Blowing smoke where there’s no fire
Nov 03, 2013 | 1709 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor: We just passed the one-year anniversary of hurricane Sandy and many people are still hurting. I know others who've suffered worse, but my family was sure hit hard. It has been difficult but we are trying to rebuild while making my family's home storm resistant and we’re still months from returning to our home. It’s been challenging, but it was made easier by support from our friends and neighbors. As we occupied temporary quarters and worked to rebuild no one had an unkind word. But in the past few weeks that changed. I have been attacked at a council meeting, followed in public, had my personal personnel records requested. These are the actions that my three young boys notice. Haven't they been through enough? I’m offended by the attacks. But I also wonder why anyone would go after me? Could they be willing to exploit my family’s disaster just to blow a smoke screen to distract from all we've accomplished? I know some people don’t want Mayor Zimmer to succeed, but that seemed too much even from her worst opponent. But then I thought about the attacks on Ravi Bhalla. Ravi is my ally on the council and has become my friend. He is a practicing lawyer who frequently draws from his experience to raise an issue or offer a solution others are overlooking. He is generous with his knowledge, a help to all trying to move Hoboken forward, and a tough opponent to those who hold us back. And for months he has been the target of baseless and ever nastier attacks. The Ravi in these appalling ads is not the Ravi I know.

Some people may say “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I say “people are blowing a lot of smoke at me, but there’s not one bit of fire.” If they’ll go after a Hoboken resident whose only crime was losing her family’s home to Sandy, why would you believe a word of what they say about Ravi?”From what I hear voters aren't buying these baseless charges either. Maybe the folks running these ads at first expected their mud to stick. But now knowing full well that Ravi did nothing wrong, and seeing their attacks fail, they had to find a new target. They found me. Does someone think they can force me off the council? Little chance of that. It got so bad that I checked with a lawyer to make sure I was doing nothing wrong. I was reassured the law was firmly on my side. So is this just about the election? I think so. Knowing the mud they slung would never stick they hoped at least to discourage voter turnout. If you hate these tactics like I do then make them fail –- Vote yourself and remind your friends to vote too. If you truly believe in Hoboken and all its possibilities vote for the Zimmer team – Mayor Zimmer, Councilman Bhalla, James Doyle and Councilman Mello to continue Leading Hoboken forward. And don’t forget: Kids First Gold, Sobolov, Evans for the Board of Education.

Jen Giattino
6th ward councilwoman

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