Newark mayor's race: pro-Jeffries independent expenditure group slams new pro-Baraka TV ad, calls for spending records release

By Mark Bonamo | April 24th, 2014

The independent expenditure group in favor of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries launched its third TV ad on Thursday in support of Jeffries. 

The group, known as Newark First, lashed out at the TV ad launched by the independent expenditures group in favor of Jeffries' rival, South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, in the race to be decided on May 13, just 19 days away. 

Newark First also called on Baraka to release a full record detailing his council office’s spending, which the city and candidate have yet to make public, according to the group. 

“The people of Newark are sick of career politicians who claim they are helping the public, but are really just helping themselves," said Dr. Chris T. Pernell, president of Newark First, in a written statement. "While Newark laid off more than 1,000 workers, Baraka took a salary increase, put his brother on the City Council payroll and charged the people of the city for pricey out-of-state travel. Yet the public has not seen the full line-by-line spending records from his office. We’ve called on Councilman Baraka to come clean and give a full accounting of how our money was spent. As he continues to stonewall, it raises the question: what is Baraka hiding?”

Newark First's counterattack, which includes the launch of its third TV ad of the campaign, comes the same day that Working Families Organization, the independent expenditure that supports Baraka, launched its third ad of the campaign, trying to tie Jeffries to the financial backers of Gov. Chris Christie’s game plan for Newark's educational system. 

"The Baraka campaign will continue to ignore the totally fallacious press releases of Newark First until Shavar Jeffries discloses all of his secret donors and the amounts they are donating to him through Newark First," responded Baraka campaign communciations director Frank Baraff. "He continues to hide his donors behind a New York City political action committee. Jeffries’ Newark First Committee has already spent an astounding one million dollars without revealing where the money is coming from." 

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