First TV ad in Newark mayoral race hits Shavar Jeffries

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
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on March 25, 2014

A screenshot of an ad from the New Jersey Working Families Alliance attacking Shavar Jeffries.


NEWARK — The first TV ad to hit cable in the Newark mayor's race doesn't come from either Ras Baraka or Shavar Jeffries, but it leaves little doubt about who it is attacking.

"They'd shut down our schools, shut out our voice, turn public schools into private profit factories and they're all connected to Shavar Jeffries," the ad says, pegging Jeffries as being in league with Gov. Chris Christie and Newark superintendent Cami Anderson.

The ad, paid for by the Working Families Organization, touches on one of the biggest flashpoints in the campaign: Newark's schools.

The mayor of Newark has no authority over schools, but Anderson's ONE Newark plan to co-locate multiple facilities and expand charter schools has drawn criticism from both Baraka and Jeffries.

Baraka is the principal of Central High School. Jeffries is the former Newark School Advisory Board president.

It is unclear from the ad which charter schools are making profits for "Wall Street hedge fund managers," as the ad alleges.

"It's no secret that private companies are making millions of dollars off of public education," said group spokesman Rob Duffey. "What is alarming is how much money those same outside interests are contributing to Jeffries' campaign."

One of the biggest financial scandals tied to a charter school in Newark involved Fredrica Bey, a staunch Baraka supporter. The Star-Ledger reported in 2013 that Bey used federal and state money to prop up a real-estate fiefdom, often at the expense of students at the Adelaide Sanford charter school, which was shut down in June 2013.

The 30-second spot will start airing on cable stations this week.

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