Wednesday, February 7, 2018

More to come on the Bhalla administration referendum weaponization

Coming soon!


Bhalla Bros: "We know an override will happen" but let's get political!


Bhalla Bros view: 
"Opportunity to box in our opponents" even with veto's expected defeat

In a MSV exclusive, a text message between Mayor Ravi Bhalla, his brother and others obtained in a leak discusses tonight's vote on the veto by the new mayor to politicize an expected override on a proposed referendum to allow Hoboken voters to consider runoff elections this November.

The January 31st text originating from the mayor's brother, Amar Bhalla admits that winning with a veto is a lost cause writing, "We know an override will happen."

The third City Council action on the runoff referendum is expected to pass again easily by resolution tonight.

But Amar Bhalla celebrates what he feels will be a political victory after the same referendum was overwhelmingly passed twice earlier by the Hoboken City Council in a 7-2 vote.

The Cammarano-like sentiment to grind opposition into powder with the referendum a fait accompli is further emphasized as Amar Bhalla further writes:

"In that scenario it makes sense to take the opportunity to shape the frame of the discussion and for our opponents to have to respond to the frame we set."

In essence, the text as seen below in its original form is an admission almost the entirety of the Hoboken City Council, seven of its nine members are viewed as "opponents."

Amar Bhalla ends the text message to his brother the mayor adding "Random praise" and calling it "Fun to watch from afar" before concluding his advice to "Keep hold of the frame for the public discussion the best you can."

Last week, Mayor Ravi Bhalla attended and spoke at the Hoboken Democratic Committee meeting where he made an appeal for support of his veto. His office is reportedly seeking people from the Hoboken public to speak in favor of his veto tonight at the council meeting in a "dog and pony" political but useless action.

The exchange is the second significant leak obtained by MSV in recent months from the Bhalla camp. The first was publishing the contents of a Bhalla campaign poll last October. The details of the poll showed Councilwoman Jen Giattino leading the mayor's race with Ravi Bhalla a close second (A statistical tie when the poll variables are factored in).

MSV can confirm its original story as a second source has come forward confirming what was described as the Jen Giattino "surge." Within days, the Bhalla campaign viewed Giattino as a top adversary and issued campaign mailers to all Democrats in the Mile Square City to vilify her as a Trump supporter putting her photo beside a Trump hat. Giattino had stated earlier she voted third party in the 2016 presidential election but the Bhalla campaign responding to its bad poll, ignored what Giattino said and smeared her.

The politicization of Hoboken's non-partisan municipal elections were trumped by cynical politics and a Ravi Bhalla "terror flyer" many conclude was designed to win him sympathy days later in the election where he was victorious with less than 33% of the vote.

Amar Bhalla does not work at Hoboken City Hall and is employed by the radical leftist George Soros group, Open Society Foundation.

The office of the mayor was contacted but has not responded with comment to this story.

Related: The Jen Giattino campaign surge as seen in the leaked Bhalla Campaign Poll last October:

Update: As thought, the City Council voted 7-2 once again in favor of a referendum allowing Hoboken voters to decide whether they want to bring back runoff elections. It also voted for a resolution advocating for instant runoffs.

Councilman Mike DeFusco got word of the MSV exclusive shortly before the meeting and when the discussion on the referendum came up; he read into the record the Amar Bhalla text message on MSV and challenged the politics of the Bhalla administration. Councilman Jim Doyle was taken aback and stunned by the breaking information and was unsure how to respond about the "allegation."

Then all hell broke loose. Almost every council member got into the act. More to come.  

Hoboken rebuffed on NJ Supreme Court appeal on Monarch Towers

Late yesterday, the breaking news came out on the Hudson County View on the saga of the Monarch Towers.

It's bad.

From the story:

The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear the City of Hoboken’s appeal on the controversial Monarch project, two, 11-story condo towers that would be constructed on the waterfront in the 2nd Ward. 

For the complete story, please see the Hudson County View:

MSV covered the story in 2013 here:

There's no building permits approved, but if you asked Ironstate, re: Michael and David Barry there's no reason why two towers built over a pier in northwest Hoboken should be problematic. Tennis courts and parking originally designated as part of the approvals for 1,000 units of the Shipyard were part of the agreement with the City but things changed as historically many developer promises. The four digit units of buildings got built, the waterfront views on Hudson blocked.

No tennis courts for Hoboken's recreation loving residents and now an all out legal war with the Barry family. When it comes to developer political control in Hoboken, the Barry family is the model. 

David Barry, scion of Ironstate development

Michael Barry, Ironstate and Barry family leader

Father Joe would be so proud. The history is recaptured in a guest piece tied into the last great developer scam on Hoboken: Truckstop Lenders and Waterfront HUD Hauls. Hoboken residents need to know what they are up against and it's a learned, skillful private developer enterprise with a history of making government work - for the developer. 

Councilman Peter Cunningham: Hoboken Runoff Election Referendum

Official release:

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Much has been discussed over the last two months concerning whether or not we should put a referendum on the ballot for the voters to decide on reinstating runoff elections in Hoboken.  To be clear, the council is not voting to reinstate the runoff.  It would be decided by a vote of the people.  Unfortunately, those who do not support runoffs are perpetuating the notion that runoffs encourage "voter fraud.”  Data shows that this is simply not accurate as all elections are subject to this problem. Fraud is committed whether the vote is on the first ballot or the runoff ballot.

We do need to focus our efforts on “voter fraud”, and I hope that it will be high priority of Mayor Bhalla particularly given his strong relationship with Governor Murphy and the newly-appointed New Jersey Attorney General.  

The campaign rhetoric from the last mayoral campaign was particularly divisive and was not representative of how our city has progressed.  The amount of negative campaign literature hitting our mail boxes diminished the importance of the many local issues that should have been at the center of our debate.  In the end, the issues were not fully discussed, and Hoboken elected a mayor with less than 33% of the vote.

Five years ago, we moved our elections to November and eliminated the runoff.  The Council is now faced with a new reality, and our responsibility is to carefully consider how to respond.  To that end, the Council will vote to ask Hoboken citizens to decide, and a referendum will offer you that opportunity.

Thank you for your comments for and against the referendum, and please pass this along to your neighbors and friends.  I am always happy to hear from you.


Peter Cunningham