Newark

Baraka doesn't quibble with Christie's 'decider' comment; but still wants a different decision

Baraka doesn't quibble with Christie's 'decider' comment; but still wants a different decision

JERSEY CITY - Standing on MLK Boulevard, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka responded today to Gov. Chris Christie's comments at a Republican Governors' Association (RGA) meeting last week.

Channelling former President George W. Bush, Christie boasted to other Republicans that he is "the decider" on whether or not Cami Anderson remains as Newark's superintendent.

Baraka wants her gone.

Christie wants her to stay on the job.

"I don't want to get into whether or not he said it," Baraka told PolitickerNJ. "But he's right. The state gets to decide. I just wish they'd begin to decide differently."

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U.S. Attorney Fishman on Bridgegate investigation: probe has to be "done right"

NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman laughed and exclaimed "So close!" when asked by a member of the press about the ongoing federal investigation into the September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closure incident, a.k.a. the Bridgegate scandal, at a Tuesday press conference in downtown Newark. Then Fishman soberly addressed the progress his office has made. 

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Newark Mayor Baraka: in aftermath of Jersey City cop killing, death penalty not a deterrent

Newark Mayor Baraka: in aftermath of Jersey City cop killing, death penalty not a deterrent

NEWARK - Although one state legislator has called for New Jersey to reinstate the death penalty following the shooting death of a Jersey City police officer, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka voiced another opinion on what some advocate as the ultimate way to fight crime. 

"My personal opinion is that I don't believe the death penalty is a deterrent to crime here in the city of Newark," said Baraka at a Tuesday news conference at the downtown office of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman which announced the results of a federal investigation into the Newark Police Department. "What happened in Jersey City was horrible, completely senseless and the actors should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Ultimately, what we're talking about here in Newark is revitalizing the system that has obviously been broken for some time." 

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U.S. Senate race: Bell releases federal tax return, calls on Booker to do the same

U.S. Senate race: Bell releases federal tax return, calls on Booker to do the same

U.S. Senate Republican nominee Jeff Bell released his 2013 federal tax return on Tuesday, then subsequently called on his opponent, incumbent U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), to do the same.

"I'm publicly releasing my tax return now because it's in the interest of voters to know about it well ahead of the November election,"said Bell in a written statement. "Cory Booker should do the same thing right away."

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Torres raises $220K at Paterson fundraiser

Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres raised more than $220,000 to pay for his recent inaugural festivities at a fundraiser event in Paterson Wednesday night, according to a Democratic source who was present at the party. 

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Bramnick calls on SCI to investigate alleged spending abuses by Newark school district

Bramnick calls on SCI to investigate alleged spending abuses by Newark school district

TRENTON -  State Assembly Republican Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) called on the Select Committee of Investigation (SCI) to look into the report that the Newark school district spent $22,000 per month for 15 months on catered meals and take-out food. The school district, mainly funded by taxpayers throughout the state, has a $42 million budget gap.

“The misuse of taxpayer funds is an abuse of power," said Bramnick in a written statement. "Those responsible for approving this spending must be held accountable. [SCI] Chairman [John] Wisniewski must investigate how this happened. Taxpayers deserve answers on how those in charge let reckless spending like this take place."

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Baraka on Anderson after revelation of Newark school district spending thousands on take-out: time to "push the reset button"

Baraka on Anderson after revelation of Newark school district spending thousands on take-out: time to "push the reset button"

NEWARK - On the day when revelations of the Newark school district approving tens of thousands of dollars a month in spending on take-out food and catering were released, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka spoke out about his continued desire to see state-appointed Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson leave her position as soon as possible. 

"We don't have a statutory responsibility, but we have a moral one," said Baraka, referencing the fact that Newark's schools have been under state control since 1995. "Our responsibility to make sure the schools work in Newark supersedes any law that separates us from the school system.Your circulatory system works inside of a larger system. When one of those systems breaks down, you become sick, which is the same with what's happening in our city. When the school system is not functioning, the whole city becomes sick. Our job is to fix that, because at the end of day it affects economic growth, it affects workforce investment, it affects crime. We want to look at it as a part of everything." 

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Baraka to Christie on Newark's fiscal crisis: "We're going to wear him down with love"

Baraka to Christie on Newark's fiscal crisis: "We're going to wear him down with love"

NEWARK - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka referred to one of America's greatest civil rights heroes when asked how he would negotiate with Gov. Chris Christie for additional state aid. 

"We're going to do a little Martin Luther King [Jr.] - we're going to wear him down with love," said Baraka to a crowd of about 100 people on Wednesday, while at the Newark Public Library to discuss the administration's transition team report outlining Baraka's first 100-day plan for Newark. "We're going to wear him down with that. At the end of the day, we're just trying to improve the city. There is nothing political about what we're trying to do here."

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Community "decarceration" activists call on State Sen. Rice to introduce legislation supporting large-scale New Jersey prison release

Community "decarceration" activists call on State Sen. Rice to introduce legislation supporting large-scale New Jersey prison release

NEWARK - An advocacy group that believes New Jersey needs a major large-scale prison release, or "decarceration," is calling on state Sen. Ron L. Rice (D-28) to introduce a bill in the Legislature meant to achieve that goal. 

In a letter signed by 14 New Jersey residents, most from Essex County, and sent to Sen. Rice, the signatories point to "systemic racism" in the enforcement, prosecution and sentencing within the criminal justice system as a significant explanation of the disproportionate representation of African-Americans among the prison population. One solution to this problem is to provide a large-scale release of those incarcerated, particularly for non-violent, drug-related and other non-violent offenses that could be seen as economic “crimes of survival," according to the letter's signatories. 

"We are sure you are well aware of the racial and economic disparities of mass incarceration where it is Black, Brown and impoverished who are targeted by everything from arrest, prosecution and sentencing," the letter states. "Mass incarceration devastates our family structures, our community structures and our ability to engage and struggle politically, socially and economically for better communities.  For these reasons it is of utmost importance that our communities take the lead in structuring the kind of decarceration legislation that is initiated and fought for.  We need to take the first step."

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Newark Baptist ministers join protest against United Airlines for failure to raise hourly wages for airport workers

Newark Baptist ministers join protest against United Airlines for failure to raise hourly wages for airport workers

NEWARK - A group of more than 25 Baptist ministers from Newark and around New Jersey gathered at a church not far from Newark Airport to ask why United Airlines has yet to raise airport workers' wages in compliance with recently announced Port Authority of New York and New Jersey changes and stated that they are joining protests designed to convince the major airline to comply. 

"We are New Jersey leaders with a vested interest in the economic vitality of our region. We need good jobs and reasonable investments in our communities because our families cannot flourish without them," said Rev. George B. Martinez, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark, an organization that represents more than 80 houses of worship in New Jersey as well as about 8,000 congregants. "We support Newark Airport workers in their struggle for respect, living wages, benefits and a contract. We call on United Airlines to be a responsible corporate citizen and to respect its sub-contracted employees by honoring the new standards set by the Port Authority." 

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The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

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