Ras Baraka

Jackson a likely fourth in crime-curbing urban mayor alliance

Jackson a likely fourth in crime-curbing urban mayor alliance

TRENTON - Violent criminals beware: New Jersey’s urban mayoral alliance against crime just got a little bigger.

According to Mayor Eric Jackson, Trenton may soon be joining the ranks of three other cities whose leaders pledged today to work towards lowering the violent crime rates in their respective jurisdictions. As of several hours ago, that team consisted of Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

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The mayors on Christie's RGA schedule: are they concerned?

The mayors on Christie's RGA schedule: are they concerned?

JERSEY – On the day the three mayors from New Jersey’s three biggest cities huddled up with a public vow to partner to fight crime, PolitickerNJ asked them if they weren’t a little alarmed about Gov. Chris Christie’s vigorous Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) schedule.

The governor is frequently in and out of the state on a robust mission to elect GOP governors around the country.

Do they sense a fall-off in statewide front-office vigilance?

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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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Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership

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 Fulop and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at a podium on MLK Boulevard and pledged partnership to an urban mayoral alliance to fight crime.

Murders in the state’s three biggest cities have Newark, Jersey City and Paterson – three-quarters of a million people - on high alert.

On one level, Baraka-Fulop-Torres showed the fiber of local urban governments.

But the threesome also appeared heavily tinged with politics. It’s hard not to note that both Fulop and the mayor’s rival in a budding gubernatorial drama, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), made a purse strings play for Torres love after their mutual first choice for mayor went belly up on May 13th.

Who was going to corral Torres as he settled into City Hall?

Today, it was Fulop – and his strongest ally, Baraka.

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Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind Fulop and help build the Hudson County mayor. 

These two men have a history, which didn’t begin well – and they have divergent styles, one characterized by a reliance on old school loyalty and punishing attention to detail, the other transactional - which may or may not lead them to a sustained statewide partnership in the name of their home county if Fulop runs for governor.

“As the trend of urbanization continues, our economic prosperity will come to depend even more heavily on our ability to move large numbers of people in and out of urban centers quickly,” Fulop told the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, chaired by Menendez. “This means direct federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and empowering the local communities to make those investments.”

Menendez listened dutifully, approvingly from his throne of federal power.

A lot of back brawling on the streets of Jersey City led up to that blandly governmental presentation by the D.C. touring mayor.

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U.S. Attorney Fishman: Federal monitor on way as feds reveal findings of constitutional violations in Newark Police Department

U.S. Attorney Fishman: Federal monitor on way as feds reveal findings of constitutional violations in Newark Police Department

NEWARK - Following the announcement of the results of a three-year federal investigation that revealed significant civil rights violations by the Newark Police Department, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced that New Jersey's largest police department will be placed under federal oversight. 

"We are announcing that we have signed an agreement in principle with the city and the police department to make the changes that will give the people of Newark the first-class police department that they deserve," said Fishman at his agency's offices in downtown Newark on Tuesday. "The agreement specifically states that we will now turn to finalize a consent agreement that will be filed and enforceable in federal court. That document will require the enforcement of a monitor to follow and report on the progress that the city and the police department are making."  

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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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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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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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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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