Platkin receives letters from Hoboken officials as VBM fraud allegations are disputed


New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin has received two letters from three different Hoboken officials regarding vote-by-mail fraud allegations, which are being disputed, ahead of the non-partisan December 5th 1st Ward runoff election.

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin. Screenshot via YouTube.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Over the weekend multiple residents in Hoboken’s First Ward came forward to me with unsolicited information detailing a pay-for-votes scheme in that ward,” Councilman-at-Large Joe Quintero said in a statement, indicating he has forwarded a two-page letter written by residents of 400 1st St. to Platkin.

The letter, which is redacted to keep the unknown number of residents anonymous, claims that they have seen VBMs manipulated in prior elections and again in the November 7th non-partisan race, which is ongoing ahead of the runoff.

” … As a result we have raised awareness of this to our local Councilman-at-large, Joe Quintero, and with his help are notifying you via this letter. Specifically, we believe that Ana Cintron, a resident of our building (400 1st Street, Hoboken), coordinated an operation targeting seniors, hispanics, and our vulnerable population during the November 7 election,” they wrote.

“In this operation she offered $50 to targeted parties for their votes, seeking to benefit the candidacy of Paul Presinzano. Additionally, we believe she has sought to manipulate individuals into voting for the same candidate. Finally, we believe she is currently engaged in the same activity, for the purposes of benefitting the Presinzano campaign in advance of the December 5 runoff election.”

They assert that Cintron is monitoring the mailroom for voters, following them to their apartments, and collecting either a blank ballot or a forcing them to vote for a specific candidate, later paying them $50.

Cintron was identified as a campaign worker for Frank Raia during the 2013 municipal election where he unsuccessfully ran for council-at-large, eventually getting convicted of participating in VBM fraud by a federal grand jury, though Cintron was never charged.

She said today that the allegations made in the letter forwarded to Quintero are completely false.

“I vehemently deny paying anyone to vote and am looking into filing a defamation suit against those who have made these false allegations. I have always helped any of my neighbors who ask about filing applications for vote by mail ballots and follow all the applicable laws,” Cintron told HCV.

“I have gotten to know Paul Presinzano over the past few years and see all the good he does for seniors and I am happy to support him and encourage my neighbors to do so as well.”

In their own letter to Platkin today, Fisher and Ramos essentially called their colleague’s letter a campaign stunt to help Rafi Cordova, who has been endorsed by Quintero and Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

“This instance today appears as a calculated attempt by those supporting Rafi Cordova’s campaign to smear Paul’s candidacy, aiming for a damaging headline to be timed on the day vote-by-mail ballots hit mailboxes, two weeks before the election,” they wrote.

“The stakes in this election center around Mayor Bhalla’s risk of losing a pivotal fifth and deciding vote on the Hoboken City Council if Paul wins. A vote that is essential for his political plans for higher office. Mayor Bhalla has not only endorsed Rafi, but he has also made a $2,500 campaign contribution to him as well.”

They also note that the infamous 2017 “terror flyer” was “strategically timed” right before Election Day in a mayoral race that Bhalla won, as well as claiming it remains under investigation by the AG’s office and other agencies.

Ramos formally endorsed Presinzano last week, and while Fisher has not done so yet, but she said today that her endorsement is forthcoming.

In response, Quintero told HCV over the phone reiterated that neither Presinzano or his campaign are accused of any wrongdoing, also noting that the purpose of the letter is to simply have a level playing field in a pivotal race.

“The residents who are coming forward, and I spoke to them personally, are stating that they are aware of this activity going on and they want it to stop but they are afraid of reprisals from Ms. Cintron, which Is why I came in to facilitate the reporting to the authorities,” he said.

“If this illegal activity is occurring, then it could have a direct impact on this election. If it’s not occurring, no big deal, proceed as you would have. Legitimate vote-by-mail operations have a place in elections, illegal vote-by-mail schemes do not.”

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Ravi Bhalla came out in defense of his former running mate.

“Councilman Joe Quintero, who has demonstrated his integrity and commitment to Hoboken in his distinguished service on the council, has rightly brought the serious concerns of 1st Ward residents who have come forward about a voting buying scheme in the 1st Ward to the attention of the Attorney General, other law enforcement, and the public,” he said.

“Given the history of vote buying in Hoboken, these charges need to be thoroughly investigated. We have come too far to go back to the bad old days of cash for votes and the intimidation of our most vulnerable residents.”

In the district where the building in question is located, Presinzano received 39 VBMs, Cordova had 20, and Pellegrini secured six.

The AG’s office declined to comment, noting that they dod not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.


Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

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  1. Joey Bag of Donuts doesn’t know. “If, if, if, if” but Ravi has his slime ball team contacting the authorities and seeking headlines over a lone senior woman in a senior building who has no funds to conduct any such illicit enterprise.

    Seems like only yesterday when Ravi was calling Pupie the most splendid of Hoboken citizens. What a bunch of slimey criminals. If law enforcement scratched at that terror flier, Ravi would be so scared, he’d have a heart attack. You wish someone finally would.

    The leading council candidate, Paul Presinzano is in the way of Ravi’s ambition to snag a congressional seat. That’s the most dangerous place in Hoboken today.

  2. Joe, nobody knows you and you obviously are making a stunt
    You’re another puppet like Jason and John Allen who come to town , with nothing- as nothings and joking politics to make money
    You 3 are following the same trajectory to jail

    Enjoy your duplex
    Wont be surprised if you’ll give your new architect a muni palace contract or two in order to subsidize your personal retainer for their work

    Enjoy your time as a free man

    Stop trying to Endear yourself to the Latino community if Hoboken
    You’re a fly on the windshield of Hoboken
    You’ll be out of here soon

  3. Most young people enter public service with good intentions – but then somewhere along the way the cork pops and their view changes. And so it is with Quintero and Jabbour et al.. A dear friend once said to me –“Ravi is really just a typical Hudson Country hack, he just spouts enough Progressive stuff every now and then to allow people to live with themselves for voting for him…..” My fear is that these folks are heading down the same path – -to what end? More dinners at Liberty House????

  4. Looking at the 400 1st VBMS, the Paul Rafi spread isn’t even 20 people, but it looks like almost every single VBM went to Romano? That looks shady as all hell. Looks like Joe Q might have caught the Commissioner in his hand with the cookie jar.

  5. Election fraud is a very serious matter. If there’s one lesson we all should have learned from 2020, it’s that alleging it without hard evidence is a very serious matter too.

    Dawn’s team never/ever alleged fraud without doing the hard work of gathering real evidence. Mayor Bhalla played an important role in collecting that evidence in the past, so he knows the drill. We delivered hard evidence to the authorities, not unsupported allegations of what “we thought” was happening (which is what Trump did in 2020) for the purpose of putting out a press release.

    Unless I’m missing something, Councilman Quintero’s allegations consist of “two people in the building think” something improper is going on. In other words, they are, like Trump’s allegations, completely devoid of actual evidence and being raised only as a political talking point.

    As someone who knows election fraud really does takes place in NJ local elections, and who takes the issue extremely seriously, I am disappointed to see it being demagogued rather than seriously addressed.

    • It is amazing to see how far Stan and Dawn have fallen. Trying to push RBD and the easements associated with it are one thing and that is a noble cause that I think is shared by the Mayor and all nine members of the City Council. But now, to dismiss concerns about voter fraud seem beyond the pale, especially portraying them as “Trump Allegations.” Shame on you Stan. The same kind of “Trump Allegations” that Dawn made against Christie that went no where because there was no evidence other than a chicken scratch “diary.”

      What you and Dawn did for Hoboken was admirable and a majority of us are appreciative of the bullets you took for the greater good, but right now we are left quite confused. Not at the fact that you clearly don’t like Ravi or had some sort of falling out with him, that is an opinion you are absolutely entitled to have, but it seems like you willing to throw out the baby with the bath water just to spite him.

      Mike Holmes, Joe Peluso, Ana Cintron, and others are the same people caught up in this and are the same people you fought to keep from interfering with Hoboken elections, but now they are just allegations because they are coming from Councilman Quintero rather than Mayor Zimmer or yourself?

      Everything you are saying just reeks of spite and personal animus, rather than actually standing up for what is right. I hope I am wrong, but it seems like Dawn and Stan have let their personal feelings towards Ravi cloud their judgement on Voter Fraud and Leo Pellegrini.

    • How would one know Councilman Quintero did not do the work? It’s tiring to hear Stan opine on what’s happening here in Hoboken without a factual basis for doing. He is sitting outside Hoboken. I am sure that he has not spoken with Emily or Joe, which means he is guessing as to their process without knowing. Sounds just like his definition of the former President’s behavior.

      Of course, share opinions on the Emily’s and Joe’s work, but take your own advice to do the work yourself before doing so. Tough to take seriously otherwise.

  6. VBMS in District 1-6 have Paul with only 39-20-6, not even his best district. Yet somehow Commissioner Romano gets 57-4 overperforming the rest of the district by 20 percent? The numbers seem to imply something else, is Bhalla turning on Anthony?

  7. Rafi has quite the A-Team helping him without strings attached:

    Mayor Bhalla: Who has nothing to gain from having a rubber stamp on the City Council.

    Emily Jabbour: Who didn’t make Rafi promise to vote to keep her as City Council President in exchange for her support.

    Joe Quintero: Who has no plausible chance of being Vice President of the council if Rafi wins.

    Phil Cohen: Who is doing this out of the kindness of his own heart and won’t mind if Rafi shows an independent streak.

    Jim Doyle: Who is a full time resident of Hoboken and wants what’s best for the city.

    Amy Faucher: Who runs an apolitical organization that doesn’t take sides in elections even though she is constantly retweeting Pro-Bhalla stuff.

    Nora DeBenedetto, Vijay Chowdhury, Jason Freeman, and other Bhalla Appointees: Whose support of Rafi is not related to their employment with the city.

    Nope all of these people are true grassroots leaders supporting Rafi because he is his own man.

    • Rafi will NEVER show an independent anything as he is a rubber-stamp for Bhalla.

      Ravi has always and will always pull his puppet strings

      Paul is the best choice for the FIRST WARD

  8. Someone’s mommy used bullying and intimidation against residents in that building on her vote farming operation- tenants wouldn’t open the door for Hudson County Election investigators. Glad to see the influence of that family has waned enough that residents are no longer afraid to speak out. Surprised- not surprised to see ex-reformers breaking bread with vote-farmers. It’s a fact: Presinzano’s minion is a notorious bully who used to do Pupie’s dirty work. Let the investigations begin!

    • Sloppy Joe will be shutdown when he loses a 2nd term. Thinking he can take on Ruben Ramos Jr. and attack his mother will lead to a stunning loss for Joe Q in quick time. Joe may be hispanic, but he’s still stale slice of wonder bread- even with a slathering of Rafi on Top garnished with perennial loser ( roll those r’s for affect ) Rrrrrrrrrrron Bauuuuuuutista!

      How did Ravi find this loser? The Lunch room help wanted poster in the law firm next to the K cup machine?

  9. Let me address some of the nonsense above:

    1. I care very strongly about voter fraud. What I don’t care at all about is who wins the 1st ward election. That gives me a far more objective viewpoint than those whose only real interest is in who wins.

    2. My reason for thinking no evidence has actually been developed is that there doesn’t seem to even be a pretense of having any. An example of evidence would be a sworn affidavit from a voter swearing under penalty of perjury that they were offered money for their vote or that they personally witnessed fraudulent conduct. Mr. Quintero describes unsworn accounts of voters who are “afraid” to come forward themselves, saying they think their neighbors were paid to vote and that one of their neighbors is “monitoring” ballots. That is not evidence even if it is actually happening. Neither the AG nor the BOE is going to take any action based on what was described, nor should they. If you haven’t been able to develop real evidence keep working until you do. Then go to law enforcement.

    3. Writing a public letter to the AG (not even to the BOE who would actually be the agency tasked with addressing any issues at this stage), without having developed any actual direct evidence, looks like a cynical campaign ploy and is counterproductive to the goal of combatting election fraud, assuming it’s actually taking place.

    4. 2020 ought to have been a game changer re grandstanding on evidence free claims of election fraud. It is more important than ever given the nationwide attempt by the right to suppress votes with false claims of rampant fraud, to make sure all public claims are grounded in real verifiable evidence.

    5. I’m not really interested in anybody’s judgement as to what I should or shouldn’t weigh in on but my own. But I can assure you of one thing – I will always speak the truth as I see it without fear of favor. Hoboken has not in my opinion been well served by the practice of people holding their tongues about questionable conduct because “the other guys are worse and empowering them is inthinkable”

    6. I wasn’t planning to address RBD, but since it was brought up, let’s take a look at what the public has learned over the past few weeks, despite the Administration’s efforts to obfuscate and statements from Hoboken officials seeming to advocate for JC rather than for Hoboken:

    (a) the easements are in fact being withheld by JC to protect private development interests in JC.
    (b) Mayor Bhalla has known about this issue for two years.
    (c) Mayor Bhalla has never advocated publicly or in writing about this issue to the State or JC over the two years he has been aware of it, though he claims to have had “conversations.”
    (c) the issue remains unresolved and does not appear to have progressed at all toward resolution over the two years that it was kept hidden by the Mayor from the public and the Council.
    (d) if not resolved the southern alignment of RBD cannot be built so this is vital to the health and safety of Hoboken residents.
    (e) neither the public nor the City Council would have any idea the issue even existed, if Mayor Zimmer hadn’t learned about it and demanded action.
    (f) a favorable resolution is not inevitable so the future of the project is still very much uncertain

    If anyone reading this disagrees with any of this, feel free to weigh in and explain why.

      • No it really isn’t any more concrete than that. The phase “we believe” is used repeatedly, and the specific actions that they claim to have “witnessed” are not described with enough specificity to have any evidentiary meaning.

        The letter actually reads like it was carefully crafted (likely by Councilman Quintero who was clearly not just the mailman delivering the letter) to avoid litigation exposure by characterizing the potentially defamatory statements as mere “opinion.” That, of course highlights the absence of evidence but I doubt they expected anyone to actually read and parce the letter. It certainly wasn’t meant as a serious attempt to generate an investigation by the AG.

        But despite the care he used in drafting the letter, Councilman Quentero appears to have been sufficiently concerned about his defamation exposure that he distanced himself further in his comments after Ms. Cintron threatened litigation. Him saying he was just forwarding the concerns of residents and not accusing Paul or his campaign of wrongdoing is genuinely comical.

        I think he has successfully lawyered is way out of real exposure to a defamation claim but he also essentially admits that all he’s got is rank speculation unsupported by a shred of actual evidence.

        Objectively, that is indistinguishable from Trump’s claims in 2020. I’m sure Councilman Quintero genuinely believes that wrongdoing really is afoot here and Trump was just making stuff up. But as lawyer, he ought to understand that is irrelevant. The common thread is making claims that you know you have no evidence to support.

    • Stan, that is a long list of numbers that don’t say much of anything. I don’t care what you think about the first ward election and never asked if you cared. As it pertains to Quintero’s letter, it doesn’t say this is evidence or an affidavit. He said these people came forward and he’s passing along their concerns to the authorities; it is then the responsibility of the proper law enforcement agency to investigate and see where it leads. But for you to just dismiss it after what you know this could be and the history of our community is actually befuddling.

      We know you don’t live here anymore, but I thought you still had a shred of understanding, and how this community works and the threats that come with crossing certain people. I’m sure these people are scared to come forward and the dismissal of their concerns by people like you or Tiffanie or Tony Soares or Paul make it even harder for people to want to tell the truth. Elected officials, or spouses of former elected officials, who actually believe in truth, shouldn’t be claiming this to be a stunt but rather should be standing next to these victims, asking there being investigation.

      And if it comes out, that none of it is true, that is great and signs that election integrity in Hoboken may actually exist. But until that happens, shame on you, and all the people willing to poo poo stories from vulnerable individuals who are being taken advantage.

      • Please stop digging. This stunt is not only counterproductive to any serious effort to actually address election fraud, it’s politically stupid. It’s a desperate seeming attempt to fight the last war orchestrated by people without any actual understanding of how the last war was actually fought and why.

        You’ve also exposed the folks whose names were put on the letter to potential litigation exposure.

        Since we’re on the topic of who genuinely cares about election fraud, let’s dig into that a bit. In 2017, the campaign with the largest number of VBM’s associated with paid “workers” was the Romano campaign. By far. Despite knowing that this was going on, Vijay spoke regularly and amicably with Romano’s campaign manager Pablo Fonseca.

        Mayor Bhalla found the VBM issue re Romano so unconcerning that he created a brand new $50k/ year city job for Mr. Romano.

        The stunt was stupid, noxious and counterproductive in every way. Whoever came up with it should be fired.

        • Digging? Oh Stan, it is so sad what you’ve become (or probably have been this whole time).

          But more so, the comedy of all this is that you can throw all the stones you want at Bhalla, when the reality is Dawn was going door to door with Pupie. Did Dawn use Pupie for votes also? Was Ana tight with Dawn and now you’re just protecting your girls? How honourable of you.

          Stan, do us all a favor and just stay in the Catskills, everyone has had to do enough cleanup of the mess you two left behind.

          • Ravi was a joke running all alone until Dawn asked him to join her team. He Came in Third.
            Now he puts her down? WOW

          • Hi Vijay. I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. I hope you don’t mind my addressing you by name, but since you’ve been calling me Stan, I thought reciprocating would be the polite thing to do.

            It would be great if you could expand a bit more about the “messes” left behind by the Zimmer Administration that you guys have had to “clean up.” If that’s true, it a story that really needs to be told, and there’s no time like the present.

            Don’t hold back – let’s get it all out there. The whole long list with all the gory details as well as details about the heroic efforts to clean it all up.

          • A. The Terror Flyer?
            B.The Terror Flyer?
            C.The Terror Flyer?
            D All of the above..

            Poor Romano had no idea he was part of it, – Guess that’s why he ended up with a low show job afterwards …

    • No one asked for a dissertation, Stanislaw. Every battleground state has uncovered significant voter irregularities. In Pennsylvania, the likely leader in 2020 election fraud, a Democrat consultant bragged publicly how they were working there and noted their extensive experience in jamming paper ballots into the count. It was even featured in the NY Post.

      Which doesn’t even begin to tell the story on how state walked around their own election laws as Democrats mustered an all out ballot stuffing blitzkrieg operation aide and abetted by $430 million in Zuckerbucks greasing the streets.

      When the Pennsylvania US Attorney contacted former AG Barr saying there was significant evidence in the state requiring investigation, he was told to stand down and do nothing.

      Don’t piss on our legs and telling us it’s raining. There a lot more evidence you and other Democrat media have ignored. A lot more.

      • Turn that tired horse into the glue factory already
        Of course there are Trojan’s he has no need for since he’s such a loser, getting another horse preganant is a zero chance

      • @2000 Nutty Tools: LOL, none of what you just babbled about is real, but of course you’re just trying to troll and knew that. If every state had election fraud, then how come the GOP LOST ALL 60 COURT CASES?

        • Hoboken lost election fraud cases regularly until something was done about it. Justice didn’t come from any judge who booted the cases. It came when law enforcement acted.

          Election fraud cases in 2020 were not filed by one party but numerous groups which didn’t see evidence examined by any court.

          There are more election fraud cases ongoing in several states which is to be expected when the election fraud is successful as in 2020 and that includes NJ.

          Anyway, this story is how a cynical application of claimed interest in election fraud is utilized to suppress voting in the runoff. Call it a Ravi Special.