Month: June 2019


Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher Announces Re-Election Bid as Hoboken’s Second Ward Representative

Official release:

Dear neighbors, family and friends, 
This July is a special month for me not only because it is the anniversary of when I started calling Hoboken home 25 years ago, but it also marks four years since I decided to throw my hat into the ring and run for City Council as the Second Ward’s representative. It was with the support from many of you that I won my first election and it is your continued support and engagement that has allowed us to accomplish great things together for Hoboken ever since. I would love for you to join me on Monday, July 15th at Madison Bar and Grill to help me celebrate these important July milestones, but more importantly to help me kick off my re-election campaign! Beginning today, I am officially running for re-election so that we can continue working together to make our Hoboken the best place to live for all of us. I am incredibly proud of our track record because by working together we have touched on so many issues that have made a positive impact on Hoboken. To name a few: 

  • Saving taxpayers $30 million and putting an end to water main breaks by renegotiating our Suez contract to give Hoboken enough funds to upgrade our entire water system.
  • Making Hoboken’s main street safer, more resilient and beautiful by completing the Washington Street Redesign and bringing back community sidewalk patrols.
  • Defending our waterfront against private and commercial interests so that both the proposed Monarch and the former Union Dry Dock sites are developed as open space for public use and enjoyment.
  • Keeping taxes low and ensuring fiscal discipline as Chair of the Finance and Revenue Committee by eliminating wasteful and excess spending while maintaining essential city services and supporting public safety.
  • Advocating for our most vulnerable and long-standing residents to prevent displacement by hiring a tenant advocate, supporting an amendment to rent control laws that are favorable to tenants and extending PILOTs on low-income housing units. 
  • Executing on a pedestrian safety plan for the 2nd Ward that includes traffic calming initiatives and upgrades to a dozen intersections.
  • Adding a new dog park to the 2nd Ward in a neighborhood that has seen the highest residential and pet density increases throughout the entire city. 
  • Coordinating with the Board of Education to prioritize the massive enrollment wave in our school district, which has seen a 59% increase in grades Pre-K 3 to 6th in just eight years, in all planning and redevelopment actions the City undertakes.
  • Fighting for and securing over $5 million in revenue for our city from private developments, including the Hilton Hotel project, by delivering financial expertise to redevelopment negotiations so the City is no longer the underdog.
  • Supporting greater investment in resiliency as the lead Council voice on Rebuild By Design and backing the resiliency initiatives in the South West and North West Parks. 
  •


    Frank Raia political hangover begins with a trail over a decade long

    The political hangover in Hoboken is underway after the blockbuster conviction out of federal court in Newark for one Frank Raia.

    Cue the Monty Python and the Holy Grail retreat, run awaaayyyyyyyy!

    Councilman Mike DeFusco was quickly joined by Councilman Ruben Ramos yesterday in getting ahead of any affiliation with the Pupster. Both elected to announce donations to local causes of Raia political contributions in the immediate aftermath.

    Frank Raia chats in the back of City Council chambers with Michelle Russo
    as his VBM soldier Dio Braxton center watches a 2011 council meeting.
    Raia’s political influence was directly connected to his VBM activities during elections.

    Calls for others to join in have been met with steely silence. Frank Raia’s money and ensuing political influence was a staple of Hoboken politics. In the wards where the Hoboken Housing Authority and senior buildings reside, his Vote by Mail operational power extended deep and Hoboken political incumbents and climbers paid homage. Read More...


    Horse Sense: Heroes of the Republic as the hammer falls on Hoboken voter fraud

    Yesterday’s jury verdict convicting Frank “Pupie” Raia of leading a conspiracy to bribe Hoboken’s most vulnerable population for their votes hit the Mile Square City like a thunderclap.

    Minutes before the verdict just before 3:00 pm, Raia sat in the hallway with a dozen friends and family awaiting his fate. He gingerly lowered himself to a wooden bench steps away from the courtroom and drinking a Diet Coke. His movements were slow and deliberate of a man much older than his 67 years. The strain and toll of the week long trial and indictment issued last Halloween by the US Department of Justice obvious. Read More...


    Councilman Ruben Ramos: ‘Act on this moment for Hoboken’

    Official release:

    Councilman Ruben Ramos Statement on Guilty Verdict in Raia Trial

    Fourth Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos is releasing the following statement on the guilty verdict returned yesterday in the federal fraud trial of longtime Hoboken political figure Frank Raia. During the trial, former Raia operative Matt Calicchio testified that Raia supported the campaign of Tim Occhipinti for Hoboken Mayor in 2013 and ran on his ticket specifically for the purpose of hurting Ramos’ chances of winning the mayoral election.  Read More...


    Councilman Mike DeFusco challenges NJ pols: Give Pupie money back to a good cause

    Official release:

    Councilman Mike DeFusco Will Donate $5,400 to the American Legion to Build Housing for Homeless Veterans 

    HOBOKEN, N.J. — Councilman Mike DeFusco will donate $5,400 to the Hoboken American Legion for the organization to continue building housing for homeless veterans. The donation is the exact dollar amount of contributions made by Frank Raia to Councilman DeFusco’s 2017 mayoral campaign. Councilman DeFusco is meeting with Commander John Carey from Post 107 this morning. Read More...



    USAO NJ Seal 3

    Official release:

    United States AttorneyDistrict of New Jersey
    NEWARK, N.J. – A former candidate for the Hoboken City Council was convicted today of conspiring to promote a voter bribery scheme by use of the mail, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. 

    Francis Raia, 67, of Hoboken, New Jersey, was a candidate for Hoboken City Council in 2013. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Travel Act for causing the mails to be used in aid of voter bribery, contrary to New Jersey state law, during that election. The jury deliberated for one day, following a five-day trial before Senior U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court. Read More...


    BREAKING: One verdict for Frank Raia in his voter bribery trial: GUILTY!

    =&0=& =&1=& US Department of Justice & FBI smash Old Guard voter fraud operation in Hoboken 
    Frank Raia stunned with verdict

    Newark Federal Court: Before well over a dozen family, friends, and Hoboken voter fraud critics, Frank “Pupie” Raia was declared guilty of directing a conspiracy in a massive voter bribery scheme today in Hoboken’s 2013 election.

    The jury delivered its verdict on the second day of deliberations after requesting the testimony to review  four of the five Hoboken voters who testified how they offered their VBM (Vote by Mail ballot) to soldiers of Raia’s social club in exchange for $50. Read More...


    Jury hears witness testimony reread on day six of the Frank “Raia” Trial

    It’s day six and the jury heard all the requested witness testimony. Another question submitted requested Judge William Martini go over the charging instructions for the jury.

    Judge Martini went through an abreviated charging instruction focused on select portions. He detailed: acting on fact, deciding yourself based on evidence, witness credibility and weighing it individually.

    The jury went to lunch at 12:30 and renews efforts on deliberations.


    Jury deliberates into day two with questions in Raia trial

    Closing arguments this morning from the prosecution and defense in day five of the Frank Raia bribery scheme trial led to afternoon jury deliberations before being later adjourned by Judge William Martini in US federal court today.

    The jury requested witness testimony from four of five Hoboken paid Vote by Mail voters: Latasha Swindon, Marquitha Allen, Patricia Tirado, and Tracy Stepherson.

    In addition, the jury requested the witness testimony of the treasurer of the Raia PAC “Let the People Decide” Andrew Canonico and Brian Cardino, a former Hudson County Board of Elections investigator. Read More...


    Pupie plea: “Let’s make a deal!”

    Last Thursday, Frank “Pupie” Raia took to the witness stand to rebut the testimony of former friends and allies alleging he masterminded a massive voter bribery scheme in Hoboken during the 2013 election.

    It may not have turned out as well as hoped.

    According to well-placed Hoboken sources, the defense team led by attorney Alan Zegas is seeking to make a deal on behalf of his client with the Department of Justice prosecutors.

    There’s only one problem; the Feds aren’t interested.