The former public relations firm for the City of Hackensack, now running the campaign of incumbent Mayor John Labrosse and his slate of city council candidates, is becoming the central focus of an increasingly vicious campaign.
Current city councilwoman Deborah Keeling-Geddis blasted the PR firm, Vision Media Marketing Inc.. of Secaucus, and the son of its founder, Philip Swibinski, for “meddling in city business.” Keeling-Geddis, who is a member of one of two slates challenging the Labrosse-led ticket, is demanding that somewhat controversial mail pieces designed by the PR firm, when it was working for the City of Hackensack, and paid for by taxpayers be removed from the City website. In a letter to the City Manager earlier this week, Keeling-Geddis claimed the mailers, sent out shortly before the Labrosse-led candidate ticket announced its reelection bid, are “misleading” and really “little more than political propaganda.”
Now, Keeling-Geddis is going further, arguing her request “is a matter of city government business between a councilwoman and the city manager,” before adding that Swibinski and Vision Media “should stay out of official City business and let the Mayor [John Labrosse] speak for himself.”
Vision Media does not currently work for the City of Hackensack. The firm suspended its contract with Hackensack last month right before joining Mayor Labrosse’s reelection campaign. Yet, Swibinski seems to have responded for the City, arguing there’s no reason for the mailers to be removed from the official City website.
“It is entirely appropriate for Mayor Labrosse’s campaign spokesman to respond to Councilwoman Keeling-Geddis’ political press release, because this is nothing but a manufactured political issue and another attempt by the Councilwoman to gain media attention for her campaign. As we have stated before, these newsletters contain no political content whatsoever and contain only information about legitimate city business and governmental initiatives, thus Mayor Labrosse believes there is no reason to remove them from the city website. The Labrosse Team is focused on communicating its record of cutting taxes and revitalizing the community and on preventing the Zisa machine from coming back into power. Councilwoman Keeling-Geddis’ political posturing will not distract us from that mission.” Swibinski said.
Find Press Releases from Deborah Keeling below.