Thursday, August 23, 2018

Councilman Mike DeFusco: 'Ravi Bhalla used city security forces to block me from community meeting!'

Official release:

Mayor Bhalla Bars Council Member from Entering Community Meeting

Hoboken, NJ –  Mayor Ravi Bhalla held a “Community Meeting” last night at the Marineview Plaza building that was coordinated using city resources and attended by the Mayor’s taxpayer-funded staff, including Chief of Staff John Allen, Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman and Constituent Services Chief Caroline Caulfield, as well as the Mayor’s security detail. But when Councilman Mike DeFusco attempted to enter the meeting, which was held in the ward he represents, the Mayor’s staff and security detail refused to allow the Councilman to enter the room it was being held in.

“This is a clear case of the Bhalla Administration putting petty politics ahead of not just transparency, but the basic principles of community and open government,” said Councilman DeFusco. “I am trying to work with the Mayor to help my ward and move things forward but he’s unable to put politics behind us, and it’s frustrating and hurtful to see this level of obstructionism when we could be working together to tackle important issues like reducing flooding, supporting local businesses and improving municipal services.”

Mayor Bhalla’s event was advertised with a flier that included the city logo and city government email address for a member of his staff. Had the event been political in nature, and thus private, city resources could not be used without triggering a violation of campaign finance law. However, the Mayor’s use of city resources to plan and execute the event clearly shows that it was not a private political function, but rather a city event that should have been open to all.

“This was clearly a city event given the resources expended and it’s outrageous that Mayor Bhalla would bar a fellow elected official from attending. This action is yet another example of this administration's inability to work through the political divide to benefit residents, and this kind of pettiness does nothing to move Hoboken forward.”  

Mayor Ravi Bhalla uses taxpayer paid security to stop Councilman Mike DeFusco from attending community meeting - in his own ward!

Coming only hours after the BromarGate scandal broke on MSV yesterday, Hoboken's rookie mayor Ravi Bhalla showed that playing politics on community time and the community dime isn't over.

Councilman Mike DeFusco who is a rival who hasn't forgotten how he was defamed and eventually defeated with the use of a very politically-inspired "terror flyer" in last November's mayoral campaign, found himself on ice, again.

According to his Twitter feed, DeFusco attempted to attend a community meeting in his first ward at Marine View. But he was blocked. Not figuratively, not theoretically but quite physically.

Ravi Bhalla who maintains taxpayer-paid security for alleged threats received earlier this year deployed that taxpayer bestowed gift to physically block the first ward councilman from attending.

MSV would ask the mayor's office for comment but they don't have the guts to reply. Since they'll all be reading this in the early am in the mayor's office, they can submit an explanation excuse at their leisure. Or alternatively, they can send a friend to do it on their behalf in the comments section.

Perhaps the mayor's office will respond after having it approved through the new Hoboken collective mayoral entity MSV dubs Bromar.

"I have two more tickets for the public meeting in the first ward. Mike DeFusco, you are hereby banned! My armed security is prepared to shoot you on my command if you attempt to cross the threshold of the doorway. Any guard on my detail who fails my political cockblock may also be immediately shot by me on my decree"

Talking Ed Note: This is inherently a less than "inclusive" act to literally and physically block the first ward councilman from attending a publicly held meeting in a building of his constituents in his own ward.

Would former mayor Dawn Zimmer ever do that? No, and she suffered great slings and arrows from some dastardly foes. (Mayor Zimmer would actually announce their presence leading her remarks.)

MSV has reason to believe that Ravi Bhalla's taxpayer-paid security is inherently as political as his actions here.

Why is Ravi Bhalla blocking a councilman from a public meeting of his constituents right in his own ward? This isn't the first time he's blocked a council member from participating at a public event either.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Councilman Mike DeFusco on any issue, blocking the first ward council representative from a publicly held meeting of his constituents in his own ward is the worst political cockblock in Hoboken in recent memory.

Expected that Ravi Bhalla would be a disappointment but he really takes his political ambitions to ridiculous heights. He just scaled a new high or low, depending on your personal affinity for political cockblocking.