Earlier today, Mayor Ravi Bhalla released a statement doubling down on Hoboken’s embattled local pay-to-play law, even after a review by outside legal counsel called for it to be repealed. Councilman Mike DeFuso is releasing the following statement in response:
“This is a blatant attempt by the Mayor to distract attention away from the fact that his slate of Council candidates is being supported by a powerful, dark money Super PAC controlled by the city’s health insurance vendor,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “The Mayor and his allies can continue trying to divert attention, but what Hoboken voters truly care about is the integrity of our upcoming election. That’s why at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting I will be introducing a resolution denouncing the influence of dark money on our local politics and calling on all Council candidates to reject support from Super PACs.”
According to media reports, a Super PAC closely linked to Hoboken’s health insurance vendor plans to spend over $150,000 on this year’s City Council election. The vendor was responsible for the largest spending increase in last year’s municipal budget, which Councilman DeFusco spoke out against to protect Hoboken taxpayers. The PAC employs a fundraising consultant who previously worked for Mayor Bhalla’s campaign, and it comes after a different dark money organization spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect Bhalla in 2017.