While I agree with Mike Defusco and his sentiment that the Ravi Bhalla Administration is ethically challenged it does not escape my memory that Defusco may have violated the spirit of Pay to Play laws during the last election as well as exceeding campaign contribution limits in the last election for PAC contributions.
But that’s not the point, under the Bhallla administration there seems to be a lack of oversight about this and the blame is clearly on Ravi Bhalla. This should have never made it to City Council for a vote. There is supposed to be a pay to play officer that catches these things. Where is the oversight? Where is the process?
The problem stems from the fact that Ravi is a lawyer that is still pursuing the commission of government contract work while still being mayor. There were two vendors that bid for an environmental contract with the city and both were conflicted, with Bhalla. Any surprise here with a part-time mayor gallivanting across the state seeking government contract law commissions? Can we find a vendor please that Ravi has not hit up for money?
I can not support a mayor who shows such a lack of judgment and entitlement that he should personally profit from the Mayor’s office. There needs to be more oversight on this because clearly this administration can’t be trusted to police itself.
Ravi’s statement indicates that he sees this issue as a problem so rather than double down using one of his Ravi bots to disseminate yet another political attack on the messenger he rather adroitly admits there is an issue here. Problem with that is he is asking for a mea culpa after the fact and that is not how good government is supposed to work.
This never would have happened under Zimmmer. She may have been bad at math but she followed the Pay to Play laws. With Ravi Bhalla we have taken several steps back in how ethics and government are to coexist.
This is an example of how pay to play is not just an abstraction. We have a Mayor whose craven pursuit of political contributions has led to a potential delay on critical environmental work on Union Dry Dock. Next time Hoboken needs to pick a mayor not on the basis of a midnight flier but one that is no so conflicted across the board.