Thursday, September 21, 2017

Breaking: Buyer Beware - Shiny Penny Mike DeFusco Poll is out


MSV is exclusively reporting a new telephone poll is out and unlike the previous one last weekend called "straight-up" and "professional," this one is loaded looking for bear against all its main rivals.

There's push poll negative questions directed toward each of three candidates in the poll aiming at Freeholder Stick Romano, Councilman Ravi Bhalla and City Council President Jen Giattino. Residents reporting the polls to MSV similarly conclude the poll is being sponsored by Councilman Mike DeFusco, aka the Shiny Penny. 

Mike DeFusco
DeFusco touts his youthful candidacy based on the shiny penny principle. Have observers distracted by a shiny object and not focus on his lack of experience, trustworthiness and substance of a council record. Similarly, the telephone polls offers some tells on the DeFusco Shiny Penny principle in action.

The poll reportedly taken by ABG Research is already encountering problems. Apparently, Hoboken households are tired of being repeatedly polled since July and are not being cooperative.

Among the pro-DeFusco elements is a mix of facts favorable to his candidacy and some less than factual attacks against his main rivals. On Freeholder Romano, the poll notes accurately he's running for two offices then says "he's gaming the system with a six-figure pension and a lot of real estate income, yet he continues to live in affordable housing." Not altogether accurate but in the ballpark of accurate.

Of Councilman Ravi Bhalla, the Shiny Penny poll says he is "connected to a law firm, a partner that represents lots of entities such as Suez Water, NJ Transit adding there are serious concerns about his ethics and conflicts of interest." On this front, it's mostly accurate as Bhalla is conflicted currently on acting as a councilman on both Suez Water and NJ Transit according to most legal observers familiar with the details.

Then the biggest wild (and cheap) shot is taken against City Council President Jen Giattino saying of her part time work in local real estate it "spells trouble for Hoboken" then falsely claiming "she stands to benefit financially from the city." Concern about a Giattino surge is evident with the gutter shot.

A number of test messages cite issues seeking to identify which areas the Shiny Penny Mike DeFusco should leverage on the Hoboken public. Among them the polls asks about interest in "vibrant restaurants," "constant water main breaks," "more parking and better parking technology" and "return Observer Highway to four lanes, three lanes out in the morning and three lanes in on during the pm rush hours." Observer Highway is likely to be a staple of more than one mayoral and council candidate.

One notable test message surrounds development. The DeFusco Shiny Penny Poll asks about interest in "coffee bars, wineries, etc." These happen to be some of the new shiny ideas DeFusco has tossed out earlier this year when he announced he would run for mayor.

Additional push poll ideas are added but let the Hoboken buyer beware! The Shiny Penny Mike DeFusco is looking to lock down some avenues to push in the final 47 days to Election Day.

Talking Ed Note: Neither Mike DeFusco nor his campaign manager Ryan Yacco were contacted for this story. Neither has responded to requests for comment previously.

MSV publishes its commenting policy from time to time. It's been updated at the jump.

Council President and mayoral candidate Jen Giattino endorses BoE slate 'Hoboken Proud'

Official release:

It is with great pleasure that Jen Giattino, City Council President and Hoboken mayoral candidate, announces her continued support for incumbent Sharyn Angley and her Hoboken Proud team of Melanie Tekirian and Chetali Khanna for election to the Hoboken Board of Education.

“I supported Sharyn and her running mates three years ago and I’ve been extremely pleased with the continued positive change in the Hoboken Public Schools. Hoboken Proud is certainly an appropriate reflection of how we should all feel about the job that’s being done by Superintendent Christine Johnson and the current Board of Education. I and my council running mates will proudly support this team in any way we can. We thank them for stepping up for this vital volunteer service and agree wholeheartedly with Hoboken Proud when they say strong schools equal a strong community.”

'People's ribbon cutting for Southwest Park' set for Saturday at 4:00

Official release:

The Real Hoboken Southwest Park Ribbon Cutting Celebration
“For the People – By the People”

Site of the Hoboken Southwest Park

Southwest Parks Coalition co-founder John Gregorio, original group member Councilman David Mello, and Fourth Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos ask that you join us at 4:00 pm this Saturday, September 23rd, as we gather at the Southwest Park, Hoboken’s newest public open space, for an informal ribbon cutting celebration.

The opening of the Southwest Park marks the fruition of over a decade of effort by many Hoboken advocates, past and present.  From the formation of the Southwest Parks Coalition to the present day, residents in Hoboken’s Southwest and beyond have been advocating for a significant open space in this vibrant, up and coming Hoboken neighborhood.  This cornerstone piece marks the start of what hopefully will be an even larger park creation in the future.  This park is not only Southwest Hoboken’s first significant public, open space; it contains much needed flood retention technology to further combat flooding events in one of our most flood prone Hoboken neighborhoods.

All are welcome to attend, as we celebrate this moment with an informal and festive ribbon cutting, which we want all of our friends and neighbors to be able to participate in.  This is your park Hoboken, and it’s opening should be celebrated at a time when the maximum number of people who made this dream a reality can revel in its long-awaited start.

The Southwest Park is located on Block 12 in Hoboken, N.J., between Paterson Plank Road and Observer Highway, and Jackson and Harrison Streets in Hoboken’s Southwest neighborhood.


John Gregorio
Councilman David Mello
Councilman Ruben Ramos

Talking Ed Note: Some explanation is required with this release. The Hoboken public doesn't know Mayor Zimmer set up a city ribbon cutting for tomorrow morning for media at 11:00 am with a later public event set for next Wednesday.

Two of the current council members, Dave Mello and Ruben Ramos are joined by Southwest Park activist John Gregorio to hold this event Saturday when all are available, as emphasized in the release. Both of the council members work as most of the public at that time and are not available for tomorrow morning's Mayor Zimmer's selected ribbon cutting time.

You can probably guess who will be among those attending the mayor's ribbon cutting.

Councilman Peter Cunningham: 'City Council President Jen Giattino is Hoboken's best choice for mayor'

Official release:

Dear friends, family and neighbors, 

As many of you know, I serve on the Hoboken City Council. Over the past ten years I’ve been at the forefront of many positive changes. But I couldn’t have done it alone. I am deeply grateful to my colleagues and to my 5th Ward constituents for providing me with their support, their thoughts, their ideas and the opportunity to serve them and the City of Hoboken overall.  It has been a pleasure and I’m proud of what our reform team, Mayor Zimmer and strong reform Council Members, have together accomplished.  Finance, constituent service and quality of life issues have always been a focus for me, and I have worked hard to keep these issues in the forefront.  But challenges remain. There are legitimate concerns about the direction of new development, adequacy of city services and Hoboken’s continued fiscal health to name a few. Mayor Zimmer’s announcement of her plans to not run for reelection provides us with an opportunity to take stock of our accomplishments, evaluate where we are, and to ensure that we address the greater good of Hoboken in the future.  We have to adapt as required to best address the changing needs of all of Hoboken’s growing population – young and old, and across the widening socio-economic spectrum. 

I believe Jen Giattino is best suited to lead Hoboken now as Mayor.  I give her my enthusiastic, unqualified endorsement.  I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with all the major mayoral candidates over the last several years, and while they all have their strengths, none is more ready, none is as ready to lead Hoboken.  As a Ward leader myself, I recognize how passionately Jen serves both her 6th Ward constituents and residents throughout Hoboken.  Jen has the experience, knowledge, creativity, character, work ethic and determination necessary to lead Hoboken to future success.   With her I am completely confident we will do what we need to do to continue to raise the bar – and not slip back to the secretive, weak and too often corrupt leadership of the past.

Jen’s leadership is recognized by her council colleagues who have elected her Council President three of the last six years. She understands the core challenges Hoboken faces. In addition to quality of life issues, she has been the strongest voice in favoring commercial development which minimizes congestion and tax rates over residential which does neither and she has been unwavering in her support for greater financial transparency.   She’s chosen a council slate with demonstrated experience in being tough on development, finance and negotiations -- three critical tenets to Hoboken’s future success.   
Jen has unparalleled respect among her neighbors both in and beyond the 6th Ward. She’s friendly and compassionate, and unequalled in Hoboken for her passion for helping people.  What I love most about Jen is that she’ll work her hardest for any Hobokenite, supporter or not alike.  Hoboken needs leaders ready to serve ALL of Hoboken.  Please join me in supporting Jen Giattino for Mayor and her team of Jim Aibel, Sal Strace and Jason Ellis for Council.

Peter Cunningham, 5th Ward Councilman
Check out her website at and on facebook at

Meet the BoE candidates - Monday, September 25th

Official release:

Dear friends,

As longtime residents and parents of children who attend the Hoboken Public School District, we can speak firsthand to the quality of education and opportunity provided to district students.  

We are running for election to the Hoboken Board of Education.  Our mission is to raise awareness of the many great things happening across the district today and to work constructively with the administration on further enhancing public education in Hoboken.  Our goal is that our elementary and middle schools be urban schools of excellence and Hoboken High School to be our communities’ No.1 choice for grades 9-12.

Please join with us in this effort.  We look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Melanie, Sharyn and Chetali