Newark mayor's race: Warrant issued for suspect in Baraka bus burning

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on April 01, 2014

The campaign bus of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka was vandalized in February

 

NEWARK — The competition between Newark mayoral candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries over whose campaign is playing dirtier politics took a more serious turn today.

On the heels of an announcement from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office that a Newark man was charged with setting a small fire on Baraka’s campaign bus, Baraka said it was time for more scrutiny of campaign tactics.

"This is extremely problematic for the way Newark is viewed and for elections moving forward," he said during a news conference this afternoon at his Central Avenue headquarters. "The Jeffries campaign called for federal monitors. We agree. We think they should be monitoring him."

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Newark mayor's race: Candidates ask U.S. Attorney to monitor election

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
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on March 31, 2014

Newark mayoral hopefuls Shavar Jeffries and Ras Baraka (left to right) traded accusations of corruption and voter intimidation on Monday, ending with both candidates calling for the federal government to monitor the May 13 election.

 

NEWARK — With less than six weeks before Newark elects a new mayor, candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries exchanged allegations of misconduct, corruption and voter intimidation yesterday, ending with both calling for federal officials to monitor the voting booths on election day.

Hours after Baraka filed a lawsuit hoping to force two members of the Essex County Board of Elections to step down, claiming both created a "conflict of interest" by supporting Jeffries, Jeffries fired back calling on U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman to monitor the race. He also accused Baraka's supporters of using violence and threats to stymie Jeffries' supporters, according to a letter obtained by The Star-Ledger.

In the letter penned by Jeffries' attorney Malee Wang, Wang called for federal and state officials to monitor voting booths in the South, Central and West Wards, which are typically Baraka strongholds, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is May 13.

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Newark mayor's race: Baraka files lawsuit to remove two Jeffries allies from Essex Board of Elections

By Mark Bonamo | March 31st, 2014

 

NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka has filed a lawsuit in Essex County Superior Court calling for the removal of two supporters of his rival, former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries, from the Essex County Board of Elections. 

The suit, filed on Monday morning, asserts that Frances Abubato and Lee Fisher, who both serve as commissioners on the four-person board, are in violation of election law and ethics codes, including the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law, the New Jersey Uniform Ethics Code, the Essex County Board of Elections Ethics Code and the common law. 

Frances Adubato, the wife of Newark power broker Steve Adubato, Sr., and Fisher both serve as Democratic chairs in Newark's North and South Wards respectively. Adubato and Fisher both endorsed Jeffries in February. 

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Essex County strikes new partnership with local clergy in effort to battle joblessness

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on March 30, 2014

Essex County kicked off a new partnership with local clergy from urban and suburban towns to help unemployed people find jobs, with the help of county resources, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said.

 

WEST ORANGE — Essex County has forged a new partnership with local churches in its latest push to reach unemployed and underemployed people.

About 30 reverends, imams, ministers and other clergy heard from county social service workers last week on the myriad services available to help residents struggling to find work.

“Most of the time, people don’t know what the county has to offer,” County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said.

Essex County’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent as of January, according to figures from the state Department of Labor. DiVincenzo said the county unemployment rate, which is higher than the state’s average, is unacceptable.

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Report Details Claim by Ally: Christie Knew of Bridge Lane Closings

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Stars come out for Baraka birthday fundraiser in Newark

By Mark Bonamo | March 26th, 2014

 

NEWARK - Newark's Robert Treat Hotel went Hollywood on Wednesday night as more than 800 supporters came out for a birthday fundraiser for city mayoral candidate Ras Baraka. 

Among those who came out to back Baraka 47 days before he goes head to head against his main rival, former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries, in the May municipal election were famed filmmaker Spike Lee and singer Lauryn Hill. 

Political luminaries were also close at hand. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and former Governor and current State Senator Richard Codey (D-27), whose endorsements last month were two of the most important racked up recently by Baraka, were reportedly present at a V.I.P event before the main dinner event. Tickets to the V.I.P. event cost $1,000; tickets to the dinner went for $300. 

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Baraka defends James' criminal record, attacks Christie

By Mark Bonamo | March 25th, 2014

NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka defended the criminal record of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, who endorsed Baraka on Tuesday instead of the South Ward councilman's rival, former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. 

James, 78, served as Newark's mayor from 1986 to 2006. He did not seek re-election in 2006 in the face of a looming second mayoral election challenge from now-U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. He was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2008 and served 18 months in prison following his fraud conviction.

But Baraka, who took James on during Newark's 1994 mayoral campaign and later served as a deputy mayor towards the end of the James administration, didn't see James as politically blemished. 

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Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James endorses Baraka in city mayoral race

By Mark Bonamo | March 25th, 2014

 

NEWARK - Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James walked into King's #1 Family Restaurant on Lyons Avenue in the city's South Ward on Tuesday and walked right into Newark's contentious mayoral race.

After weeks of hints and suggestions, James endorsed South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka with 48 days left before the May municipal election, saying the time for new Newark leadership is now.

"We will need a mayor who will stand up when it comes to the issues that shape the city of Newark and affect the people - a mayor who is going to stand up for the people," said James while trays stacked with scrambled eggs, grits and fried whiting were passed out. "We don't need a mayor who was has no Newark municipal government experience and will be learning on the job."

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First TV ad in Newark mayoral race hits Shavar Jeffries

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
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on March 25, 2014

A screenshot of an ad from the New Jersey Working Families Alliance attacking Shavar Jeffries.

 

NEWARK — The first TV ad to hit cable in the Newark mayor's race doesn't come from either Ras Baraka or Shavar Jeffries, but it leaves little doubt about who it is attacking.

"They'd shut down our schools, shut out our voice, turn public schools into private profit factories and they're all connected to Shavar Jeffries," the ad says, pegging Jeffries as being in league with Gov. Chris Christie and Newark superintendent Cami Anderson.

The ad, paid for by the Working Families Organization, touches on one of the biggest flashpoints in the campaign: Newark's schools.

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Sources: The Return of Dana Rone

By Max Pizarro | March 24th, 2014

 

NEWARK - Dumped out of her Central Ward City Council chair in 2008, Dana Rone is back.

She will have the line in Essex County as the Democratic Party's candidate for register, sources tell PolitickerNJ.

That's the position left vacant by the late Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen, who died last year.

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