LETTER: Nicola Maganuco is the best choice in Hoboken’s 5th Ward council race


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Perry Belfiore says that Nicola Maganuco’s independence from the current administration makes him the best choice in the 5th Ward council race.

Nicola Maganuco. Facebook photo.

Dear Editor,

Those who know me have heard me speak of endorsements as acts of self-aggrandizement, still true, but times have changed. Today the “end justify the means” has gained cult status in the body politic.

Now, more than ever, with tribalism growing, oversight of the executive by the legislature is of utmost importance. That is why when the ethically challenged Ravi Bhalla, fielded a slate of chosen candidates, the hairs on the back of the neck should have risen.

A brief history of Ravi Bhalla will show claims of “pay to play” abuses, an ethics charge for
voting to award a contract to a partner, misrepresentations to Corporation Counsel during a City Council directed investigation, censure by the New Jersey Supreme Court for not paying into an employees retirement account and weaponizing fears of voter fraud to maintain the self- serving status quo of election by plurality, rather than the majority rule of 50 percent plus 1 vote.

The argument “I will be my own person once elected” is disabuse by witnessing the contortions exhibited by the two council members elected with Bhalla. Emily Jabbour and Jim Doyle are sagacious and loquacious but always seem to be uncomfortable trying to defend the action of the Mayor.

Rationalization is the Mother Milk of politics where politicians compromise principles in succumbing to the intoxicating allure of power brought by being in the majority with a mayor.

I live in the 5th ward where Ravi is backing Phil Cohen. Phil is an affable fellow who was a Beth Mason stalwart but broke publicaly when Mason allied with Michael Russo. It seems odd that Ravi’s alliance with Russo hasn’t produced the same reaction but Phil is an opportunist and a genuine Ravi sycophant.

Now this is not meant to be an insult; it is a fact. Phil wrote letters defending Ravi when he tried to secure a contract as General Counsel for the Hoboken Housing Authority, endorsed Bhalla’s mayoral campaign, as a lawyer stands mute on the Supreme Court censure,
and has no problem with potential “conflicts of interest” rising from Ravi working part time as a rainmaker for a private law firm.

And Phil’s vote in the runoff referendum is dubious.

Of the two independent candidates; Nick Maganuco and Tim Crowell, I must confess I never met Tim nor has he gone out of his way to introduce himself, but I do know Nick.

I met Nick during the Runoff referendum campaign, where he served as treasurer. When Nick told me he was thinking of running, my relief at not having to put my body through the rigor of a campaign was palpable.

Nick, is a true believer in a government elected by a majority of the voters and manned the barracks during the Runoff Referendum Election. Nick actively campaigned to bring back runoffs and his support for the Runoff Election referendum should be a litmus test for who to support in November.

Nick is compassionate, energetic and his ideas to improve the Human Condition for all of
Hoboken has earned my vote.

Please join me in voting for Nick on November 5th. And to those in other Hoboken city wards, proceed with caution, a vote for a Ravi-backed candidate, is a vote for Ravi.

Thank you for your many courtesies.

I remain,

Perry Belfiore

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  1. Hi Perry. I hope you’re doing well. I’ve missed your colorful contributions so I’m glad to see you weighing in with your always entertaining commentary. I’m glad to see you back in the fray. Hoboken politics has been far less interesting without you.

    Congratulations on using all of your long words correctly. I particularly enjoyed “sagacious and loquacious” as well as on your decision not to repeat your mistake of calling Mayor Bhalla Peter Cunningham’s “animal.”

    Is Nicola your new “plan B” given that Peter Cammarano seems unlikely to make a comeback? Or is Mike DeFusco still “plan B” with Nicola as “Plan C?”

    It’s good to have lots of contingency plans, but will Ruben be disappointed at being Plan D?

    Again – welcome back and may the force be with you.

    • For those who don’t remember or were not in hoboken a few years know Peter “Perry”Belfiore is an old guard political operative who vas very active backing disgraced mayor and convicted felon Peter Cammarano and also along with convicted felon Frank “Pupie” Raia worked to get Michael DeFusco elected to be his mayor.

      So when Councilmen Ramos and DeFusco and backers find, groom and run a candidate,
      it is not surprising to anyone who is paying attention who he is now backing in this election.

  2. “It seems odd that Ravi’s alliance with Russo hasn’t produced the same reaction but Phil is an opportunist and a genuine Ravi sycophant.”

    Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark.

  3. Well said. Nick isn’t part of Ravi’s slate so that makes him instantly a better option. Same can be said for Tim. Perhaps they can save us from the ridiculousness we see daily from our current elected officials. We could use more Nick and Tims in Hoboken.

      • PB by fronting for Ruben and DeFusco to shill for their spoiler candidate makes you a big target.
        Having someone with your infamous old guard politico reputation gives neophyte Nicola a shady reputation that would have taken him a long time to do by himself.
        Not sure how many people will be foolish enough throw away their vote for your boy.

        • Not sure of your intent. You remain silent on Ravi voting for a business partner, censure by the NJ Supreme Court for screwing an employee out of benefits, pressuring the Hoboken Housing Authority Board to hire his law firm, and seeking to block the reinstitution of runoffs, or are you insinuating Ravi’s infamous bad behavior taints his hand -picked slate of candidates.

          • Hey Spoiler,
            Wouldn’t you agree that almost being disbarred by the NJ Supreme Court for not paying an employees benefits a big thing, and voting to award a contract to a business partner a conflict of interest or pressuring the Hoboken Housing Authority to hire your law firm untoward, so wouldn’t that mean Ravi is tainting the candidates on his slate more than I could ever taint Nick.

    • I don’t live in the 5th either so I can’t vote for anyone in there but as an onlooker all I can say that the people behind Nicola looks very sketchy to even someone new to Hoboken politics should know that they are.

  4. Nico would have to be pretty green not to know what a red flag a Belfiore endorsement is. His past endorsements and alignments have been consistently terrible for the city. That he hasn’t been swept up himself in the current federal investigations into vote buying is miraculous. Then again we don’t know what we don’t know. In any case this endorsement is likely to be shared at least as much by Cohen supporters making sure everyone knows what you get in the packaged deal with Nico – as it is by Nico supporters.

  5. Stan Grossbard just can’t ever give it a rest. Spineless man who sets a bad example for his family name.
    Dodged a bullet with his Carmelo secret meeting…

  6. Perry is right about this:Phil Cohen is a sycophant for Ravi. Now I am supporting Tim Crowell the other candidate because in part he is backed by Cunningham. Nick brings a lot of energy and some good ideas but Tim honestly is bit older and has more life experience. Whichever one of the two is in the runoff either one will have my vote.

    Perry is right about one thing a vote for Phil is vote for Ravi. (And big development). Or put another way, anybody but Phil.

    • Thank you HR for so honestly articulating the toxic, anger driven “anybody but Ravi” politics that has infected the judgment of the Jen, Tiffanie and Peter political faction (to their own detriment as well as Hoboken’s) since Jen’s weak showing in the 2017 election.

      Rants about Ravi being too ambitious, too pro-development or too cozy with developers and construction unions are hard for anyone, including voters, to take seriously from the mouths and keyboards of hypocrites who have unabashedly made common cause for two years with openly politically ambitious, pro-development, pro developer types like Mike DeFusco and Ruben Ramos.

      It’s truly a shame that Jen, Tiffanie and Peter didn’t steer an independent course consistent with their supposed good government and low density residential development ideals rather than join with DeFusco and Ramos to try to bring down Mayor Bhalla at all costs.

      Had they steered the more honorable (and smarter course) they would have dominated the council as swing votes instead of positioning themselves as Mike DeFusco’s supporting cast. They would have been able to strongly influence the Mayor in implementing the sound public policy they supposedly cared so deeply about. When they had legitimate differences with the Mayor they would have had both the power to make a difference and the credibility to move public opinion in their direction. They would also have been shoo-ins for re-election.

      Instead, they so deeply embedded themselves with DeFusco that they self destructively couldn’t even cast an easy vote supporting enforcing campaign finance laws that they themselves complied with, because they needed to have Mike DeFusco’s back as he brazenly defied Hoboken’s laws. They have made it clear to all but a handful of the voters who have supported them in the past that “good government” no longer has any meaning to them beyond “anybody but Ravi.”

      In many ways, it’s truly sad.

      • Oh there’s room for blaming you for this PAC Development sellout mess here Stanislaw.
        Can’t wait to see what you tell Dawn to do next. Just finish it off ugly and sell Hoboken up the river so we can all sit back and say to the last fools “we told you so.”

        There was no vote let alone “an easy vote supporting enforcing campaign finance laws.”
        You’re in on this con and smear job. You’re so power-mad and freaking gross. Go take a shower.

        Your entire Ravibot slate is IN FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF HOBOKEN FINANCE LAWS.

        Worse, you sold out this town to the big construction powers to protect yourself from a lawsuit and now Ravi is showing everyone the true colors of a SELLOUT!

        So sell the house and pack your bags before you do more harm to what’s left of Dawn’s deed turning over this town to Ravi. Disgusting.

  7. LindaLou- No it you that is sad. Phil would likely be the tie breaking vote on big development. Dawn’s plan in 2014 was better than crap Ravi tried to push through. Ravi’s was 1) big residential 2’ no guarantee of commercial 3) open ended representing nothing like the Zimmer plan of 2014 that passed 8-1.

    Tiffanie was a big part in renegotiating the Suez Deal which by the way was a hell of lot better than Zimmer’s half baked lame duck deal. It is good that they tabled Zimmer’s deal when they did because they got a better deal because Zimmer made a Tragic mistake of negotiating with one hand behind her back. Ravi gets credit too. I don’t know what you a talking about otherwise. Your assertion that Jen and Tiffanie will vote with Defusco on big development has ZERO merit. ZERO.