in funds through the Rebuild by Design competition to creatively protect Hoboken from major storm surge events. When Mayor Zimmer needed someone to take a leadership role and co-chair the Rebuild by Design advisory group to work with the diverse elements within our community and solicit important feedback, Ravi agreed to step up to the task. As a member of the advisory group, I can attest to Ravi's work in attending meetings, communicating directly with various resident groups, and going above and beyond to ensure that the community's input was heard as the project moved forward. Thanks to the hard work of Ravi and the other members of the advisory group, we are a quarter billion dollars closer to being on our way to protecting our City from future storm events.

In addition to advocating for long term protection from coastal storm surge, Ravi was one of the leaders on the Council advocating for our new H-5 flood pump, which helps protect Northwest Hoboken from heavy rain events. Ravi was also a reliable partner with Mayor Zimmer to ensure that our resiliency parks moved forward in Southwest Hoboken, at 7th and Jackson, and in the City's northwest, all three of which are being designed with underground storage capacity to withhold rainwater and reduce local flooding.

Ravi's understanding of the importance of protecting Hoboken from another devastating flood
 event is just one of the many reasons we have decided to support him for mayor. We believe Ravi has the skills and experience to be the leader Hoboken needs moving forward, and we hope you will consider supporting him as well.

Alyse and Brian Battaglia

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Romano for Mayor campaign announces first slate candidate

Last night the Romano for Mayor campaign held a fundraiser at the Sinatra Park restaurant and announced its first of three council at-large council candidates: Laini Hammond.

Hammond is a self-described born and raised resident of New Orleans and has lived in Hoboken the last ten years.

This video reports comes courtesy of the Hudson County View.

For more on this story, please see the Hudson County View:

Hoboken Democratic Committee weaponized: Target Tiffanie


Hoboken's nonpartisan mayoral race is facing a pending assault.
Another one.

After last month's stunning announcement Mayor Zimmer would back out of the November mayoral election and her simultaneous announcement endorsing Councilman Ravi Bhalla her successor, a firestorm broke out among her City Council allies and the Reform community.

Mayor Zimmer said she had made the decisions herself and the blowback began almost immediately. A a week later, City Council President Jen Giattino scrambling to identify the sentiments of the community made her late entry into the mayoral sweepstakes.

The backing of Giattino for mayor by her council colleagues Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher has created a clear rift and some obvious anger by close supporters of the mayor and the Bhalla for mayor campaign and perhaps the mayor herself. Councilman Dave Mello attended last week's Giattino fundraiser while Jim Doyle opted alone to join a second council run in backing Councilman Ravi Bhalla.

That is perhaps not the picture or desired result the established political powers wanted.

Now there's word from independent sources of another coup attempt. The objective is to see Hoboken Democratic Chair Tiffanie Fisher removed in her role on the Hoboken Democratic Committee as its chair.

The weekend prior to Giattino's Tuesday announcement she would run for mayor, new members of the Hoboken Democratic Committee assaulted Fisher's electronic communications complaining she was supporting Jen Giattino who is a registered Republican before a key meeting seeking community sentiment that Sunday afternoon.

The bylaws of the Hoboken Democratic Committee allow its members to make personal choices in Hoboken's nonpartisan elections. In this case that means this fall's mayoral and council seats.

A letter from one of the new Hoboken Democratic Committee members viciously attacked both Fisher and Giattino leading into the Sunday afternoon meeting. He wrote that he preferred corrupt Democrats to hold elected office in Hoboken over any Republican. Many Hoboken Democrats both on and off the committee were offended and disavowed the statements. Other Hoboken elected officials reportedly circulated the screed and remained silent when the letter was widely circulated.

The reason for the Hoboken political establishment's unhappiness is Tiffanie Fisher's personal choice to back and support her colleague Jen Giattino in Hoboken's nonpartisan mayoral election. Fisher has been acting as a temporary campaign manager for the Giattino for Mayor campaign.

The Hoboken Democratic Committee like its local party counterpart does not get involved in endorsing candidates in the Mile Square City's nonpartisan elections. The mayor and city council offices are both nonpartisan but this is not making political powers at City Hall happy.

Will the Hoboken Democratic Committee rewrite the rules to see Fisher ejected and try to undo Hoboken's nonpartisan mayoral race?

Questions have been posed and questions have gone unanswered. More to come.

Is Tiffanie Fisher a political target for bucking City Hall and making a
personal decision to support City Council President Jen Giattino?
The word is the Hoboken Democratic Committee is being weaponized to remove
her as chair for bucking Ravi Bhalla a Democrat endorsed by Mayor Zimmer for mayor.

This story is breaking...

Talking Ed Note: There's been much pushing and shoving in recent weeks and of late phony stories about a resident's personal inquiry to friends on his Facebook page.

Last week's Giattino for Mayor fundraiser at Moran's was successful and reportedly has seen tens of thousands raised for the upstart Reform Resistance candidate.

As Kurt Gardiner, the Hoboken Democratic Committee Sargent at Arms and NHSA commissioner remarked by phone, "85% of the people at the Giattino event are Democrats, I'm telling you, I saw it.

Word is that some very well respected Democrats are behind Jen Giattino for mayor. One of them is said to be the heroine who led and helped save the hospital in Hoboken: Hoboken University Medical Center.

MSV has predicted the mayoral race would get much rougher. Here's a real indication.

Update lunchtime: MSV has contacted numerous parties for this story: the mayor's office, Mayor Zimmer, the Bhalla for mayor campaign, other parties close to the mayor and on the Democratic Committee among others asking for comment.

Radio silence. There's not even been a non-comment saying no comment. It's eerily silent.
Loser is welcome to ask who if anyone hasn't been contacted for this story.

Sign of the Times: groundswell art?

There's two events in Hoboken tonight following a successful Romano for Mayor event last night at Sinatra Park (or so we're told by others in attendance).

At 5:00 later today, Councilman Dave Mello is having a family friendly "bring your family" barbecue and announcing his council re-election bid.

Later tonight, Councilman Ravi Bhalla will officially open his campaign headquarters at 4th and Washington at 7:00 pm.

It's a sign of the times.

Monday, July 24, 2017

DeFusco for mayor campaign pops with campaign reaping $115K

Councilman Ravi Bhalla nets over 23K in second quarter
Late entrants Anthony Romano and Jen Giattino don't have to file yet under NJ campaign law

The campaign fundraising sweepstakes are in for the second quarter and Councilman Mike DeFusco is the easy winner.

According to a story on Hudson County View, the DeFusco for mayor campaign raised over 115K in the quarter.

Among the names of his donors are several unions and one prominent Hoboken resident with a major election activity history: Frank "Pupie" Raia

Councilman Ravi Bhalla with the backing of his national network raised more than 23K.

Both the Anthony Romano and Jen Giattino mayoral campaigns are not required to file a campaign report on their respective fundraising figures at this time due to their late entries in the mayoral race under NJ ELEC law.

MSV can however report that the Giattino campaign in its single event held at Moran's last week has already brought in an undetermined amount in the tens of thousands of dollars in early efforts.

Unlike some of the other campaigns, most of the Giattino for mayor fundraising reportedly comes from grassroots efforts via Hoboken residents.

The Romano for mayor campaign is reportedly making strenuous efforts to replenish its campaign funding after the freeholder election held last month. Early efforts are seeing campaign staff brought in for the mayor's race.

The breakfast spread last weekend at the Romano for Mayor headquarters. The office was staffed up for weekend
campaign duty. They won't be running low on fuel. 

For more on the actual fundraising numbers, please see the Hudson County View:

Grist for the Mill: Beth Mason is kaput

Hoboken being rumorville in the slowest of days is seeing all kinds of wild rumors, wild attacks and besieged with the craziest notions.

It's election season and for those who have not really been a part of a wide open election in these parts, you best be prepared.

A siege on Hoboken from upper Hudson Street at the House of Mausoleum Horrors however isn't one of them. The recent Beth Mason poll or rather the FinBoy fishy poll to see Ricky's wallet have the jaws of death opened for evacuation to Weehawken isn't happening.

Beth Mason checked out of Hoboken back in July 2015 when a Superior Court legal decision issued hundreds of thousands in sanctions against her political operative friends who yelped about online commenters making all kinds of imagined threats against a child. As most of those commenters never even mentioned anyone by name other than the Old Guard glitterati, let alone the frivolous plaintiffs, the court would see the case at trial for what it was; a political operation with an eye to illicit riches courtesy of the defendant victims. 

The notorious former councilwoman doesn't exactly have the fortitude to face the tens of thousands of emails being put out further into the light of day obtained in the SLAPP-suit. Nor does she have access like in the past to the wallet. She's been spending more time in Richmond where she was bestowed a new toy in a 11 room inn purchased in 2015. The inn isn't full and you can check in any time you like but you can never leave.

Back in Hoboken, campaigns are making furious plans among the big four mayoral campaigns. Filling out council slates, platforms and petitions are motoring ahead. Tomorrow the Bhalla for mayor campaign will hold a launch of its office on Washington Street. You can go meet the heir to the heir to the mayoral throne if you want. No, not Councilman Ravi Bhalla, the next in line with the law firm pedigree in millions of dollars in NJ government contracts: John Allen. Long live the contracts king!

People gasped when the DeFusco campaign released the contract total tied to law firms' government contracts combining $3.8 million in the Soprano State twice over. Let's admit this will come up again and discussion of the issue is inevitable. Gin up the personal attacks against MSV for admitting reality, a horse can handle the truth. Can you?

The Romano campaign is anticipated to join in the council slate announcement sweepstakes. At least one woman is being whispered on the ticket and another more prominent uptown resident who already expressed an interest in rejoining the council. Angelo Valente may be finding a new home other than independent council candidate. MSV hasn't reached the Romano campaign on the question of its council slate but then again, they'd want to make a big bang of it. Will a professional Hoboken resident fill out the three council at-large ticket?

Want to convince people your website is the place to go for funny pictures and the cray-cray? Make up a plot out of whole cloth someone asking questions on their personal Facebook page is a conspiracy by the Giattino for mayor campaign to offset the Bhalla campaign's recent push poll. Shaking my head, when you go that far out there in July, where do you go for medication in the ward with the padded cells in September?

An occasional speaker at council meetings dared to ask his friends on Facebook this:

With no contact, no questions to its author or any other unnamable "reform campaign," the conclusion was made this is a conspiracy against the recent Bhalla campaign push poll. Egads! This can not stand and the treachery of asking your friends their opinions must be stopped and revealed for what it is. A resident can't ask their friends on Facebook questions "on their own" for opinions without being personally attacked in a kooky conspiracy theory? Wheely?

Was this little Hoboken411 mockumentary some satire on savagery against Hoboken residents? One can only wish as it looks like the Mel Gibson Conspiracy Theory sequel is being test marketed right here in Hoboken. More popcorn, we're gonna need more popcorn.

Paranoia to protect your candidate and his push poll is all the rage but it will dee destroy ya. When you can't even mention what reform for mayor campaign it is in your made up conspiracy because that too is really bad for business of your candidate; you've reached meltdown stage part deux. You can't make up this kind of zany entertainment anywhere but in Hoboken.

Oh and by the way, her name is Jen Giattino. She like Anthony Romano, Mike DeFusco, Ravi Bhalla are the four major candidates running for mayor. Refusing to mention her name won't make her go away. Thank you very much Grafix Avenger!

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to All email is kept confidential and is protected by Da Horsey's proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court. In farm animals we trust.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Drug deal gone bad leads to violence near HHA

According to a story from the Hudson County View, a drug deal on the streets of downtown Hoboken went sour leading to violence and the arrests of seven people.

Julian Braxton
Among those arrested were Julian Braxton, last known address 310 Jackson St. (MSV was not able to verify the address at the time of publication.)

Among the charges against Braxton who was reported arrested in an earlier HPD drug sting in the area back in the spring of 2015:

"Braxton, 22, was, charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of CDS (marijuana), possession of CDS marijuana with Intent to Distribute within 500 feet of public housing, possession of CDS within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of CDS paraphernalia, authorities said."

Julian Braxton has been listed as a campaign worker being paid $250 by Hoboken's former and notorious councilwoman Beth Mason.

Julian Braxton was remanded to the Hudson County correctional facility according to the HCV report.

For the complete story and list of those arrested, please see the Hudson County View.

Related: The exclusive May 2015 report on MSV is here:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Not a shadow of a doubt

They're coming.
They took a July poll and they got something to say.
They're coming after you.

They took a push poll and they got something to push.

Time to start pushing.

Time to start pushing you.

Time to start pushing you out of their election race.

Green Zimmertinis not included.

In Mark Twain's world, that wise sage said much before his time, "There are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies, and statistics.

The quote while often attributed to Twain may not be accurate in he being the author but what Hoboken is seeing in recent days is not actual data, not even massaged data or statistics.

What is being pumped out into the Hoboken political ether is pure smoke and mirrors and not a little manipulation.

This website won't waste your time pretending to offer "objective" statistics on the four major candidates in several recent telephone polls. MSV previously declared Anthony "Stick" Romano a frontrunner on the basis of his name recognition, with a immovable force of a base in Old Hoboken. It's not shifting for a shinny penny, a mayoral endorsement or a salute to Hoboken tradition with just over 100 days to go.

Others are rapidly becoming more frantic in their desire to bump off a competing candidate or what they see as threatening campaign rivals. Election outcomes this year will be decided by the efforts made between start your engines polling (not push polls) and election day. It's not being decided before the polls open and certainly not in back room deals massively changing the landscape weeks prior.

Back in Hoboken yesteryear, there was a mayoral candidate who polled at 9% and was nowhere near the top of the heap among the mayoral contenders. This candidate went on to quickly climb the ladder and eventually find himself the winner in the June 2009 mayoral runoff.

His name is Peter Cammarano.

Before anyone starts hyperventilating as some are wont to do, let's put it on the table; the timeline today versus 2009 is shorter. Funding obstacles are greater with the shorter time frame but using a dozen or so push poll/messaging questions isn't the end of the matter. It's merely the beginning of a conversation with the voters. Building name recognition, defining the issues and getting a message out to voters is the name of the game.

Whispers about the Romano campaign polling are more significant than the recent Bhalla and DeFusco polls. People will be loading up for bear expending ammunition and placing forces out in the field based on where they see strengths, weaknesses and opportunity. Those forces are out and about but there's not definitive damage in these early skirmishes. The best or worst is yet to come.

To no one's surprise, the initial casting of a polling net out in the midst of a lovely July summer in Hoboken acknowledges there is opportunity and name recognition among most of the major candidates. There's one person who stands above others having a born and raised history in town among a core of Old Hoboken and pulling more than 3500 votes in the Freeholder race.

Keep a file on that number as if it turns out in November Hoboken sees four major mayoral candidates, the magic number whispered among some is exactly that number crowning a winner. Put in a margin of error it says here to the upside. Momentum creates a surge, up for some, down for others. Not all candidates face the same upside and not all candidates are similarly capped. Attempts being made to declare a knockout blow based on some rather curious (cough cough) polling and even less qualified statistical data is weak sauce.

Await to see what emerges around Labor Day when the wheat begins to separate from the chaff. All this pre-launch hyper partisan backstabbing and swinging for an early knockout blow is not obtaining the desired effect. Going all in with your first two hands of poker can result in your own early termination.

Around Labor Day, all of this is subject to change. For all we know, Hoboken may have five or six major mayoral challengers file before the determination of the final ballot. There's also the rather Hoboken way of doing political business during election season with the art of the double cross. It's not art of the deal but art of the steal and subsequent backstabbing. There's been a dearth of real opportunities for this Hoboken "tradition" in recent election cycles. This year it will be available in spades and the ace of spades.

So to all those trying to tell you this or that candidate they back is inevitable consider the words Mark Twain said, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

No one is dead among the four major mayoral campaigns and no one has anything in the bag. The campaigns are only getting underway. All those who try to use selective "data" in the most coarse political ways are frankly all wet.

But they knew that.

Lots of campaigning ahead and pieces deployed though the Mile Square on the road to the November election.  For now, it's July and a real summer day upon us. Stay cool and keep your powder dry my friends. Engage. Everyone is.

Crybaby push poll scam scale, Hoboken fait accompli campaign not included.

Talking Ed Note: Sorry to say but the attempted push poll manipulation is reaching a crescendo. Recently, there was one reform oriented candidate trying to convince another reform oriented would be candidate not to get into the mayoral race in recent weeks.

As part of their "kind-hearted" offer, they invited the would be mayoral candidate to pay into their upcoming poll which admittedly was going to insert push poll questions.

Now why would anyone with half a brain buy into any of that or worse be selling it today as significant, statistical or not as the later would be candidate is only beginning to fend off the fait accompli announced by Mayor Dawn Zimmer at her press conference last month?

The only crying you're hearing is by the would be fait accompli scammers not getting their way. So Peter Cunningham didn't fall for it and take the bait. Well, cry me a river.

Ravi Bhalla: Grand opening invitation!

Official release

Hi MSV, I'm pleased to invite you to our grand opening celebration of the Team Bhalla campaign headquarters Tuesday evening!   

What: Grand opening for Team Bhalla headquarters
When: Tuesday, July 25, 7:00 pm

Where: 404 Washington Street

Who: Ravi Bhalla, Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour, John Allen, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, friends and supporters (kids welcome to join!)

Please RSVP on facebook or reply to this email to let us know if you can make it. 
Hope to see you Tuesday!

P.S. If you have a minute, check out NBC News' coverage of our campaign:

New Jersey's First Sikh Elected Official Looks to 'Uplift' Community in Mayoral Bid

July 19, 2017
By Clair Tran, NBC News
HOBOKEN, N.J. — During his first campaign for Hoboken City Council in 2009, Ravinder Bhalla knew his turban and beard would not go unnoticed. But the 44-year-old New Jersey native told NBC News he was determined to not let his identity become a liability, and instead focus on the issues. 
The citizens of Hoboken agreed: Out of 12 candidates competing for three spots, Bhalla received the highest number of votes, making waves as the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey. Now, after serving for eight years, he’s ready to expand his advocacy by running for mayor of Hoboken. 
“I’ve seen all the progress we’ve made as a community,” Bhalla said. “This is an opportunity to take Hoboken to even greater heights. It’s also an opportunity as an Asian American to uplift our community in a collective sense as well.” 

Bhalla was born and raised in New Jersey, but decided to branch out for his education. But although he attended UC Berkeley for his undergraduate education, pursued his master's at the London School of Economics, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School, Bhalla said he's always felt that New Jersey was his home. 

“I always knew in my heart that I would be back here in New Jersey, because this is where my roots are, as an American,” he said. 

Growing up as a Sikh American in 1970s New Jersey wasn't always easy, Bhalla acknowledged. School bullies threw racial slurs at Bhalla, and he said his childhood influenced his current political beliefs. 

“That always gave me a sense of standing up for the underdog, standing up for minorities… whether it’s immigrants, African Americans, women, the LGBTQ community, Asian Americans,” Bhalla, who is also a civil rights attorney, said. “Anyone who’s underrepresented, in any sphere of our society, deserves to have their voices heard, deserves to have a seat at the table.” 

Bhalla cites the 2008 presidential election cycle as his first inspiration for public office, describing how he closed his law office for one week so he and his brother could campaign for then-Senator Barack Obama. The pair drove to New Hampshire in the middle of winter and knocked on doors to get out the vote. 

Even after trudging through the snow, his volunteer work sparked his love for grassroots campaigning. “That was a very inspirational election cycle for me. I thought if we can elect an African-American president, we can certainly elect a Sikh-American councilman,” he said. 

The year before he ran, Bhalla said he saw a “complete mismanagement” of his local government, due to an increase in property taxes and an overspent budget. Bhalla and his wife felt the devastating economic impact, and knew they had two options: retreat to the suburbs like many of their friends had, or “try to get off the sidelines and make an impact,” he said. 

“When I first ran for office, people asked me, ‘How are you going to get your votes? Are there any Sikh Americans in Hoboken?’ There was my wife and I, and my brother,” he said. 

Through his two terms on city council, and serving as council president for one of those years, Bhalla cites decreasing taxes and saving jobs at a local hospital as some of his proudest achievements. Still, he felt pressure to set a precedent for others in his religious community. 

“When you are a visible minority, as a Sikh, you have an obligation not to just do a good job and represent yourself, but you’re also representing your community,” he said. “It’s very similar to being a police officer. When you put that uniform on, you represent not just yourself as an officer, but you’re representing the entire department.” 

Bhalla added that he hopes to not only build on the foundation his parents laid out for him (his father immigrated from India in the 1960s to pursue his Ph.D. in physics), but to surpass those expectations. 
The Hoboken mayoral election will take place in November. Despite a crowded field, Bhalla has already received the endorsement of current Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who is not seeking re-election. 

Though there’s still progress to be made in political representation, Bhalla said his two children are growing up in a vastly different era, where diversity is taken seriously. 

“I think it’s imperative on the younger Asian Americans to not just look towards your own career, but make that connection between what you’re doing… in your own professional life and in the community,” he said. “Your block, your neighborhood, your city, your town, really get involved in whatever way inspires you.” 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mikie, Mikie where art thou?

Hoboken's nine member City Council is a maze of different political campaign directions with not one, not two but count'em, three bonafide mayoral candidates: City Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Ravi Bhalla and shinny penny Councilman Mike DeFusco.

Then there are the council members who are contending for seats to remain on the job. Councilman Dave Mello is said to have had a treasurer in place who filed papers with ELEC and is planning a fundraising event on Tuesday while weighing further options and Councilman Jim Doyle took the path of least resistance staying on with the Bhalla campaign. Doyle ran with Bhalla and Mello back in 2013.

You got all that? That's fully five of the nine members of the Hoboken City Council engaged in political activities on the way to November and we're not done.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the newly minted Hoboken Democratic Chair is operationally working as defacto campaign manager for her colleague Jen Giattino. Councilman Peter Cunningham is an integral member of #JenGiattinoForMayor and Councilman Ruben Ramos who ran for mayor himself in 2013 is backing Councilman Mike DeFusco's mayoral bid.

All present and accounted for? Not quite.

And then there was one; Mikie, Mikie, where art thou?

Councilman Michael Russo is the last city council member to officially get behind another council colleague's mayoral bid. Until the petitions are submitted September 5th and the November ballot finalized 10 or so days later,
Mikie Squared is up for grabs or rather, he likes Mike as in Mike Russo.

Our esteemed colleague Sully who writes the political column in the weekend paper says Councilman Michael Russo may be retained by Mike DeFusco making him a strong candidate for Old Hoboken voters in November. But how does one retain what one does not have?

The word here is Councilman Michael Russo is playing a long hand of poker. He's going to keep negotiating with both the Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano and Councilman Mike DeFusco campaigns right up until the deadline until someone accedes to his changing laundry list of desires. Or is it ransom demands? Or whatever his godmother former first ward councilwoman Terry Castellano says?

Councilman Michael Russo holds the option of waiting for the petition deadline on September 5th and may decide to get behind the best candidate available, himself.

The question in everyone's minds come September, will Michael Russo decide he's ready to launch? Russo may await to see who shows up at the City Clerk's Office on petition filing day. He could have hundreds of petitions ready to present at 3:55 pm right before closing time. Or not. There's no question he'll have all the intel he needs to make a decision either way right up to the 4:00 deadline.

See, he's just that good, or bad. Brutto cattivo!

Slate mates

We're heading to the end of July with 110 days to November's Election Day but most residents are more interested in the weather as real summer temperatures appear. The four major mayoral campaigns are jockeying to get up to speed naming council at-large slates.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla who hit the pavement hours after Mayor Zimmer's sudden withdrawal filled out his slate mate list last week. He has two new faces and is seeing lots of questions about who they are and what if anything they've done on local issues. Campaigns and candidates will make those answers known in due course.

Councilman Mike DeFusco has two of his three at-large council picks selected. His third is ready to launch and being it's a boys club currently, who will be shocked when the last pick is a woman? No one which tells you much about the identity requirements in the minds of politicos in town. If that clue isn't strong enough for you, yes, yes, it'll be a woman.

City Council President Jen Giattino is working to select her council picks after her recent entry into the mayoral sweepstakes. There will likely be news coming out of her campaign before month's end. So much to do and approaching 100 days before curtain time. Limber up tinker bell.

Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano who dove into the mayoral race like a fighter pilot on a kamikaze mission the moment Mayor Zimmer withdrew is sorting out his magical list of three. While there's rumors he is looking to get some fresh faces in the mix to appeal to the professional population of Hoboken voters, no one is saying who will make the grade. Some people question whether eight year councilman Dave Mello would be a possible option. If the other two at-large council choices are palatable and the agenda is deemed good by the two term council member, the answer here is yes.

Dreams of Horsey

I have a dream where boxer puppies and kittens, farm animals and humans can all join together in a spirit of unity and see this Hoboken non-partisan municipal election decided in a clean, fair and free election. I did say I had a dream, didn't I?

Then I woke up. This is Hoboken. Lock and load my friends and strap in because this is going to be one helluva ride.

Councilman Michael Russo was not available early this am for comment. If he responds to the inquiry on who is his horse this November; this horse will let you know. We're not expecting an answer any time soon. Check back after September 5th.

Sometimes your favorite horse is your own.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NHSA reports action on limited pipe leak

Hoboken NHSA Commissioner Kurt Gardiner submitted the following official statement from Executive Director Richard Wolf of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority on today's spill that has been remediated.

"At approximately 6:30 AM this morning, employees at the North Hudson Sewage Authority discovered a leaking pipe inside a building on the Authority's premises at 1600 Adams St. The pipe valve was immediately shut off, and a small amount, approximately one gallon, of parasitic acid (a commercial form of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide) leaked onto the building floor."

"The Hoboken Fire Department was immediately summoned to the site, and in turn requested the presence of the Jersey City Hazmat division of its Fire Department. The fire departments established a safety perimeter that included NHSA's building complex, a small portion of the light rail and the PSE&G substation.  No hazardous materials escaped the building either in liquid or vapor form. The fire departments determined that at no time were residents of either Hoboken or Weehawken in any danger from the small contained spill. "

"Using an abundance of caution and to ensure unfettered access to the site, the fire departments briefly requested an interruption in NJT Light Rail service. The fire departments safely disposed of material on the North Hudson site within the normal treatment process of the plant.  The fire departments have informed us that there was no threat to public health.  The spill was effectively and safely contained, managed and disposed, thanks to the rapid response of the Hoboken and Jersey City fire fighters."

Dana Wefer: 'Saying goodbye is such sweet sorrow'

The following is public comment by former Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Dana Wefer. She was instrumental in uncovering massive malfeasance in the HHA, seeking a national solution in a replacement and helping to turn around the agency after the hole left by an autocratic political despot with political ambition and power the focus.

Last Thursday was my final Hoboken Housing Authority meeting. For those of you who follow Hoboken politics, you're probably familiar with the very public battle I had with my former assemblyman and former Executive Director of the housing authority.

But that public battle was just three months of the three years I was chair. In August 2014, I was able to walk into the housing authority for the first time with actual authority. I got my first glimpse of the financial and physical state the Hoboken Housing Authority was in, and it was awful. The rebuilding that we have been working on for the past three years is the more interesting and more important aspect of my tenure there.

David Dening, who is now chair, and LaTrenda Ross, who is vice chair are the leadership team on the board, and I am 100% confident that they are the best the HHA could get. Marc Recko, the executive director, is kind, principled, transparent, dedicated to the preservation of public housing, experienced and capable.

Serving with my fellow board members, Councilman At-Large David Mello, Judith Lee Burrell, James Sanford, Jean Rodriguez, and Hovie Forman, has been an incredible experience. They have all demonstrated that they have the courage and principles to stand up and do the right thing, even when the easiest thing to do is to walk away. They encapsulate the word "public servant," and it's been a privilege to work alongside them. Jeannie and I started off on rough footing, but she was an essential part of the rebuilding and ensuring that the HHA got a permanent executive director who is experienced.

The HHA staff. There are people who I know prefer not to be in the spotlight, so I will not name them, but let me just say, they are the reason we have Mark. They were a support system to the board, and they have gone above and beyond at every turn. Thank you.

Finally, the residents, the reason the HHA exists. It has been so wonderful getting to know all of you. Your dedication to the HHA exemplifies what the word "community" means. The biggest healing that needed to be done was between the residents and the authority. The chasm that needed to be bridged was wide, but I think we did it. Knowing that the residents, hha board, and hha itself are all working towards the same goals of making the HHA safe, clean, and a decent place to live, allows cooperation to thrive.

In particular, Barbara Reyes, Sandra Smith, Michele Lessane, and Arlette Braxton, you come to every meeting, rain or shine, with ideas and a willingness to put in the work to bring them to fruition. I admire you and have been inspired by your dedication.

Serving as chair of the HHA for three years, leading it from extremely troubled and putting it on a path to success has been my greatest accomplishment in life, so far. The lessons I have learned are invaluable, and I intend to share them through video.

Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Talking Ed Note: A few words on Dana Wefer who made a major impact on this community in recent years. First, she has an essential positive spirit seeking cooperation with others to do good. She became active in Hoboken's Reform Movement before she passed the baton to her fellow board members to take their next steps together as she and her family are looking to a new home outside Hoboken tending to the needs of her growing family.

This Horse saw the woman in action, in crisis and she was battle tested in taking on a political fiefdom with the scourges of Hoboken aligned in support. She was always resolute in her objectives but it wasn't about her; she was trying to do what she felt was right for the residents. 

Dana would seek elected office in 2015 for Hoboken City Council but she stayed honorable in how she conducted the business of the people in the Hoboken Housing Authority. In the end, even there, she won over her most skeptical critics. 

Dana feels the biggest impact on the HHA in her tenure was having Marc Recko, identified in a nationwide search step in to become Executive Director and the removal of the HHA itself as a political pawn in Hoboken elections.This election season however will see the HHA targeted perhaps like never before. 

Today however, I wish to say how much I respect Dana's community service and my admiration in how she performed under such trying conditions. Her smile and lighthearted nature lights up any room. I wish her and her family the best and will miss her terribly. She's been one of the great people I've met in the almost eight years of reporting here at MSV.