Councilman Michael Russo, the controversial longstanding third ward representative anted up paying $3,000 for campaign violations stemming back to 2009.
The story was first reported on the Hudson County View but is notably MIA with no article whatsoever from the fanatical paid political operative Sybil's Cave website. It's a Bonkers for Bhalla secret RaviBots don't whisper, even among themselves.
The intimate ally and council bro of Mayor Ravi Bhalla shouldn't expect to see his name mentioned in good governance references criticizing the reported campaign violations and fine. Recently, Russo was spared mention in a Mayor Bhalla release criticizing voter incongruities typically with the widespread abuse of Vote by Mail ballots.
Mayor Bhalla raised eyebrows when he lashed out at the council pointing fingers on voter fraud and to some shock criticized the good governance members with strong records speaking out against the practice. Russo was the only council member who spoke saying voter fraud was not an issue in Hoboken and he noted to some glee there had been no arrests and convictions for the practice in the Mile Square City.
Ravi Bhalla would quickly have to take back his words admitting he had no evidence whatsoever but pointed to the 2010 fourth ward election.
The notable exception to Ravi Bhalla voter fraud criticism: Michael Russo, who is reported to have cut a sweetheart deal with Mayor Bhalla ensuring Russo will see no significant opposition in the 2019 ward council races. News of the deal was first reported outside MSV in the prior week's "Between the Lines" column.
From the looks of it, Mayor Ravi Bhalla will protect Councilman Michael Russo now, in the future and with a suspect PILOT renewal in Church Towers.
Talking Ed Note: Is this Reform or is this the real Ravi Bhalla? You decide.
Tonight, Mayor Ravi Bhalla looks to take complete control over the local Democrat committee. Next on his target list: Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. Some HDC members are reportedly less than enamored Ravi Bhalla's operation involved deceiving members about the upcoming meeting. They were urged to sign over their votes so others could attend and represent them by proxy. However, they weren't told why and found out about the plan only after Chair Tiffanie Fisher insisted the truth be told. Was this a "nasty woman" operation or merely following orders being connected to the payroll in the mayor's office? Et tu, Rachel?
Did you know that before Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher acted as co-chair with Councilman Peter Cunningham for the Jen Giattino campaign, Ravi Bhalla asked her to lead his mayoral campaign?