Ravi Bhalla vs. Beth Mason
Bhalla: Mason’s a criminal! Mason: Bhalla’s a vicious liar!
Oh, how times have changed. Less than a year ago Councilwoman Beth Mason endorsed Ravi Bhalla in the June runoff election. Now they’re at each other’s political throats.
In a diversionary tactic designed to draw attention away from his growing Pay-to-Play and ELEC troubles, Councilman Bhalla held an “invitation only” press conference in the law office he shares with Paul Condon. Hoboken411 wasn’t invited by Bhalla, so his event was ignored on the most-read source of news in the Mile Square City.
Bhalla would rather play with those who blindly
report repeat unsubstantiated charges that his political rivals have committed “felonies” than face honest and direct questions about his claims. This afternoon Mason sent out a statement denying her campaign paid workers in cash:
Note that Mason also denies any campaign checks were made payable to “cash.” She confirms every worker was paid by check, and every check was reported on ELEC reports with the state.
Here’s the statement issued by Bhalla yesterday (via the weekly paper):
Bhalla is referring to a call for him to resign in the wake of the revelations about his Pay-to-Play activities in Newark and Union City. Bhalla received lucrative contracts after large donations to Political Action Committees that support the Mayors who hand out those contracts. After the Jersey Journal reported Bhalla had not filed three years of state mandated BE reports on his public contracting and political activities, Mason responded by calling for his resignation.
I didn’t include that in the Hoboken411 coverage because I didn’t find it all that relevant to the story. Sure enough, Bhalla and supporters of Mayor Dawn Zimmer have used Mason’s statements to attempt to muddy the waters surrounding Bhalla’s actions (read: deflect.)
Diversions have been Bhalla’s modus operandi
Bhalla has used diversionary tactics before when he’s been under fire. Remember a year ago when Bhalla was caught up in the controversy surrounding his bad behavior at the Kids First 2009 victory party? In response to eyewitness accounts, Bhalla claimed he’d seen a member of Beth Mason’s slate stumping for rival candidates. It was false, but Bhalla never apologized for any of his actions or statements.
Though allegations of “crimes” and “felonies” from the Bhalla/Zimmer forces have been over the top, Mason does have some cleaning up to do in regards to her campaign forms. Unbiased experts I consulted with said they doubt anything will come of Bhalla and Zimmer’s charges against Mason, which have actually been in filed with NJ ELEC since last fall with no activity reported.
What do you think? Comment below.