Hosting dueling fundraisers, DeFusco-Romano feud escalates in Hoboken


The ongoing feud between Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco and Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) continued to escalate as the two mayoral hopefuls hosted dueling fundraisers last night.


Addressing supporters at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, Romano spoke about improving recreation programs, putting more police in the streets and responsible development, also noting that corruption and cronyism would not be tolerated by his administration.

“In our campaign, corruption will not be tolerated. There’s gonna be checks and balances, ethics is important to myself, and it’s important to the wonderful people running with me, and we want to make sure our employees understand the high standards – it starts at the top,” Romano said.

“We’re gonna diversify our workforce. What do we mean? Well, we’re gonna make sure we people know what they’re doing in our job. Not getting jobs because they’re friends of mine or political cronies.”

To the shock of no one, DeFusco, who was hosting an event at Birch, wasn’t impressed.

“It’s odd that Freeholder Romano even needs to say that: politics should be above board at all times. Cronyism and corruption should never be permissible and the fact that he needed to say it out loud, to qualify that statement, is just odd.”

During his public remarks, the councilman explained why he feels he’s the best man for the job, taking a shot at Romano for potentially being on the November 7th ballot twice.

Those remarks didn’t sit well with Romano, who said DeFusco should resign from his council seat if he feels that way, adding that he hasn’t been doing his job.

“First and foremost, maybe Mike should resign his 1st Ward council seat. And secondly, instead of focusing so much on something that is legal, that I’m doing … he should be focusing on the issues,” the freeholder stated.

Romano also stated three instances: one getting a street light fixed, one getting a housing inspector to come by and another helping a tenant with bed bugs, as times where DeFusco failed to aid his constituents.

DeFusco said he wasn’t sure if being on the ballot twice was legally or morally permissible, adding that Romano’s services are better suited at the county level where taxes have been continuing to go up.

“When I hear that somebody wants to run for two offices at the same time, I’m not sure if it’s legally permissible, but more so if it’s morally permissible. The mayor of Hoboken is somebody that needs to be laser focused on getting the job done and getting a cohesive vision out there,” DeFusco said.

” … Our county taxes have never been higher and he we need Freeholder Romano concentrated on working with the county, continuing to deliver strong county services, as well as voting on a budget that is fair to Hoboken and all of our people within it.”

Romano is facing a challenge from longtime political nemesis Pat Waiters as to whether or not he can be on the November 7th ballot for both freeholder and mayor.

Officials in attendance at Romano’s event included 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, Kearny Mayor Al Santos and Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro.

Dignitaries spotted at DeFusco’s shindig included 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, former North Hudson Sewerage Authority Chair and ex-board of education trustee Frank Raia and former Hoboken Community Development Director Fred Bado.

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  1. Where to start…
    1) Romano was called out by Steve Strunsky of the Star Ledger for outright lying about the bedbug situation and trying to manipulate senior citizens. He never even spoke to anyone but Dave Mello about it, he just went and had an illegal press conference without a permit. It was also pointed out that was his first press conference in three years, so if you want to talk about someone not doing their job, it seems Stick is your guy.
    2) How can Romano talk about anyone else resigning a seat without doing so himself? He’s asking people to vote for him twice, knowing one vote will be thrown away. Then the other Freeholders from every city except Hoboken get to choose who will represent Hoboken. We have poor representation now, but that’s even worse.
    3) Corruption and cronyism are at the forefront of Romano’s campaign, with shady PACs from Newark funding him and voter fraud scandals aplenty. His campaign staff is made up of leftovers that no other campaign wanted, the same people that lost the Occhipinti and Castellano campaigns. If that’s how he would run city hall, Hoboken is in a lot of trouble.

    • Ken Osmond if you’re gonna post trash, at least get the trash right. If Romano pulled out now, Vinnie Prieto and the HCDO picks his replacement. If he pulls our after the election, Vinnie Prieto and the HCDO picks his replacement. No difference. Phony issue. The claim that the other freeholders will pick is ignorant and wrong. And you probably know that.

      Having a DeFusco shill accuse Romano of corruption and cronyism is rich. Is there a job DeFusco hasn’t promised in exchange for support? He’s promised so much stuff to so many people that his campaign is the political version of the Producers.

      • Oh Please ,a bunch of hypocrites. How can Mello be surrounded by The Callicchio’s, The Russo’s ( Terry and George too)
        How about that county budget hearing where Mello bashes Romano’s vacant chair 2 years ago for county tax increases ?

        One hand washes da other in Hudson County- especially when Jersey City’s Board of Education is controlled by Hudson County bosses we can’t have a council member taking orders from a Mayor who can get to that person’s employer.

    • Mello is no left over. On Monarch, he stood for and served the people when the rest of Team Zimmer served as human rubber stamps. Suez is a remarkably similar case in Zimmer’s mishandling through back room dealing and ram rodding the Council vote.

  2. Lest the above author forget, both Defusco and Raia are Zimmer supporters.
    See the link for a reminder as to why Pupie is supporting Defusco…they both have Dawn Zimmer in common.
    Before you talk about outcasts from other campaigns, you should know the players histories.

    I love this video. It shows how hypocritical the so called Reformers can be.

  3. Defusco is the hand picked candidate from 3 other North Hudson County towns. I can only imagine what he has promised them in exchange for their loyalty….Remember this, HOBOKEN decides who the next mayor will be…My fellow people of HOBOKEN do not be fooled into voting for this hand picked puppet….!

      • …. from the loser who lives for “Bonkers for Bhalla” blog with heaps of deep seated narcissists and anti-social disorders controlled by the Mayor’s Husband Stan Shadow Knows Grossbard.
        Who talks like that to neighbors and friends? Talk about needing a blow up doll….

        • Read what you wrote. You really sound unhinged. Bitter rambling isn’t an argument, endorsement or an answer. It’s just bitter rambling. If that’s what you’ve become, so be it.

  4. Hi! It’s me, Bertha the Blow-up doll 4 GIANTS. Including Giant-sized JERKS who make up $hit about people and spread lies all over social media. Better to play with Bertha the Blow up doll 4 GIANTS.

  5. County College opens Campuses in Jersey City and Union City
    A New High School in Secaucus
    Tax incentives in Kearny
    Sports Stadiums in Harrison

    Hoboken, Stick and Zimmer give take way two lanes on Observer Highway

    Thanks Dawn and Stick!
    You’re leaving your boy Bhalla a nice county tax bill to pass on next year