IUOE Local 825 endorses majority of Bhalla’s Hoboken council slate plus Russo, Ramos


The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 has endorsed four of the five candidates running on Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s council slate, along with incumbents Mike Russo and Ruben Ramos.

Photos via iuoe825.org. Right photo of IUOE 825 Business Manager Greg Lalevee.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We’re excited to support candidates who back organized labor and recognize the importance of infrastructure investment in a challenging and all-or-nothing political environment,” IUOE 825 Business Manager Greg Lalevee said in a statement.

“We took a hard look at the records, public statements and candidates positions on the issues critical to operating engineers: infrastructure investment and support for the Transportation Trust Fund re-authorization, expansion of clean natural gas infrastructure and the role it plays as we diversify our energy mix, and protecting our ability to organize and put members to work.”

The influential labor union is supporting dozens of candidates across nearly every district in the state, including Hoboken.

In the Mile Square City, they are backing Migdalia Pagan-Milano in the 1st Ward, Nora Martinez-Debenedetto in the 2nd Ward, Russo in the 3rd Ward, Ramos in the 4th Ward, Phil Cohen in the 5th Ward, and Cristin Cricco-Powell in the 6th Ward.

The union also endorsed Hoboken Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33), though not her running mate Raj Mukherji.

Team Bhalla spokesman Rob Horowitz said that his team is committed to maintaining and upgrading infrastructure.

“All the candidates on the Team Bhalla slate are committed to continuing to upgrade and maintain Hoboken’s infrastructure,” he said.

“We are pleased that the Operating Engineers recognized this fact and endorsed four out of our five candidates. It is not surprising to see that in a couple of the races they went with long-time incumbents.”

The Russo and Ramos campaigns could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday afternoon.

While they were not heavily publicized, the Local 825 endorsements went up on their website on September 24th, eight days before the Hoboken council was slated to vote on the Hoboken Rail Yards Redevelopment project.

That matter ended up being tabled at their October 2nd meeting, with the majority of the governing body opting to hold a public meeting before voting on final approval for the large-scale endeavor.

The developer for the project, LCOR, has said previously that they would utilize union labor to build the multi-faceted development, which would potentially bring major changes to Downtown Hoboken.

The project currently boasts an 18-story office building on the southeast corner of Hudson Place and Hudson Street, a 28-story residential building on the southern side of Observer Highway between Washington and Bloomfield Streets and another office building at the southeast corner of Henderson Street and Observer Highway.

This is not the first time Local 825 has gotten involved in Hoboken elections: they endorsed Bhalla and his council-at-large slate in 2017 and their political action committee, Stronger Foundations, spent $70,520 on media and polling for Bhalla’s campaign.

Local 825 has largely stayed out of the Mile Square City since then, though raised some eyebrows after producing an attack ad on Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle (who they endorsed in 2017) for voting against a Hoboken hotel plan.

Council members Tiffanie Fisher, Peter Cunningham and Jen Giattino came out in support of Doyle shortly after the ad hit the airwaves.

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  1. I am very pro-labor, but I can honestly say that a vote for any of these endorsed candidates is a vote for big development in Hoboken. Deals have been done in the back room and we can expect the smearing of the other candidates to start any minute now. Heard it already has.

    • Ravi the Sellout has put the sign up for his intimate big union construction 🔨 Pals on Hoboken:

      SOLD! 💰💰💰💰💰
      SOLD ☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️
      SOLD 🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑
      SOLD 😱😱😱😱😱
      SOLD 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡


      Where are his operatives to tell us we were all wrong and Ravi now.
      Whoever warned you about Ravi was right! You a$$holes are WRONG!

      Now get out there and get the Rav Sellout Slate in so the Selling Out can celebrate!

      • Secret meetings with union big wigs telling them she’s disgusted with the amount of development under Bhalla while her sycophants try to pretend she’s different.

        • Oh look, it’s Ravi’s online scumbag showing up with another fabricated weak deflection. Lame!

          Jen Giattino will not be voting for Ravi Bhalla’s NJ Transit-Strong Foundations massive downtown monstrosity. Go get Jim Doyle to join you in selling out Hoboken and don’t forget Emily Jabbour!

          Now back to your disgusting Ravi cave and write your stupid lies there!
          You were wrong all along about Ravi and once again you are PROVEN WRONG!

          Ravi Bhalla with Michael Russo are pushing for the most massive redevelopment and once again you will be EATING MASSIVE CROW! You misled people and lied about others over and over and now you are desperately lying about a good government person who stayed true all along in Jen Giattino.

          Look in the mirror and enjoy how WRONG you were in 2017 and enjoy your reflection now! You suck!

          • Oh, Nancy thinks some doctored meeting notes mean that she can deflect from Ravi the Hoboken Sellout. I’m not reading her fabricated minutes and the fabricated garbage of lies on her defamatory-ridden website. She owes everyone in Hoboken, every one an APOLOGY!

            We’ve seen enough lies and defamation against good people, many, many times before whether it’s Jen Giattino or Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher from Nancy, Ravi’s loon paid political operative. Enough for this and any other lifetime!

            Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher will not vote for Ravi Bhalla’s Massive Sellout Development of Hoboken. Now go chew on that!

          • Nancy, why aren’t you atoning for your sins with your lying about people and flagrantly lying to Hoboken to back Ravi the Hoboken Sellout? We don’t have to play your meaningless distraction game! Stupid!

            The vote in the City Council on Ravi Bhalla’s MASSIVE SELLOUT DEVELOPMENT FOR HIS UNION/PAC PALS – IS THE STORY!

            You can’t hijack this HCV story. That’s the story! Now go atone!

        • Look, a guilty and lying Ravibot. You’re responsible for this BS! People gave fair warning. Stronger Foundations owns Ravi. They bought him and did dirty deeds for his election. Ravi belongs to them. You blindly backed it, lying about those who stood for good government, lying and defaming those who dared stand up for Hoboken. Oh and here you are doing it again trying to wrap Ravi’s actions around Jen’s neck. What a cowardly disgrace you are.

          Go live with it and yourself. We don’t have to.

          • Hey, you can be dirty as you are no stupid distraction can help you now. The truth about your scheming boy Ravi is exposed for all to see.

            You were wrong and you sold your soul to a person who is trying to sell out Hoboken. Nothing you can to change it. Nothing.

            Enjoy the taste.

    • Please, please don’t read the news how Ravi is turning over Hoboken to his CONSTRUCTION UNION PAC friends.
      Please read only the approved Ravi political operative distraction of rumormongering. Ravi demands you do. LMAO!

    • Well said and it’s 100% clear and the cat’s out of the bag. A vote for any Ravi Bhalla-Stronger Foundations candidate means the end of Hoboken. Take note folks.

  2. Well now that these guys have weighed in we all better get out there and vote for this slate, right?!? I’m sure this union has all of us Hobokenites’ best interests at heart when carefully making their endorsement!

    This endorsement along with the amateur-hour railyard development vote actions from last week is beyond dubious and is another reason to NOT vote for this slate. We certainly don’t need more of that, or even worse, a rubber stamp to it.

    There’s also has to be a reason the slate is not out there trumpeting this endorsement from such a powerful entity to voters.

      • GA will jump to the smear before she digs into the facts. Had she bothered to do some investigative leg work and called Pat Kelleher, the person who the comment is attributed to, he would have told her that he never said anything like that and the minutes are inaccurate. (GA would immediately bury that inconvenient fact.)

        Kelleher would also tell her that Construction Trades, unlike city council and municipal boards, don’t circulate their minutes for review and correction so errors are never corrected. If you were to read them you will notice that they refer to Phil Cohen as David Cohen which basically proves that they are both inaccurate and not corrected.

        Stronger Foundations (local 825) was at that meeting and probably had a hand in the misrepresentation in the notes, not to mention, most likely, had a hand in circulating the minutes to GA.

        • No one would bother to shoot Nancy, Ravi’s political operative messenger.
          Let her live with her lies supporting Ravi Bhalla! That’s far better!

          Nancy doesn’t investigate anything. She takes what is handed to her and runs with the lie. If the lie is good for Ravi, it’s good enough for her. Wretched lies by a wretched and desperate person who is caught backing a cult of personality with an unseemly and most unfortunate special interest MASSIVE OVERDEVELOPMENT destroying Hoboken! It’s all courtesy of her political boss, Ravi Bhalla.

          Jen Giattino is not voting for Ravi Bhalla’s monstrous destruction of overdevelopment against Hoboken. No one cares about Nancy’s dumb distraction.

          Jen Giattino did not try to hide the big construction union plan from Hoboken, Ravi did!

          Jen Giattino will vote AGAINST Ravi Bhalla’s BIG UNION OVERDEVELOPMENT PLAN! She has Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher, hopefully, Jim Doyle rejoins the fight.

      • Oh look, Nancy is trying to save Ravi and his sellout of Hoboken with another lie.
        Shocking, not! Of course, she won’t verify a fact that doesn’t help further her defamatory lies about anyone as she tries to do against Jen Giattino here. What a smear merchant!

        Nancy, the paid political operative for Ravi Bhalla is attempting damage control with nonsense put out by Stronger Foundations, the big construction pusher for this massive and horrid NJ Transit plan.

        The people who will stand against this bum’s rush AGAINST Hoboken and its people are Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher. Hopefully, Jim Doyle will return to sanity and join them on behalf of Hoboken.

      • Deflecting and ‘whataboutisms’ are clear indicators of who is writing this.

        Why don’t you defend the actions of the mayor here, since that’s the premise of this article, instead of wearing out the meeting minutes link which you posted a half dozen (or more) time here? Clearly there must be no defense for those actions since not once have you even made an attempt to defend what he did here – just deflect, point fingers, and play victim.

        50+ comments here and not one (as of this writing) explains or defends the mayor’s actions. Rather telling.

        • Let me tell you, it’s so stupid and desperate, come to my Ravi campaign site and ignore this story. Defaming anyone who doesn’t kiss Ravi’s butt is all that matters. Absurd!

  3. Just want to make sure I have this straight: when Bhalla talks about development and gets union donations/support, he’s a shill sellout who’s obviously on the take. When DeFusco talk about development and receives union donations/support, he’s proposing fresh new vibrant ideas that’ll reinvigorate the economy and help Hoboken move into a bright future.

    Is that it?

    • Here it is straight: Ravi and Russo are trying to push through a massive GINORMOUS DEVELOPMENT in downtown Hoboken. It features and will start with a 28 story residential tower. Then they will continue to add to it and ruin Hoboken. Ravi Bhalla is the bought and paid shill and Russo is working with him and tried to shove it through the council last week. Jen Giattino, Tiffanie Fisher and Peter Cunningham led the charge to stop them. It doesn’t matter who competes with Ravi for special interest money, especially if they vote with him for this monstrosity.

    • Your name has it right. Bhalla is definitely big development not because he cares at all about development or hoboken but because this job is a stepping stone and he needs labor statewide support for higher office. In the process Bhalla and now his slate if elected will sell out Hoboken. DeFusco is big development because he wants money to win his election and stay relevant in Hoboken. But DeFusco has always been big development. Bhalla just lies to his reform supporters saying he is anti development. So both Big Development, but one who lies more than the other. That is the state of Hoboken. Can Dawn Zimmer return? Two Sides Same Coin

      • So the takeaway here is that no one is defending or trying to even explain Ravi & team’s actions here. The only defense pro-Ravi factions have are ‘whataboutisms’.

        Whataboutisms and links to GA are the best they’ve got?

        • They have nothing but the egg on their faces and years invested in a fraud, their Emperor with no clothes, Ravi the Fraud! Nancy can’t cope and is desperately trying to get people to go to her Ravibot cave where this truth will be kept hidden. Her partner-in-crime has joined in useless whining. Lindalou has been lassoed and is hiding in silence, drenched in Stanislaw’s shame as Dawn Zimmer is throwing plates at his head screaming, “how could this happen?” The mayor’s office is staying offline and following a STFU order deceiving the public with a Ram-It-Through-Ravi Plan. They made sure to forget about Nixle and ANY public meeting. LMAO!

      • Actually, Zimmer was always supportive of smart development. Development that made sense for Hoboken. Bhalla is in the same boat. No one is “anti-development”.

        • Dawn Zimmer would never agree to this Ravi Bhalla Sellout Development Plan.
          Never! She wanted commercial development and would not foist a 28 story residential tower and open-ended development with it to follow. She didn’t sell out Hoboken because she didn’t want to leverage Hoboken to get some political position/opportunity outside it. God bless her for not selling out but she made a HUGE mistake setting up Ravi who is never to be trusted. This development scam with the PAC Stronger Foundations only proves it. Again.

  4. Ram it through Bhalla is at it again. Doing what he does best. NOTHING.
    The ethical lapses in this guy’s judgement is astounding. Thanks STawn for returning Hoboken back to the developer daze!

  5. Ravi Revealed!
    Bhalla slate will be the new develop and lie team.
    Loud Nora can yell at the 13th street pier all she wants about saving the waterfront, but she’s a liar.
    Just like her on agaon/off agaon Hobokrnite CCP who is connected to a family who built 80-90% lot coverage additions and defaced historic streets with garage curb cuts throughout the 1980’s
    There are so many defaced homes owned by that family being restored now it’s enough to make a Stevens rise from the dead.

    Next week: Stay tuned for Washington Savings Bank and The John Corea and Me saga…

  6. They can use Nixle to give away Propelify tix, but they can’t use it for the biggest development in a decade. This administration is comically inept. Why anyone would vote for more of them is beyond me. These people should not be in these roles.

    • Hey lindalou, I’m so looking forward to you seeing Ravi destroy and lose what you only care about: POWER.
      If Ravi Bhalla can break Emily’s arm to push this POS Sellout of Hoboken through, I hope it crashes your home sale value. Explain THAT to Dawn you trans-doofus! HAHAHA!

    • There has been no where near enough time to study this plan to know. There have been no traffic studies, no environmental impact studies, no chance for debate – so how would we know yet if this plan is good?

      All of these plans – the new and the old – remove a number of eyesore buildings which is net positive. That said, navigating Observer & Jersey Ave now is a horrible experience – so adding a ton of residential and office space initially seems like a bad idea – even after seeing what the developer is proposing with ‘Observer Boulevard’.

      The incredibly dubious manner in which this plan was introduced overshadows the actual plan at this time. There has to be something going on behind the scenes for this plan to be introduced in the manner that it was, and given the history of this town, and the incompetence of this mayor and his staff, it absolutely deserves this blowback right now.

  7. Pools are in… Bhalla team in free fall!

    Polling 60% negatives 5% name recognition in wards 1,2,4 & 6

    Cohen is at 58% favorable but WILL be in a runoff

    Bhalla should have worked with the RULING COUNCIL

    • Newsflash for Doofuses:

      If your name recognition is at 5%, your favorability numbers add up to at most 5% so you can only be 60% unfavorable in the confused mind of a Doofus.

      But I’m sure Jen will soon have a sign in Church Towers and be surging once again.

  8. Ravi wouldn’t let Migdalia or Cristin -Michael Cricco Powell attend their ward debates. Further proof Ravi won’t allow them off their leashes now or later .
    Cowards who dont want to face the voters now and even worse for how they’ll react to us IF they got elected.

    Ravi wants this to be a censorship government with zero tolerance for differing opinions.
    God forbid one of them go off script!