Ravi Bhalla trounced in NJ Assembly run

Ramos and Connors annihilate Bhalla and Zimmer

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos and Jersey City Police Detective Sean Connors rolled over Councilman Ravi Bhalla like a steamroller in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary.

It’s the latest in a string of defeats for Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who also lost control of the city Democratic Party.

More independent candidates for committee defeated those who had sworn allegiance to the Mayor. Bhalla led people to believe he would win Hoboken and had support in other parts of the district. Instead, he lost Hoboken to both Ramos and Connors, and ended up with less than 3000 votes (~9%) district-wide to nearly 14,000 votes for Ramos and Connors.

Bhalla’s claims to be interested in reforming government rang false to voters who looked into his history of pay-to-play activities and conflicts during his term on the city council.

Critics: 3 elections show Mayor is a “Lame Duck”

The annihilation of Bhalla and loss of the Democratic Committee is the third in a string of defeats for Zimmer. In April all three of her endorsed candidates for Board of Education were trounced.

In May, Zimmer only managed to win two of six city council seats, and lost citywide by over 1000 votes.

The only good news for Zimmer is that Bhalla’s weak showing yesterday may make him less likely to mount a challenge to her re-election bid in 2013, assuming revelations to come from the FBI investigation of City Hall don’t make another Zimmer run for office impossible.

Breaking:

Bhalla sick of the City Council, wants to go to Trenton!

April 12, 2011:

Ravinder S. Bhalla has only been a Hoboken city councilman for 1 year, 9 months and 11 days, and already he wants out.

Today he filed petitions to run for New Jersey State Assembly. Bhalla’s time on the council has been marred by allegations he voted to award a legal contract to his friend and office-mate despite an obvious conflict of interest, as well as an expose of his Pay-to-Pay activities to secure no-bid public legal contracts for his law firm. This was followed by the exposure of Bhalla’s failure to file state mandated disclosure forms outlining campaign contributions in cities where he held contracts. Now, Hoboken’s “Pay-to-Play King” wants to be a State Assemblyman.

Bhalla files to challenge Ramos and Connors

Bhalla wants his name on the ballot for the June 7th Democratic Primary in the newly re-drawn 33rd District. This district currently includes Hoboken, Union City, West New York, and part of Jersey City.

Because of the 2010 census, the district will lose heavily Hispanic West New York and add much more of Jersey City, which is why Connors is replacing Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez on the ticket headed by State Senator Brian Stack. Not wanting to lose another war with Stack, the party bosses in Jersey City and Bayonne agreed not to challenge his slate. Now Bhalla steps in to throw a wrinkle in the race designed to raise his name recognition among the many political power players who dole out millions in no-bid law contracts around the state.

Bhalla supported Ramos in 2007, has no chance against him in 2011

Bhalla’s shifting political alliances have historically been based on who he is seeking no-bid contracts from at the time. He gave a $250 campaign contribution to the election committee for Ramos and Rodriguez in 2007 – the same year Ramos steamrolled Carol Marsh in the democratic primary for Assembly. Why did Bhalla contribute to Ramos and not Marsh? Because he was trying to get in the good graces of Stack, who later awarded Bhalla a $240,711 contract to provide legal services as a Tenant Advocate in Union City for 2008.

That same year Bhalla made $2350 in contributions to Stack’s Union City First Political Action Committee. These contributions were made in March and June when Marsh and her svengali Michael Lenz were running a campaign against Stack that called him “Corrupt.” Bhalla made similar PAC contributions in the City of Newark ahead of receiving major no-bid contracts which were uncovered by the Citizens Campaign and the Star Ledger. He later lost his Union City contract.

What are his chances to win?

Hudson County political watchers say Bhalla’s lone campaign for Assembly is doomed from day one. Stack, Ramos and Connors have well-established bases of support to draw from throughout the district.

Bhalla has no such base of support, and zero name recognition outside of Hoboken beyond the people he met during his lucrative few years on the Union City payroll. Bhalla’s political marriage with Dawn Zimmer has always been one of convenience. He had money in his campaign fund, and wanted to be on a ticket in 2009. She had a space on the ticket, and wanted the money.

In the early days (make that the only days!) of the Peter Cammarano Administration there was talk that Newark Mayor Cory Booker was working to move Bhalla closer to Cammarano, and that he was seen as “pliable” when the time was “right.” That time never came, but Bhalla is seen as the most likely person to bolt from Team Zimmer should she fail to regain a majority on the City Council in the spring elections, securing her status as a lame duck Mayor. Some say Bhalla’s decision to run for Assembly is confirmation he believes Zimmer will not regain the council majority in May.

The bottom line is Bhalla is for Bhalla, and his decision to run in the primary has more to do with his own interests than with Zimmer’s.

What do you think? Comment below on Bhalla, Ramos, Zimmer, Stack, et al…

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47 Comments on "Ravi Bhalla trounced in NJ Assembly run"

cptkirk1701
Member
cptkirk1701

Can anyone and hope Mr. Ramos may run for mayor in ’13? The current resident in City Hall needs to go…..

And watch out for the Stack connection…..somehow he where’s the same suit or armor as John Gotti: Teflon!! Look at his ‘connections……city hall, schools, etc…..read the Star Ledger article about the Elizabeth board of Ed….its as bad if not worse in Union City, Hoboken and Jersey City…..and don’t expect Christie to investigate……

HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4

It is not news that there is and always has been a connection between Stack, Ramos and the HDCO. Hearsay, Mr. Ramos is considering running for Mayor in ’13, will it become a reality? Who knows? Hopefully in ’13 whoever the Mayor is, some of this lunacy will have been straightened out, Hey I can dream can’t I? LOL[quote comment=”207747″]Can anyone and hope Mr. Ramos may run for mayor in ’13? The current resident in City Hall needs to go…..And watch out for the Stack connection…..somehow he where’s the same suit or armor as John Gotti: Teflon!! Look at his ‘connections……city hall, schools, etc…..read the Star Ledger article about the Elizabeth board of Ed….its as bad if not worse in Union City, Hoboken and Jersey City…..and don’t expect Christie to investigate……[/quote]

Margaret
Member

when OUR sons and daughters, (SORRY, typo but I feel really sad today!)

HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4

ITA! Hoboken was once a wonderful place to live and raise a family, now it has become too pricey for us to live. I truly hope that Assemblyman Ramos can do what is necessary to help turn this situation around![quote comment=”207618″]when OUR sons and daughters, (SORRY, typo but I feel really sad today!)[/quote]

aurora
Member
aurora

Do you really think local real estate prices have anything to do with county politicians? You need to see the bigger picture. [quote comment=”207725″]ITA! Hoboken was once a wonderful place to live and raise a family, now it has become too pricey for us to live. I truly hope that Assemblyman Ramos can do what is necessary to help turn this situation around![/quote]

HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4

Yes I DO see the bigger picture, County taxes go up, City taxes follow, when that happens landlords raise rents. The economy has a big effect on all of this (and I suppose corruption does too) but my point for us, (BNRs) we have seen the changes. Some good, some bad, but changes nonetheless. I would never pay these prices for condos, apartments, etc. I would move out of town before that happens. As for Mr. Ramos, all he can do is try to help. JMPO. :)[quote comment=”207727″]Do you really think local real estate prices have anything to do with county politicians? You need to see the bigger picture.[/quote]

Margaret
Member

Dear Hearditallbe4
Even the has been homes in Jersey City Heights had Stack and Ramos signs
posted everywhere one looked. My best and brightest son who has a decent
job just got displaced there. Even the ghetto people and the working poor, of
which there are many have decorated their just getting by homes and apartments
with STACK AND RAMOS signs. When are working sons and daughters are displaced
to places like this out of Hoboken, it makes a resentment that does not leave Hoboken,
no matter where we live! I am saddened that this is the way it is here, and this administration, led by Zimmer, wants LUXURY only….SAD…very SAD….

HearditallB4
Member
HearditallB4

JMPO, but truthfully don’t think we’ve seen the last of Bhalla by any means. He never truly shows emotion, what does that mean? In my book, not a whole hell of a lot! Budget? Get real, too much going on at City Hall to even remotely introduce any kind of budget right now. They will submit a budget late, as usual, be fined by the State, they have to revise the revisions, yada yada yada, too many crises in their opinion to get on with the getting on, so once again the stall tactics come into play. Again, JMPO, I just wish we could find out what the hell the FBI has uncovered. Will we ever truly know? We will get a word salad from the poor PR person who is earning his/her salary by having to create positive press on a daily basis. LOL

truth1
Member
truth1

Election’s Over ❗ – Get to work [on BUDGET], NOW ❗

wiskeytango1
Member
wiskeytango1

yeah right budget..when pigs fly..keep wishing. 😉 [quote comment=”207579″]Election’s Over – Get to work [on BUDGET], NOW [/quote]

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