The New Jersey State Democratic Committee’s LGBTQ Caucus has deemed a blog post that was critical of Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, mocking shirtless pics he had posted on social media, that appeared on a Hoboken-based blog as “homophobic.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The use of homophobic and disturbing language against anyone, including an openly gay councilman, cannot be dismissed or tolerated in any of our neighborhoods,” NJSDC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Lauren Albrecht said in a statement.
“Comments like this are purposely intended to make negative and passive inferences to the LGBTQ community and only aim to set us back in the progress we have made to achieve true equality. Councilman DeFusco has always been a great friend to the LGBTQ community and now it’s time for everyone in Hoboken to take a stand against remarks that attack a public servant for his sexuality.”
The blog post in question was featured on the Grafix Avenger website, which has been operated for years by Nancy Pincus – a staunch supporter of former Mayor Dawn Zimmer and now Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
“Make today count! Out on a run! What next? Chin-ups on the men’s room stall? Arm-pit sniffing? Oh, we are enthralled,” the post said, making fun of DeFusco’s recent shirtless posts on social media.
She has faced criticism and been referred to as “a paid political operative” in the past couple years due to being paid $1,200 by the 2017 Bhalla campaign for printing campaign literature and designing palm cards.
“Over the past four years, I’ve been proud to work alongside the administration to advance equality in Hoboken with progressive legislation and open conversations. Unfortunately while they Mayor promotes Hoboken as an accepting city for everyone, he’s complicit in spreading this divisive language by allowing his paid political blogger to make attacks like this from behind a screen,” DeFusco said.
“If we wish to continue identifying Hoboken as an inclusive community, we must all take a stand against comments like this, regardless of where we stand politically.”
In response, Pincus told HCV that DeFusco is lying since “I am not the mayor’s, nor anyone’s, paid political blogger.”
She also noted that her site is not monetized and that the opinions expressed on her blog “are wholly my own.”
Pincus posted on her blog today characterizing the situation as “whistleblower retaliation” for recently making note that DeFusco had been sending campaign literature to City Hall.
“Timing is everything. This spurious attack comes right after my disclosure that the DeFusco campaign has been sending mailers to City Hall addressed to unknown persons,” she wrote.
“Enough of this mail has arrived to attract the attention of City Hall employees. This weird smear on a local blogger is a retaliatory effort to derail further investigation of this peculiar mail.”
According to voter registration records, about a dozen people are registered to vote with a Hoboken City Hall address, 94 Washington St., and New Jersey law allows homeless people to vote out of “a shelter, park or any place you usually stay,” according to the ACLU of New Jersey.
Pincus also noted that she is supporting DeFusco’s opponent, Migdalia Pagan-Milano, one of five members running on Bhalla’s slate, the challenger is an out lesbian.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from Nancy Pincus, who runs the Grafix Avenger blog.