Thursday, June 14, 2018

Winners and Losers in the HudCo Civil War

With an annual budget more than half-a-billion strong, HudCo is a massive patronage slush fund where the trough keeps many fed.

Let's start with the losers because they are the ones who won't be getting their beaks wet, courtesy of HudCo.

Brian Stack - coexistence and a decade-long detente with his arch-rival Nick Sacco became untenable in his mind. He opted to go for the gold and seize the reins of the HudCo Democratic Chair as a path to winning the HudCo County Executive with his man (Steve Fulop) in 2019.

A massive mathematical error ensued as his main allies, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla did not hold his boss like control over their local Democratic committees. The results were fatal as Fulop saw dozens of key defections and Ravi Bhalla saw approximately 25% of the HDC refuse to toe the line.

Other HudCo municipalities had no problem turning opposition out as everyone agrees Brian Stack only takes care of Union City and Brian Stack. A gauntlet bussed in to create an atmosphere of intimidation had no discernible impact other than strengthening the resolve of Amy DeGise's voters. Like watching a Boss Hague black and white documentary on political bosses fast-forwarded to present Technicolor without the tools to back it up.

Stack has already thrown in the towel on the HudCo civil war and confirmed he isn't going to put up a candidate for HudCo County Executive without controlling the line. Vote Line A, Senator Bob Menendez hopes HudCo delivers numbers as he faces a tough re-election bid this November. That corruption thing.

Steve Fulop - The Jersey City mayor is taking a beating before and since the election and gets the bulk of the blame on a numerical basis for lost committee votes. MSV sources outside Hoboken detailed a number into triple figures of Jersey City Democratic Committee members who held their seats over years and were not closed to DeGise. Fulop had no way to force them to toe the line since there was going to be an actual election with voting machines and a curtain.

Combined with confirmed double-digit defectors in Hoboken, they guaranteed Stack's defeat. Fulop's name is mud in HudCo and his stock has fallen rapidly since he bowed out of the NJ governor's race last summer. He's gone from being HudCo's savior to reach the promised land of the Trenton trough to disfavored stepchild.

The words recall and vendetta come up most around his name along with inert. HudCo may allow him to bleed out and then see him go away. Either way, he's a nowhere man.

Ravi Bhalla - Mr. 32% redeemed himself with Brian Stack by diving into a losing cause and trying to produce his allotment of 60 votes for the boss' ascension. He got in the ballpark so Stack is happy but his HudCo boss won't be able to deliver on all aspects of the deal. No US Congress seat for Ravi after Albio Sires retires in two years but Brian will send his crew down in 2019 to help in the council ward races. Aspiring to be a party boss has its privileges.

The downside and it turned out to be a big one; among the magical 80 theoretical Hoboken Democratic Committee votes, double digits did not go along with the "Vote Stack for Ravi/Hoboken Plan." The question, "What has Stack done for Hoboken?" was answered with "A vote for Stack is good for Ravi" and that wasn't cutting it. For some, that was an incentive to get down to Kearny and vote Amy DeGise.

MSV confirms the Hoboken defectors numbered well over a dozen in the range of 20 or more of HDC voters who quietly showed up and went behind the curtain and rejected Boss Stack. Ravibots are trying to spin the failure as a victory. Well, let's give them one.
Ravi Bhalla adapted to HudCo like a fish tossed into water.  HudCo deals were cut so fast and furious in his first few months as mayor, no one among his former Reform allies recognizes him.

In his first few months as mayor, Ravi Bhalla concocted a second job with a NJ Republican land use law firm, cut deals with Michael Russo and then with the HudCo boss of bosses, Brian Stack.

Does Ravi even remember how to spell Reform?

John Allen - one of the two taxpayer paid political aides in the Hoboken mayor's office, he reportedly took the entire week off from working inside City Hall to try to help his boss see political dreams come true. It didn't work out but not because of any lack of effort. Ravi, at least give him a steak knife.

Sybil's Cave - what happens when you combine fanaticism with a cult of personality backing on a scale rivaling Brian Stack's Union City voters who get turkeys at Thanksgiving? It's Syb's dark and dank cave, operating beneath sewer level dishing out the insanity, feeding misinformation and lies swallowed lustily to a small group of rabble, political operatives and Bhalla insiders. The temper tantrum crybaby whining is so bad, the head cave-dweller is blaming the good government Councilwomen Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher for HudCo tax increases. One commenter even voiced a desire to drown Amy DeGise and was met with nothing approaching human decency in response.

Jim Doyle - sat back and watched Hoboken's upper level of government being turned into a HudCo party boss fiefdom without a murmur. Shades of the silence when he watched his former friend Councilwoman Jen Giattino trashed in a vicious Bhalla campaign assault last year. Et tu Jim?

Emily Jabbour - was being fast-tracked to replace Ravi Bhalla's early exit as mayor but that grooming will have to wait as the national candidate mayor will be among us for a while. Mommies against the Second Amendment in Hoboken can cool their jets. In the interim, read some George Orwell.

More to come.