Christie Appoints an Ombudsman

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Newark Mayor's race: Candidates weigh in on new safety plan

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on April 16, 2014

NEWARK — Newark mayoral candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries expressed widespread support of a new program that will put New Jersey State troopers on patrol in Newark.

Officials announced at a morning press conference the launch of the "TIDE-TAG" program, which includes the addition of dozens of troopers on Newark streets, harsher sentences for criminals who use firearms and increased vigilance for businesses that violate city codes and perpetuate crime.

"The legislators in Newark, the council, the residents have been calling for more police presence in high crime neighborhoods for a very long time especially since we have lost so many officers," said Baraka. "This is a good idea."

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Newark Mayor's Race: Jeffries campaign manager's office broken into

By Star-Ledger Staff
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on April 15, 2014

Carl Sharif, Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries campaign manager, owns this Irvington building with two others. Sharif's office in the building was burglarized Monday.

 

By Naomi Nix and Richard Khavkine/The Star-Ledger

IRVINGTON — Private offices of Carl Sharif, campaign manager for Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, were burglarized Monday night, an Irvington source confirmed today.

The burglary, which occurred in a multi-story building at 660 Stuyvesant Ave. in Irvington, was reported around 8:30 this morning, the source said.

Sharif could not be reached for comment today but Jeffries campaign spokeswoman Lupe Todd said he was alerted to the break in early today by one of his business partners.

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Newark mayor's race: former Newark FOP president backs Jeffries, calls Baraka's record on crime "dangerous"

By Mark Bonamo | April 14th, 2014

 

NEWARK - A former president of the same Newark-based Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) chapter that endorsed Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka last month lashed out in an open letter on Monday, calling the South Ward councilman "part of the problem" in Newark's war on crime. 

The letter by Derrick Hatcher, the former president of FOP Lodge #12, was issued by Newark First, an independent expenditure group that supports Baraka's rival in the race, former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. Addressed to members of the law enforcement community, Hatcher assails Baraka's record on crime as "troubling" and "dangerous." 

"As a vice principal [at Newark's Weequahic High School], Mr. Baraka allowed gang-related activities to exist in our schools," Hatcher writes in the letter, referring to Baraka's educational career. He is currently on leave as principal of Newark's Central High School. "As a council member, he wrote letters to request leniency in criminal proceedings for some of Newark’s most notorious gang leaders. And as mayor, Baraka has vowed to give gang members a seat at the table as part of his public safety plan."

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Chris Christie's supporters are getting judge's Bridgegate ruling wrong: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on April 10, 2014

Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary Jacobson, who ruled this week that subpoenas for emails from Christie administration staffers Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly - two key figures in the Bridgegate investigation - were too broad.

 

Gov. Chris Christie’s defenders are celebrating a ruling issued Wednesday that knocked down two critical subpoenas issued by the legislative committee investigating the Bridgegate scandal.

The lesson, to them, is that the Legislature should wind down its inquiry and let federal prosecutors handle it.

“The U.S. attorney is more than competent to conduct an investigation,” says Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen), a member of the committee.

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Newark mayor's race: Jeffries, Baraka trade barbs in debate

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on April 10, 2014

 

NEWARK — The moderator of tonight’s NAACP Newark mayoral debate instructed the candidates not to exchange “personal attacks” or “sound bites.”

But with a rambunctious audience egging them on, former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries and South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka lobbed accusations and traded heated barbs as they tried to convince voters they are the right man for the job when go to the polls on May 13.

Jeffries and Baraka debated government accountability, campaign transparency, economic development and crime in front of an audience of about 350 people at Essex County College.

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Newark's mayor race: Jeffries campaign worker arrested and charged for Baraka bus burning

By Mark Bonamo | April 10th, 2014

 

NEWARK - The Essex County Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that a campaign worker of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has been arrested in connection with the burning of rival candidate Ras Baraka's campaign bus in February.

"I can confirm that Shareef Nash has been arrested in connection with the February 16 arson of a bus belonging to the Baraka for mayor campaign," said Thomas Fennelly, chief assistant prosecutor. 

A written statement from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office stated that Nash bas been arrested and charged with first degree arson for hire and conspiracy to commit arson. He is being held on $200,000 bail. 

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Newark mayor's race: Political media group tied to South Jersey power broker Norcross paid for Jeffries independent expenditure TV buy

By Mark Bonamo | April 9th, 2014

 

NEWARK -  A Philadelphia-based Democratic political media and consulting group, whose clients include close associates of South Jersey power broker George Norcross III, has paid for current cable television campaign advertisements sponsored by an independent expenditure group that supports Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, according to documents. 

Files provided to PolitickerNJ.com by Cablevision outline a TV advertising buy from Newark First starting on March 31 and lasting until April 13. Newark First, a pro-Jeffries expenditure group, has recently launched commercials praising Jeffries, a former state Assistant Attorney General, and attacking his rival, South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka. 

The buy for the two-week period, which cost $42,500, was paid for using a check in that amount dated March 31 and sent from The Campaign Group, a Philadelphia-based Democratic political media and consulting group, according to the files provided to PolitickerNJ.com from the Newark First account by Cablevision. The check was received and cashed by National Cable Communications (NCC), an affiliate of Cablevision. 

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Judge Allows Christie Aides to Withhold Bridge Emails

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Newark Mayor's Race: Baraka, Jeffries tout support for city's LGBT community

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on April 08, 2014

Shavar Jeffries, left, is in a two-way race with South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka to be the next mayor of Newark.

 

NEWARK — Newark's two main mayoral candidates expressed support tonight for the rights of the city's lesbian and gay population during a candidate's forum, but showed little difference in their platforms.

South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka and former assistant state Attorney General Shavar Jeffries spoke to an audience of about 100 at Rutgers-Newark during a forum hosted by the Newark LGBTQ Advisory Concerns Commission, an independent body within the mayor's office established to be a liaison between the city and the gay community.

The candidates, who are just five weeks away from the May 13 election, have been participating in a series of debates hosted by various community groups over the last several weeks.

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