Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mike DeFusco: 'Union support can't tip mayoral race'

In an early evening response to the article today stating he'll be a mayoral candidate in Hoboken come November, Councilman Mike DeFusco offered his analysis negating the influence of any union backing in the mayoral election.

While neither confirming nor denying his plans one way or another, DeFusco revealed some deeper thoughts on the impact of any union backing in a citywide mayoral race this November.

In a statement sent via text he wrote:

Last night was successful because of the generosity of my neighbors who came out in large number to support me and help me build my Council fund for ‘19.    

In regards to the Observer’s reference to my union support.  Mayor Zimmer and Councilman Bhalla have both accepted donations from various building trades, and those contributions are all capped according to our City’s pay-to-play ordinance.  At such small amounts, I’m unsure how that could “tip” anything outside of a ward election.

Councilman Michael DeFusco reacted to the boomlet of interest
after his successful fundraiser last night replying to one aspect
of a late afternoon article by neither confirming
nor denying his status for a mayoral challenge come November.

Talking Ed Note: Let the games begin?

Observer: Councilman Mike Defusco a go for mayor; will see union backing

In a story released late afternoon, claims Councilman Mike DeFusco will be a candidate for mayor this fall going up against Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Councilman Mike DeFusco will see union backing and run for mayor this fall
according to an story. DeFusco did not offer comment on the story.

The article claims the first term councilman has the backing of councilman Michael Russo and former councilman Tim Occhipinti.

In a phone interview just earlier, Tim Occhipinti said the article was in error and "Dawn Zimmer's got my vote." He praised her efforts running the city and the progress seen on infrastructure.

As for Councilman Mike DeFusco who he's known back to his time on the council and DeFusco's work on the zoning board as a commissioner, Occhipinti said he had not spoken to him about joining any potential ticket this November. "I've not had any conversation with Mike about running."

Councilman Mike Russo was unavailable for comment due to a private family matter.

Councilman Mike Defusco was contacted and asked to comment on the article. No answer followed after an earlier text exchange for comment on the Observer article. If a comment does come, this story will be updated.

The Observer article references a poll taken earlier this year with sources close to the mayor admitting they commissioned it saying the mayor's approval rating is over 70%.

Talking Ed Note: The Observer updated their story correcting the claim about former Councilman Tim Occhipinti's as cited here.

Update: One source unaffiliated with City Hall threw further water on some of the claims in the article saying the timing of the unions coming out against Mayor Zimmer is suspect. They further questioned the validity of the article as a result.

Councilman Mike DeFusco did respond and it's available in a new story here:

Competitors or allies, that is the question

The following report comes courtesy of John Heinis at the Hudson County View:

Despite hosting competing fundraisers last night, Hoboken Councilmen Mike DeFusco and Ravi Bhalla say all is well on the city council as a pivotal November mayoral election looms.

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

Sign of the Times: He came, he saw, he...


Not yet. That's the consensus of the barn burning fundraiser for First Ward first year councilman Mike Defusco at Cadillac Cantina last night.

Uptown a competing group of Reform stalwarts appeared for Councilman at-large Ravi Bhalla with his special guest Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The mayor was seen by this horse at both events. Which one do you think she spent more time?

The entertainment value last night was stellar for too many reasons to list but the buzz was definitely on the side of the downtown event in a packed room full of Old Guard honchos and an assortment of downtown residents, seniors, political operatives and elected officials.

Saddled up with the ever effusive City Clerk Jimmy Farina at the rear bar, the strangest bedfellows made their way by. Joining us for much light-hearted banter Frank "Pupie" Raia, looking svelte and sturdy, better than in recent years. The silver haired fox Perry Belfiore strolled past joking about phone calls with a health related focus.

Pupie joshed more than once asking this Horse if he was running this year. He told others "he's replacing Mello" keeping the joke alive. "Frank, we're executives, we don't run for legislative positions," this horse replied.

That captured the spirit of the event but the underlying intent is serious. If this wasn't a kickoff to an announced run for mayor, it had all the look and feel of one - and all the players.

It was in many respects the most odd political event in almost eight years witnessing same in the Mile Square City. The scent of money just brings everyone together. As one former mayor once reportedly said of Hoboken; it's about money, jobs and power. It does attract a crowd.

The dream ain't dead and neither is the ambition. Lots of ambition in the room. Lots.

Councilman Mike DeFusco addresses a packed crowd in the rear room of Cadillac Cantina last night as the master of
ceremonies Councilman Ruben Ramos looks on.

Talking Ed Note: Lots of familiar faces at the event and many news ones. Sighted by this pony in no particular order: Perry Belfiore, former State Senator Bernie Kenny, Tony Soares, Frank "Pupie" Raia, Eduardo Gonzales, Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, Mayor Dawn Zimmer,  Patricia Waiters, Cheryl Fallick, Rory Chadwick, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Joe Mindak, Assemblyman Raj Mukerji and 2009 council candidate on the Peter Cammarano for mayor ticket: Mike Novak.

Hugging it out with everyone in the room except this "law and order" pony, one Carmelo Garcia.
Let's conclude for now saying it was an eclectic crowd. There's more dish on all this.