Tuesday, October 31, 2017

City Council President And Mayoral Candidate Jen Giattino Is Endorsed By Former Democratic Majority Leader of the New Jersey State Senate Bernard F. Kenny Jr.

Official release:

Council President Jen Giattino’s response to the news that longtime resident and former Democratic Majority leader of the New Jersey State Senate Bernard F. Kenny Jr. has endorsed her candidacy for Hoboken Mayor. 
“I am incredibly honored and grateful that Senator Bernie Kenny has chosen to support my run for Mayor.   His support over the years has been invaluable to me as a public servant.  As is Bernie’s way his comments are thoughtful and compelling. You can read them here.”

New video strikes at the heart of Ravi Bhalla's conflicted Suez contract heart


Hoboken's contentious mayoral election is red hot. If the trail isn't warm enough for you, there's this commercial looking production flying around town about Ravi Bhalla and the Suez water contract.  Although it's not clear where it originates, there's many opponents who would be so motivated.

Or perhaps a citizen's group is retaliating for Ravi Bhalla's pay to play PAC connections as seen on the Fox News channel commercials connected to the massive proposed NJ Transit development downtown.

Either way, there's more fur flying in the final week of a contentious Hoboken election.


Talking Ed Note: MSV believes it's the first to publish this commercial. If anyone sees this on TV, please alert Horsey @ smartyjones@me.com.
Traffic continues to see double-digit increases week to week meaning voters are tuning in.

Grist for the Mill: Why did Ravi Bhalla throw speakers out of a council meeting?

In October 2015, the last City Council meeting before the election saw then City Council President Ravi Bhalla throw out two well known Hoboken politicos

The first, Perry Belfiore is a long time Bhalla nemesis and DeFusco backer who is hunting Ravi Bhalla conflicts and filed an ethics complaint in 2010 about Bhalla sharing an office with another law practitioner.

The second, David Liebler was a backer of anti-Administration Old Guard candidates and supported the Vision 20/20 redevelopment proposed by the always controversial Carmelo Garcia.

According to a well placed source, the people thrown out of the meeting was decided in advance of the  City Council meeting. Earlier that day, a story appearing on PolitickerNJ recounting emails between the mayor's husband, Stan Grossbard and members of the Hoboken Housing Authority board.

The source, an eyewitness to the drama was astounded as others present by the rash action taken at the council meeting. Perry Belfiore referenced the PolitickerNJ story mentioning the mayor's husband and was promptly booted with the aid of the police. He would later file a lawsuit and settle with the City of Hoboken for an amount north of $50,000.

David Liebler also filed a lawsuit against the City of Hoboken and his civil lawsuit is pending. He was well along in his remarks with less than 20 seconds remaining when he got the boot for his late mention of the mayor's husband. He seemed unaware Belfiore had been kicked out earlier.

The eyewitness described the scene after the meeting where Ravi Bhalla was asked for an explanation. "The mayor called me up and said I should throw out anyone talking about Stan," Bhalla allegedly said. The thinking was the mayor's husband is a private citizen although legal opinions may vary on the matter. (He was featured in emails in the PolitickerNJ story earlier that day.)

While Mayor Zimmer did an enormous amount of good for Hoboken, she's made some mistakes along the way, the Washington Street "detonation" being the most visible of late. This protective move was probably a heated reaction to the leaking of documents to PolitickerNJ which wrote a story about the Carmelo Garcia "Ethnic Cleansing" lawsuit earlier the same day using emails obtained in the litigation.

More recently, Mayor Zimmer has been throwing darts below the belt at City Council President Jen Giattino. Her unfortunately timed letter attempted to denigrate Giattino on her not being "sure" projects would be completed, one being Rebuild by Design. The mayor's letter went out to Hoboken residents after the federal government released $230 million in funding for the project and Jen Giattino who backed the mayor every step of the way publicly extended congratulations to Mayor Zimmer and all involved.

Yikes! Another version of the letter emailed yesterday attempted to tone down the obvious inconsistency and the charged negative attack. Some contrast the two as part of residents' negative reaction with the political play as the mayor winds down her second term.

Mike DeFusco joins in the hyper partisan divide in Hoboken's non-partisan election

Councilman Mike DeFusco in a new mailer opted not to be left out of the hyper partisan sweepstakes in Hoboken's distinctly non-partisan election. He's been taking shots at his rivals Jen Giattino and Ravi Bhalla of late but this has the flavor of party partisanship the Bhalla campaign has sought to utilize or perhaps exploit would be the better term.

One photo shows Jen Giattino being sworn-in on July 1, 2011 as a caption notes praise for her by a chair of county Republicans. The other photo shows Councilman Ravi Bhalla with Mayor Zimmer and Governor Chris Christie and points to Bhalla considering an endorsement for Christie for Governor.

Another article had appeared on NJ.com where Bhalla weighed endorsing Gov. Christie for re-election leading into the 2013 election. At the time, Christie stood in a strong political position and many Democrats were happy to hug his coattails. The photo with Chris Christie is not the best.

Another photo of Councilman Ravi Bhalla with Chris Christie showed the two far more congenial back in April 2013 for a Hoboken event at the Boys & Girls Club sponsored by the NFL. The appearance by Governor Christie and the NFL saluted the floor rebuilt after flooding and a program advocating kids getting physically active.

The combination of the two led to something of a mosh pit for the media and public in attendance. At the time, Councilman Ravi Bhalla was gearing up for his second run for NJ Assembly, a position he sought in the 2011 election but lost to Ruben Ramos. Later Councilman Bhalla would rethink the second attempt against Carmelo Garcia and withdraw.

However, implicitly seeking any support from the then popular governor seemed a good political decision for advancement at the time. Today, with four major mayoral campaigns, divisive partisan pandering holding up Hoboken to a national light is seen as a good strategy. A week before election day, Bhalla's controversial negative attacks focused against Jen Giattino are more radioactive than uranium being shipped out of the US.

Hoboken will only need to wait a week to see how the selective politically poison pill of partisanship fares. For now here's a better picture from the 2013 event when Ravi Bhalla sought a picture with Governor Chris Christie.

Partisanship, what partisanship? A photo of Governor Chris Christie and Councilman Ravi Bhalla in 2013.
Bhalla was a second time Assembly candidate at the time who later withdrew from the race.

One last rare personal note. Many are coping with the Reform divide. You're not alone. However the truth shall set you free or if not, the calendar will in a week. Many of us are disappointed in how politics and power has been put up above all by some. The stakes are personally high with hundreds of thousands collected and being expended.

However, Reform principles have not changed. Transparency trounced, back room deals and flooding the zone with pay to play PAC interests should not prevail. Please act accordingly on November 7th. That's the best way for Hoboken citizens to be united.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to smartyjones@me.com. 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.

Photo courtesy Jhnny Newman, MSV roaming at-large photographer. Copyright 2013-2017

Ravi Bhalla Unveils Infrastructure Improvement Plan

Official release:

Ravi Bhalla Unveils Infrastructure Improvement Plan
Councilman Ravi Bhalla, candidate for Mayor of Hoboken, today unveiled his Infrastructure Improvement Plan, together with his at large Council slate of Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour and John Allen.  Bringing the City’s aging infrastructure into the 21st century is the single most important challenge facing Hoboken in the years to come, according to Bhalla.
Ravi Bhalla said,   “As Mayor, I will act to upgrade our aging infrastructure, fixing our water mains, roads, sewers and piers as well as providing regular maintenance.”
Among the other components of Bhalla’s Infrastructure Improvement Plan are completing Rebuild by Design, the comprehensive federally-funded flood prevention project, strengthening the electrical grid and pushing NJ Transit and the Port Authority for expanded bus and rail service as well as more affordable Ferry service.
Bhalla stated that he will develop a detailed 10 year infrastructure improvement and maintenance blueprint in the first 90 days of his term in order to ensure the most important improvements are prioritized and that the goals are accomplished cost-effectively.
The plan is provided below:

Sign of the Times: Former NJ Democratic Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny appears at Jen Giattino's final campaign event

Last night was the final campaign event for Team Giattino with one week before Hoboken's key mayoral and council at-large election. A surprise appearance among the dozens of revelers: the former NJ Democratic Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny.

The former NJ Democratic Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny joins the Hoboken mayoral candidate and City Council President Jen Giattino, BoE trustee Irene Sobolov and Hoboken reform activist Deirdre Wall at Wicked Wolf.