Hoboken election season enters the final three weeks as clashes between the mayoral candidates come to the fore. Over the weekend, word of some of those clashes from the unreleased Hudson Reporter mayoral forum began trickling out. The forum video usually arrives near the end of election season.
Councilman Ravi Bhalla seen in this photo last June when Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced she would not seek re-election. Bhalla reportedly said he’d seek to “codify” a form of sanctuary city status in Hoboken, contrary to federal law and the oath of office.
A story over the weekend pointed to issues amid the clashes during the forum. One touched on the national issue of illegal immigration and a “sanctuary city,” what other Americans call outlaw cities. Federal immigration departments and its law enforcement arm often reach out to local law enforcement and ask for a hold on those being held for alleged crimes who may not be in the country legally. In some locales, the cooperation is nullified by local officials who have decided not to cooperate with the federal government. Last year, this became a national election issue as Americans expressed outrage at the mayhem and murder their families suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants often released back into the community. Municipalities who ignore federal law may lose federal funding as a result.
At the mayoral forum last week, Councilman Ravi Bhalla who has been referred to as a national candidate with ambitions for higher office is quoted seeking to “codify” how to “help protect immigrants in town.” No one of course believes this has anything to do with legal immigrants; Hoboken’s not exactly known for its inviting housing costs.
What Ravi Bhalla would seek to “codify” is at the moment uncertain but it has nothing to do with any legal immigrant in Hoboken. Coming on the back of the divisive rhetoric where the Bhalla campaign pointedly avoided condemning all involved in political violence at Charlottesville last summer may further raise eyebrows and make some Hoboken voters uncomfortable. With six mayoral candidates and four major mayoral campaigns, the Bhalla campaign however clearly believes it can successfully use divisive rhetoric to advantage. Only 30% or less of the mayoral vote may be all that’s needed to win the chair at City Hall with four competitive mayoral campaigns.
Mailer frenzy with three weeks to Election Day
Hoboken residents have seen a blitz of campaign mailers this election season and the pace has only picked up in recent weeks. Councilman Ravi Bhalla sent out another four page color mailer and leads the race with at least three similar variations among others. Those expenditures run well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Team Romano has staked out a group mailer theme for its council slate in recent weeks while also taking out TV ads during Yankee baseball playoff games. The campaign created two looking to appeal to Hoboken voters next month.
City Council President Jen Giattino sent mailers, one on Quality of Life and a recent Quality of Life video at Elysian Park uptown. The mailer pointed out numerous street lights that are out and the video at Elysian showed numerous craters on the children’s playground. Wouldn’t you know it, the lights were all replaced and the holes in Elysian are now all filled. Residents want to know if they should write thank you notes to City Hall, the Council President or is it vice versa?
The DeFusco campaign released its latest mailer last week pointing at Ravi Bhalla and his conflicts as a partner at the law firm Florio Perucci. This one says potential conflicts of Ravi Bhalla could cost Hoboken taxpayers millions related to the Suez water liability of $8.35 million.
Hoboken residents can rest easy knowing those and other conflicts like NJ Transit magically disappear like a Festivus miracle if Bhalla wins the mayor’s seat. A resignation from the law firm would erase the conflict on the city council and make everyday in Hoboken a Festivus celebration.
All of this campaign activity will come to a pause at least for residents’ mailboxes when the mayoral candidates line up for their forum this Thursday at the Stevens DeBaun Auditorium.
Tonight, it’s part two of the council forum. Councilman Dave Mello managed to swap places with Buddy Matthews. It should add heaps of fun to the proceedings at the Multi Service Center.
Sexism surfaces against City Council President Jen Giattino on Sybil’s Cave blog
The personal attacks heightened by the fanatical support of the Ravi Bhalla campaign at Sybil’s Cave took another ugly spiral down the gutter last week. While the news value there approaches nil this election cycle, the depths of attacks waged against Reform supporters and officials including City Council President Jen Giattino has risen to the level of outright sexism.
Last week, it was suggested this MSV editor had romantic designs on the candidate who is married with a family. One graphic offered a “dating game” between the two. Commenters at Sybil’s Cave who are backers, underwriters and work on the Bhalla campaign followed with levels of vitriol not ever seen on Hoboken411.
Denigrating Jen Giattino, the full time political operation at the Sybil’s Cave blog on behalf of the Ravi Bhalla campaign took yet another ugly turn last week. The inherent sexism against Jen Giattino is unfortunate. That’s how Nancy and the Bhalla campaign crew roll in Sybil’s Cave.
In more than eight years, MSV has taken on more than a few big stories publishing numerous exclusives. In that time, the Old Guard pulled stunts and tried to burden this editor with fabricated legal claims of both the civil and criminal variety with criminal assaults and threats of more thrown in for good measure. In all that time, there never was any allegation MSV coverage is due to romantic designs on Mayor Zimmer who is also married with a family.
To mock the accurate report on the announcement of City Council President Jen Giattino’s mayoral launch is an obvious attempt to besmirch her mayoral campaign in cheap sexist terms. Nancy Pincus, formerly a reform supporter, wasn’t there and didn’t see the thunderous ovation for Giattino as she arrived. She doesn’t attend any Hoboken campaign events other than for Ravi Bhalla. The Bhalla campaign feeds her information to use against its campaign opponents. Is this sexism also acceptable?
Both Jen Giattino and her family deserve an apology. We’ll see if Nancy can manage one.
Related: This political website has no connection to the blogs Grafix Avenger and Hoboken411. MSV is continuing its news affiliated relationship with the Hudson County View.