A few members of the Hoboken Democratic Committee are adamantly against a potential mayoral run of Council President Jen Giattino, who one committeeman described as “a Trump-voting Republican.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“URGENT!!! Let’s work together to stop a Trump-voting Republican from becoming the Mayor of Hoboken,” Mitch Fagen, the third vice chair of the HDC, wrote on his Facebook page late Saturday night.
“Jen Giattino is a Trump supporting and voting Republican. I personally think that Trump is a monster and a bigot, and that anyone who supported him is basically either evil or stupid- there’s no third possibility.”
Fagen goes on to say that “it’s not okay to support Trump” because that is equivalent to accepting “naked bigotry.”
“Electing a Trump voter to lead Hoboken is simply not acceptable, and does not reflect our values as a proudly diverse community. It doesn’t matter how nice she is in person, or if she has allied with other Democrats on the Council on certain local issues. She failed a crucial test of character,” he continued.
Several sources close to Giattino, who asked not to be identified since they did not want to get involved with the reform group infighting, said she did not vote for Trump and supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican primary.
Fagen’s Facebook thrashing came after 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham announced over the weekend that they were not ready to endorse Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla for mayor – even though incumbent Dawn Zimmer had already done so.
Additionally, both Fisher and Cunningham said they were open to a mayoral bid from Giattino, a notion that began to gain some traction late last week. Fisher is also the new chairwoman of the HDC.
Fagen, who has endorsed Bhalla, also accused the duo of “conceding to bigotry” by supporting “a white Republican” mayoral candidate over a Sikh one.
Additionally, Amy Sommer and Stewart Mader, a married couple from the 5th Ward elected to the HDC for the first time on June 6th, sent a letter to Fisher and Cunningham yesterday expressing concerns of a Democratic committee supporting a Republican.
“We’re concerned. It seems like we’ve gone from a strong sense of unity and momentum surrounding the June 6 election to what suddenly feels like confusion and a growing risk of disunity among the reform community,” the couple wrote.
“We believe it is entirely reasonable for Mayor Zimmer, who has intimate, firsthand experience with the challenges and demands of the mayor’s office, to recommend someone who she believes is best equipped to be the next occupant of that office.”
Citing the 2016 presidential race as a worst case scenario of what happens when political communities are divided, said supporting someone like Giattino could create a similar outcome in Hoboken.
The letter concluded by questioning how the leader of a local Democratic committee could support a Republican mayoral candidate, even if the election is non-partisan.
“We are dismayed to read your supportive words for a registered republican only days after we elected you to chair the Democratic Committee on a platform dedicated to electing progressive democrats,” the couple wrote.
“We need to pour all of our energy into the single goal of electing progressive democrats, and we cannot risk undermining our own values by being split at such a critical time for our city and country.”
In an email sent to the Democratic committee late this morning, which was obtained by Hudson County View, Fisher responded to the criticisms lobbed at Giattino.
“Although some of them were respectful, constructive and/or appreciative, others were much less, contained information that was untrue, and included, among other things, referring to my friend and fellow councilwoman Jen Giattino as a white supremacist and a bigot, saying they would prefer to vote for a corrupt Democrat than a Republican, and calling me evil and a racist,” she wrote.
“Jen Giattino is a model citizen and public servant, a progressive Republican and a good person. She overlaps more than less with both Mayor Zimmer and Ravi, who are also my friends. And not that anyone has a right to know who she, or any of us voted for, she did not vote for Trump,” Fisher continued.
“There is not one elected official in our town who has done more on her own for those with less. She stands up for people who need to be stood up for. And to even insinuate that she is a bigot is reprehensible.”
She also took umbrage with anyone believing a “corrupt Democrat” would be a better mayoral candidate than any Republican, given that the whole purpose of the reform movement has been to promote honest, accessible and transparent government.
Giattino did not respond to inquiries seeking comment.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
If Fagan can make comments like this and be is any office, I fear Democrats with a passion. HOW IS IT DEMOCRATS in power can believe this bull? I can’t even read the rest of the article, because I am dumbfounded by such trash talk from fagen.
democrat party activist tells fellow democrat activists that republicans are bad and democrats are good… in other news dog bites man
seriously, did you just realize that party activists typically don’t like the other side?
It’s time for the Zimmer folks to stop calling themselves Reformers. They have managed to take control of every board and authority in the city and Zimmer has beenflirting with county and state bosses for years. Just recently she welcomed the endorsement of the boss of all bosses, Brian Stack. Come on folks, you’re not Reformers, you’re no different than any other political machine.
There are opinions, harsh words, and then there are facts and numbers… fact: 8/10 people in Hoboken voted for Clinton, fact: Donald Trump is a sexist, racist bigot who brags about sexually assaulting women. In Addition, he has little knowledge or respect for the law. See @realdonaldtrump
The people who voted for him knew this beforehand, and I agree that it is a failed test of character. GEORGE DUBYA BUSH DIDN’T VOTE FOR TRUMP.
So it all comes down to this: do we really want someone who looks the other way; voting for Trump is looking the other way at his sexism, racism, lack of respect for the law? And More importantly, can she get votes from Hoboken residents who voted for Hillary 8/10? If people were liberal enough to vote for Hillary, will they choose a Sikh over a republican?
Boy oh boy do I love this. All the pristine new Hoboken blood getting muddy in the swamp.
I got my popcorn ready!
With all the lunatic Hoboken bloggers (Roman, Nancy, Perry) this is MUST see stuff. I cant wait to watch them all cannibalize themselves, Drag non-players names in the mud for no good reason; Make unfounded associations between parties because they ride the same bus to work.
They think they are making it better with their efforts to make the pubic aware of the inneer working of govt. When in fact they are the lowest of the players in the game. The knock ‘dirty politicians’, while throwing sand in each others eyes. Terrible people, who add no values to politics.
Hoboken will be better off when they get tired of their rabble rousing.
I wish Tm V was back. A true Legend and REAL Reformer. Not like this blow hard crowd we have now.
I suggest letting the people decide. Are we not a democracy? I believe the average person has more sensibility than political animals who seek to trash each other.