The Shavar shift: Jeffries campaign in Newark appears to gain traction with North and South Jersey players

By Mark Bonamo | December 12th, 2013

 

NEWARK - On the front lines of the four-man Newark mayoral race, so far the most shots have been fired by competing candidates and councilmen Anibal Ramos, Jr. and Ras Baraka. The sons of the North and South Wards respectively have engaged in a grappling match in recent weeks over labor endorsements, trying to become the most union support. Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif still appears to be trying to get his campaign up to full speed. 

Meanwhile, former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries has reportedly been holding court.

Several Democratic sources have told PolitickerNJ.com that Jeffries has met with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and South Jersey power broker George Norcross III to discuss his political future. These sit-downs suggest an alliance between North and South Jersey to ensure Jeffries' victory in the May 2014 election to run the state's largest city. 

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Subpoena Christie's political appointees to answer for GWB lane closures: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on December 11, 2013

The attempts by Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to describe an unknown and unannounced traffic study last month at the Statehouse failed to end doubts about the GWB lane closures. (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

 

The first time Bill Baroni spoke to lawmakers about the George Washington Bridge brouhaha, it was a laugher. That was just two weeks ago, when Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, blamed a secret "traffic study" for traffic jams that crippled Fort Lee in September.

Now that his cover story is starting to unravel, legislators should subpoena Baroni to testify again — this time under oath, with the threat of perjury hanging over his head.

Baroni wants us to believe the Port Authority was studying the bridge’s traffic patterns when it blockaded two-thirds of Fort Lee’s entry lanes, sparking three days of gridlock starting Sept. 9. The agency, he testified, wanted to measure the effect of the Fort Lee shutdown on other bridge traffic. (Hint: It moves faster.)

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Ramos campaign war chest in Newark mayoral race now more than $500,000

By Mark Bonamo | December 9th, 2013  

 

BELLEVILLE - Nanina's in the Park restaurant borders Branch Brook Park, where thousands of cherry blossoms bloom every spring. On Monday night, Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos, Jr., blocks from the North Ward councilman's neighborhood, hoped that thousands of dollars would appear in his campaign coffers at his holiday fundraiser.

"You all are showing a lot of people that you didn't get the memo that [Ramos] was dropping out, did you?" said campaign manager Carlos Valentin, Jr. to the more than 150 Ramos supporters assembled, including North Ward power broker Steve Adubato (pictured). "Not only is he not dropping out, but he's in it to win it."

Ramos has been trying to quash rumors that surfaced last month that his campaign is troubled, including from allies of Ramos who anonymously told PolitickerNJ.com last month that his campaign has not been aggressive enough.

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Interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Darrin Sharif

Friday, 06 December 2013 20:16 Local Talk News Editor

On November 29, 2013, I Interviewed Newark Mayoral Candidate Councilman Darrin Sharif. There is a huge gap, and the mayoral race is open for everyone. Right now, there are only four candidates in the race. Ras Baraka, Anibal Ramos, Shavar Jeffries and Darrin Sharif. I did not hear of anyone else running for the mayoral election, but no one truly knows until the deadline on April 1, 2014.

Dhiren Shah: Welcome to this interview councilman. You are a first time councilman, and are now running for the highest office in Newark, the largest city of New Jersey, Why?

Darrin Sharif: Because I am the most qualified, at the most pivotal point in the city's history to move the city forward. You look at Newark, where it was and where it is now, we are at a historical crossroads. Look at my resume, I am the most qualified on the council. I was Deputy Chief of Staff for Essex County Executive Nicholas R. Amato, Chief of Staff of then-Councilman Cory Booker, Director of Operations for the Urban League of Essex County. Not a single candidate in this race has the depth of experience for the challenges faced in Newark. In addition, within the last three and a half years, all of the major stakeholders in the city, from big developers to a corporate people, not a single person in the race dealt with them more intimately that I have. All of the developments in the city, 99% happened in my ward. So these people trust me; they know me and they do not have to guess what kind of mayor I am going to be.

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Newark Airport workers protest low wages; Baraka shows support

By Mark Bonamo | December 5th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Holding up bright signs in a dense fog, cabin cleaners at Newark International Airport protested against low wages on Thursday in a show of solidarity with fast-food workers striking nationwide.

Standing before workers chanting "I can't survive on $7.25," union officials pointed to what they believe are serious inequities in the airport workplace. 

"This airport has the largest concentration of minimum wage workers in the state of New Jersey," said Kevin Brown, New Jersey State Director of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property service workers union in the country. "When they contracted out all these workers, they contracted out to the lowest wage contractor. If you took the CEO of United Airlines, and you compared him to one of the cleaners here, it would take them 500 years for them to earn what he earns in just one year."

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Essex County Executive DiVincenzo to formally kickoff bid for re-election next week

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on December 05, 2013

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, pictured on Oct. 3, will formally kick off his bid for an unprecedented fourth term on Monday.

 

ESSEX COUNTY — Joseph DiVincenzo is slated to announce his bid for a fourth term as Essex County executive on Monday.

Democratic party leaders and politicians from all levels of government are expected to join DiVincenzo at the event, according to DiVincenzo's chief of staff, Philip Alagia, who is running the campaign. The official kick-off will be held at the Essex County College gymnasium at 9:45 a.m. Monday.

DiVincenzo joined other Democrats in crossing party lines during last month's gubernatorial race to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie during his successful re-election campaign.

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Quintana says he's not running in 2014 Newark mayoral election, but leaves door open

By Mark Bonamo | December 4th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Despite considerable speculation among Brick City's political observers that Newark Mayor Luis Quintana would enter the 2014 mayoral race, Quintana said on Wednesday that he wouldn't seek a full four-year term.  

Yet, when asked if he would potentially change his mind, Quintana was non-committal.  

"I am not considering a run for mayor of Newark, and I've said that before," Quintana said to PolitickerNJ.com. "Those are rumors that are being circulated around. My only mission is to be the gatekeeper, and to give the citizens of Newark a model for future mayors to come. 

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Former Mayor Gibson endorses Baraka for mayor of Newark

By Mark Bonamo | December 4th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Former Mayor Ken Gibson tonight formally backed South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka for mayor of Newark at a campaign event at the Robert Treat Hotel.

"I'm endorsing Ras Baraka for mayor," Gibson told PolitickerNJ.com in the Crystal Ballroom. "He and I go back to the time that his father and I worked together. He's a real Newarker. He didn't just come to the City of Newark. I think he has more experience with the people of the city and that makes a difference. Ras Baraka is the most committed candidate in the race.

"Being a high school principal is not an easy job anywhere, but in Newark, in Central High School, where I went to school, he's getting the best experience that anybody could get."

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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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