Month: January 2019

News

Ravi Bhalla identified in new PAC campaign violations

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The money machine in the Hoboken’s mayor’s office is spinning and spinning. That’s the impression the public will get from Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s latest campaign filing earlier this month for the end of 2018.

Political Action Committees and PAC monies exceeding Hoboken’s 2011 limits highlight Bhalla’s latest in a string of questionable money related issues. Among them, several of these special interest groups contributed to Ravi Bhalla beyond legal limits last month.

The Hoboken ordinance states PACs and political committees are limited to a maximum contribution of $500 to individual campaigns. Any excessive amount under the ordinance is non-curable.

According to the Ravi Bhalla ELEC report, there are three separate PAC violations. Read More...

News

Suez Water contract update in the works

The dreadful Suez Water contract is finally seeing some progress from the decades-long terrible contract terms. Perhaps its end is in sight with a decent contract. We’ll have to await the full details.

Related: The Jersey Journal covered last night’s speechifying event. Someone working hard on infrastructure re: Suez was ignored. That’s what your hard work gets you when others play politics.

Update: Coming up, EXCLUSIVE news on the latest daring Bhalla money deeds. Yes, there’s more. We’ll also highlight some of the usual scurrilous and insistent lyings by Nancy Pincus. She falsely claims (in another lie) there was no interview by MSV and Peter Biancamano. It’s only the latest among her continuous fabrications, her staple. Read More...

News

State of the City: Corrupt

You can all go home now.

There’s a full court press to get people out tonight to see Mayor Ravi Bhalla make a State of the City address. People promised millions on stalled development deals will be there. People who feel the need to bow and kiss the ring in the hopes that one of these development deals cooked up behind closed doors will see their respective group rewarded with seven-figure checks at some point in the future.

There will be others who feel obligated or need to believe other than what the facts show in plain sight one year into the Bhalla Administration. Read More...

News

Alleged pay-to-play scheme goes full circle as Ravi Bhalla pays Brian Stack’s civic association

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The late Friday blockbuster news showing a flow of tens of thousands of dollars from up the hill to Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s “employer,” a Morristown-based Republican law firm weaves ever tighter.

Fully $70,000 is seen flowing from Union City led by Mayor Brian Stack in legal contracts down the hill past Hoboken and to Ravi Bhalla’s second job.

In addition, Ravi Bhalla is seen kicking a $1,000 payment to Brian Stack’s civic association up the hill. That transaction is dated in late August, coming not long after Stack’s failed bid to take control of the Hudson County Democratic Party. Read More...

News

Horse Sense: Monday exclusive coming on the new Ravi Bhalla $$$ scandal

On Monday, more is coming out into the sunlight on Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his biggest money scandal to date, where tens of thousands found their way rolling down the hill to his Republican law firm pals.

The scandal broke late Friday on the Hudson County View and has been gaining steam and attention since with a whining noise of RaviBots hysterically wailing their guy got caught in what every mindful Hoboken politico saw in the tea leaves prior to the 2017 mayoral election.

Former mayor Dawn Zimmer can’t be happy with  what’s been transpiring
when she promoted Ravi Bhalla as the only candidate she “trusts” to be mayor.
It must be painful having chosen politics rewarding a solider with known “issues.”
One has to feel bad for her but does she remain silent about Ravi and his money deals?

If one was among those deceived because of former mayor Dawn Zimmer’s endorsement or the hate distractions strewed about leading into the despicable application of a Ravi Terror Flyer to save the day in the 2017 mayoral election, you could be forgiven. Absolution is available to you. Read More...

News

Ravi Bhalla in alleged $70,000 Pay-to-Play scheme tied to his Republican law firm deal

Mayor Ravi Bhalla saw an atomic bomb drop with details of $70,000 municipal law contracts out of Union City heading to the Republican law firm where he’s being paid in a second job.

The breaking atomic-level alleged pay-to-play scheme was reported in a news story on the Hudson County View.

From that breaking story on the Republican law firm: Lavry, Selvaggi, Abromitis & Cohen where Ravi Bhalla holds a second job with a base salary of $60,000 annually:

Back in February when Bhalla revealed that he would be serving as of counsel for LSAC, he released a copy of his contract, which said, in part, that he would receive “20 percent of all gross revenue paid by clients in excess of $60,000 up to $750,000.” Then in June, Bhalla released a memo indicating that he had not earned any money in commissions since joining the new firm. He has not released a public update since then and his critics on the city council haven’t pressed him much on the subject, either. Several Union City and Hoboken officials declined to comment, but Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher questioned if politics were in play here. “A coincidence? Or maybe something as ‘apolitical’ as the Mayor needing to generate revenues by year end to justify his $60K base salary at his second job and Union City helped him out. It’s why we ask questions,” she said in an email.

The Jersey Journal’s senior reporter Terence Mcdonald added this Twitter nugget on the political ties between Ravi Bhalla & Brian Stack: Read More...

News

Coming up: Nixle abuse

There’s more coming in the NixleGate affair or whatever you want to call the abuse of service in the Bhalla Administration.

There’s a brewing legal and vendor problem as members of the Hoboken public don’t find it endearing to be contacted with political propaganda paid at taxpayer expense reaching out and touching them.

They are none too happy, nor is the Hoboken City Council with the political messaging, re: lying to the public using the Nixle system.

Hoboken residents are angry with the abuse of the Nixle notification service
coming out of the mayor’s office and his highly paid face punchers. 

Once again, the Corporation Counsel who donated $600 to the Bhalla for mayor campaign, also known as the “I’d like to keep my job Ravi program” finds himself in the midst of controversy. Read More...

News

Council shocked with massive $7,500 raise to head “face puncher” John Allen

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At last week’s City Council meeting, the members inadvertently came upon another less than transparent ploy out of the mayor’s office. This time it was handing a massive $7,500 raise to Ravi Bhalla’s Chief of Staff (and head face puncher) John Allen.

The discovery comes about with yet another inadvertent financial inquiry, this time by Council VP Ruben Ramos. As seen in the video, the hilarity ensues. Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher is taken aback by the news and finds it offensive that a member of the mayor’s office who organizes political attacks against them at their meetings is seeing the largest pay increase in =&1=& of Hoboken municipal government. Councilman Peter Cunningham moves to reverse the retroactive increase and Councilman Mike DeFusco blasts the less than transparent action before the entire council shoots it down. The video concludes with Councilman Cunningham sarcastically noting this less than transparent scheme is worthy of a citywide Nixle alert. =&2=&: John Allen’s six figure salary of $105,000 is padded $7,500 to =&3=& on the down low by Ravi Bhalla. It’s believed Jason Freeman, the assistant to the Chief of Staff saw an increase with a $10,000 stipend to $90,000.

Last, Vijay Chaudhuri who came in on December 5th also is believed bumped to $95,000 in the new year. He replaces the previous communications manager who was paid $72,500 for a whooping budget busting increase of $22,500.

That brings Ravi Bhalla’s army of face punchers officially near the $300,000 mark just after his first year in office. Former mayor Dawn Zimmer’s first year with one mayoral aide: $35,000. Read More...

News

Welcome back to Hoboken the new and improved Federal Bureau of Investigation

Hoboken dearly missed the boys of summer back in 2011 when the massive theft of emails in and out of former mayor Dawn Zimmer’s office uncovered a massive illicit political operation arrayed against her. The stolen emails, numbering in the tens of thousands or more spread near and far finding their way to Hoboken public safety unions which were in protracted contract negotiations and the boys of hate at Hoboken411. In the end, no one went to jail.  Fast forward to 2019 and the FBI under new Department of Justice leadership in Newark is diving into one of Hoboken’s most treasured traditions: voter fraud. Not a year ago, the Hoboken City Council became a free for all as the topic of voter fraud erupted spontaneously with Councilman Michael Russo recounting, or bragging there’d never been an arrest in Hoboken for voter fraud.  These days, =&0=& making recommendations. One rumored consideration anticipates Peter Biancamano’s return as a candidate for City Council in the second ward this November on a Ravi Bhalla council ticket. Last year, however, it was one Councilman Michael Russo speaking on the topic of Hoboken voter fraud saying, “I don’t think anyone really bought a vote… Anybody who tells you different is lying to you. When they say someone bought Vote by Mails, no they didn’t….” Four arrests have followed with Mikie Squared finding himself at the epicenter of suspicion swirling around his amassed army of paid campaign workers. Almost to a person, each was paid $50 and their personal ballots using vote-by-mail in the 2015 election. Only 20 among hundreds worked in his Third Ward campaign where he faced no opposition. Only a month in office as mayor, 

Ravi Bhalla made wild allegations later walked back against the City Council citing certain members being “beneficiaries of voter fraud,” but pointedly avoiding any mention of his ally, Councilman Michael Russo. Read More...

News

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher – ‘Pedestrian safety’

Official release:

  Dear friends and neighbors I hope you are all managing to stay warm.  I consider myself a hearty Rochester girl with too many decades of frigid weather and snow under my belt, and yesterday and today are even cold for me.  Stay warm and please check in on any of your neighbors who are more vulnerable.  Other than the weather… PEDESTRIAN SAFETY Last week, a 2nd Ward neighbor was hit by a car at the corner of 15th & Bloomfield.  A car driving north on Bloomfield Street, barely stopped at the stop sign and turned left onto 15th and hit him in the crosswalk in the middle of the day and did not stop.  Thankfully, his injuries were limited to a broken leg.  This is a picture of the Black Jeep (notice the rims and the formation of the stickers on the windshield).  If you have any information please call Hoboken Police at 201/420-2100. This is a story we are hearing with more frequency not across 15th Street, but across the city.   Pedestrian Safety has been in our local vernacular for a long time, especially under former Mayor Zimmer, with the main focus being improved street design and planning where we have made a number of positive changes.  Last week, the administration put out this video which highlights Parking and Transportation Director Ryan Sharpe (who specializes in street planning) discussing Complete Streets for Hoboken.  With this video, the administration also announced that they will soon be introducing Vision Zero for Hoboken with their stated goal of reducing traffic-related injuries to zero by 2034.  This is a great initiative and you can click here to learn more about what Jersey City has done since they announced their own version of Vision Zero last February.   There is certainly more we can and need to do now, in parallel – some lower hanging fruit that focuses on changing the behavior of everyone who uses our streets.  Just after the accident in my neighborhood I reached out to Mayor Bhalla and shared just a few ideas centered around creating a Culture of Safety in Hoboken that we don’t yet have:  

  • Branding Hoboken as a pedestrian city – eg. having signs at our entrances that say something like “Welcome to Hoboken, where pedestrian safety is our number one priority”.  
  • Creating a #ShareTheResponsibility type campaign – Although some residents believe car drivers should bear most of the burden of changing behavior, I believe it is as much about making all users of our streets do their part including:  Cars stopping at stop signs, bikes stopping at all stop signs and riding with traffic instead of against, and pedestrians not crossing midblock and not looking at their phones as they cross at an intersection.  
  • Educating Hoboken residents on how they can and need to do their part today. 
  • Creating safety weeks throughout the year and include resident advocacy – eg – residents donning t-shirts and handing flyers out to every car entering and leaving Hoboken that say “Pedestrian Safety is Our Priority” to raise awareness.  
  • Read More...