Another Mayor Felt Christie-Tied Reprisal

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A Bridge to Scandal: Behind the Fort Lee Ruse

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Essex County executive unveils 2014 budget, doesn't shy from tax hike during election year

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on January 12, 2014

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, pictured here in Oct. 2013, unveiled on Friday his $749 million spending plan for the county. (Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger)

 

NEWARK — Despite running for re-election this year, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said he’s not shying away from a tax hike as he unveiled his 2014 budget last week.

The spending plan calls for a 1.5 percent tax levy, which means an increase of about $65 per average homeowner. The proposed budget of $749 million represents a $16 million increase compared with the adopted 2013 budget.

DiVincenzo says he’s taking the long view on the county’s fiscal health.

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Interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Ras Baraka

Friday, 10 January 2014 21:23 Local Talk News Editor

NOTE: This interview was conducted just days before the passing of one-time Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka. Local Talk extends its condolences to the Baraka family.

This week, we are concluding our series of interviews with those who have announced their candidacy for the position of mayor in Newark. We have already published interviews with Shavar Jefferies, Darrin Sharif, and Anibal Ramos. For this edition, we are interviewing Ras Baraka.

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

Ras Baraka: What qualifies me? (Chuckles) I am an organizer and community activist for two decades. I am an educator in Newark. I know what the people of Newark need. I organized with their families, their children. I have been a deputy mayor, I have been a councilman-at-large, and I know how government works. I think this time Newark doesn't need a manager, doesn't need a police officer, doesn't need a lawyer. It needs a transformation leader. I am the transformation leader the city needs. The same work we have done at Central High School is the same thing we have to expand throughout the city.

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Christie’s Apology, Done His Way

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‘Very Sad’ Chris Christie Extends Apology in Bridge Scandal

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Amiri Baraka, Polarizing Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79

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Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered

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Newark mayoral candidate Baraka on letter-writing support for gang leader: "I'll write it again"

By Mark Bonamo | January 7th, 2014

 

NEWARK - South Ward councilman and Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka defended his decision to write letters used to request leniency for one of the city's most infamous gang leaders. 

Court papers indicate that Baraka wrote the letters on behalf of convicted gang leader Al-Tariq Gumbs at his sentencing in 2010. Baraka wrote that Gumbs could serve as "an asset to our community" in resolving gang-related conflicts that result in homicides and shootings in New Jersey's largest city. Baraka also claims that he was unaware that the letters would be included in motions requesting leniency for Gumbs, the alleged founder of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang. 

"I definitely stand by it," Baraka told PolitickerNJ.com on Tuesday. "Al-Tariq Gumbs helped us organize the first peace treaty in Newark [in 2004] where we had 250 gang members commit to putting their guns down. He wrote a book on how to keep their kids out of gangs. I'm a principal, an educator, a community activist and an elected official. My job is to transform peoples' lives in the community. The police and the courts lock people up. We wrote a character letter to help explain what he did for us in the community. And I'll write it again." 

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Newark mayoral slates start to coalesce

By Mark Bonamo | January 7th, 2014

Anibal Ramos, Sr. and Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr.

NEWARK - A lengthy line of Newark mayoral and council candidates filed into the City Clerk's office to collect ballot petitions on Tuesday, either running by themselves or running on a mayoral slate.

PolitickerNJ.com reported earlier on Tuesday on the nearly complete slate of South Ward councilman and mayoral candidate Ras Baraka. Discussions with a range of candidates revealed the gradual coalescence of the other mayoral tickets.

North Ward councilman and mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos, Jr. has the closest-to-complete slate after Baraka. 

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