UPDATE: DeFusco denies responsibility for "Terrorist" flyer


Original post

DeFusco for Mayor flyer left on 5th and Sinatra.

Repudiate DeFusco's indefensible racism by voting for Team Bhalla on November 7.


  1. I hate "midnight flyers" and I doubt DeFusco had anything to do with these deplorable things.

    I already voted for Ravi and don't think Mike would be a good Mayor but I don't think DeFusco was involved with these flyers.

  2. "Our town"? That has a certain ring to it.

    In other news over 900 vbms turned in already. Even the HR has gotten around to mentioning the number delivered to voters (but conflates that with the number voting by vbm).

    Back in the day, we had a second blog that would be all over that story. But it's a fan site now and makes stories out of a sign in a window or a tweet or comparing pictures of one campaign organized for a photo on a pier and another campaign not organized for a photo on a pier. Hopefully this is all worth the ruined reputations of all concerned, financially or otherwise.

    VBMs aren't the whole story as anyone who has worked on election day knows. There are always little clusters of the usual stalwarts taking people off to the side before they go in to vote and having a brief chat about something...

    I doubt this election is called on election night. But if Bhalla isn't up by several hundred votes on the machines when the polls close, it's as good as called and no stories about signs, tweets or idiotic photo comparisons will change it. We have to be out there bigly or spend 4 years regretting the hell out of it.

  3. I noticed something that didn't sit right with me re: DeFusco's initial statement on this, but I decided not to say anything because I thought that even though he may not have gotten the words out right, at least his heart was in the right place. Until I saw his recent campaign blast email on this.

    His initial statement said that he can't be racist because he's gay and a "progressive Democrat". If DeFusco really believes that he can't be a racist because he's a progressive Democrat- if that's a sign of virtue and/or non-racism to him- why did he put a Trump donating Republican on his ticket? And if he doesn't believe there's any correlation between a MAGA Republican and racism, why is DeFusco using the claim that he's a "progressive Democrat" as a shield to defend himself from charges of racism? He's being dishonest here, one way or another. (And about the gay thing- there are gay Republicans, and gay racists. E.g. Milo Yiannopoulos.)

    But I was going to let that alone, on the hope that maybe he just didn't think very clearly about what he was saying. Then I got the campaign email. It started out with an appropriate condemnation of this hate flyer. And then it went on: "Today I spoke out not just about this vile attempt to divide our city, but also against several previous instances of hate that have been displayed, from an anonymous flier calling me a “crime boss” to Super PAC campaign lies blaming me for a tax increase that happened seven years before I was in office, to hate-fueled blogs and attacks on my sexuality and my partner. This campaign has shown the worst of Hoboken, but we won’t let hate win -- stand up and vote this Tuesday for the new energy our city needs by supporting Team DeFusco."

    So, he's saying to fight back against this horrific racist flyer targeting Ravi by voting for DeFusco. He's also equating the legitimate criticism on this blog and elsewhere with crude racism.

    Mike D., if you're reading this: At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

    Why couldn't you just condemn the flyer as hateful and evil, say you had nothing to do with it and are working with the police to try to find who did it, and be done with your statement? Why did you have to try to spin this into an excuse to vote for you? And equate this horrific bigotry with the legitimate criticisms of who you have chosen to ally with and the political positions you have taken?

    Criticisms of the views and associations of any of the candidates are fair game. But not in the response to a horrible incident like this.

    1. For 2 related reasons.

      His political instincts are terrible.

      He has no instincts that aren't political.

    2. Want a few reasons why he is not racist ?
      1. partner = Latino
      2. Ex = African america
      3. Childhood best friend = Indian
      And some of his best friends , co workers and neighbors are indian

      Ana Navarro is Republican , she's not racist and she stands up against Trump
      Not everyone falls into a Trump - Republican category .. that's part of accepting and embracing diversity.

    3. Reading comprehension?

      I never said that Michael DeFusco is a racist, I said that his email reaction- to try to spin this as an excuse to vote for him- was disgusting. I don't think he is a racist, and I don't think it's likely that he or his campaign had anything to do with this flyer.

      I also said that I don't think his statement that he can't be racist because he's a progressive Democrat makes sense when factoring in that he put a Trump donor on his ticket. He believes one thing or another about Republicans and racism, and for the sake of argument here, I'm being agnostic as to which is right (you can take a guess what I think), but he can't honestly point to his Democratic bonafides as proof of no racism while having a Trump donor on his ticket. At least, not if his thinking has been at all consistent and clear. Which maybe it hasn't- that was why I was going to give him a pass on this until I got that repugnant email.

      Ana Navarro is awesome. She consistently denounced Trump, even after he won the primary, and told fellow Republicans that they should vote for Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, she may have been the most prominent Republican in the country to vocally do so, unless I'm forgetting a name or two. If a handful of more prominent national Republican leaders had told their own voters the mistake they were about to make, or if a decent share of local Republican leaders around the country had publicly stood again Trump (cough cough), we might never have been afflicted with the orange demon.

    4. @HobokenedOut.

      I don’t think anyone takes seriously the possibility that one of the candidates ordered the creation and distribution of the flier. It was done by surrogates and supporters of one of the candidates without approval.

      Sadly, surrogates of the Defusco and Giattino campaigns have indeed been engaged in a race to the bottom from Day 1 of the campaign. So much so that this stunt is easily associated with either of them. Consider:

      - Defamatory attacks on the business of Karen Nason. (Team Defusco)

      - Attacks on Nason’s personal life. (Team Defusco)

      - Contacting the employer of Defucso’s partner. (Team Giattino)

      - Complete disinterest in the incident. (Giattino herself)

      - Using Sikh as the verb “seek” to humorously (?) associate a candidate’s religion with rapacious behavior. (Team Giattino)

      - Insulting references to “arranged marriages” (which the candidate does not have.) (Surrogates for both Team Giattino and Team Defusco)

      - Assertions that the candidate supports antifa violence. (Team Giattino)

      - Defamatory assertions that the candidate has accepted bribes. (Surrogates for both Team Giattino and Team Defusco)

      - A court filing against Romano being on the ballot for which the filer of record was an obvious stand-in for the actual filer. (Team Defusco)

      - Defamatory assertions that the candidate and his employer are in this campaign to steer business to themselves. (Surrogates for both Team Giattino and Team Defusco)

      - Nudge-nudge wink-wink assertion that a brown candidate in a turban is “unelectable.” (Team Giattino)

      - Darkening the candidate’s skin tone and eyes in hopes of presenting a more menacing figure (eg, “terrorist”) on the very flier that was used to call him a terrorist. (Team Defusco)

      Does Bhalla have some tough fliers in the streets? Yes. Is he in the same league as any of the above? Hardly.

      Defusco and Giattino surrogates have a well-deserved reputation for using the dirtiest possible tactics. It’s no stretch at all to suppose they have their fingerprints on this one. Neither Mike’s nor Jen’s personal beliefs can wash away what has gone on the last several months and is added to each day.

      BTW. Nice to see you back and in your own small way “not letting the terrorists win.”

    5. A person doesn't have to be a racist to pull the race card any more than a person doesn't have to actually have to have integrity and competence in order to pretend they are the honest and capable candidate.

  4. MDF's ego and immaturity wouldn't allow him to just say the right thing, he had to make it all about him. typical behavior from a kid who lacks leadership.

    can't believe his campaign would be stupid enough to put their name on the flyer (even though they are truly stupid), which lead one to believe it was from team romano (as and mentions, he's been using the phrase "old town" for a long time).

  5. My comment keeps getting deleted

    This blog is very anti-DeFusco but I read it anyway because I live here. My name is Nicole DeFusco. I’ve been a resident of Hoboken for 15 years and my brother is Mike DeFusco. He’s the one running for mayor who everyone on this blog hates and is also accused of being a racist because a CRIMINAL forged a flier that is getting shared around social without the Full Story.

    Politics is a dirty business. I get that. I try to stay out of it as much as possible but it’s gotten too crazy and I need to wade in here.

    This weekend, a CRIMINAL altered my brother’s campaign materials to look like he called another candidate a racist epithet. These materials were distributed by hand overnight. In the morning - my brother disavowed them immediately and reached out to Ravi directly.

    But the story that no one is telling is how this incident was designed to hurt Michael. I understand that’s not a popular thing to say, especially when hate is involved. But in every other occurrence of a racist flier being distributed - and I count 3 between NJ and Ohio in this election cycle alone - it was left as anonymous. Just like the fliers against my brother this week. But in THIS ONE instance, someone deliberately included a PAID FOR BY line. Its intent is to sway the outcome of this election.

    Fake news is designed to hit on an emotional level. Seeing racism hits every decent person where it hurts. Pictures of this flier are being shared on social, being run on the news, and have even been tweeted out by elected government officials like Corey Booker (who didn’t even call for a comment) WITHOUT mentioning he is being victimized also - perhaps even more-so. In each of these instances, my brother’s name can clearly be seen in association with racism. Make no mistake - that is intentional.

    This CRIME is tarnishing his name and muddying the waters of this election. The police now have a suspect. Hopefully they will help bring to light the dark forces at work who are trying to sway this election. But I doubt it will be in time which is exactly what these criminals wanted.

    This morning I had to explain to my 2 year old why people are screaming RACIST at her mother for wearing a Team DeFusco T-shirt. It’s so disheartening that we are a culture of headlines and photos that do not tell the whole story. We are all guilty of it.

    If you’ve read this far - thank you. I appreciate you hearing my side of this whole thing.

    1. @nicole, i'm a little confused because most commenters on this blog actually agree with you. i sincerely doubt anyone here believes mike who be low (and dumb) enough to put his own name on this racist flyer, it's pretty much a given that it was done by someone trying to hurt mike's candidacy.

      i believe there are well-founded reasons to vote for one of mike's opponents, and you certainly have every right to support him. but your anger on this issue is misdirected.

    2. Thank you, Nicole. My heart goes out to families of our political candidates, like yourself. It is illogical for your brother to have done this, it seems obvious from which camp it originated. That said, until the HPD identifies the person(s) who dropped off the flyer, there's a cloud of suspicion over everyone- some online chatter has Ravi doing this for sympathy. Some of the people in your brother's camp are not "nice" people- same for Romano. I'm confident Chief Ferrante will track own the perp, and hopefully he will talk. Until then, it's all about GOTV. I don't think this incident has moved the needle for anyone except, in my opinion, Romano, and not in a positive direction.

      Oh, and about your comment being deleted- it was not I. ANd I checked my SPAM folder- nothing. Possible you were not logged in?

    3. Nicole that flyer just sucks but just to note the first comment in this thread, mine, says that Mike didn't do it. I agree it was done to hurt Mike's campaign and it was likely done by a campaign that is pursing the same voter pool as Mike.

      Midnight Flyers are nothing new to Hoboken but this one is beyond the pale and I think that was its aim, to outrage so much that people don't think about who would have done it and just assume it was Mike. It's reprehensible.

  6. Nicole, I also appreciate your comments, first as a sister coming to the defense of her brother, and second, for expressing yourself so clearly and evenly.

    I have to concur with "me" from what I read, I have not seen ANYONE speculating that your brother commissioned and carried out this flyer attack. Not only would it be incredibly stupid to do so, but it is a really ham handed move, and frankly smells like a set up from the word go.

    Anyways, thanks for your comments, politics are dirty, and I am sorry that the dirt in this case, fell on you, and especially your kids. Why anyone would voluntarilly get into this playpen of local politics is beyond me, but at least they would have to be prepared to get dirty, either by their own, or someone elses hand.


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