Mildred Crump

Sources: John Sharpe James considered council prez seat, as Crump hangs tough in Newark

Sources: John Sharpe James considered council prez seat, as Crump hangs tough in Newark

It so often comes down to Councilman-elect Luis Quintana, the city's acting mayor, amid rumors this afternoon that Mildred Crump may not be a done deal as Newark Council president.

But this time someone else stands at the fulcrum of power.

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In Newark, Crump confident she's got the votes to stay City Council President

In Newark, Crump confident she's got the votes to stay City Council President

NEWARK - In the middle of the chaotic and cathartic post-election Unity Party organized by Newark's political players on Thursday night, Newark Councilwoman-at-Large Mildred Crump made it clear what she believes her place in the city's political pecking order will be when Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka takes over City Hall in six weeks. 

"Right now, it looks like I've got the votes to be Council President, and that's five votes" Crump told, referring to the majority vote needed on the nine-member Newark City Council. "The deal is never done until the vote is taken, but I feel strong. [Baraka] supports it."

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Newark Runoff Elections: Big night for Baraka

Newark Runoff Elections: Big night for Baraka

Tonight proved a big night for Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka, who will take office with five of nine city council seats in his corner.

Convincing victories by Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins in the Central Ward and Joseph MacCallum in the West Ward added to Baraka’s three other city council allies who won on May 13th, giving Baraka his coveted majority.

Baraka’s brother, Amiri Baraka, Jr., played a vital role in ensuring Chaneyfield-Jenkins’ win over incumbent Councilman Darrin Sharif.

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Baraka pressures Quintana, rolls out council slate in Newark mayoral race

Baraka pressures Quintana, rolls out council slate in Newark mayoral race

NEWARK - The members of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's council slate lined up behind Baraka on Saturday at the Robert Treat Hotel as he publicly announced his slate. But as the candidates lined up one by one behind Baraka to create a group of seven, Newark political math dictates that a full council slate is made up of nine candidates. The May municipal election is just more than nine weeks away. The deadline for petitions to run for council, and thereby put all the slates in place, is Monday at 4 p.m.

In a race where there is strong statewide interest, much focus has been drawn to the final at-large council position open on Baraka's slate. Baraka told in January that he was in discussions with Newark Mayor Luis Quintana to join his ticket. One political rumor bandied about Newark this week indicated that the Baraka campaign told Quintana that if he did not join their slate, the at-large spot would go to former North Ward Councilman Hector Corchado instead. Quintana has yet to endorse either Baraka or his rival, former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.

Baraka told on Saturday that the source of the Quintana-Corchado rumor "is not from me." But Baraka did make it clear what direction he thought Quintana should take.

"I think [Quintana] is going to make the only decision he can make, which is to become part of Team Baraka. I think that's what going to happen, and that's what ultimately should happen," Baraka said. "We have the groundswell of support, and he knows that. I don't think going it alone will help him at all. It wouldn't be a positive thing for him, or for the city."

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No budge in Crump on Booker's MUA

No budge in Crump on Booker's MUA

NEWARK - No one ever expected opposition councilmen Darrin Sharif and Ras Baraka to come into office with a lip lock on Mayor Cory Booker's policies, but the defection of former Council President Mildred Crump sent a shock wave through the city's political system this month.

There's a back story gnawing at the mayor's troubled efforts to advance a municipal utilities authority (MUA).

Crump said she hoped Mayor Cory Booker would have helped her hold onto the top chair on the governing body, but, in Crump's words, the mayor "actually lobbied against me."

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Office Politics

One of the perks of being Newark Council President is the bearer of the title traditionally gets the biggest City Hall office space among the council people.

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Delay today, but Quintana says he has no intention of voting for mayor's MUA

Delay today, but Quintana says he has no intention of voting for mayor's MUA
Newark At-Large Councilman Luis Quintana

Political trouble in Brick City gurgled up to the surface this afternoon for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, as a new blood city council signaled they don't intend to back his policies without a fight.

Or maybe not at all.

"If my boiler breaks down, I don't give my house to the bank; you can get a loan to avoid selling it," said At-Large Councilman Luis Quintana, reflecting on the mayor's desire to put control of the city's water supply in the hands of a muncipal utilities authority (MUA). 

The move would enable the city to avert what Booker says is a 37 percent tax hike to plug Newark's $180 million city deficit.

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Payne succeeds Crump as Newark's Council President

Payne succeeds Crump as Newark's Council President
Council President Donald Payne, Jr., right, with his father, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark)

NEWARK - At-Large Councilman Donald Payne, Jr. received the majority backing of his peers this afternoon to succeed Councilwoman Mildred Crump as president of the Newark City Coucil.

Councilman Anibal Ramos received enough votes to become vice president of the council.

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Hypothetically, what if Booker passed up second term and took a job in Washington?

Rumors that Newark Mayor Cory Booker is interested in joining the Obama administration – possibly to replace Adolfo Carrión Jr., as the White House Office of Urban Affairs – prompts an explanation of the process to fill a vacancy should the unconfirmed speculation turn out to be accurate.  If Booker were to leave office before September 13, there would be a special election in November 2010 to fill the remaining 44 months of his term.  If he were to leave after that date, a May 2011 special election would be held.  The City Council President would become the Mayor until the results of a special election are certified. 

The prospect that Booker might decline to serve his second term – the one he just spent nearly $8 million to win last Tuesday with 59% of the vote – could create some last minute maneuvering in the race for City Council President.  Right now the job belongs to Mildred Crump, but Donald Payne, Jr., re-elected last week as a Councilman-At-Large and also an Essex County Freeholder (as well as the son of a U.S. Congressman) is considered a leading candidate to get the job when the Council reorganizes on May 1.  The Central Ward council seat is still undecided: incumbent Charles Bell and newcomer Darrin Sharif (the son of Booker’s mentor) will face off in a June runoff.  None of the nine City Councilmembers would have to give up their seats to run in a hypothetical special election for mayor.

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James organization flexes in lead-up to Tuesday

James organization flexes in lead-up to Tuesday
South Ward Councilman OScar James II and Council President Mildred Crump.

NEWARK - Allies of South Ward Councilman Oscar James II rallied at the incumbent's Clinton Avenue headquarters on Saturday, underscoring their closing argument that having a fulltime representative at City Hall beats an alternative who would have to juggle two jobs.

James's crammed home base included Mayor Cory Booker, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark), Council President Mildred Crump and At-Large Councilman Carlos Gonzalez.

Booker and James believe their message of inclusion has penetrated against the bunker-style South Ward candidacy of Ras Baraka, a former deputy mayor and current principal of Central High School.

Spencer plugged James as a constituent-service driven South Warder.

"My mother is 76 years old," said the assemblywoman. "She enjoys working her dog. You know what it's like to feel as though if your mother goes too far in one direction, she may not make it back? That's what life was at one point. And now my mother is more comfortable walking the dog. ...I'm talking about a community I was born in, a community that I was raised in. I'm talking about my life, I'm talking about your life, I'm talking about (Councilman James's) life." 

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The Back Room

Asbury Park Press corrects Williams error in Christie report

The Asbury Park Press last night mopped up after NBC anchor Brian Williams overreached when he said the feds had cleared Gov. Chris Christie of wrongdoing in a federal investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...


Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':


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