Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quality of Life Coalition: Council forum pt. 2

The Quality of Life Coalition presents part two of the Hoboken council forum for three at-large council seats up for election on November 7th.

Candidates appearing are Councilman at-large Dave Mello, Jim Aibel, Jason Ellis, Sal Starace, Councilman Jim Doyle, John Allen and Emily Jabbour.

Of all things campaign money, conflicts, and push poll lies

The following is MSV news and analysis on the released Hoboken campaign reports and other related campaign issues and represents the informed opinion of this farm animal gained in over a decade of observation and reporting on Hoboken politics.

Yesterday, the eagerly awaited campaign reports from the candidates became available and it was a whopper of revelations.

If anyone thinks the City of Hoboken ain't an innocent little cherub being pimped on the market to the highest bidder, let these numbers open your eyes from any willful naivete.

According to Hudson County View's late breaking news yesterday, Councilman Mike DeFusco's campaign haul to date is $338,057! His take for the quarter is $132,631.

Most of DeFusco's loot is coming from outside Hoboken. Are there that many people outside the Mile Square City enamored with "new ideas and new energy?" Who knew?

Councilman Mike DeFusco, Hoboken's new ideas and new energy moneybags?
Almost all of his campaign loot comes from outside Hoboken.
He's been lit up with a complaint he's violating Hoboken's anti-wheeling ordinance for over $70,000.

Not to be outgunned, Councilman Ravi Bhalla blew the doors off with an astounding campaign report showing campaign funds this cycle of $284,696. His campaign has been spending money at a fast clip and currently sits with a small available amount of $21,517. Time to get more fundraisers around NJ ramped up?

While a big chunk of Councilman Bhalla's haul comes from his national Sikh network, a significant amount comes from legal connections around the state of NJ. His report does show a number of Hoboken residents contributing too. For those of you reading this on the contribution list, expect another phone call to arrive any second now.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla seen here at his February fundraiser for Dawn Zimmer.
Or was that a warm up act for him stepping in for her in late June? 

City Council President Jen Giattino sports a very Reform-like campaign report totaling $136,201. This very Reform-like Goldilocks report is already being praised as "not too hot, not too cold; it's just right." Almost all of the Giattino's funding comes from the grass roots backing she's received from Hoboken residents.  

Giattino who got off the ground last of the four major campaigns with the sudden exit of Mayor Zimmer has almost 60K on hand. This is one efficient and economical campaign and dare we say it yes "Reform."  Vive Le Reform Resistance! Well done.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino's campaign report came in
showing almost all of her financial support is from
residents and supporters of the Hoboken Reform Movement.
Let's call it the Goldilocks report, not too hot, not too cold.
It's just right. 

Last on the campaign front, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano submitted an underwhelming campaign report of approximately 7K. He must be investing bigly contributing to his war chest as he's waged a very serious campaign with a steady diet of mailers and even TV commercials. Who's going to break this ELEC violation news to his running mates?

Conflicts, push polls lies and racism

Tonight is the last City Council meeting before the November 7th election. Suez is off the table and so is eminent domain until after the election. Politics is very much on the table.

What is on the table with three candidates for mayor on the dais? Expect Councilman Mike DeFusco to lob some bombs, City Council President to wield the gavel and manage the meeting with aplomb and Councilman Ravi Bhalla to appear nervous and quiet about as much as possible.

While the issue of Bhalla conflicts may arise, it won't be on Suez as he's recused himself from any such conversation. The big matter of NJ Transit is however a looming matter and it hasn't been broached to date. It's a big open sore for the next Hoboken mayor but even the slightest criticism of Ravi Bhalla sees lots of tears and crying. Facts are proclaimed as "going negative" even as the facts are not in dispute.

Whipping out the Big Lie

Some of the latest from those close and on the Bhalla campaign involved an alleged agreement between him and Jen Giattino. It's repeatedly said by Zimmer and Bhalla insiders that a "poll" would determine who was the strongest reform oriented candidate and the other candidate would agree to drop out.

It's a Big Lie and a very big tell one campaign is sweating profusely.

This canard is being wielded in recent days as the Bhalla Push Poll last weekend didn't fare too well for their candidate. There was no such agreement between Giattino and Bhalla. She agreed early in the campaign to the idea and offered to do so as long as Ravi Bhalla was subject to the same terms. Bhalla who held an indeterminable head start and the mayor's endorsement balked he should subject himself to same. End of the discussion of said phony "agreement."

Every single person who lodges this complaint, then and now is well aware Ravi Bhalla would not agree. Even though the Bhalla campaign has outspent Team Giattino by huge amounts, had a good head start and the establishment power behind him, the surging Team Giattino campaign makes it clear who the best candidate for Hoboken is.

Ravi Bhalla Push Poll escapes into the wild, damage control full throttle

The publication of the Grist column here yesterday has created something of an angry panic. MSV within days of the weekend poll published insider information on the results. Late yesterday, Sybil's Cave followed orders and put out misinformation as instructed pointing to Stick Romano being in the lead. This is simply damage control spinning in the hopes people don't continue flocking to Jen Giattino seeing her as not only the most viable but the best overall candidate to back. Is it too late after yesterday's exposure?

That depends on how far the information gets out. Are Hoboken residents sharing it and spreading the word to their friends, family and neighbors? The Bhalla campaign is hoping it doesn't. They will be working feverishly to keep a lid on it.

Dealing the Race Card

Unfortunately the ugly appearance of the race card is reverberating in low moans and divisive electioneering. While almost to a person, reform supporters voted for Councilman Bhalla twice including your host here, the taunts of "racist" are starting to move from murmur to shouting level. Funny, MSV recalls volunteering for the Bhalla for Assembly race in 2011 and doesn't remember seeing any of these voices out helping him.

Suffice to say, if you vote for who you feel the best candidate is for Hoboken mayor and it isn't the two term councilman, no, that doesn't make you a racist.

Unrelated: There's rumors circulating about the FBI being in Hoboken. While this is true, MSV policy has and will remain continue its longstanding policy not to interfere in an ACTIVE investigation. Someone blabbed to a cave dweller ruining everything.

Back in 2013, MSV exclusively reported the US Department of Justice was in Hoboken on Election Day.

As reported earlier this week, a flyer circulating in the Hoboken Housing Authority urges residents not to hand over their Vote-by-Mail to "unknown persons." It lists a number of people aligned with the Mike Defusco campaign including the toxic Carmelo Garcia. One may presume those listed may be "safe" to give VBM ballots.

Does no one in Hoboken know how to put a postage stamp on a ballot and mail it themselves? The funny truths and how they reveal themselves. OK, time to VBM outta here. T-minus three weeks.

Related: Just at publication time, a vote by Councilman Ravi Bhalla connected to NJ Transit in 2014 is alleged as another conflict as that entity is a client of Florio Perucci where Bhalla is a law partner.

The story appears on Hudson County View:

Correction: There is one more council meeting slated before the election on All Saints Day: November 1st.

Today's news analysis is dedicated to my friend catrina. 


Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the co-chair of the Jen Giattino campaign files complaint with Hoboken Corporation Counsel against Councilman Mike DeFusco alleging massive pay-to-play wheeling violations.

The Shiny Penny Mike DeFusco is shiny no more. The glimmer off the vestiges of Mike DeFusco running in 2015 on Mayor Zimmer's ticket as part of reform is officially DOA.

(There's no need to await a verdict on the upcoming Vote-by-Mail totals coming out of the Hoboken Housing Authority and senior buildings. That poop will be stinking up the place shortly.)

Is obliterating the Hoboken anti-wheeling ordinance, passed in 2011 as part of updating the City's pay-to-play ordinance the new energy and new ideas DeFusco touts?

Nothing says the end of your waning reform cred like breaking Hoboken's 2011 anti-wheeling. The ordinance was passed back in July 2011 after it had failed twice earlier when the council was controlled by Michael Russo and Beth Mason.

The anti-wheeling ordinance's passage came on July 1st, 2011 after the swearing-in earlier that day of a new councilwoman. Her name is Jen Giattino, the fifth and critical vote that day and for many days thereafter.

DeFusco yesterday on Hudson County View issued a weak and very tepid denial, along the lines of "nu-uh."

The DeFusco alleged violations total in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The release from Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher late yesterday uncorked on her former running mate in 2015.

Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Mike DeFusco Violates Hoboken’s Law on Political Contribution Limits – Receives $71,400 from PAC’s Since June

Hoboken Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher filed a complaint today with the Hoboken City Clerk and Corporation Counsel’s office citing that Councilman Michael DeFusco, who is currently running for mayor of Hoboken, has violated Hoboken’s local laws that limit Political Contributions from PAC’s and Committees to $500.  In her complaint, she points to the last three ELEC reports filed for his Mike DeFusco for Hoboken Mayor and Team DeFusco for Hoboken accounts, showing 15 separate contributions, several having donated more than once, aggregating $71,400.  The majority of the PAC’s listed are affiliated with labor unions.

“In Hoboken, we suffer from a long history of corruption and malfeasance in our elections and as such, I have been actively fighting for honest elections.  In 2011, this law was passed specifically to help minimize the role and influence of special interests in our elections and our local government.   The fact that a mayoral candidate has willingly violated these laws for his own advantage in this important election for Hoboken residents is shameful.  I have requested that the law be enforced, and that Councilman DeFusco’s campaigns be fined the maximum amount provided under the law which is $285,600.”  

For reference, the specific code is Chapter 20D:Political Contribution Limits -

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Karen Nason speaks out on the Suez water contract

Official release:

To all the Residents of Hoboken:

I am sending this video to let the public know of the deception by the City Council Members who have each pointed their finger at Dawn Zimmer, blaming her for deceiving the public by hiding the $8.2 million owed to Suez. It is my opinion that when I made an OPRA request for the Suez contract and was told that the City did not have a copy of any contract and then appeared on record before the Council and questioned the Council members as to why the City would not give me copy of the contract, their vague answers and looks to each other, except for Michael Russo, made it more than obvious to me that they all knew they were hiding something. Instead of being truthful and transparent, they are now grandstanding, blaming each other.

Please be sure the watch the debate sponsored by the "Hudson Reporter" on YouTube.

Thank you.

Karen Nason

Nason for Mayor. 
Service over ambition. 
Vote 1H.

Grist for the Mill Election Poll Stunner: Jen Giattino surges into tie with Ravi Bhalla!

UPDATE: This gristy special has blown the lid off the Hoboken mayoral race. Thanks to everyone who contributed to it. There's anger and desperate measures at spin control. Better late than never cave dwellers.

The open question standing: has Jen Giattino already taken the lead?

The exclusive grist from Tuesday morning:

With three weeks to Election Day, word on the street of the latest poll shows City Council President Jen Giattino in a statistical tie with mayoral rival Ravi Bhalla!

The most recent Hoboken mayoral poll shows both top candidates in the mid-20s. Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano is not far behind in third place but all three are within the margin of error as Mike DeFusco sits in the high teens.

The latest poll snapshot shows part of the motivation for the recent attacks focused on City Council President Jen Giattino. With a grass roots campaign, Giattino has managed to climb atop the mountain while being vastly outspent by her main rival Ravi Bhalla.

Additional indicators say Jen Giattino is the second choice of all three of her main rivals.

City Council President Jen Giattino flanked by Dana Wefer and Moran's owner
Lenny Hehir last summer at her fundraiser.

The Giattino surge as reported in recent weeks is peaking as all the campaigns pour their efforts into overdrive. Whispers have begun to question the withdrawal of Mayor Zimmer in late June and if the plan was hatched too soon to switch Councilman Ravi Bhalla in and shut down stronger alternatives.

Last February, Ravi Bhalla headlined a fundraiser with the mayor uptown and observers wonder if the plan to insert him after Mayor Zimmer's stunning withdrawal was hatched months earlier back then.

Some political observers believe the plan to forestall a bid by City Council President Jen Giattino has gone awry at the worst possible time. "It's notable that Jen's campaign is the target of so much hysteria with three weeks to go," one keen Hoboken insider offered.

Related: Campaign reports are out. Ravi Bhalla at $284K! Back up the brinks truck.

Readers here were informed of the Ravi Bhalla campaign poll taken last Friday. An effort to counter this morning's MSV grist column today with vague pronouncements showing zip is further evidence of which candidate is on the rise and who is tanking. Nuff said.

Monday, October 16, 2017



For some time, no one wanted word to get out. Rumors were circulating that the notorious and noxious Carmelo Garcia was backing Mike DeFusco for mayor and he was fundraising for the cause in parts south in the vicinity of Newark.

Earlier, this flyer was discovered in a building of the Hoboken Housing Authority:

As seen on this flyer discovered in a HHA building, Carmelo Garcia is in fact
listed as proudly backing Mike DeFusco for mayor.

The flyer urges people not to hand in their Vote-by-Mail to "anyone you don't know." Vote-by-Mails are usually signed and mailed by the recipient. But with the list of known VBM recipients in the HHA and senior buildings public information, a war is brewing for who will "handle" the ballots.

It reeks of a whole lot of poopy. 

This doesn't even begin to see opened the can of worms for voters across Hoboken. The flyer is strong evidence by it's discovery in the HHA strongly suggests Carmelo Garcia who is currently suing both the HHA and the City of Hoboken for seeing his contact terminated supports Mike DeFusco.

Carmelo Garcia (r) tries to work his way over to Mike DeFusco at his fundraiser last February.
He's seen on a flyer backing Mike DeFusco for mayor. 

Talking Ed Note: The Romano campaign was not immediately available for comment about the flyer on their main rival and the Mike DeFusco campaign has not responded to inquiries to date. 

Sign of the Times: Setup!

What smells worse than a three day old fish left out on the street?
Well, a sign planted on a mailbox on the corner of your block with your surging campaign rival.

How did it get there?

Why is a Jen Giattino campaign sign on a mailbox on the corner
where Ravi Bhalla lives when there's two campaign signs of hers
right in the background of the store visible on the corner?
Can you say setup?

The store in the background is sporting not one but two Jen Giattino signs for mayor in the window. So what would be the motivation to add a third so close and illegally on a mailbox no less? It makes zero sense.

The Giattino campaign denies any involvement in the stupidity. Whoever planted the sign to score points is apparently unaware City Council President Jen Giattino pushed to keep all flyers off cars and telephone polls illegal posted in Hoboken. She even arranged for a cleanup on the same issue with volunteers back in 2011. 

The store seen in the above photo has one Ravi Bhalla sign and
count'em two for Jen Giattino for mayor. Someone didn't think through their
setup for a hit against the Jen Giattino campaign. 

Even the Old Guard isn't known for putting campaign signs on mailboxes. Guess who's pushing this obvious canard? Who else is doing an updated low brow edition of Hoboken411? Yes, it's the frick and frack of anything goes blogging.

Spreading this easily see through propaganda is exactly the type of Hoboken411 fare we'd see in years past but now it's a Sybil's Cave staple. What you won't see there is an apology for the sexist demeaning attacks on Jen Giattino and by extension her family last week for inserting her "appearing" on the "dating game."

It's a shame but that's how desperate they are. Let's call this latest obvious hit job what it is: #FAIL!

The original August 2011 MSV story where Jen Giattino worked with volunteers to clean up flagrant flyers from the streets at the jump.

Mailer frenzy, sexism and a Bhalla sanctuary city "welcome" with three weeks to Election Day

Hoboken election season enters the final three weeks as clashes between the mayoral candidates come to the fore. Over the weekend, word of some of those clashes from the unreleased Hudson Reporter mayoral forum began trickling out. The forum video usually arrives near the end of election season.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla seen in this photo last June when Hoboken Mayor
Dawn Zimmer announced she would not seek re-election.
Bhalla reportedly said he'd seek to "codify" a form of sanctuary city
status in Hoboken, contrary to federal law and the oath of office. 

A story over the weekend pointed to issues amid the clashes during the forum. One touched on the national issue of illegal immigration and a "sanctuary city," what other Americans call outlaw cities. Federal immigration departments and its law enforcement arm often reach out to local law enforcement and ask for a hold on those being held for alleged crimes who may not be in the country legally. In some locales, the cooperation is nullified by local officials who have decided not to cooperate with the federal government. Last year, this became a national election issue as Americans expressed outrage at the mayhem and murder their families suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants often released back into the community. Municipalities who ignore federal law may lose federal funding as a result.

At the mayoral forum last week, Councilman Ravi Bhalla who has been referred to as a national candidate with ambitions for higher office is quoted seeking to "codify" how to "help protect immigrants in town." No one of course believes this has anything to do with legal immigrants; Hoboken's not exactly known for its inviting housing costs.

What Ravi Bhalla would seek to "codify" is at the moment uncertain but it has nothing to do with any legal immigrant in Hoboken. Coming on the back of the divisive rhetoric where the Bhalla campaign pointedly avoided condemning all involved in political violence at Charlottesville last summer may further raise eyebrows and make some Hoboken voters uncomfortable. With six mayoral candidates and four major mayoral campaigns, the Bhalla campaign however clearly believes it can successfully use divisive rhetoric to advantage. Only 30% or less of the mayoral vote may be all that's needed to win the chair at City Hall with four competitive mayoral campaigns.

Mailer frenzy with three weeks to Election Day

Hoboken residents have seen a blitz of campaign mailers this election season and the pace has only picked up in recent weeks. Councilman Ravi Bhalla sent out another four page color mailer and leads the race with at least three similar variations among others. Those expenditures run well into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Team Romano has staked out a group mailer theme for its council slate in recent weeks while also taking out TV ads during Yankee baseball playoff games. The campaign created two looking to appeal to Hoboken voters next month. 

City Council President Jen Giattino sent mailers, one on Quality of Life and a recent Quality of Life video at Elysian Park uptown. The mailer pointed out numerous street lights that are out and the video at Elysian showed numerous craters on the children's playground. Wouldn't you know it, the lights were all replaced and the holes in Elysian are now all filled. Residents want to know if they should write thank you notes to City Hall, the Council President or is it vice versa?

The DeFusco campaign released its latest mailer last week pointing at Ravi Bhalla and his conflicts as a partner at the law firm Florio Perucci. This one says potential conflicts of Ravi Bhalla could cost Hoboken taxpayers millions related to the Suez water liability of $8.35 million.

Hoboken residents can rest easy knowing those and other conflicts like NJ Transit magically disappear like a Festivus miracle if Bhalla wins the mayor's seat. A resignation from the law firm would erase the conflict on the city council and make everyday in Hoboken a Festivus celebration.

All of this campaign activity will come to a pause at least for residents' mailboxes when the mayoral candidates line up for their forum this Thursday at the Stevens DeBaun Auditorium. 

Tonight, it's part two of the council forum. Councilman Dave Mello managed to swap places with Buddy Matthews. It should add heaps of fun to the proceedings at the Multi Service Center. 

Sexism surfaces against City Council President Jen Giattino on Sybil's Cave blog

The personal attacks heightened by the fanatical support of the Ravi Bhalla campaign at Sybil's Cave took another ugly spiral down the gutter last week. While the news value there approaches nil this election cycle, the depths of attacks waged against Reform supporters and officials including City Council President Jen Giattino has risen to the level of outright sexism.

Last week, it was suggested this MSV editor had romantic designs on the candidate who is married with a family. One graphic offered a "dating game" between the two. Commenters at Sybil's Cave who are backers, underwriters and work on the Bhalla campaign followed with levels of vitriol not ever seen on Hoboken411. 

Denigrating Jen Giattino, the full time political operation at the Sybil's Cave blog on behalf of the Ravi Bhalla campaign took yet another ugly turn last week. The inherent sexism against Jen Giattino is unfortunate.
That's how Nancy and the Bhalla campaign crew roll in Sybil's Cave. 

In more than eight years, MSV has taken on more than a few big stories publishing numerous exclusives. In that time, the Old Guard pulled stunts and tried to burden this editor with fabricated legal claims of both the civil and criminal variety with criminal assaults and threats of more thrown in for good measure. In all that time, there never was any allegation MSV coverage is due to romantic designs on Mayor Zimmer who is also married with a family. 

To mock the accurate report on the announcement of City Council President Jen Giattino's mayoral launch is an obvious attempt to besmirch her mayoral campaign in cheap sexist terms. Nancy Pincus, formerly a reform supporter, wasn't there and didn't see the thunderous ovation for Giattino as she arrived. She doesn't attend any Hoboken campaign events other than for Ravi Bhalla. The Bhalla campaign feeds her information to use against its campaign opponents. Is this sexism also acceptable?

Both Jen Giattino and her family deserve an apology. We'll see if Nancy can manage one. 

Related: This political website has no connection to the blogs Grafix Avenger and Hoboken411. MSV is continuing its news affiliated relationship with the Hudson County View.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Council candidates - Round 1

Here is the complete council forum on October 12th from the first seven of 14 council candidates for three at-large seats.

The candidates are: Joshua Einstein, Vanessa Falco, Michael Flett, Laini Hammond, Andrew Impastato, Charles “Buddy” Matthews, and Angelo Valente. 

The video comes courtesy of the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition and was recorded at the Mile Square Theatre with videography services provided by Catherine Stratton of Stratton Films and audio services provided by the AV Club of Stevens Institute of Technology. The moderator was Bob Bowdon.

Talking Ed Note: MSV will reserve comment until the second forum is broadcast and the public has a chance to view it.  The second council forum is on Monday night, 7:00 pm at the Multi-Service Center.  MSV will publish the complete second council forum when it becomes available.

Tennessee Williams this weekend at Mile Square Theatre for Hurricane Relief

Friday, October 13, 2017

Washington St. reconstruction debacle an election issue?

One keen observer followed another earlier this week saying the work on Washington Street, already far beyond the original scheduled completion date next month had been halted. Another followed saying the disruption from the work had created a storm of complaints from residents and was being halted prior to Election Day on November 7th as City Hall continues efforts to help Councilman Ravi Bhalla get elected mayor.

Not expecting an answer from the elected officials directly connected, it seemed overly speculative. Then this announcement arrived from City Hall yesterday announcing the suspension of Washington St. reconstruction due to a safety incident with a pedestrian.

The issue of blow back around people angry with trees being removed for corner bump outs is addressed with the cooperation of an appointee who is suddenly aligned with the establishment powers too. Fascinating.

A sign posted on Washington St. urges phone calls to Mayor Zimmer and council members protesting the removal of  22 trees on Washington street.

Official release, Office of the Mayor:


On Tuesday, September 26th, the City of Hoboken suspended the Washington Street Rehabilitation and Redesign Project over safety concerns after a traffic signal pole was knocked over by the contractor, Underground Utilities Corporation. The pole struck a pedestrian standing inside the construction zone, although fortunately there were no serious injuries. In light of the accident, the City felt it necessary to perform a comprehensive safety review of the project.

The City and the Police Department concluded their reviews last week and have since held multiple meetings with the contractor. It is the goal of all parties to have zero safety incidents for the remainder of the project. The contractor is in the process of finalizing their traffic control plan, obtaining the necessary traffic and pedestrian control devices, and updating their Health and Safety Plan, all of which are required before the City will allow the project to resume. It is the City’s hope that the contractor will resume work early next week.

The City is working hard to keep all those driving and walking along Washington Street safe, and we ask for everyone’s help. As the project resumes, we ask that all drivers and pedestrians along Washington Street remain attentive to signs and the direction of Police Officers. Only cross the street at crosswalks, do not distract construction workers or Police Officers, and never enter a work zone. Safety is a team effort, and the City appreciates everyone’s patience and cooperation on this important infrastructure project.

Tree Update
The City has also worked during recent weeks to review plans to remove certain trees as called for in the Washington Street plan. The Shade Tree Commission evaluated all of the trees planned for removal and identified 9 mature, healthy trees that should be saved and not removed. The Shade Tree Commission also approved the removal of other trees that are dead, hazardous, or that are very young, vulnerable trees that have been under stress and therefore will be unable to reach full maturity as healthy trees. All trees to be removed as part of the project will be replaced with new trees. Shade Tree Commission Chairwoman Diana Davis was joined by dozens of residents to walk and inspect the trees along Washington Street during every weekend in August. Based on the recommendations from the Shade Tree Commission, the project engineer, T&M Associates, was able to redesign the drainage at those locations to save the 9 trees. The City thanks Diana Davis and the Shade Tree Commission for their work to identify those trees that should be saved. In addition to preserving the identified trees and replacing the trees that will be removed, the City is committed to planting 50 additional trees along Washington Street in coordination with the project.

Sign of the Times: Council forum round one

Last night was the first of two council forums with 14 candidates overall. Three of the 14 will be elected to council at large on November 7th.

The event at Mile Square Theater was hosted by the Quality of Life Coalition. A recording of the proceedings will be aired soon.

Council candidates (from left): Joshua Einstein, Vanessa Falco, Michael Flett, Lainni Hammond, Anthony Impastato,
Buddy Matthews and Angelo Valente.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Campaign Dollar Madness

Any day now campaign reports showing the expenditures and contributions of local campaigns are about to become public.

It's a feature of NJ law where campaigns file those reports as part of normal public disclosure.

When they do, an orgasm of expenditures will be revealed. For the independent candidates, much of their time and energy will be reflected in personal, family and friends' efforts.

Campaign reports will be made public showing where each of the four major
mayoral campaigns obtain financial support. It will be if anything eye-opening.

For the four major campaigns, it will be an insight into Hoboken's sovereignty. While all will likely show six figures or better in various contributions, some will show a more local flavor where Hoboken residents drive the bottom line. This has been in recent years one staple of the Reform movement.

How will the numbers shape up? Expect Councilman Mike DeFusco to show big numbers and the vast majority of his money coming in from outside Hoboken. Think of him as the adopted candidate of North Bergen and Uncle Nick Sacco. Will there be a repetition of individuals across the United States who are obsessed with making four figure donations to a Hoboken campaign?

Councilman Ravi Bhalla has a national network of Sikhs who contribute to his campaign. Ironically they  are far more conservative than his stance on issues. Their support to raise their profile and identity often confused by the public with being Muslims is a major issue for the small religious group. How will those numbers compare to the lawyers in the region who have been making regular collections from Newark? Call this one a tossup.

Freeholder Anthony Romano came into the race late when Dawn Zimmer bailed on re-election in late June. It put him into a box as DeFusco scooped up Old Guard loot and support after Romano spent his campaign funds on a minor opponent.  The Hudson County spending spree was blocked by State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack who said "none shall pass." None have. Romano has been making major expenditures in mailers and recently featured not one but two commercials on TV for Yankee games. He's going to surprise more than a few as he digs deep into his own wallet to show he's serious about his mayoral run.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino learned of her accidental candidacy after a full week of community feedback before she pulled the trigger in late June. It's been a campaign ramping up to tap into the community for support in time, energy and cash. She'll probably shock some of her rivals as she will join them with a report into the six figures. Unlike some of her competitors, the vast majority of her support will come from within Hoboken.

Of course how this all translates into votes on Election Day is an entirely different matter.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hoboken Proud meet and greet tomorrow night

Official release:

Fire in the hole! Hoboken Fireman slams Ravi Bhalla over his integrity assaulted

The president of the Hoboken Fire Officers Michael Stefano appeared in public portion at the last City Council meeting to share his objections to what he called an attack on his integrity.

His criticism was directed at Councilman Ravi Bhalla who he felt had disrespected him at an earlier meeting. Stefano says the population in Hoboken has grown from 38,000 and there's a safety need for more manpower in the Hoboken Fire Department. The current population is estimated over 55,000.

Stefano said that after leaving an earlier meeting where he expressed the need for more manpower, Councilman Ravi Bhalla denigrated his remarks by saying, "You're suppose to believe him?"

Stefano remarked he deserved better after his decade plus service as a Hoboken fireman.

Here's the unedited video with Stefano blasting Ravi Bhalla.

Talking Ed Note: Comment from the Bhalla campaign is requested. We'll see if they offer a response.
The Bhalla campaign offered "no comment" to this story.

Stick on the stump

Here is a video of last night's Romano for mayor event. Pablo Fonseca who is the campaign manager makes the introduction and urges their supporters to push hard over the remaining weeks to victory.

Freeholder Anthony Romano talks about the importance of his team and the long hours and sacrifice they are making. "We have a chance to grab the brass ring" adding we have to get to the finish line.

Councilman Dave Mello talked about his 20 years in Hoboken and how a divide in town has been distressing but Romano "brings people together.

Former Hoboken baseball coach Buddy Matthews says he is accustomed to winning and expects to win this election.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Team Giattino: Nothing but net

Yesterday's MSV Monday scorcher on the recent poll confirming the Jen Giattino surge created an earthquake here and across the Mile Square City.

With the hotly contested Hoboken election entering the backstretch, all the Bhalla campaign narratives about Jen Giattino's  insurgent grass roots campaign have come to a screeching halt. It's sent the cave dwellers into much gnashing of teeth as they realize all the effort over months to squash the Reform Resistance has failed.

Execution is the name of the game here on out for all four of the major mayoral campaigns. With less than a month to go and all four mayoral candidates within range, the flurry to the finish promises to be like no living Hobokenite has witnessed here in a mayoral race.

With the high stakes in play, it pays to keep a calm head and an eye on the target. Unfortunately for some, that's anything but the issues that matter to voters heading to the polls next month.

When the game winds down, you want to make sure the ball is in the right hands seeing nothing but net.

Traffic continues to increase as the Hoboken public becomes more engaged. It may double before Election Day arrives. Start the countdown.

Council candidate Angelo Valente Outlines Plan for Permanent Cultural and Recreational Facilities

Official release:

Angelo Valente, Independent Candidate for the Hoboken Council at Large, released this week, the third of a series of campaign videos outlining the Valente for Hoboken common sense campaign platform. The video released at ValenteForHoboken.Com outlines Valente's plan for permanent cultural and recreational faculties in the city. 

“For many years we have had the untapped and underutilized resources to implement my common sense plan for creating permanent cultural and recreational faculties.  My plan uses the rooftops of municipal garages, the long dormant former YMCA and the existing Multi-Service Center to build a new senior center, and new recreational and cultural facilities for Hoboken residents of all ages,” explained Valente. 

Additional details on Valente's entire platform are available on

Monday, October 9, 2017

SEPTEMBER POLL SHOCKER: Jen Giattino and the Reform Resistance surge atop the field

Since Mayor Zimmer stepped away from her re-election bid last June, efforts to see her anointed successor Councilman Ravi Bhalla propelled into Hoboken City Hall has been nonstop.

Despite her endorsement and well-funded coffers, the Bhalla campaign may be running aground against his main rival, City Council President Jen Giattino who is surging at just the right time with less than a month before Election Day.

Back in June, Dawn Zimmer admitted she had consulted none of her council allies nor others in Reform, (not to mention politicos near and far who had endorsed her in April) but her decision to select her council whip Ravi Bhalla was thought by the backroom dealers the end of the road for any serious challenge from within the Reform Movement.

Democratic Committee Sergeant at-Arms Kurt Gardiner
and his favorite mayoral candidate Jen Giattino.
If you were a Reform backer over years, supported the mayor for most of her administration the fait accompli was - a fait accompli. You could almost hear the snickering, "Where do they have to go?"

Immediately after the June 20th press conference, the rumblings began. Reform backers, council allies and long time mayoral supporters were stunned with the news. Surprise soon turned to anger. When did Hoboken become subject again to HudCo backroom deals on who will hold elected office representing them? When did Reform?

A draft movement began and MSV reported Reform aligned council members were weighing a different movement candidate. Those voices galvanized almost immediately around one name: City Council President Jen Giattino.

That report generated more than a few phone calls at The Stable with callers coaxing, pleading and yelling. MSV stood by the accuracy of the report. A zombie apocalypse erupted to eat Reform stalwarts, old and new - and put the insurrection down.

It failed. So the Reform Resistance was born.

A week after consulting family, friends and Reform activists old and new, City Council President Jen Giattino would open the door above the steps of the Bloomfield St. home of Ruthy Tyroler, former BoE trustee to a crowd of 75 people and announce her run for Hoboken mayor. Then the applause started. It kept going as Giattino stood with a Mona Lisa smile acknowledging the warm reception. Then the outpouring of applause continued for another full minute. More than a few had to choke back tears.  In over eight years of covering Hoboken government, there's been nothing seen as this. There's reasons Jen Giattino is respected most by her council allies and Hoboken residents.

That should tell you why in part the Zimmer acolytes don't want to see Jen Giattino defeat her desired successor. As long time Reform voice and Sargent at-arms of the Hoboken Democratic Committee Kurt Gardiner put it, "The mayor has had successes in her two terms but they're afraid Jen will eclipse her. It's their worst fear and they're right, she will. Reform needs a reboot and Jen Giattino is the answer. Why have canned Ravi reform when you can have Jen Giattino's fresh direct reform reboot?"

The Reform Resistance, get some.
No, not you zombies.
The latest weekend phone poll pushing Ravi Bhalla will within days become online fodder in short order. None of the poll's internals will be released. Public assurances will be made Ravi Bhalla is in the lead and his fresh direct reform rival has no chance. It will be declared a certainty.

There's a 28 day make or break push by each of the four major mayoral campaigns and public debates before Election Day. A significant number of Hoboken voters are undecided. This is true for voters within and outside the Reform movement.  Some senior political observers place that overall undecided municipal voter figure as high as 30%. How those votes break, likely near November 7th will decide the ultimate outcome.

In Hoboken, no sizable independent poll of any merit will be made available to the public. So there will be zero examination of any internals or demographics across town. The recent Hoboken poll deemed professional here last month was made available on a limited basis by a reliable source. That recent poll reportedly showed Jen Giattino and Ravi Bhalla atop the field in a statistical tie with other candidates DeFusco and Romano closely trailing. The Jen Giattino surge is real.

This Hoboken mayoral election is far from over and with 29 days to go, it's anyone's race. Don't even try to calculate the 14 council candidates in the mix for three at-large council seats. It's neigh impossible. Beware the wailing of Hoboken Antifa and the zombie big lie coming no doubt in rapid order.

Jen Giattino and the Reform Resistance are surging! #Resist.

Related: The June MSV exclusive story: "Sources: Reform Council members looking at Hoboken City Council President Jen Giattino mayoral bid."

The MSV exclusive of course proved 100% correct, zombies not included.

It's Columbus Day

Hoboken is celebrating today!


Happy Columbus Day

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bringing Tennessee Williams to Hoboken

Official release:

I am Karen Nason and this release is to you to let you know about the Theatre piece I am producing at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken NJ.  This year marks the centennial year of Tennessee Williams and I will bring from HB studios in NYC "Merciful Delusions"  a Four Act Play of Tennessee 's work.  

The performances are Friday, Saturday 6pm wine, food and start 7 PM show.  Sunday Matinee 2PM Desserts and Coffee included as well.  I was originally doing this as a great fundraiser for my run, but have decided with all the hurricanes and the tragedy of the country, 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to charity  Tickets are suggested $40.00 but I will be giving away many tickets for others who may not be able to afford.  

Please go on for tickets or if you are an organization that would like for elderly, theatre programs, vets, or ANY organization that would love to participate, please contact me at

Arts and Culture a wonderful evening and a wonderful theatre!

Thank you
Karen Nason

Friday, October 6, 2017

Grist for the Mill: Man your phones and beware of the scumbags



Once again the word on the street suggests there's a new telephone poll begun today. It'll likely run through this weekend so prepare to be asked questions on the Hoboken mayoral election.

(See the update below for the MSV Exclusive questions in the poll.)

According to one reliable source, this telephone poll doesn't originate from the Romano or Bhalla campaign. The DeFusco campaign ran one recently and no one knows what the Giattino campaign is up to as they were privy to another recent poll.

So basically, this is a poll there's not much details available on to this point entering the weekend. One reader who got the poll described it this way. "I got a push poll that had slanted questions attacking Bhalla, DeFusco, Giattino and Romano." Who's left? "No one, it was equal parts negative questions on all of them," was the answer. (Not what's going on now from other Hoboken residents. It's a push poll for Ravi "saving the hospital" again!)

Enter the bizzaro election world Hoboken. Hang on, there's more. Things are getting testy as this weekend will pass the 30 day mark on to November 7th, Election Day. The word on the street is there is an APB for the Horse's head, on a stick if possible. Even though Councilman Ravi Bhalla has been hardly grazed, all manners of ugliness are springing up with vicious personal attacks unseen in the worst days of Hoboken411 over on Sybil's Cave.

If you supported most the mayor's initiatives for the past eight years does that mean you can't decide for yourself who is the best candidate for Hoboken in 2017? Wheely?

Some less than stellar people are falling all over themselves trying to dirty up Team Giattino. Anyone and everyone who believes City Council President Jen Giattino is not only the most trusted, on and off the Hoboken City Council but the best candidate dedicated to Hoboken and able to tackle the issues in the coming years is targeted for the most vile personal attacks.

Sybil's Cave, only the most foul and unclean evil may enter. The worst bile since Hoboken411 and then some.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla touts his campaign as being issue based but most of the mudslinging is coming from his fanatical unofficial online HQ at Sybil's Cave. They feed the fuel and dump information there fast and more furious than the gunrunning to Mexico of the same name. There's all manner of whining, crying and foaming that Ravi Bhalla should be the de facto mayor come November. Deviation means you are any number of ugly things or tagged with the crimson letter: racist.

Divorcing himself from all that ugliness is going to get harder as people become more and more turned off by the Bhalla campaign's cynical proclamations of national candidacy victimhood while dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck ala Al Sharpton. The vile personal attacks by cowards in the comments section exceeds the worst ever seen on Hoboken411.

Hobokenites who supported most of the initiatives in the past eight years of Mayor Zimmer apparently implies some sort of lifetime servitude. You are bound by some sort of "loyalty" and religious obedience code. As if.

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher who also serves as the Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee is being targeted as is City Council President Jen Giattino herself. Even as Mayor Zimmer did not testify for MSV in 2015 in the frivolous litigation trial, one coward says she did. Other lies reportedly claim some veiled extortion on the mayor's family. What lying cowardly scumbags! No wonder a zombie couldn't look a Horse in the eye only last month. Are you responsible for spreading this?

At the end of the SLAPP-suit trial, Mayor Zimmer was available to testify for the one person who might have seen any issue reach the jury. Let's say it wasn't either of the male defendants and leave it there. If any coward finds his balls, this Horse is available here and they know how to reach me. Let's meet up. Soon. Cuz I would love it!

If anything, there's been next to no public discussion during this campaign on Ravi Bhalla's conflicts with Suez Water and NJ Transit not to mention the First Amendment lawsuits with his ejections of two Hoboken residents during a live council meeting in 2015. One lawsuit is already paid out for over $50,000 as reported earlier this year and the other will likely cost Hoboken much more, not counting legal fees. Who made that call?

It's one thing to be a cowardly crybaby; but to be a total lying scumbag on top of it? When might the Bhalla campaign put an end to it? Well, why should they? Sybil's Cave is the next best thing to hosting your own chapter of Hoboken Antifa. Oh yeah, the Bhalla campaign wouldn't condemn Antifa's political violence either last summer. Something about "standing up" to bigotry.

How much lower will they go? 32 days.

Update: Readers submit the questions in the weekend to MSV (at the jump).

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.

Quality of Life candidate forums

Official release:

Save the dates – October 12, 16, 19 and 25 – for the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition’s 2017 Candidates Forums 

Civic Group to Host Series of 2017 Candidates Forums for the Nov. 7 Elections for At-Large City Council Seats, Board of Education and Mayoralty

Hoboken, NJ – October 4, 2017 – The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition is pleased to announce the dates and locations for its 2017 Hoboken candidates forums for the Nov. 7 elections. These forums give Hoboken voters a chance to hear candidates for office answer the questions they care most about in an even-handed and direct format. 
  • The 14 City Council at Large candidates have been randomly sorted* (see details below) into two groups of seven to meet in two forums, on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Mile Square Theater, 1400 Clinton St., and Monday, Oct. 16, at the Hoboken Multiservice Center, 124 Grand St.
  • The seven Board of Education candidates are scheduled to meet on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the School Hall of the Church of Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph, at 422 Willow Ave.
  • The Mayoral candidates forum will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Stevens Institute of Technology’s DeBaun Auditorium, co-hosted by the Stevens Institute of Technology and its Student Government Association. 

Each forum begins at 7 pm and lasts about 2 hours, with a brief intermission.
This year’s candidates forums will follow the established format that the Hoboken QLC has maintained for over a decade, with questions submitted on index cards by members of the audience and posed to each of the candidates in turn by moderator Bob Bowdon, a professional interviewer and longtime resident of Hoboken. Each candidate will have a minute and a half to respond, and the order of response will be randomized each round. John Heinis, Chief News Correspondent at, will moderate the Board of Education forum Oct. 19.

This format has consistently presented a lively exchange of policy ideas, opinions and comments on issues that the voters themselves consider the most important. The QLC is grateful for the support of Mile Square Theater, the City of Hoboken’s Multiservice Center, the Parish of Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph, and Stevens Institute of Technology and its Student Government Association, along with many volunteers who will help to run these events.

*Sorting Out the City Council Candidates
Due to the large number of candidates for the three open at-large City Council seats, the QLC used a software program to randomly assign the 14 into two groups of seven on different nights. A video of the sorting process is posted on the QLC Facebook page. The candidates assigned to October 12 are Hammond, Einstein, Flett, Falco, Impastato, Mello, and Valente. The candidates assigned to October 16 are Matthews, Starace, Aibel, Ellis, Jabbour, Allen, and Doyle.

About the QLC
The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition (QLC) is an all-volunteer organization concerned about the air, earth and water, about the density of development, the need for open space, the lack of parking, the flooding, and the host of difficulties that militate against a good and healthy living environment in this densely populated urban city. Since 2000, we have been actively advocating for these causes. The QLC was designated as a 501c3 organization by the IRS in 2000, and all contributions to the QLC are tax deductible.

Horse Sense Redux: Blowback!

The following MSV Horse Sense editorial was published on September 29th. It's being reposted with an updated entry atop for an end of week close. It's that good.

Note the line: "Two council votes will be available to the mayor: Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle. After that it's dicey. There's not likely to be much enthusiasm to undertake such a radical action without serious efforts to negotiate first with the owners."

Despite the foolish attack relayed from Sybil's Cave and the repeated whining by the lead resident of the institution how could MSV know Councilman Bhalla would be backing the administration's call for immediate eminent domain action on the Union Dry Dock, MSV was proven 100% correct.

Ravi Bhalla along with Jim Doyle's name showed sponsoring the ordinance for eminent domain to seize the property. Doyle is widely known for his lack of interest previous to making such a costly move on the privately held business.

What changed? There's this thing called an election.

Councilman Mike DeFusco who came out blasting the mayor over the sudden call for eminent domain flipped on a dime and changed to an initial "yes" vote on first reading. He'll have a full month with others to consider the second reading and the binding vote.

Any view of the Wednesday council meeting on the subject will allow the viewer to hear City Council President Jen Giattino state her interest in learning more about Union Dry Dock and how the business may be relocated first. Unlike lame duck Mayor Zimmer, the council president has some "consensus" pull with her colleagues.

First reading is not a done deal and there's a month before the issue of eminent domain will be fully considered but not until after the election. The climate will be different then, markedly different.

The Hoboken public's reaction to the immediate news with nothing short of blowback. Claiming otherwise is simply the spin of the Bonkers for Bhalla Brigade who saw a political operation disrupted and decimated leaving them feeling frothy, foaming and triggered. Wot a shame.

See the City of Hoboken Facebook link below for more and the numbers clicking "like" tearing the sudden land grab request apart. Here's some of the top comments on the Hoboken Facebook page:

Some of the blowback from Hoboken residents to the sudden call to seize Union Dry Dock by eminent domain.
Note the number of likes to the residents' anger.
More Hoboken resident anger about the failures to address the pressing business of Hoboken with the political move to seize Union Dry Dock before an election by a lame duck mayor. Don't call it blowback? Then what?

Any who dares to venture in Sybil's Cave, ask when the prediction of Beth Mason running for mayor is going to happen? How'd that work out again? If you want spin and whining of the crybaby liars head over to the dank, dark cave where the anonymous cowards there spin all kinds of lies in legal sounding twisted advocacy for Ravi Bhalla's candidacy. It ain't pretty. Entitlement attitudes for political power never are. It's too bad for them we actually have this thing called elections.

Sybil's Cave main dung thrower.
Looking good Nancy but maybe try a new workout routine.

Horse Sense: Blowback!  - originally published September 29, 2017

Mayor Zimmer's late bid at the end of her term to eminent domain the Union Dry Dock isn't getting a great reception.

Angry residents have sprung up on the City of Hoboken Facebook page with some threatening to show up at the City Council meeting and speak against a vote for the land acquisition applying the ultimate in government power over an individual business.

Two council votes will be available to the mayor: Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle. After that it's dicey. There's not likely to be much enthusiasm to undertake such a radical action without serious efforts to negotiate first with the owners.

Mayor Zimmer speaking at the City Council on the Suez water matter. Her latest attempt to launch a bid to eminent domain Union Dry Dock on the waterfront as her term expires has all the earmarks of a political power grab.

While the memo from the City mentioned some vague effort at discussions and the unsubstantiated need to move "expeditiously," others say there hasn't been any real negotiation effort at all. Councilman Mike DeFusco mentioned as much in a strongly worded rebuke yesterday. Several or more council members will see this as both a last gasp power grab by the administration and a very political bid nullifying their support.

Others point to the City Council's repeated efforts to have a meeting on the North End to discuss the Union Dry Dock. Meetings have repeatedly been set and then cancelled by the mayor's Administration. The sudden urge to approve eminent domain has all the worst features of politics being combined with the most radical government tool at hand. The public is rightly aghast.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ravi Bhalla: Eminent domain of Union Dry Dock is "urgent"

The following story comes courtesy of the Hudson County View:

The Hoboken City Council approved the 1st reading of an ordinance that would allow the city to acquire the Union Dry Dock property through eminent domain, though the catch is that the second reading won’t occur until after the municipal elections. 
While this was the first reading of the ordinance, which typically has no discussion from the public or the council, Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, a mayoral candidate, expressed his opinion that this was an urgent matter and therefore would be against pushing it until after the November 7th municipal elections.

For the complete story, please see the Hudson County View.

Talking Ed Note: While Councilman Ravi Bhalla declares the eminent domain vote of Union Dry Dock "urgent" he made no such argument proving the substance of such a claim.

City Council President Jen Giattino bent over backwards to allow the ordinance late on to the agenda even as she expressed in her conversation late afternoon with the mayor, there was no such urgency requested. 

Eminent domain is not an immediate process and will require months if not longer than a year. The City of Hoboken can execute the initial phase and there's no barrier to them doing so. 

Adding an item to the City Council agenda after the Thursday deadline requires an urgent reason. Councilman Bhalla had no reason other than TBD, to be determined later. 

The only "urgent" matter here is the Ravi Bhalla mayoral campaign needing this as a wedge issue against his mayoral rival Jen Giattino. #FAIL