Monday, September 30, 2019

New Jersey State LGBTQ Caucus Denounces Nancy Pincus for Hateful Rhetoric Directed at the LGBTQ Community

Official release:
Nancy Pincus

A local political blogger in Hoboken recently posted a homophobic attack on Councilman Mike DeFusco, who became the first openly gay candidate to win local office in Hudson County four years ago and is currently running for re-election. The post contains several disturbing references, including that DeFusco is “looking for a date,” doing “chinups in the men’s room stall” and “arm-pit sniffing,” among other salacious attacks. The entire post evokes the troubled history of members of the LGBTQ community being attacked simply for expressing themselves, which is completely out of step with Hoboken’s values as a progressive, welcoming city.  
“The use of homophobic and disturbing language against anyone, including an openly gay councilman, cannot be dismissed or tolerated in any of our neighborhoods,” said Lauren Albrecht, Chair of the New Jersey State Democratic LGBTQ Caucus. “Comments like this are purposely intended to make negative and passive inferences to the LGBTQ community and only aim to set us back in the progress we have made to achieve true equality. Councilman DeFusco has always been a great friend to the LGBTQ community and now it’s time for everyone in Hoboken to take a stand against remarks that attack a public servant for his sexuality.” 
The post was authored by local blogger Nancy Pincus, a paid political operative for Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Pincus has a reputation of working with administration to attack members of the City Council who do not always align with the mayor’s political agenda. 
“It’s an open secret that Nancy Pincus works alongside the Mayor to promote his political agenda on her blog, but using any platform to share remarks that intentionally offend the LGBTQ community is simply unacceptable,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “Over the past four years, I’ve been proud to work alongside the administration to advance equality in Hoboken with progressive legislation and open conversations. Unfortunately while the Mayor promotes Hoboken as an accepting city for everyone, he’s complicit in spreading this divisive language by allowing his paid political blogger to make attacks like this from behind a screen. If we wish to continue identifying Hoboken as an inclusive community, we must all take a stand against comments like this, regardless of where we stand politically.” 
The State Democratic LGBTQ Caucus is asking for Councilman DeFusco’s opponent, Mayor Bhalla and his entire council slate to denounce this rhetoric and send a clear message that intolerant speech and discrimination have no home in Hoboken.  

Sign of the Times: Laid off City employee points to Mayor Ravi Bhalla lacking integrity

A City Hall employee, one of four recently named for layoffs out of Mayor Ravi Bhalla's office delivered a citywide message in a public announcement on her last day.

The message announced her departure last week with a pointed and less than veiled commentary about integrity or the lack thereof coming from those in "managerial positions, positions of authority, and those who make final decisions in the City."

City Hall observers and municipal workers sources point to the less than unseemly layoffs being part and parcel of a scorched earth cynical plan constructed out of the mayor's office to blame the City Council.

That political operation, among the latest emanating out of the mayor's office, backfired when the Hoboken municipal unions refused to join the mayor's office in issuing a joint statement blaming the City Council for the four layoffs.

Three additional municipal employees were targeted for a layoff after the mayor's office seeing its budget rolled back to 2017 former mayor Dawn Zimmer levels shifted part of its payroll for several of its political aides with their double-digit raises and six-figure pay stubs over to the legal department and parking authority budgets.

Here is the complete, unedited, public goodbye to Hoboken City Hall last week:

The reference in number three to managerial authority is believed by City Hall insiders a jab at Business Administrator Stephen Marks. He's thought to have drawn up the political layoff list now backfiring.

The big pointed snub though is apparently saved for Mayor Ravi Bhalla who has suffered a string of less than ethical and legal questions about his actions. "It may be an unpopular trait to have these days, but keep in mind that a great leader maintains their integrity, even when it is not profitable for them to do so," in a parting money shot.

Ravi Bhalla is well-known for his leading the Office of Mayor in numerous scorched earth campaigns, his being an eternal one as he seeks a way out out of Hoboken into higher elected office.

Apparently, one former City of Hoboken employee took notice and made a point of it at the exit ramp.

Talking Ed Note: When the City Council refused to approve Ravi Bhalla's three-percent tax increase, it offset the costs in non-essential cost reductions - none of them requiring any layoffs whatsoever.

Council VP Ruben Ramos inquired in a recent meeting if the budget funding municipal employees had been approved previously in this year's budget. City Council President Jen Giattino confirmed it was.

One of the four targeted for a layoff is a woman who is eight months away from her pension.