DeFusco, Pagan-Milano exchange fire over 1st Ward challenger’s Hoboken City Hall job


Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco and his opponent, Migdalia Pagan-Milano, are exchanging fire over the challenger’s City Hall job.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Everyone has the right to run for political office, but running a candidate who simultaneously collects a City Hall paycheck and reports directly to the mayor is a clear lapse of ethical judgement and poses a huge conflict of interest,” DeFusco said in a statement.

“It is unfathomable that Mayor Bhalla would take a page out of Hudson County’s troubled past by supporting a candidate who is willing to push his political agenda rather than serve as an independent leader who will do what is best for Hoboken.”

The incumbent further stated that the 1st Ward “deserves a clean, fair election” based solely on the candidates’ ideas and merits.

Team Bhalla spokesman Rob Horowitz responded that it is misleading to say that Pagan-Milano reports directly to the mayor, who has endorsed her and her four running mates, and that DeFusco is in no position to talk about ethical behavior.

“Councilman DeFusco continues his now established pattern of launching false and misleading attacks on his political opponents. Migdalia Pagan-Milano continues to perform her job in the Department of Constituent Affairs with dedication, integrity and a high level of competence, helping the residents of Hoboken with their day-to-day problems,” he said.

“DeFusco, on the other hand, had to be repeatedly pressured to do the right thing and return all the contributions of one his largest contributors Frank Raia, who was found guilty in a large- scale voter fraud scheme– a scheme in which DeFusco’s former campaign manager Ryan Yacco was at the heart. A contest over ethics between these two candidates is no contest.”

Additionally, DeFusco campaign spokeswoman Caitlin Mota indicated that Pagan-Milano “has access to sensitive city resources” as a municipal employee, as well as that the mayor is her boss who is simultaneously fundraising for her as a candidate.

The bad blood between DeFusco and Bhalla, along with his political allies, will surely continue to be on full display for the next nine weeks ahead of the November 5th ward council elections.

Petitions for nomination are due at the City Clerk’s office by 4 p.m. this afternoon for all candidates interested in being on the fall ballot.

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  1. It is unfathomable that Councilman DeFusco had taken $10,000.00 political contribution from Hoboken developer Frank “Pupie” Raia who has recently been convicted of multiple counts of voter fraud, but he did.

    It was unfathomable that Raia was also a member of DeFusco’s campaign team until he was replaced days before his conviction, but it did.

    It was unfathomable that Councilman DeFusco when called out about the cash from Raia tried to launder it by giving some of it to local charities and some of it to an organization he controlled. but he did.

    It is unfathomable that DeFusco and his handlers are hoping to gloss over his connection to his campaign worker Ryan Yacco’s implicated as being Raia’s money distributor in the voter fraud charge, but he did.

    it is unfathomable that First Ward Councilman can not legitimately point to anything he has done while sitting on the City Council. It is unfathomable that he has tried to take credit for the work and ideas of others but he did.

    It is unfathomable that DeFusco has been able to amass so much money from sources outside of not only the First Ward but outside of Hoboken that he can hired Catlin Motta, an employee of a high priced political public relations firm to speak for him but he does.

    It is unfathomable that someone like Michael DeFusco is even running for office in 2019 Hoboken, but he is.

  2. “We write to express our strong and unwavering support for our friend, Migdalia Pagan-Milano in her campaign for the 1st Ward City Council seat.”

    Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro.

    Former 1st Ward Councilwoman Terry Castellano

    1st Ward Committeewoman Eileen Carvahlo

      • Notice they don’t want to talk about Ravi Bhalla having someone from the mayor’s office on the City Council? How does a stupid conflict like that even get addressed? They have the answer. They won’t address the stupid conflict. At all.

        • When elected Migdalia Pagan-Milano would resign from her Constituent Services position.

          She has the absolute right to run for office.

          DeFusco knows that but he is running scared and has chosen try to smear her with a whole false narrative rather than rely on his real, shameful record of lies, false promises and selling out the residents of Hoboken’s First Ward to anyone with deep pockets.

          Thankfully most First Ward voters are not as dumb as DeFusco’s internet crew.

  3. Mike’s shooting blanks, Vision Media’s talking points that they write for him are just not having any impact, again. What’s their problem? They used to be a reasonably effective, albeit slightly sleazy, shop. Yikes.

  4. No question DeFusco’s star has fallen a bit, and he is quite vulnerable, but what ‘Mr Unfathomable’ (and others) up there forget is that anyone tied to Ravi is stained by association. People just don’t like him and by extension, the ticket.

    DeFusco has issues, but being known as Ravi’s chief foil is all it might take.

    Midgala has a real shot here since she’ll carry the towers and is already in City Hall.

    • I agree DeFusco is quite vulnerable.
      I do not buy into the the convoluted logic that voters will somehow vote for him because he constantly has some problem with Mayor Bhalla. Considering DeFusco and his other running mates have all at one point or another publicly said that they agree with more than ninety percent of what Bhalla’s Administration has done.
      DeFusco also has been very recently stained by his association with Frank Raia.
      If the voters don’t like Bhalla whenever he is on the ballot they will not vote for him.
      DeFusco is on the ballot in November and if residents in his Ward do not like him they will not vote for him.