This is a Grist for the Mill Election Special!
The mayoral forum Sunday morning went off without a hitch. Other than the bombs being lobbed by some of the candidates it was relatively peaceful. Until the question of campaign funding came up on the six figure flows into Hoboken campaigns. Then things got red hot.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have flowed into Hoboken this campaign cycle to two council members' campaigns: Mike DeFusco and Ravi Bhalla. Asked what do those foreign investors expect, the answers showed classic avoidance avoidance behavior with a couple of M-80s tossed into the mix.
Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano who's been on the receiving end of criticism for filing an incomplete campaign report admitted to loaning his campaign funds but asked Councilman Mike DeFusco what he promised the construction unions to get their support running into the tens of thousands. The Political Action Committee monies have been questioned by Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher who is the Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party and co-chair of the Jen Giattino for mayor campaign.
Romano leveled his fire at DeFusco after taking civil war shots from him for months. Ravi Bhalla skated under the radar saying all the money to him from outside Hoboken comes from people who believe in him. You don't say.
The fire from Romano questioning DeFusco's union construction backing and promises to big development was the highlight. Romano wanted to know what DeFusco promised for all the loot and his plans for "70 story towers" in Hoboken.
It was a dandy.
City Council President Jen Giattino stated she's received over 90% of her 135K in campaign funds from Hoboken residents. Local businesswoman Karen Nason noted the council president received $2,000 from Todd Christie, the governor's brother. Giattino responded saying she had worked with Todd and his wife for over a decade on the New York Stock exchange and she accepts the support of friends. All of this occurred long before the outgoing governor entered into NJ politics. Will Bhalla campaign supporters continue to use this for hyper partisan advantage? Do polar bears urinate in the ocean?
Giattino kept it close to the vest declining to endorse any NJ gubernatorial candidate. Endorsement impact, if any, works from the top down not bottom up. Smart officials know that, especially candidates and don't show their hand when they need to work with elected officials up the ladder. Can you say smart negotiator?
The City Council President and Reform Resistance candidate admitted to returning almost $10,000 to a NJ PAC. In Hoboken, this was part of the Reform Movement's big tent core principles. Now it's kaput. Maybe a Reform Resistance can resuscitate it on November 7th.
Local businesswoman Nason continues to accuse the council members of being in on the $8.35 million Suez liability hidden by the Administration. For her next arts project, she's reportedly preparing a screenplay with Oliver Stone. Maybe she'll be doing a stage version here in Hoboken called "The Suez Conspiracy."
Ron Bautista was confused his colleagues were sending mixed messages on bicycles. He wasn't unsure Hoboken taxpayers should welcome anyone who arrives to Hoboken, laws on immigration notwithstanding. He called it women's rights, civil rights and a subsidiary of other rights. Americans apparently lost all their rights except for their right to pay for an invasion.
Bautista must be pleased with Ravi Bhalla who says he'll sign an "executive order" making Hoboken a welcoming home to illegal immigrants in his first week as mayor if he's elected. Does that come before or after one takes the oath of office to uphold the NJ and US Constitution?
Laws are for the little people not US Senators. Wait, is it too soon to talk about a US Senator seat for the national candidate Bhalla with a warm body in the office but up for trial for corruption in NJ? Keep those fundraisers around NJ going!
People noticed Bhalla was the only candidate with his phone at the ready during the forum. He was also getting messages as seen in this picture where he shut off an apparent text notification. Was he confused thinking this was a council meeting? MSV asked the campaign for an explanation. There may not be one. Their busy texting each other about a Horse's latest disclosure. Hey, at least the Bhalla campaign poll isn't published. Yet.
|Councilman Ravi Bhalla shuts off a text message on his cell phone|
with his right hand during yesterday's forum at the 1:09 mark.
Can you say TextGate?
Hudson County View's John Heinis did an excellent job of managing the herd of mayoral candidate cats. He did less well with a woman in the audience heckling who thought the forum is all about her. Must be a charter member of Hoboken Antifa.
Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for the Horsey? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.