Ramos picks up third major union endorsement in Newark mayoral campaign

By Mark Bonamo | December 3rd, 2013

NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos Jr. picked up his third major union endorsement of the campaign on Tuesday as he gained the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1158. 

The IBEW Local 1158 represents 3,700 white-collar and blue-collar employees working in manufacturing, communications, utilities and other industries as well as at various municipal and county governmental facilities. The union represents close to 1,700 workers based in Essex County, of which 300 work for the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority in Newark.

The IBEW Local 1158 is the third major union to support Ramos, the North Ward councilman, in the run-up to the May 2014 Newark mayoral election. Ramos was endorsed by two of the largest building trades unions in the state – the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 - in June. 

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Mayoral candidate Ramos responds to state audit finding of questionable Newark expenses

By Mark Bonamo | December 3rd, 2013


NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos Jr. reacted to an audit issued by state Comptroller Matthew Boxer on Tuesday that found questionable expenditures, including that Newark’s city council budget is considerably larger than that of comparable cities.

Ramos, the North Ward councilman, stated that he has worked to reduce city spending, not add to it. 

Boxer today identified more than $10 million in appropriations for city offices, stating that was more than six times similar budgeting in similar-sized cities, as reported earlier today by PolitickerNJ.com. 

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Ras Baraka on CWA Newark mayoral endorsement: "I'm the labor candidate"

By Mark Bonamo | December 2nd, 2013


NEWARK - With the Communications Workers of America, New Jersey's largest public workers union, set to endorse South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka in the Newark mayoral race on Tuesday, Baraka expressed his "excitement" about the union's support. 

"The CWA brings a level of union support that we need," said Baraka as he confirmed the endorsement. "They have helped candidates in municipalities like Orange and Jersey City get elected. We absolutely can use anything they have, whether it's money or ground troops." 

The CWA, which represents more than 40,000 state workers and 15,000 county and municipal workers, has 1,900 members who live in Newark. The union announced the start of an organizing drive for taxi drivers in Newark last week. 

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Sharif Campaign attempts to tackle Newark's homicide horror

By PolitickerNJ Staff | December 2nd, 2013

To date, Newark Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif's mayoral campaign has borne some resemblance to the 1984 Democratic Presidential Primary effort of astronaut John Glenn.

In other words, it has given the very strong impression of trouble on the launch pad.

But Sharif wants to change that evidently, and this coming weekend he has scheduled an anti-violence summit.

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Christie Is Said to Waffle on In-State Tuition for People Living in U.S. Illegally

The New York Times

Gov. Chris Christie is under fire from the same Latino constituency he courted so heavily during his re-election campaign.


During his re-election campaign this year, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey made the Latino vote a priority, hiring a full-time director for Hispanic outreach, opening bilingual campaign offices and securing key Latino endorsements.

He even spoke out in favor of legislation allowing in-state tuition for unauthorized immigrants, thrilling many Latino and immigrant voters. For his efforts, about half the Hispanic voters cast ballots for him, helping him win a landslide victory.

Now, however, Mr. Christie is under fire from the very same constituency he courted so heavily.

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New Newark mayor axes many of Cory Booker's top staffers

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger 


Newark Mayor Luis Quintana has ordered the layoffs of several top officials from former Mayor Cory Booker's administration. (Kaitlin McGuinness/Newark Press Information Office)

NEWARK — Newark Mayor Luis Quintana delivered a surprise Thanksgiving greeting to at least eight high-level City Hall staffers today: You’re fired.

Four people with knowledge of the departures told The Star-Ledger that Quintana sent out pink slips to at least four department directors from former Mayor Cory Booker’s administration, as well as four high-ranking Booker staffers.

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Roll the dice, baby: Newark plot lines and the would-be Rat Pack

By Mark Bonamo | November 21st, 2013


ATLANTIC CITY - Elvis Costello might have sung "I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea" in 1978, but on Wednesday night at the 2013 New Jersey League of Municipalities conference, everyone wanted to go to the Chelsea. More than 1,400 wristbands, a new private event record, were handed out as the Garden State's political glitterati swarmed to the hotel on the Boardwalk.

At an event co-hosted by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Newark councilman and mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos (pictured, above left), Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley and state Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7), party-goers tried to re-enact Atlantic City's 1950s Rat Pack-era glory.  

The evening began in high style at the Chelsea, with Fulop taking on the Sinatra role as his star continues to rise in statewide Democratic circles. For many, the evening would end in the morning at Harrah's in a haze of chlorine, vodka and vomit, with certain sights permanently seared onto their eyeballs.  

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The PolitickerNJ.com Interview: Joe DiVincenzo

By Matthew Arco | November 21st, 2013


ATLANTIC CITY –  At a poolside breakfast this morning in Harrah's, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo said Barbara Buono's attacks against him prompted him to step up his campaign appearances with incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

"When she started attacking me, it just made me want to campaign more - but I never said anything negative about her," the county executive said, referring to criticisms the Democratic nominee for governor made of her fellow party member, who backed Christie in the general election. 

DiVincenzo said he did the right thing, while acknowledging that he damaged his chances at a run for governor. 

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The PolitickerNJ.com Interview: Newark Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka - 'We're going to raise the money'

By Mark Bonamo | November 20th, 2013


ATLANTIC CITY – Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka knows that at the annual New Jersey League of Municipalities conference, good government seminars go on during the day. But the wheels of government get greased at night. 

“We have some very important fundraising events coming up, and people are beginning to come around and donate money to our campaign,” Baraka, the South Ward councilman, said in an interview Wednesday inside the Atlantic City Convention Center in between meetings. “We’re going to raise the money that we need to win.”

So far Baraka has financially lagged behind the other major contenders in the Newark mayoral race to be decided in May 2014. As of this summer, Ramos, Newark's North Ward councilman, had raised approximately $373,000. Jeffries, a professor at Seton Hall University’s law school and attorney at the Gibbons law firm in Newark, has raised $365,000. Baraka had raised about $117,000. 

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Op-Ed: New Census Data Confirms Real Poverty is Rampant in New Jersey

Raymond Castro | November 20, 2013


Despite being the second-wealthiest state in the nation, New Jersey has a higher real poverty rate than 35 other states, with about 1.35 million -- or one in seven -- residents living in poverty, according to the recent Supplemental Poverty Measure released by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s 44 percent more than the 930,000 that are living under the official federal poverty level.

The number of additional families falling into poverty using the more accurate measure is frightening: While the official poverty rate for poverty in New Jersey averaged 10.7 percent between 2010 and 2012, the supplemental rate was 15.5 percent. This is the second-largest difference of any of the 50 states (after California); nationally the difference was just one percentage point.

The main reason for the high level of real poverty is New Jersey’s high cost of living, particularly for housing. The new census findings confirm other research from our colleagues at Legal Services of New Jersey and the United Way of Northwest New Jersey, which has consistently shown that real poverty in New Jersey is much higher than what is reported in the official poverty statistics.

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