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."Read More >
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."Read More >
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.Read More >
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."Read More >
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."Read More >
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."Read More >
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."Read More >
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."Read More >
NEWARK - In the midst of the blazing heat outside of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Tuesday's inauguration day in Newark, newly-installed Mayor Ras Baraka could look out from the stage and see members of an important political force that helped him win: organized labor.
Labor, especially public sector labor unions, provided critical divisions to Baraka's home-grown army during the campaign. A dynamic duo of volunteers and cash provided by public workers labor unions such as the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) hit Newark's streets hard on Election Day in May, helping to knock out Baraka's opposition.Read More >
NEWARK - Standing before a crowd of 1,000 revelers at the Robert Treat Hotel at his inaugural ball, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka told his frenzied supporters to keep on partying down, but also to be prepared for the hard road ahead.
"I just want to thank everyone for coming out here this evening and celebrating the new transition of our city and being part of what I think is a historic moment in the city of Newark," said Baraka, minutes after appearances from famed artists Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Rah Digga on stage. "We're going to make some incredible changes here in Newark. If you're not from Newark, you wish you were today, I bet you. And if you moved out, we might let you come back."Read More >
Dissed by Gov. Chris Christie, New York Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Christie should consider stepping down from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Assocation.Read More >
Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich has died Union County today mourns the loss of the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history, who died last night at the age of 83. (Editor/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/77506/union-county-sheriff-ralph-froehlich-has-died Cryan serving as acting Union County sheriff, poised to run in November ...
By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups. But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >
"As soon as you step into the lake on foot or in a boat, you're in the state's domain. I feel bad for the snake, and I hope it gets rescued before it dies when it gets cold. It didn't mean to get let out there. This snake should be one thing we can get together on and not worry about party affiliation. Unless the snake's a Democrat." - Republican Mount Arlington Mayor Arthur Ondish- PolitickerNJ
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