Jeffries campaign sets up Newark ward HQs

By Mark Bonamo | December 21st, 2013


NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries officially opened up campaign headquarters throughout Brick City on Saturday, trying to transform significant campaign resources into street organizational ability.

"We're going to be engaged in aggressive, intelligence-based community policing," said Jeffries, the former state Assistant Attorney General, to a crowd of nearly 75 people gathered outside of his new West Ward headquarters on Sanford Avenue in the city's Vailsburg neighborhood. "We need to re-invest in more officers, and we need our officers to have a more organic relationship with our communities. We need to be walking these neighborhoods, knowing the clergy, knowing the community leaders, knowing the parents, and knowing the residents so we can really identify those folks who are up to no good in our community. And then we're going to target those people." 

Jeffries was clearly talking about public safely, a highly relevant topic in New Jersey's largest city. But Jeffries could have equally been talking about his need to target relevant voters as he seeks the mayor's seat.

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Christie Agrees to In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants

The New York Times

The New Jersey Legislature approved legislation on Thursday that would allow students without legal immigration status to pay in-state college tuition. Gov. Chris Christie planned to sign it on Friday, a spokesman said.

The bill’s passage was assured after Mr. Christie, a Republican, struck a deal with Democratic lawmakers, who agreed to a demand of his that they change the bill to remove a provision allowing undocumented immigrants access to state financial aid programs.

“This is what compromise looks like,” the governor said at a news conference in Trenton after the accord was revealed.

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Reporter who wrote story about Cory Booker not living in Newark worked for anti-Booker PAC, report says

By Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger
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on December 18, 2013

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks at Garden State Equality's 4th Annual "Equality Walk" event in June 2013 at Erie Park in Montclair in support of winning marriage equality. (William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)


TRENTON — A reporter who wrote a story claiming former Newark Mayor Cory Booker did not live in the city he ran worked for an anti-Booker PAC, according to a report by Buzzfeed.

Charles C. Johnson's story was by The Daily Caller, a conservative news website, on Oct. 14, two days before Booker was elected to the U.S. Senate. It quoted neighbors and two community activists saying the mayor did not actually live in Newark.

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The passing of Nancy Ann Johnson

For Immediate Release  
Re: The passing of Nancy Ann Johnson
December 17, 2013 - Newark, NJ - It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Shavar Jeffries' grandmother, Nancy Ann Johnson, today at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark. She was 82. Ms. Johnson died from stroke related consequences.
We thank everyone for your prayers and well wishes.



Media contact: Lupe Todd - 917-202-0116 


Since he was ten years old, Ms. Johnson raised Shavar and his younger sister after the tragic killing of her daughter, Shavar's mother. Shavar has often mentioned Ms. Johnson as one of the most influential and inspirational people in his life.

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Caraballo on the Joe D/Christie impact on Newark politics: 'We don't know yet'

By Max Pizarro | December 16th, 2013


NEWARK – Wilfredo "Fred" Caraballo walked into a diner and sat down.

Grizzled. Street-tested. Maybe more hungry than ever for a reversal of the political forces that drop-kicked him back to the classroom.

He’s older than he was in 2007 when the machine ran over him, dividing him from being able to play the role of citizen centaur he so relished: teaching law to future attorneys at Seton Hall while making laws in Trenton.

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Cory Booker, Democratic leaders back Essex executive Joseph DiVincenzo for re-election

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on December 13, 2013

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, shown here endorsing Gov. Chris Christie's bid for re-election in June, kicked of his own re-election campaign earlier this week. (Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger)


NEWARK — Flanked by party faithful, Joseph DiVincenzo formally kicked off his bid for a fourth term as county executive earlier this week.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and politicians from federal to municipal levels of government heaped words of praise on DiVincenzo, a Democrat, at a campaign event held in the gymnasium of Essex County College.

"Look at his record. He is the most competent and qualified (of) leaders," Booker said. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who did not attend, also endorsed DiVincenzo in a statement read at the event.

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Interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Anibal Ramos

Friday, 13 December 2013 20:35 Local Talk News Editor


At a crucial time when Newark is merging with new leadership, it is important for Local Talk's readers to know about the knowledge and capabilities of the candidates. We have already published two interviews with Shavar Jefferies and Darrin Sharif. This is the third interview of our series, this time with Anibal Ramos.

 Dhiren Shah: Welcome to this interview Mr. Ramos. What qualifies you to run for Mayor of Newark, the largest city in New Jersey?

Anibal Ramos: I am the only candidate running for mayor that has executive leadership experience. I ran the largest human services organization in the state of New Jersey, over 1,400 employees. Officially, I have reduced the size of my administrative staff and increasing the staff that was dedicated to provide services for seniors and kids involved in juvenile centers. I ran for council in 2006 and again in 2010 and was reelected. Every public office I sought election-wise I won. I have good executive leadership experience and with organizations that are large. I have legislative experience as councilman and school board side.

DS: Lately, I have heard rumors that you are dropping out of the race, and the democratic machine might not support you. Is it true or not?

AR: The only people that want me to drop out are my opposition. My candidacy is strong. We picked up the endorsement of three ward chairmen out of five wards, North Ward, Central Ward and East Ward. We have strong organization in every ward of the city.

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Christie Views Lane Closings on George Washington Bridge as Overblown

The New York Times

The Manhattan side of the George Washington Bridge. Gov. Chris Christie said “a mistake got made” when his appointees closed bridge access lanes.


TRENTON — It began with a few orange traffic cones in September, when local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge abruptly closed for four days, gridlocking Fort Lee, N.J.

But after legislative hearings, the resignations of two of his confidants and demands for more answers, the allegation that drivers were made to suffer for the sake of petty political payback has grown into a major irritation for Gov. Chris Christie.

Facing reporters on Friday to announce the resignation of a second close associate in a week, Mr. Christie said the fuss about the two men’s having ordered that lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge be shut — and whether they had done it to punish Fort Lee’s mayor for failing to endorse Mr. Christie — had been “sensationalized.”

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As 2013 ends, battle lines harden in 2014 Newark mayoral race

By Mark Bonamo | December 13th, 2013


NEWARK - The images from Christmas 1914 linger in our collective consciousness: soldiers on both sides along the Western Front during World War I emerged from their trenches, enjoying an unofficial Christmas truce before the slaughter started again.

If the last few weeks serve as an unofficial survey of the Newark mayoral race, there will be no Christmas cease-fire in Brick City. Instead, the state's largest city will be a political abattoir, with each of the four candidates trying to survive no man's land. 

The war is being fought on the streets, with North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. and South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka holding competing endorsement events. Both candidates want to be seen as the labor candidate in a city where union backing is still critical. Baraka was given the nod of approval by former Mayor Ken Gibson, Newark's first African-American mayor. Ramos has projected himself as the candidate with the most organizational strength, with three out of five Democratic ward chairman behind him, plus a 4,000-turkey Thanksgiving citywide food drive to prove it. 

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Judge rules state can't deny trade licenses to ex-cons who owe back child support

By Thomas Zambito/The Star-Ledger 


 Patrice Dow of Pleasantville installs emergency lighting in a condominium complex in Tuckerton on Thursday.(Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

NEWARK — Patrice Dowe spent 10 years in federal prisons only to discover upon his release in 2009 that he wouldn’t be able to work as a licensed electrician, the job he’d spent thousands of hours training for while he was locked up.

The problem wasn’t that jobs weren’t available. It was the $31,000 in child support for two sons that he racked up during his prison stretch.

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