Tag Archive: Shavar Jeffries

Wall Street Super Pac Paid Jeffries Supporters $150 On E-Day

promoted by Rosi

It was all a conspiracy theory, right?

While much of the corporate media – particularly the now ex-Newark Star Ledger – ignored the forces behind “education reform” in Newark, journalist Max Blumenthal decided to actually investigate.

On election day the Wall Street backed Super PAC “Newark First” reportedly dumped $300,000 to pay workers – many of whom were truant students – $150 apiece to help get the vote out for Shavar Jeffries. Blumenthal spoke to e-day workers who confirmed the payments.

Ras Baraka & Newark’s Last Grasp at Democracy

Cross-posted with Jersey Jazzman.

If you believe that America is a democracy, you must also believe, a priori, that Newark, NJ, is not part of America.

For the last couple of weeks, it has become painfully, disturbingly clear that Newark — like many other communities populated by working-poor and working-class people of color — operates under a set of circumstances that simply wouldn’t be tolerated in a free, democratic society:

– Democracies allow for full participation in governance by all people, regardless of their class status; Newark, however, is currently being threatened with the loss of its autonomy simply because it is an impoverished community.

When Newark’s current interim mayor, Luis Quintana, dared to defy the state and hire his own appointees to run the city, Trenton decided the best course of action was to threaten to take over city hall. I wonder if Chatham’s or Sparta’s mayors have ever faced similar threats…

Star-Ledger, which endorsed Chris Christie and then had to apologize, now endorses Shavar Jeffries

In late October of last year, the Star-Ledger endorsed Chris Christie for re-election. It was a bizarre endorsement, openly mocked by Rachel Maddow, quoted from and questioned by newspapers across the country and argued over in J-school classes. Time, the shift away from dead-tree journalism, and a population weary of hard news, are helping drive the decimation of a once-great daily paper. But the Ledger’s own failures and confusions have contributed to it no longer being vital anymore. Case in point.

The Ledger called Christie a remarkable political talent. But after that first line, they said his achievements were “only modest,” noted that property taxes shot up on his watch, that he’s openly hostile to low-income families, a “catastrophe” on environment, and that he’s “much better at politics than he is at governing.” And then they asked you to vote for him.

In February, after that editorial had already done its damage, editorial page editor Tom Moran snatched it all back in an equally cringeworthy apologia.

Today, the Star-Ledger endorsed Shavar Jeffries, calling him the “real reformer” in the race.

It’s no surprise. Moran has used the state’s largest paper to cheerlead for the dissolution of local schools to make way for the shiny penny of corporate charter schools and the tycoons that come with it, and the PR firms that sell it, who see dollar signs where they should see kids, and fertile ground where they should see communities. So, no surprise – it’s just Moran, backing Christie again, backing the mayoral candidate who’ll let Cami keep running amok, backing the guy whose campaign is funded by investors who expect Shavar Jeffries to help Cami Anderson to help Chris Christie keep their investment opportunities hot for them.

The Star-Ledger, which endorsed Chris Christie and then had to apologize, endorsed Shavar Jeffries for mayor of Newark today.  

When I say Shavar, you say Christie! Cami! Norcross! Joe D! Sweeney!

I asked for a list of endorsements from the Shavar Jeffries campaign to post here xxxxxxx. I did hear back from xxxxx quickly, but only that they ‘never got around to’ putting together a list on their site. () I don’t fault her for not getting back; the last couple weeks of a campaign are killer.

For the record, you can find endorsements for Shavar Jeffries, here on their website, but each one stretched into an article-length XXXX. By all means, go look.

But the defining piece of Shavar Jeffries’ campaign isn’t about endorsements, it’s about alliances, and whose friends made sure Jeffries got the cash to run a campaign that his own track record wouldn’t have.  

Selling Us Out – Newark residents tell Shavar Jeffries their city is not for sale

Tomorrow – Tuesday – is one week before election day in Newark. And resistance to the privatization of the city’s public schools – coming from hedge funders and tycooning opportunists under a state plan orchestrated by Chris Christie’s hand-picked schools chief Cami Anderson – is centering as a crucial issue of the race for mayor. The race is between Ras Baraka, councilman and Newark Central HS Principal (on leave) and Shavar Jeffries, a former state assistant AG. Voters go to the polls May 13.

The race may hinge on how clearly that community-based hunger for local control, with heavy participation from Newark parents and students, will hold against a huge influx of cash behind Jeffries from ‘Education Reform Now,’ a NYC-based organization run by pro-charter, pro-privatization hedge fund managers, with donors investors from Connecticut to Texas. They just infused $850k into the Shavar Jeffries operation. Rob Duffey, whose New Jersey Working Families Alliance paid for the ad, says that’s “because they know Jeffries won’t hesitate to sell out Newark’s schools for their personal profit.” In this ad, we see some Newark residents who say their city isn’t for sale.

Fight against school privatization heats up in Camden

“Happy to see community here fighting for what they believe in – we will never make change unless we fight for it!” – via Twitter, quoting student

For months in Newark, we’ve witnessed community outrage at the poorly-conceived school reorganization plan put forth by Christie’s hand-picked “reform” guru, Cami Anderson. The fight for public education is now the #1 issue in the city’s contest for mayor, between Camden Central HS principal (on leave) Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries, who’s seen a massive influx of campaign cash from pro-charter, pro-privatization investors.

And now, we’re seeing the community fight for public education intensify in Camden. Last night, more than 200 people showed up at the Camden school board meeting, in this city where the state also controls the district, and Democratic power-broker George Norcross is the leading edge of the Christie administration’s charterization of Camden. I think we’re going to be hearing more.

Last night was the last board meeting for Sara Davis, public school advocate, 4-term member, and educator for 40 years in Camden. Her successor was chosen by Mayor Dana Redd, a Norcross ally.  

TV Spot Links Chris Christie – Deeply Resented in Newark – to Shavar Jeffries

I do not live in Newark. And I’m interested if somebody wants to make the case here for Shavar Jeffries for Newark mayor. But I can tell you that every ally I respect who has taken sides in this race is coming in strong for Ras Baraka. Among them, Hetty Rosenstein, Marie Corfield.

Public education is the key issue in this race, and the dividing line between the candidates. Behind Shavar Jeffries, $850k from pro-charter, pro-privatization investors. Same kind of people who back Chris Christie. Behind Ras Baraka, principal on leave at Newark Central High School, considerable grassroots support, including  Parents United Against One Newark, and the Newark Students Union, whose leader the lime-haired high school student (and hotshot organizer) Kristin Towkaniuk helped engage nearly 1,000 high schoolers in the fight for public education in their city.

Christie is running education in Newark right now, and his hand-picked Newark superintendent, Cami Anderson, has filed a school reorg plan, called One Newark that is remarkably sloppy, and ill-conceived, closing local schools for charters, and creating chaos for families with school kids. By contrast, Baraka’s education plan, as Jersey Jazzman points out, is actually put together by people who know education, and doesn’t bust up communities. Bob Braun spells it out plain: Newark voters will decide-either Ras Baraka or Christie’s plan to close city’s public schools.

Resistance in Newark to corporate education reform is strong. Including last week the decision of 77 Newark ministers to issue a scathing rebuke of Cami and her plan.

So, I note two things with interest: (1) NJ Working Families Alliance will be out in Newark the last 2 Saturdays before the May 13th election (details – jump page) and (2) here is their new TV spot, linking the deeply-resented Christie to Jeffries. BOOM:

Why Newark’s working families aren’t with Jeffries

Most people following the Newark Mayor’s race heard last week’sbig newsthat one of Shavar Jeffries’ canvassers was arrested for allegedly starting a fire in the campaign bus of South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka.

The report was devastating — but it wasn’t even the worst news the Jeffries campaign had to grapple with last week. That honor goes to a new poll released by the Working Families Organization, which found Jeffries badly trailing Baraka, 28 to 51. More than that, the poll found Jeffries was losing support because he’s on the wrong side of one of the key issues of the mayoral race: protecting public education.  

New ad hits Shavar Jeffries on ties to Wall Street & Christie’s anti-public school allies

How things have changed. There was a time when invoking the name of Gov. Chris Christie – rising star, theoretical champ of bipartisanship, and media magnet – was golden. Ditto his state-positioned schools chief for the city of Newark, Cami Anderson; theoretical saver of children, and vanquisher of failing schools. But with Christie stuck in multiple scandals and Anderson the target of angry parents for her poorly-conceived One Newark school reorganization plan, a new TV spot uses both to drive home that message that if you don’t like either of them, you won’t like Shavar Jeffries as Newark’s new mayor. The ad ties Jeffries to big-money Wall Streeters and Christie-ally school privatizers ignoring Newark parents and shutting down schools or turning them into “private profit factories.”

The ad is from the national Working Families Organization. The NJ affiliate, NJ Working Families Alliance, endorsed Ras Baraka for mayor in the May 2014 contest. Working Families cites these numbers on Jeffries fundraising:

  • 80% of Jeffries’ Q4 donations came from 4 families

  • $26,000 came from  wife of a former Morgan Stanley Chairman

  • $26,000 came from Baltimore Hedge Fund manager Mark Lerner, a longtime advocate of dismantling public schools

  • Only 5% came from small donors

  • What’s Happening Today Fri. 01/03/2014

    Shoveling snow, staying warm, and trying to hold on to New Year’s resolutions. The State offices are closed except foe essential personnel. Courthouses are closed as is the legislature.  If you have to drive, do so cautiously.

    Newark: Up and Down the Hill

    With the departure of Cory Booker, four candidates are vying for the mayor’s job in a deeply troubled city. They are South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif and former Assistant State Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. Until the election is resolved the Mayor is Luis Quntana, a placeholder who will not rock the boat while three of the councilmen pursue their electoral strategies.  

    The headlines are all about murder and violence, but the real problems have their roots in high unemployment, poor education, lack of opportunity, mediocre health care, drug use, insufficient civil engagement, high incarceration levels, and a divide between the money shakers down the hill and the money-less up the hill. After decades of corrupt mayors Cory Booker brought honesty, hope, and some economic development. Under his administration parts of the downtown area have prospered. During his senatorial campaign he announced a Whole Foods shop would open in the business district – nice for those who can afford it, but not exactly a priority need for Newarkers. In the morning people drive into the city to work in corporations, hospitals, government agencies, law firms, and colleges and in the evening drive home to the suburbs. Elsewhere in the city there are far too many boarded up homes, rundown shops, and decaying neighborhoods.  

    While the headlines and political discussion continue to be centered on crime, the real needs up the hill are more important, complex, and difficult. They deserve more attention. Activists and concerned individuals must play an event stronger role in exposing the broader issues and working together to seek solutions.