LETTER: ‘Terrorism’ flyer distributed in Hoboken was made to hurt DeFusco


In a letter to the editor, recent unsuccessful independent Hoboken council candidate Josh Einstein says that the infamous “terrorism” flyer distributed days before the municipal elections was made to hurt 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco’s campaign.

Terrorism flyer

Dear Editor,

I didn’t vote for Councilman Michael DeFusco in his recent Hoboken mayoral run, I didn’t like his platform, I was not a fan of the negative tenor of his campaign, and I do not find much to like in his council and zoning board record.

Yet I am compelled to state that not only was DeFusco the principle victim of the bigoted flier that the media, hyper-partisan, low information, and intellectually lazy assume was targeting mayor-elect Councilman Ravi Bhalla as well as the very real fact DeFusco may have lost the election because of it.

The flier which labeled an Indian-American Sikh a terrorist is bigoted both because it plays on the presumed inability of people to distinguish between the Dastaar (Sikh religious turban) and forms of Islamic headdress as well as peoples presumed pre-existing conflation of Muslims and terrorists.

This begs the question, who would think this sort of naked bigotry would find support in cosmopolitan Hoboken? Considering that according to the 2010 Census 77.5% of Hoboken has a college degree and 53% works in New York City (the defacto global cultural capital with thousands of ethnicities), Hoboken’s residents are clearly educated, enlightened, and worldly – not the type inclined towards the bare-naked bigotry the flier engages in.

Undoubtedly, there are some who assume that the flier was meant for the allegedly less worldly “Old Hoboken” whom many wrongly stereotype as provincial and nativist in attitude.

That typification is ridiculous, as a group heavy in Italian’s and to lesser extent Irish and Peurto Rican’s, whose ancestors (some just a generation ago) left their homelands to travel thousands of miles to a new land with a different culture to join the mainland USA melting pot (and who faced a fair amount of bigotry in the process) is a group that is inherently culturally extroverted.

Moreover, even were this pernicious lie believed, and Old Hoboken assumed to be the bigots they are not, than the DeFusco camp would be an odd place for them to rally as he is gay (a group not often liked by the bigoted).

All of this leads one to ask, what benefit could DeFusco have in attaching his name to a bigoted flier attacking Bhalla? Clearly, the answer is not only none, but that doing so would obviously hurt his campaign.

Still there are some who argue that since each campaign seems to have had morally questionable people in their orbit, one or more of these types of characters from the DeFusco camp may have been the source of the flier.

Yet it is painfully obvious that even the most intellectually and morally challenged campaign volunteer or professional would never use a legal campaign name behind the back of their candidate nor do something of this magnitude.

The only logical conclusion is that the bigoted flier was an attempt to hurt the DeFusco campaign.

The massive backlash against its presumed creator (DeFusco) as well as the hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of free media his main competitor, Mayor-election Ravi Bhalla, received are evidence to support this.

As the Defusco and Bhalla campaigns had the largest war chests and a great deal of out-of-town support, it’s no surprise they did both did better than the other campaigns.

Considering Bhalla only received roughly 484 more votes than DeFusco it is a very real possibility that the bigoted flier tilted the balance of undecided voters to support Bhalla and drove unmotivated voters who may have otherwise stayed home but whom leaned Bhalla to actually go out to vote.

Josh Einstein

Hoboken Resident

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  1. After reading Mr. Einstein’s unfavorable introduction I have to say I’m even happier Mike DeFusco isn’t Hoboken’s Next mayor.

    I hope Mike can let the Hoboken PD do their job an refocus his energy working for his constituents as a counciperson. That or he should resign from City Council and follow his new found passion of being an investigator.

      • Roman Brice got paid $1,000 from Jen Giattino and $10,000 fundraiser by Tiffanie Fisher. So why doesn’t Roman Brice pay back the loan made by a friend??? Roman borrowed cash for “eye surgery”… or was it rent? Tell it to the judge… unless he’s a no show, in which case it’s bench warrant time! Heard of a frog march, but a horse march?

        • That’s the way the zimmer zombies and bhalla bump-outers do it ?
          Attack a guy when he’s down on his luck… Nice
          Guess now that the residents of the HHA are paying to shut down depositions the zimmer zombies are back on the revenge path and making a list to get back at.

        • Nancy Pincus why must you defame people with so many ridiculous lies? The election is over. People bought ads during an election and there was no fundraiser. You are one nasty turd in a punch bowl fabricator.

          Is it because the truth about you came out?







          • No fundraiser? Oh, I guess you haven’t seen Tiffanie’s email then, fundraising for Roman Brice- her target was $10,000… Tiffanie sent the email about a month before Brice started shilling for Giattino and attacking Bhalla (who, by the way refused to run ads on his site. )

            Quid pro quo?

            I’ll ask GA if she’ll post the letter. I really think she wants to move on, but since you are calling her a liar…

            I LOVE this article! It shows what a GIANT hypocrite and phony Kurt and Roman are. Was GA a political operative when she made Roman Brice’s business cards for free? And made Kurt’s plam cards for his freeholder campaign? Was she a political operative then? Or only when she did palm cards for Ravi?

            Hey everybody! Look at the GIANT hypocrite. And he didn’t even file a C-1 to report GA’s in-kind contribution! PHONY PHONY PHONY

        • Besides being an offensive term, indiangiver refers to giving a gift and then taking it back. The proper word here is deadbeat, which describes someone who borrows money from a friend and has to be dragged into court years later because he made no effort to pay the money back.

          What on earth does the HHA have to do with a deadbeat who treats a personal loan as if it were a gift?

  2. Seems like the author is Einstein in name alone.

    Cops should be looking for a bald man from Newark in connection with the flyer. He tried the same stunt in West New York in 2015.

  3. While I certainly agree that most Hobonen residents are not racists – with Ravi’s election being exhibit A attesting to that fact, the idea the idea that Hoboken has no racism because rich educated yuppies can’t be racist and descendants of immigrants can’t be racist is pretty idiotic.

    Almost as idiotic as the reference to a massive backlash against Councilman DeFusco which exists only in his self serving narrative of victimhood.

  4. Josh, you have a lovely voice, and I can see how you’d fall in love with it. But if I strip away what is superficial and pedantic from your analysis, I am left only with your essential (conservative) faith that education and the *potential* for cultural exposure not only eradicate racism in bad actors but create an inhospitable landing place for any spores that happen to survive.

    Doesn’t really explain a president from the absurdly diverse borough of Queens spending his entire first year in office trying to keep Muslims from entering the country. But I’ll bet you’ve got some not intellectually lazy explanation for that.

    The mere fact that you find it necessary to clarify the objective of the flyer a month after the fact is where you should have started if you wanted to understand it rather than to lay out the contours of your intellectual un-laziness.

    Why wasn’t the flyer’s intent obvious? Why is it even up for discussion? It’s a political campaign, shouldn’t every action have a simple, direct purpose, especially in the last week? But it doesn’t. Why?

    Obviously Defusco was one target. But your bloviating left off the immediate context of the flyer. There was a terrorist attack just across the river on Wednesday – which also killed a grad student from Hoboken; the flyer came out on Friday.

    After a terrorist attack, no one is a progressive. I don’t care where they went to school or for how long. The flyer was tapping into that too. Both candidates were targets. The idea that someone was trying to arouse sympathy for a man in a turban 3 days after an attack makes sense only to people who don’t talk to other people very often.

    Now, who would want to hurt both of them? One campaign. But probably not the campaign manager. He’d never sign off on something that was such a hail mary. Still it had to have at least some money behind it. For production and distribution. It just didn’t come from the top.

    Everyone gets wrapped around the axle for that one word – terrorism. But they miss the two most important words on the flyer when it comes to tracing ownership. Our town. Spend 10 minutes on social media and you’ll find those words over and over again on one campaign. Or keep trusting your faith in higher education to conquer irrationalism.

        • Lots of people hate Jake. Starting with 1500 residents in Hoboken’s public housing. The followed by the BOE candidates he stabbed in the back and a few others who’s homes he mocked and father’s deaths he defamed

      • IMO it was a copy-cat crime made to look like it came from Romano’s camp. Anthony and Pablo couldn’t even put together a mailer without a spelling mistake, let alone organize a socially viral campaign. To think this “hurt” Ravi politically is absurd, it was meant to blow up on defusco and occupy his time days out from an election.

  5. Josh. Come back. I’m so lonely without your love. Inhale from me. Caress me. Love me like you’ve been doing every hour of seemingly every day for the last 20 years. #420 #stonersforcouncil #hitsfromthebong

  6. The entire basis for this letter falls apart if you accept that Councilman DeFusco did have people on his campaign who were intellectually and morally deficient enough to be capable of producing and distributing this flyer to help their candidate.

  7. Bhalla did it, plain and simple. Look at the video of Defusco and him post election. Not only is Bhalla emotionless and acting like an half-ass actor, but he doesn’t even give a rats ass about the awful flier hurting Defusco and his families image; the harassment, too! Any human being who was NOT guilty of doing those racist fliers would have even a twinkle of empathy for Mike. Bhalla, not an ounce. People of Hoboken need to wake the #uck up. Defusco is a MILLENNIAL in a MILLENNIAL city and had ZERO interest enriching himself as mayor. He made a fantastic living at CBS and has morals. Can’t say the same for Bhalla.. HA!

    • What’s the matter? Was your lil shopping trip a FAIL? “Zero interest” in enriching himself as mayor!!!! Hawwwww hawww Yeah, that’s why the builders union endorsed him and every contractor from Hoboken to Timbuktu was promised Mike would open the “floodgates” for developers!!!

    • Fortunately the police are conducting a real investigation and are likely fed up with the bogus “leads” being fed to them in the desperate attempt to mislead the police.

      Since you reference Mike’s “fantastic living” at NBC, let’s delve into that shall we? Mike claimed before announcing his run for mayor that he would have to take a huge pay cut to run since he made about $200,000 at NBC. He said during a debate that he managed a large department with many employees and a large budget. I don’t know what the truth is but I’ve heard that those claims are, to put it charitably, gross exaggerations. I’ve also heard that he took a “leave of absence” from NBC to run, something that, if true, he never disclosed. I have a good friend who works at NBC who tells me that she doesn’t believe NBC would permit an employee to take a “leave of absence” to run for political office, so I’m not sure where the truth lies there either.

      It’s an unfortunate feature of our political system that unscrupulous candidates can simply lie about their work experience. And, of course, a candidate who lies about, or exaggerates his work experience could easily be less than truthful about other things as well.

      I assume the “HA!” at the end meant that you understand how incredibly funny this line was and was meant to let us know you were joking so we wouldn’t think you were really that much of a moron: “Defusco is a MILLENNIAL in a MILLENNIAL city and had ZERO interest enriching himself as mayor. He made a fantastic living at CBS and has morals.” HA! is right!

      • why so angry?
        And attacking Defuscis income, really?
        At least he wasn’t an out of work writer that had to move to the sticks to avoid a angry mob of citizens

        Must suck to be you- Hoboken is a great city too bad you can’t afford it !

          • What does that mean? It doesn’t come off “too good” to be attacking DeFusco’s PRIVATE SECTOR INCOME and try to still SLANDER and Ruin his right to a living.
            Have you people learned nothing?
            Haven’t you cost Hoboken taxpayers enough in lawsuits HOBOKEN taxpayers need to fund?

      • Idiot he doesn’t work at NBC
        And there won’t be a smug kiss ass commissioner to cut a settlement for you

        • I apologize – I meant CBS. My friend works at NBC but I doubt the policies on leaves of absence difference much.

          The issue I raised has nothing to do with which network Mike works at. It relates to whether he told the truth about his private sector experience.

          If he doesn’t run a department with many employees, manage a large budget and make about $200,000 per year, then he is a liar who intentionally misled voters about his experience and qualifications. This would be particularly egregious if true since he used that supposed experience as one of his major talking points.

          If anyone here can vouch for the veracity of his claims, please feel free to weigh in.

          • So you go on a long winded and false assumption- wrong on almost ever point with BLATANT DISREGARD for the TRUTH and say only the network was wrong?
            Attacking the man’s job is wrong and lets hope he sues your ass

          • Do you mean marketing is about creating an attractive package to get people to buy something even if the product isn’t really what you say?

            Does Mike run a large department? How many employees report to him? Does he manage a budget? How large is it?

            It’s about truth in advertising. I don’t assume Mike was lying – i really don’t know. But like I said, someone who likes about their qualifications can lie about other things as well.

      • The anonymous 24/7 smear by GA and a few losers from Camp BethIsStan should really not act so sloppy.
        The Big Cheese is asking people to join his transition team, yet the low men and women are still fighting.
        Jen has handled her loss with class, yet GA and her two multi-screen named followers just can’t quit.
        They’re like the Japanese and Nazi soldiers in the hinterlands after their countries invaded and surrendered were still fighting.

        War is Over – grow up Ravi has a 2 allies on the council, better learn some diplomacy and Bhalla needs to reign in his VENDOR and PAID POLITICAL PALM CARD and FLYER Makers

        • by refusing to join the transition team as head of constituent services after running on her prowess in constituent services. by voting to have 13 year olds ride their bikes in the streets. real classy.