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.