Thursday, November 16, 2017

Viral Video - Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla Gets Hugs - Hugs Chief Propagandist Nancy Pincus

Below is a PR video of Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla hugging it out with residents of Hoboken courtesy of foreign media outlet AlJezeera. Winning the Mayorship of Hoboken as a Sikh has understandably been a milestone for people of that faith nationally and even in parts of the world where that faith is concentrated. The racist flier that first appeared on the Friday before the election insinuating Ravi was a terrorist has no place in our Hoboken politics. The vast majority of Hoboken residents do not subscribe to that world view and that was proven out by Ravi winning the election.

If this was an election stunt to try and suppress the vote for Ravi it truly backfired. In fact many speculate the flier drove higher turnout in Hoboken and propelled Ravi for the breakout win. Both Ravi Bhalla and Michael Defusco were the breakaway candidates due to their large campaign war chests and constant TV ads especially in the last two weeks of the campaign. Ravi in particular was the beneficiary of at least a $50k advertising campaign from Stronger Foundations associate with a union that wants to build large residential buildings at the NJ Transit site. It was Mayor Zimmer that railed against outside PAC money in 2009 but I guess in this election cycle it is anything for the win. Right?

Here is a video capture of Ravi Bhalla hugging it out with his chief propagandist Nancy Pincus. Nancy runs the website Grafix Avenger. During this campaign cycle Nancy and her small cadre of insiders have had a particularly nasty tone resorting to personal attacks about people's personal life, intelligence and even going so far as to assert not voting for Ravi meant you were racist. In my case I had voted for Ravi three times so that assertion is quite laughable. I support the First Amendment so anyone has the right to express themselves but speech also has consequences. Toxic speech and personal attacks from the author of Grafix Avenger and its insider commenters have no place in Hoboken just as a racist flier has no place. Anything for the win right? I have yet to hear Ravi or any elements of his core supporters or campaign denounce these attacks.

Local Blogger Nancy Pincus, a real Bhalla insider gets a hug from Ravi Bhalla

There were reasons for being a supporter of Mayor Zimmer both times and yet not supporting Ravi for Mayor and these are the top reasons why I went with someone else:

  1. Zimmer announced she was resigning and on the same anointed Ravi her successor. That rubbed many people the wrong way from the start. Even her many of her strongest supporters acknowledged that.  
  2. Ravi was less than candid with me about when he found out Zimmer was not seeking a third term. Another account had him finding out two weeks in advance when he said he only knew for a few days initially. Trust is both earned and verified.  
  3. I felt that Jen Giattino would focus on Hoboken day to day quality of life issues the most. She walks the street every day. 
  4. Ravi's line of work in seeking government contracts would lead to numerous potential conflict issues as an executive that are more easily dealt with as a legislator by simply abstaining.
  5. Jen Giattino had the best plan for future development in Hoboken, as commercial as possible. 
  6. Jen Giattino had the best financial acumen of the major four candidates and she showed that to me by voting no on the PILOT at Jackson Street. That deal was way too generous to the developer and harmful to the taxpayer and Jen knew it. Ravi Bhalla was chair of the Finance subcommittee in 2015 and not once did he call a meeting during that year. He has the intelligence but never has demonstrated the focus on finance which is key to being the head executive of Hoboken. 
  7. Hoboken needs more hotels. Jen voted yes on the downtown hotel. Sure its too tall but progressives like Jim Doyle and Ravi Bhalla don't get that you can't dictate what hotel model you want, it has to be economically viable or the developer won't agree, at least a smart developer.
  8. The Zimmer Administration became less than transparent in its last two years and Ravi would be more likely to continue that trend. I am hoping I am wrong now of course. 
  9. I felt that replacing almost all of the directors would be a good thing. Only Ravi Bhalla was the likely status quo on this issue. Washington Street project needs new management pure and simple.
  10. Jen was an outstanding Council President and displayed professionalism and an ability to work with others and unify. 
  11. Jen Giattino I knew would run a positive campaign. She did. Ravi did not.   
Hindsight is always 20-20 and based on my analysis of this election I don't think Jen Giattino had a path to victory as the results bear out for the following reasons:
  1. Ravi had a unique ability to fund raise outside of Hoboken due to his religion as a Sikh.
  2. Ravi and Mike Defusco had a huge head start. Jen started very late as did Anthony Romano. 
  3. Low information voters decided this campaign which limited Jen's strength of one on one campaigning and connecting to voters. 
  4. Mayor Zimmer's endorsement really mattered even if her favorables had dipped a bit. Her negative attacks on Jen also likely moved some voters fair or not. 
  5. The Mayor's office behaved politically even stopping Washington Street in late September due to a safety incident that idled it for a whole month. A whole month? Really?  
  6. The Mayor's email list was extensive and a valuable tool for camp Bhalla. 
  7. Mike Defusco proved to be a formidable campaigner and certainly earned his votes limiting Jen's support in wards 2,5, and 6 which she needed to win. 
  8. Being a Republican is one thing but the Bhalla campaign tried to paint Jen as a Trumpist. The irony is that some Hoboken Republicans did not support her due to to the fact she is too liberal. If I thought Jen was a Trump supporter I would not have supported her. Perhaps a Republican can't win in Hoboken. The playbook on how to eviscerate one is open public knowledge now. 
  9. The racist flier may have given Ravi a huge boost in sympathy vote. The turnout was very high for a Hoboken election coming in over 15,000. Without exit polling we won't know for sure but it is a safe bet the flier increased turnout. 
  10. The Giattino campaign was out executed. This was partially due to funding on her side the Bhalla campaign had three full time and experienced staff members that had success in the past. Jen needed more funding to get the right professionals and execute better. 
So when you add all that up should I have changed my vote? The answer is no. My first choice did not win and I sincerely congratulate Ravi Bhalla on winning but not in the way he won. I support the democratic process and more importantly checks and balances. 

I am hopeful that Hoboken will be reasonably developed, infrastructure enhanced, Suez contract resolved with full disclosure to City Council and public, our parks in progress completed and to see our day to day issues much better addressed than the previous administration. If Ravi Bhalla is able to work towards these goals this editor will give him support. If decisions are made to the detriment of Hoboken then the criticism will come forth in a measured and constructive way. As my traffic grows I will encourage my commenters to do the same.

Additional Editor's Note: I had a comical comment come from Grafix Avenger on her site that the video was not from AlJezeera. At the very end of the video this logo appears. Do you really trust someone who blogs that can't even research basic facts? I don't and helps explain why this website is needed in Hoboken.

This logo appears at end of video above.
Nancy Pincus proven wrong on basic facts once again.