The warette in Hudson County has now morphed into a war in Hoboken between Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the Democratic municipal chair.
Bhalla invited county committee members to a meeting next Monday with State Sen. Brian Stack to affirm Hoboken’s support of Stack for Hudson County Democratic Chairman and to discuss plans to replace County Executive Tom DeGise.
That caused Fisher, no fan of the mayor, to go on a rant against Bhalla in an e-mail to the Democratic district leaders.
Fisher’s self-described emotional tirade prompted the remaining six members of the party’s executive committee to shoot back at Fisher in an e-mail that stops just short of demanding her resignation. That e-mail disputed claims that Bhalla did not invite the seventeen committee members who were not part of his slate, saying that Fisher refused to share the full e-mail list and that every elected party leader was being invited, either by e-mail or by phone.
Bhalla, who controls a majority of the seats on the Hoboken Democratic Committee, joined Stack, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and West New York Mayor Felix Roque in supporting an effort to replace DeGise, a five-term incumbent. Bhalla does not have control of the city council, and sources say that a DeGise endorsement by the anti-Bhalla councilmembers is imminent.
The e-mail from Bhalla offers a glimpse of how strong his alliance with Stack is.
“I also want to remind everyone on this email chain how much time and resources Senator Stack placed into ensuring a victorious election cycle for your Committeeperson campaigns in June of 2017, including regular mailers endorsing your candidacies and production of hand cards to support your GOTV efforts,” Bhalla said.” “It’s critically important for us not to forget this support and offer our assistance to Senator Stack at this critical juncture of the County’s future leadership.”
Bhalla also shared one of his reasons for pushing for a replacement for DeGise.
“Hoboken contributes far more than we receive back from the County,” Bhalla said, saying he is “seeking a new direction and progressive leadership at the County level.”
Fisher says that the Monday meeting “is not an official meeting” and that no vote will be taken.
“The meeting is for Mayor Bhalla to introduce you to and potentially deliver your support for Senator Stack in his quest to be elected in June as Chairman,” Fisher said. “This is purely a politically driven meeting for Mayor Bhalla to try to show that he can deliver the votes of the Hoboken Democratic Committee to Senator Stack.”
But Hoboken Democratic Municipal Vice Chairman Phil Cohen and the other five executive board members say that Bhalla only called the meeting because Fisher refused to do so. Fisher has not called any official meetings since last June, the party leaders said.
The executive committee has listed a series of grievances against Fisher.
“The reason this Committee has been dormant and ineffectual is, simply, because of Tiffanie Fisher,” Cohen and the other executive committee members said. “She is using her position as Chair of the Democratic Committee to attack the Mayor, a Democrat.”Hoboken Ravi Bhalla Tiffanie Fisher
Hoboken Tiffanie Fisher 1
Hoboken Philip Cohen