In what appears to easily be the most bitter showdown in the Hoboken City Council races that will be decided on Tuesday, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino and outgoing Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) are pulling out all the stops.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
A mailer campaign has been relentless against Giattino as crunch time hits election season, in one instance attacking the incumbent for opposing a 25 percent tax cut.
Other mailers have attacked Giattino for going to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, with two city directors, and another even claims that Giattino voted against a ban on assault weapons in Hoboken.
A letter sent to the mailing address for Hudson County View from “The Truth About Jen” was particularly nasty, calling Giattino “a fraud” who “violated law” by moving out of the ward for 15 months after her home sustained serious damage from Hurricane Sandy.
Giattino is also referred to as “a sneaky Republican getting away with hiding the truth from the residents of Hoboken,” claiming her move violated a city vacancy law, but it was overlooked so Mayor Dawn Zimmer could maintain a majority on the council.
Garcia told Hudson County View that he did not pay for or play any role in the negative mailers, which state they were paid for by “Real Democrats for Hoboken.”
The councilwoman, who unseated Angelo “Nino” Giacchi in May 2011, has previously stated that the damage to her home was very real and created a serious hardship on her family, taking offense that anyone would even insinuate otherwise.
In the midst of a fire fight, Giattino has refused to be a punching bag, refuting Garcia’s “outrageous false and negative attacks,” noting that gun regulations are taken care of on the state and national level, she wrote in a mailer of her own.
Additionally, she went at Garcia hard in an October 23 letter sent to Assembly Speaker (D-32) Vincent Prieto, who is also the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, where she alleges Garcia is “electioneering” by sending council mailers from his Assembly office.
Garcia caught some heat earlier this month for sending mailers with a letter marked from Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (D-1), though his office called it an “oversight” (h/t Politicker NJ).
At the HCDO’s annual fall gala at Jersey City’s Casino in the Park Thursday night, Hudson County View had a chance to catch up with Prieto and inquire what his reaction to Giattino’s letter was.
Prieto wanted it to be known that as chairman of the party, “I don’t get involved in local races,” adding that he gave Giattino’s letter to counsel at the state and left it up to them to determine if any further action needed to be taken.
“Like I said, that’s not something for me to get involved in, so I don’t know all the particulars. Anything like that I forward. As the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, I do not go into local races in the local municipalities. That is something that I leave to them.”
The Assembly Speaker also noted he has wished both Garcia and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer the best of luck in Tuesday’s elections.
Garcia, who is suing Zimmer, her husband Stan Grossbard, the city, the HHA and others for wrongful termination, believes Zimmer played a major role in plotting his removal from the autonomous agency – which he believes was proven in emails where Grossbard communicated with HHA commissioners.
November 3 might as well be Judgement Day for Hoboken’s 6th Ward, as Garcia vs. Giattino is for all the marbles as far as the future of Hoboken is concerned.