A midnight flyer aimed at Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla that says “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town” has been denounced by three other candidates in the race, with no one taking responsibility for the hateful campaign literature.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œLast night a flyer with the word ‘terrorist’ above a picture of me appeared on car windshields in Hoboken. Of course, this is troubling, but I want to be clear: We won’t let hate win in Hoboken,” Bhalla, who is Sikh, said in a statement.
“I want people to know that Hoboken is a welcoming community where my wife and I are proud to raise our two young children. No matter your religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, you are welcome here in our City. And as Mayor, I will work hard to make sure we keep it that way.”
While the flyer is attributed to 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco’s mayoral campaign, the openly gay elected official sharply denied that he had anything to do with the flyer.
“A disgusting, racist flier was found on car windshields tonight that altered one of my campaign’s mailers and added a racial epithet aimed at Ravi Bhalla. I condemn this piece of racist garbage in the strongest possible terms,” DeFusco said on his website.
“Hoboken is far better than this and whoever made this flier is not only insulting one of my opponents in a despicable way, they are also painting me as a racist, which as the only openly gay elected official in Hudson County and a progressive Democrat simply could not be further from the truth.”
DeFusco added that he called Bhalla last night to condemn the flyer and sent a copy to the Hoboken Police Department to see who is “intentionally misrepresenting my campaign.” He also said he plans to send a copy to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Furthermore, the councilman posted a nearly six minute video on his Facebook page this afternoon speaking out against “bigotry, hatred and dirty smear campaigns.”
Freeholder Anthony Romano’s (D-5) chimed in as well, saying he was “appalled” to see the word “terrorism” used in campaign literature.
“We are appalled by the flyer that was distributed last night regarding Ravi Bhalla. The accusation of terrorism is not something that should be taken lightly; it is offensive to all of us,” Romano said in a statement.
“Those who assume a Sikh, Muslim or Middle Eastern person equates to terrorism are acting in a fearful and racist manner. Racism has no place in Hoboken and we must stand together against this.”
Behind the scenes, the Romano campaign has been accused of producing the mailer and pinning it on DeFusco, who has regularly traded blows with the freeholder in this race, a charge they have denied.
Furthermore, Council President Jen Giattino called the flyer a “cowardly act.”
â€œLast night a campaign flyer was left on windshields of cars throughout Hoboken. It contained an accusation against one of the mayoral candidates that was racially charged and just wrong,” she said in her own statement.
“This reprehensible act is completely unacceptable. There is no room for this kind of hateful and cowardly act in our election. We may differ in many of our views in this election, but I know that we all agree that this type of tactic has no place in our society.â€
The flyer has gained traction beyond Hoboken, with even U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) weighing in on Twitter.
My friend @RaviBhalla is running for Hoboken mayor. This vile hateful flyer was put out. Iï¸ condemn it! We all must condemn bigotry & hate! https://t.co/3Wz5Io9kNZ
â€” Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 4, 2017
Disappointing especially since none of this occurred earlier in the race.
There’s some news breaking out on the surging of Jen Giattino in most recent polling:
She’s 4th and has always been 4th. You claimed she was in a statistical tie for 1st. There is no place to surge from a tie for 1st. Were you lying then or lying now? You lie too much for anyone to believe you have a source so it doesn’t really matter.
Facts are facts and if the Horse was wrong Ravi Bhalla wouldn’t have assaulted Jen with all the smears and mailers attacking her.
You should stick to lying on your own website Nancy. It doesn’t matter anymore. You’ve been exposed as a charlatan and fabricator.
On HCV and MSV, sourcing is always been a part of their record. If the Horse had gotten it wrong about getting Ravi’s poll, what is the timing of the attacks on Jen Giattino shortly after, a coincidence?
Just like the 50K PAC for Ravi, you don’t have any answer. Go back to your website and stay in a safe space where the lies are greeted with pats of approval on your head.
Twice a week that lovesick dope reports a “surge” for Giattino. Now he reports “new polling”. Nobody is polling. Nobody polled. The last poll done was 2 weeks ago by Stronger Foundations. Ravi and DeFusco tied. Stick far back, Jen last. The only thing surging for Jen is inside a pair of horse pants.
Maybe you should ask Ravi’s campaign to stop lying to you Nancy.
I read HCV and MSV and they’re consistent. Your garbage makes no sense. Not to anyone who is sane. You now claim that Jen is no threat as you keep saying but the truth is clear as day. Here you are again arguing against isn’t written. Do you understand the English language when it says two weeks? Man you’re so blistering dumb.
If Jen is no threat Ravi doens’t spend all that time and money to smear her and he spent tens of thousands of dollars doing so after that PAC did a poll for him. The negative smear mailers came out right after the Horse site put out the poll results. Yes, Jen has surged. Surged into a tie and beyond. You can’t accept it and avoid obvious facts because you’re messed up. You can’t handle the truth. So you say lots of stupid stuff everyone sees clear as day.
Didn’t you claim only days ago that Jen was in third place? Now she’s back in fourth. What a riot. You can’t even keep you lies straight.
Oh and besides that obvious tell, how would you know what a PAC obtained in results from a poll? They don’t “coordinate” with Ravi’s campaign or at least that’s the law.
If you spent less time spinning and lying for Ravi, you would have known better than to put into writing all the stupid things you do. But no one tells you because you are so eager to pump out propaganda. That’s all they care about. HCV and MSV have shown how irrelevant you are. You do nothing but spend all your time spinning and blatantly lying for Ravi. It’s entertaining but a very sad spectacle.
Do we need to put you on 24-hour Horse Watch to make sure you don’t hurt yourself? Better stock up on carrots and apples to cheer you up on Nov 8th!
Why do you think anyone is unhinged like you Nancy Pincus?
No one would call a 50K PAC for their candidate good governance. Look how the mighty hypocrites have fallen!
Dumb Roman Brice. Dumb as a head of lettuce.
Stronger Foundations is an IE Committee. They file ELEC reports. IE expenditures are not “contributions” (see FEC website) they are expenditures that are independent of campaigns. Only you keep lying that their interest is NJ Transit. That is your very uneducated opinion. Folks, read the views of a blogger who actually expends time and effort researching/investigating a topic, unlike Roman Brice who spews garbage!
No place for this ignorant and hateful speech anywhere in the USA let alone Hoboken.
I am glad all campaigns have denounced it.
This negative attack is horrible. There’s been too much of it. We need to focus on the real issues facing Hoboken. PAC money has returned to Hoboken in a big way.
We haven’t seen this since 2009. Back then Dawn Zimmer was against it.
Now, not so much. What a shame.
…for Ravi Bhalla!
These hypocrites, will they ever cease?
Roman Brice’s deplorable excuse for defaulting on a sizeable personal loan: “This is a measly amount to you and you’re wrong to be pestering me about it.”
Who’s the hypocrite, scumbag?
See you on the big day.
I don’t know who is to blame for that trash that went out last night, but the DeFusco campaign has been bitter, dirty, negative and hateful. The climate he cultivated over the last few months is the kind of climate that leads to this kind of disgusting behavior. If DeFusco is going to condemn this act, he should disavow his entire campaign strategy.
One of my neighbors said they saw them being put out and they thought the person was a kid or looked like a kid.
Romano hires kids.
My neighbor wasn’t sure it was a kid, just that it looked like someone who was extremely short.
Like Tony Soares?
Oh there they go again…
Guess as long as the minority is an enemy it’s ok to attack?
Oh look the short joke hate is back…
Mike DeFusco is little and could look like a kid putting flyers on cars at night.
I never said anything against short people. Just that the person my neighbor saw putting this out was described as very short. If you didn’t have anything to do with it then you have nothing to worry about so stop acting so guilty.
All the campaign hire kids.
For that matter Michael DeFusco could easily pass as a kid at night tucking flyers under car windshields.
Bhalla did this on purpose; he’s looking for sympathy. He put the flyer out himself. This guy is a phony from jump.
Bull$hit. His wife and kid are hurt. I’ll bet you did it.
But it’s ok what you do to Jen?
This negative attack is horrible. Thereâ€™s been too much of it. We need to focus on the real issues facing Hoboken. The republican candidate for governor has specifically targeted Hoboken for school funding cuts.
One Hoboken mayoral candidate has spoken out and taken a strong stance about this, and one mayoral candidate is too cowardly to even stand up for her own town. What a shame.
Why would DeFusco put this on a reprint of a past mailer with his NAME ON IT???
Itâ€™s obvious a third party took it and reconfigured it with hateful words.
Some think it was Bhalla himself
But I doubt that very much!
I do think itâ€™s curious that Bhalla refused to accept Mikes response and on Facebook Bhallaâ€™s friends have reposted it with a link to his fundraising page.
Kinda weird right?
This piece of garabage has a union icon in the corner
There must be a printer around the area who will talk.
I think when the truth comes out the guilty party wonâ€™t be a shocker
Is there a bottom for you?
Order in the COURT
You think your constant attacks on a person with Dwarfism isn’t hate?
Leave the guy alone- you people are obsessed
For months the Bhalla Campaign has been stating they will defend us against Trumpâ€™s hate.
People were asking â€œ what hate in Hoboken?â€ and â€œ We all voted for Ravi beforeâ€
Without a body Ravi couldnâ€™t prosecute his strategy/ case.
So they photoshopped the hate into the race over DeFuscoâ€™s
Now Bhalla is using it to fundraise…
Nice try, FOOL.
Perhaps Stronger Foundations poll showed DeFusco as a competitor and aside from claiming he is somehow criminal now they want to pin him as racist.
The responses of the major campaigns has said alot about who these candidates are. They have each responded true to form.
Ravi has spoken calmly but passionately about how this is not indicative of the diverse inclusive Hoboken he and his family live in. He has not made any accusations about who may be responsible.
Mike has angrily denounced the hatred but then pivoted immediately to a much lengthier and just as angry narrative about himself as the real victim rather than Ravi. McVictimhood at it’s finest. I’ve also heard he has accused Ravi of possibly doing it to himself, which is a pretty nasty and narcicistic accusation. His surrogates have made no secret of their belief that the culprit was the Romano campaign, which makes Mike’s reported comments about Ravi even more bizarre and inappropriate.
Jen put out a lame statement in which she didn’t even mention Ravi’s name or describe what was actually done. She weakly called it a “racially tinged” attack on “one of my opponents” or words to that effect. In the meantime her surrogates continue to desperately attempt to change the subject to their own most recent attack on Ravi saying things to the effect of this isn’t really very important – the real issue is that Ravi is getting union support (or more accurately far more union support than Jen received)
I actually have not seen Romano’s response though I’ve heard he issued a short statement of condemnation and has denied reports that it may have been the work of his campaign. As far as I know he has not accused any other campaign of being responsible, just denied it was them. Beyond the not very widely circulated statement that I didn’t see, the Romano camp has generally not had much to say in terms of press releases or social media and the like.
It’s called laying low. The Romano camp is laying low cause this blew up in their faces. Only a matter of time till Chief gets them. Clicks the cuffs on. Click click
Jen was weak and lame. Yeah, couldn’t bring herself to use Ravi’s name. You noticed that too. Her lunchroom mean-girls have been calling him “unelectable” from the start. “No, Ravi you cant sit with us. Go take your bad in math self and sit with the unpopular kids”
Mike had verbal diarrhea, mostly about himself. Oh poor me. Still his name is tied to this disaster in perpetuity.
Ravi has class and dignity in short supply with other candidates, except Ron and Karen.
If Michael DeFusco actually OKed or one of his crew did produce this hate piece, I would expect an overreaction denial from him to deflect any blame when it blew up in his face. It is hard to continue to be pretend to be a victim when you are caught victimizing others.
So mike doesnâ€™t get to point out heâ€™s been maligned by Homophobic slurs, stalking and online taunts about his personal life?
Only Ravi is a victim in Bhallaâ€™s book?
Everyone who runs for office gets smeared
Zimmer for being Jewish
Ramos for being Puerto Rican
Lenz for being Fat
Mason and Russo produced this smut for years
Nobody made such an international incident until now!
Dawn and Ravi exploit Hobokenâ€™s reputation on everything from Flooding to Crime to Hate Crime
Allowing a few bad apples to tank the entire towns people and paint us all as haters who live in a flood prone congested slum
Good luck on Tuesday
Take the town down for your power grab and road to Washington DC
Hate begets hate and Defusco has emerged himself in the North Bergen play book which has no place in Hoboken. The disgusting hate campaign promoted by Defusco will be the norm if, God forbid, he gets elected.
Playing dev’s advocate. Since the argument is that all groups including whites commit terrorism, why is it “racist” to have the word in an ad with Bhalla? Would putting that word in an ad with an Irish guy (IRA) be subject to the same condemnation? Free speech being stepped on here.
You are a moron
There’s no way DeFusco is stupid enough to modify one of his own previous mailers and add bigoted statements. Not the brightest bulb, but not that stupid. So it’s obviously operatives from or for another campaign. Could be Bhalla. Yes it would hurtful to his family but whichever campaign did it it was probably on a ‘do whatever you have to, but don’t tell me the details’ basis as far as the candidate. Or Romano.
On who is in what place, sorry. There have been so many BS stories about private polls in Hoboken races over the years nobody has any credibility ‘letting us in on it’.
For me, Jen is the best choice and don’t see an obvious reason Ravi will get more votes. It she hadn’t run I’d probably have voted for him, but she did. Ravi represents what I’ve gotten tired of about Zimmerism, and I know I’m far from alone among previous Zimmer voters thinking so. And Zimmer was never an ideal choice, just best among the alternatives. Ravi’s not.
It could even be someone in Jen Giatinno’s camp.
There are some who believe she only got into the race to be a spoiler.
This mailer and the fall out smears dirt on three of her major competitors .
The Zimmer Xrated hate bloggers use hate as a marketing tool
They spew bigotry on that blog and this one,knock a mans personal life for weeks writing he rapes a blow up doll and now when he repurposes a piece of stock imagery of a blow up doll to defend himself
The princess of the sewer /caves feigns outrage
What a laugh!
Then LindaLou / ZomborgStan comes to the rescue to malign a co victim in the Ravi Bhalla flier
Funny how Zimmer/Bhalla co-strategize hate with SewerCave Queen and use peoples appearances as a personal attack
Then when The Giant responds they scream libel
What a joke
Pro- se Canâ€™t you see?
Great role model you picked for filing frivolous lawsuits. Can’t wait to get your hard drives and emails and texts and financials. Call it a open air proctology exam. Bend over! When you lose everything, both of you can share the same card board box- house
ha ha ha
insurance doesnt cover plantiffs