Hoboken councilman offers reward for information on racist flyers


HOBOKEN — Councilman Michael DeFusco announced that he is offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the criminal conviction in the illegal and racist flyers allegedly distributed before Election Day.
Mayor Elect Ravi Bhalla had been subject to the attack flyer five days before the election, featuring a photo of him and the headline, “Don’t let TERRORISM take over this town.” Whoever made the ad included the name of Councilman Michael DeFusco, one of Bhalla’s opponents in the election, to make it appear that DeFusco created the ad. However, DeFusco was swift to say the ad did not come from his campaign and to vocally denounce it.
According to a DeFusco campaign press release, the flyer, which made national news and was shared on social media, “created a patently false and damaging narrative about DeFusco by painting him as a racist when in truth he is the only openly gay elected official in Hudson County and a progressive Democrat.”
“Whoever created these fliers deserves to be held accountable for this despicable action that damaged my reputation, insulted the Bhalla family and altered the outcome of this election,” said DeFusco. “Our democracy cannot properly function if people can get away with illegally misrepresenting a candidate’s views and attacking another’s race and religion in a malicious and illegal way and then having that lie spread to millions on social media. We need to take a stand against this kind of deliberate electoral meddling and find who is responsible for this disgusting act.”
The Hoboken Police Department is investigating the fliers. Anyone with information is urged to call (201) 420-2111 to report information. DeFusco has also retained a private investigator to help find the alleged perpetrator and has launched a fundraising page to pay for the reward and investigation. Anyone who provides credible information that leads to a conviction will receive the $5,000 reward.
To donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/justiceforelectiontampering.