Becoming standard procedure, Bhalla and DeFusco lead the way fundraising in Hoboken

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In what appears to be turning into standard procedure, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco are leading the way as some early fundraising totals are in ahead of the November 5th ward council races.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The mayor raised $28,601 in the second quarter of 2019, for a total of about $109,442 collected for his 2021 re-election bid, according to a report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on July 15th.

A significant portion of that money, $16,500 to be exact, came from 17 different donors in Texas, and according to the report, each contribution was made on April 29th.

An additional $2,250 came from three Texan donors on May 8th.

Furthermore, Phil Cohen, an attorney running for the 5th Ward council seat on a ticket backed by Bhalla, donated $500 on May 8th, with Councilman-at-Large James Doyle’s war chest maxing out a $2,600 donation on April 24th.

While again showing high-level fundraising prowess, Bhalla is spending his campaign funds nearly as quickly as they’re coming in, with only approximately $10,533 cash on hand, according to ELEC.

His largest campaign expenditure this quarter was a $7,500 check paid to Rob Horowitz and Associates (Horowitz is the spokesman for the Team Bhalla slate) for “research and polling” on May 20th, the report says.

DeFusco, Bhalla’s chief nemesis on the council, has raised by far the most money out of a anyone that sits on the dais: raking in around $19,523 this quarter, with his cumulative amount raised coming out to roughly $68,088, based on a July 19th ELEC filing.

Labor unions still appear to be firm supports of the councilman, with the Local Union #164, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, donating $7,000 on June 3rd, the Pipefitters Local Union #274 Political Action Committee chipping in $1,200 on June 25th.

According to the filing, the IBEW was refunded $2,000 on June 5th.

In a similar vein, the Plumbers Local Union #24 PAC contributed $2,000 on June 25th, while the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Non-Partisan PAC wrote a check for $3,000 on June 3rd.

The NRCC endorsed DeFusco for mayor back in October 2017.

DeFusco, who is facing a challenge from Migdalia Pagan-Milano this fall, paid Vision Media Marketing $2,500 for public relations services on June 5th.

The councilman boasts just a hair under $40,583 cash on hand, according to the report.

4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos reports about $5,182 cash on hand, as of July 26th. According to the same document, he has raised just under $45,251 to date and only $4,750 this quarter.

2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher filed her re-election paperwork on July 25th, with 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino, the council president, doing the same on July 23rd.

3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo and 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham have not filed any paperwork this year, though Cunningham announced last month that he would not be seeking re-election.

Furthermore, the five-person Team Bhalla slate filed their candidacy on June 6th and have not reported any money raised to ELEC yet, though their campaign spokesman said their fundraiser on Monday netted them $60,000.

Ron Bautista, a candidate for the 3rd Ward council seat, declared all the way back on September 14th, 2018, but has yet to report any money raised.

According to ELEC rules, municipal candidates in New Jersey aren’t required to file quarterly reports unless they have declared more than five months prior to the date of the 29-day pre-election report.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Ravi Bhalla is trying to get the City Council to undo Hoboken pay-to-play laws.
    He wants to score more special interests (and union) money.

      • You sure you’re fishing in the right pile of mud?

        Ravi Bhalla is trying to undo the Jen Giattino 2011 pay-to-play ordinance. He wants that union money and he’ll fight DeFusco and anyone to get more of it. Whatever money Ravi wants he should get. Big news ahead!

        Happy now?

        • Nancy is known around the country for her attack on a Jewish council person with Nazi imagery.
          Now she’s attacking a disabled stroke victim just like a bigot would.
          Her hate filled blog and her blog comments across the internet should put her on the warning list of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti Semitic hate group watch lists

          • FACT: MSV is on an internal Extremist Watch list for a national Hate Group organization. Site was reviewed. Take THAT to the bank.

          • Horsey never gets hit with anything. His website is always clean and beloved. Prove me wrong but I don’t hear he gets any complaints hardly ever and nothing in many years.

        • Union money is only a problem if Ravi tries to get it. But completely irrelevant for people like a Defusco because they publish their Vision Media press releases on your dead blog. Sounds about right. That’s why it’s a dead blog.

          • We don’t need to talk more about Ravi Bhalla’s lack of ethics and behavior further coloring it with his competition with DeFusco for union monies. That’s so 2017 and Ravi has a much stronger foundation to get around Hoboken pay-to-play laws. Shoot, they’re trying to kill it outright so let’s leave Nancy’s dead ethics/blog out of it.

          • YOU raised the issue of union money. Fine, lets talk about union money. You can talk about Ravi’s union money all you like. But also what about Mike Defusco’s union money which amounts to a number of ELEC violations. Do you have a thought about that as a journalist or concerned member of the community or will you just continually change the subject that YOU raised to GA, Ravi, whatever?

          • Union money is a big special interest problem in Hoboken. I know many people who feel that way. I don’t know all the journalists who agree or disagree like HCV, Hobokenhorse.com or NJ.com. Maybe ask them to do a story together on special interest money. Likely would be interesting.

  2. Every single one of the union contributions listed in the story as having been received by DeFusco is completely illegal under Hoboken’s 2011 anti-wheeling law.

    Councilwoman Giattino cast the deciding vote to enact that law back in 2011, right after she was first elected. The passage of that law has often been touted as one of her signature accomplishments – a major achievement that she deserves outsized credit for because it would not have happened had she not won her Council race, and then cast the 5th vote.

    So where is Councilwoman Giattino’s voice now that her political teammate DeFusco is once again brazenly breaking the law she championed?

    Does she think the law doesn’t apply to her friends?

    Her voice is sorely needed here. Those of us who think “good government” is a whole lot more than a political marketing slogan await hearing it.

    • Her voice should be needed here but it’s Ravi Bhalla’s “voice” trying to undo her 2011 effort.
      Happy with your campaign work for Ravi Bhalla now?

      • So it’s OK with you and Councilwoman Giattino for DeFusco to break the laws that we have now? As an elected official if you don’t like a law you change it – you don’t break it.

        DeFusco broke our system (which had worked well through 5 election cycles with all candidates including Ramos in 2013 complying), by brazenly breaking the law and exposing the flaws in enforcing it. You can’t have a law that applies to honest pols like Bhalla and not to dishonest ones like DeFusco.

        Giattino and Fisher stopped caring about DeFusco breakng the law when hating on Bhalla became their guiding principle.

        If the is law is changed, and if it’s going to be violated without consequence it should be, it will be because of DeFusco’s malfeasance and Fisher and Giattino’s complicity.

        • Why would anyone be okay with breaking a law Dawn Zimmer signed?
          Will Dawn Zimmer say something in support of the law or will she stay silent as Ravi Bhalla tries to undo it? Funny, you made an immediate demand within minutes about council members saying something but Dawn Zimmer who signed the law says nothing.

          Does Dawn Zimmer agree that the law can be broken and worse, allow Ravi Bhalla to undo it? Will you and Dawn remain silent because as you said earlier it’s unenforceable?

          Maybe you should issue a statement for Dawn Zimmer so she’s not complicit. Also, do you think silence and covering up the terror flier to get Ravi Bhalla elected is being complicit?

    • Well Stan, file s citizens complaint you spineless miscreant coward!

      Ravis Texas Oil money is okay though ?

      • Well that is not true.
        The contributions are from the large Sikh community in Texas who are rightfully proud of Mayor Bhalla and equally outraged by the national news coverage of the racist attacks on him.

      • SF is not a PAC it’s an IE. Ever hear of Citizens United? Any coordination with the campaign is illegal. How many IEs are working for Mike Defusco?

  3. Councilman’s predilection for high rise, high density development and his affiliation with Mayor Sacco who has the same predilections and affiliations is the reason for all the construction Union money flowing his way.

    NTJ/LOCOR has been waiting for and supporting a high rise, high density administration in City Hall to build out on their property in the First Ward. That would be good for their corporate bottom-line but a disaster for the residents of Hoboken.

  4. First Ward Councilman Michael DeFusco having to giveaway the $9.4K he received from Frank Raia after he was convicted on multiple charges of voter fraud last month reduced his bank account.
    Raia and the guy who distributed the money for his VBM scheme were also integral parts of DeFusco’s failed mayoral campaign.

  5. Does Migdalia who lives in Marine View has a HHI over the affordable limits pay the surcharge?
    How much OT does the city dole out to her for making photocopies for Geri Fallow all day ?

    Discount apts, cushy city hall job… now seeking 2nd job… nice patronage if you can get it!

  6. Most folks probably don’t understand how you got from defending County bosses Nick Sacco and Joey Muniz’s support for Mike DeFusco to calling Hoboken families racist if their kids go to High Tech – a majority minority public school.

    Haven’t you already done enough damage to Councilman DeFuscco? He would probably be Mayor if he hadn’t listened to the advice of a nutcase who once called himself “infallible” in matters of politics. DeFusco alienates enough people on his own without you lending him an easily identifiable hand.

    • Stop guessing Stan
      Your inside baseball nobody understands
      And your attempt to cut deals almost got you in big trouble

    • Most people don’t listen to your posts, if they did Ravi wouldn’t be so low in the polls and he’s command more than 30% of the vote

      This is just an echo chamber.
      We know you just do it for “ fun!” And because you think it torments your enemies. You are the one most troubled by your wife’s fading legacy and the fact you were her #one liability costing litigation and a $750,000 payout because you think you’re a municipal law and land use expert. You are not.
      You are a wannabe who nobody wants in office or near an office holder.

      • You’re not correct very often, but you certainly are correct that I comment here for fun. After all, only a Doofus would comment here if they weren’t having fun. I don’t think nastiness is fun though – so unlike you I use only LindaLou and I don’t ever write anything nasty. I do laugh at the nonsensical nastiness of others because that is fun. I also don’t think of the folks I call doofuses as enemies – I think of them only as pathetic harmless doofuses.

        Are you having fun? If I’m having fun and you’re not maybe you need a change of attitude. Lighten up, enjoy life.

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