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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Hoboken mayor calls special council meeting to safeguard local elections

DeFusco blasts super PAC tied to Fairview Insurance

By David Wildstein, September 20 2019 12:57 pm

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has called a special meeting of the City Council next week to vote on a resolution to safeguard the upcoming municipal elections.

Bhalla said that the council had a chance to adopt a resolution this week that called for “adhering to and enforcement of the City’s campaign finance and pay-to-play laws.”

“I was disappointed that the Council failed to act on this common sense measure intended to safeguard the integrity of our local elections,” Bhalla said.  “With municipal elections only weeks away, time is of the essence and it is vital that there be a level playing field for all candidates.”

Also this week, Councilman Michael DeFusco alleged that a super PAC has ties to Fairview Insurance Agency Associates.  The firm, run by Democratic fundraiser John F.X. Graham, is Hoboken’s health insurance vendor.

“Independent leaders, like myself, stood up to the vendor’s history of nickel and diming the City, and now they want us out of office so no one is left to hold them accountable,” DeFusco said. “Instead of denouncing dark money and protecting the integrity of our democratic process, the Mayor is trying to distract voters from the fact my opponent in the upcoming election is a City Hall insider, running for public office while serving as the mayor’s own political aide.”

DeFusco said he thinks the super PAC is prepared to “funnel” $150,000 into the local election this year.

The news of the super PAC was first reported by the Hudson County View.

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