Most crimes remain unsolved by Rahway police

Rahway police solve fewer than one out of four reported crimes in the city, according to current State Police data. In four months, the city had three shootings in the city and none of the guns used in those crimes have been recovered by authorities.

That shoddy record is not stopping interim Mayor Samson Steinman from using taxpayer money to boast that violent crime is down more than 35 percent.

State Police data for Rahway 2013 shows that only 138 of 615 offenses were cleared. In 2012, 192 of 675 crimes were solved by police. While it is great that the number of crimes dropped from 763 in 2011, to 675 in 2012 and to 615 last year, it is disconcerting that police have become ineffective in bringing criminals to justice.

This is a failure of leadership because deployment and resource allocation are fundamental to the success of law enforcement. Rahway should ban local political involvement among police the same way federal employees are prohibited from partisan politics.

Rahway should also set traffic lights to overlap at key intersections with frequent auto collisions and stop robbing drivers with red light cameras that raked in $1.2 million last year. Replacing police with public health officials would make more sense than waging a war on drugs that has produced 40 years of failure.

Uniting police with the community must also be a priority for solving the problem of crime. We cannot expect society to embrace the people who would do us harm, but few people today recognize the police department’s mission ‘to protect and serve.’  This is particularly true among groups that are more prone to being victims of crime.

Finally, Rahway cannot stop crime or capture offenders by pretending this problem does not exist. Kids are shooting each other on our streets and city officials have been quiet. In this example of rising gun violence, the cover up is worse than the crime.

Real leaders know that the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that it exists. Police failure to solve crimes, especially such brutal offenses as armed robbery and gun violence, is a problem that cannot be covered up because lives are at stake.

Two vying for mayor’s seat in Rahway

Rahway City Hall. / MARK R. SULLIVAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Rahway City Hall. / MARK R. SULLIVAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Written by
Suzanne Russell

 

RAHWAY — Unless an independent candidate jumps into the race, city voters will be deciding who will serve as the next mayor with the June 3 Democratic primary.

Democrat James J. Devine

Democrat James J. Devine

Incumbent Mayor Samson Steinman, running on the Regular Political Organization of Union County slate is being challenged by political strategist James J. Devine, running on the Democrats for Change slate in the primary. No Republicans filed to run for mayor this year.

Steinman, who served on council for 10 years, last fall became the city’s 50th mayor after Mayor Rick Proctor resigned three years into his first term in office. Proctor, a former Union County freeholder, had a number of disputes with City Council members.

Devine has been involved in politics for 35 years and has previously worked on campaigns for former Mayor James Kennedy and state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-20th District, but has not held elective office.

Devine said he considers that an asset because those who have served in elective office have done “a terrible job.”

“The anti incumbent feeling is at an all time high,” said Devine, who led 1,150 federal employees as head of the 1990 Census operations in New Jersey, owned several private sector businesses and served as political director with the Democratic State Committee from 1992 to 1993.

Appointee Samson Steinman

Appointee Samson Steinman

Devine said one of the main issues in this year’s election is the 60 percent increase in taxes on city homes in the past 10 years, while companies like Merck received a tax reduction. He said some city homeowners are paying property taxes often two to three times higher than they should be.

He said City Hall has failed residents on a fundamental promise of tax fairness.

Steinman argued that Rahway is heading in the right direction.

In his short time as mayor the city has received $5 million in state, county and non profit funding to improve the local recreation center, while also receiving grants to address flooding and hazardous mitigation and improve facilities like the girls softball field.

Steinman said violent crime here is down more than 35 percent, according to the New Jersey Uniform Crime Report. Devine noted that the same report shows Rahway police solved only 23 percent of the crimes reported in the city and called that “a failure of leadership.”

The mayor, who has a master’s degree in business administration, said he has the experience to lead the city forward. A former Board of Education member who previously ran the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in Rahway, and formerly served as executive director of the Union County Performing Arts Center, Steinman is serving a 120-day appointment as the Hillside business administrator.

Originally published at http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20140410/NJNEWS10/304100027/Two-vying-mayor-s-seat-Rahway

Veterans and Military Families Support Obama

Today is the official launch of Veterans and Military Families for Obama, a group dedicated to getting involved in this election around the issues that affect those of us in the military community. Over the next few days, in towns and cities across the country, supporters like you will come together to build this movement.

We’re going to be a huge part of re-electing President Obama — and we know better than most what dedicated people can accomplish when they team up to achieve a common goal.

Watch this video message from the President and First Lady, and sign up to join us.

Video: Barack and Michelle Obama's message for veterans

Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who might want to be a part of this, too.

President Obama has often said there is nothing he takes more seriously than his role as Commander in Chief and the responsibility he has to those who have served and sacrificed for their country. Over the past three years, the President has backed up his words with his actions.

Since he took office, 142,000 American troops have left Iraq, and we’ve eliminated much of al-Qaeda’s senior leadership — including Osama bin Laden himself.

The President has significantly boosted the Veterans Affairs budget to ensure that veterans receive the highest quality benefits, and has made mental health services for every returning veteran a top priority.

But, as a veteran myself, I understand we have much more to do for America’s returning troops. Far too many servicemen and women find themselves struggling to make ends meet when they return home.

That’s why President Obama has led the fight to put America’s veterans back to work by signing tax credits that incentivize businesses to hire veterans. It’s also why he’s proposed creating a Veterans Job Corps to enlist veterans in the work of rebuilding our nation.

We’ve made great strides for veterans and military families under this president. But our work is not done, and the progress we’ve already made is at stake.

That’s why your support in this campaign is critical.

Join Veterans and Military Families for Obama today, and help continue the work we’ve started:

http://my.barackobama.com/Veterans-and-Military-Families-for-Obama

Thanks,

Rob
Robert Diamond
Veterans and Military Families Vote Director
Obama for America

Stop student loan interest rates from doubling

Menendez for Senate | www.menendezfornj.com

Stop student loan rates from doubling on June 30! Add your name.After all our middle-class families have gone through, I can’t believe we’re discussing increasing the interest rates on student loans. I really can’t.

Jobs are scarce; the need for skilled workers is critical. Yet Republicans are filibustering legislation that would keep student loan interest rates from doubling on June 30. They’re doing it to protect tax loopholes for their billionaire supporters.

It’s as if they’re from another planet.

We can’t have this kind of thing happen when people are fighting so hard just to get by. A little common sense, reason and fairness can get a bill passed.

Our families and students deserve more from us. It’s time for the games to end and Republicans to help us stop student loan rates from doubling.

Click here to join me in sending that message to Republicans. We only have until June 30 to pass this legislation.

I was the first in my family to go to college. I’m proud of that, and my family is too.

The son of a carpenter and a seamstress, my parents taught me early on how important it was to learn, to grow, to value education. It took federal grants and student loans to see our dream of higher education through.

We’re really on the verge of taking that opportunity away to preserve unnecessary tax loopholes? Our kids deserve better.

For students struggling to pay for college and racking up debt, this argument’s not academic or theoretical. The extra $1,000 that the average student would have to pay each year if we can’t get this done is real money. To them, the jump from 3.4% to 6.8% means something.

It’s the difference between being able to repay their loans and enter the workforce with good credit – opposed to being overwhelmed by debt to the point that they may never catch up.

That, to me, is unacceptable. I know it is to you, too.

Click here to join me in sending that message to Republicans. We only have until June 30 to pass this legislation.

Let’s stand with our students, right now.

My best,

Bob Menendez

Add your name

P.S. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll help spread the word to your friends and family. Visit mycampaign website and my Facebook page for the latest news about our campaign — and invite everyone you know to join us.

What year are we in?

Menendez for Senate | www.menendezfornj.com

With the way Republicans operate, it’s getting hard to tell what year we’re in.

Tell Congress: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

They’re trying to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a reasonable update to a bill passed in 1963!

It’s the latest in a long string of attacks on women. This bill would require employers to provide evidence that there are factors other than sex at play when they pay men more than women. It would penalize companies that can’t come up with legitimate reasons.

Fundamental fairness. Yet, Republicans don’t want it to pass.

They’re pledging to vote against it when it gets brought to the floor, which could happen very soon. That’s why I’m joining with Senators Cantwell, Cardin, Gillibrand and Stabenow to demand that Republicans help pass this bill. It’s the right thing to do.

But they won’t see that unless you’re with us.

Click here to call on Republicans to pass this bill, immediately.

Republicans continue taking aim at the idea that everyone — man or woman, regardless of race — deserves a shot.

Paycheck fairness is a vital component of the American Dream. Blocking it flies in the face of everything we, as a country, stand for.

Between health care and now women’s wages, the Republican attacks are un-ending.

These aren’t even reasonable policy debates. Republicans are finding ways to put the brakes on bills that previous Congresses passed with bipartisan support many years ago.

The Paycheck Fairness Act should pass right now, easily. That’s what we’re standing for. We need you to join us in making a stand.

Click here to call on Republicans to pass this bill, immediately.

If you’re with us, we can get this thing passed. But that’s the only way.

Take action.

My best,

Bob Menendez

 

Add your name!

The Life of Julia

Obama - Biden
Meet Julia.Over the course of her life, she’ll be a lot of things — a student, a young professional, a mother, and a small-business owner. She’ll pay taxes and buy a home. She’ll retire.

Julia could be your daughter, your mom, or your grandmother. She could be you.

And I think you’d be amazed at how different her life is under President Obama versus Mitt Romney.

We put together a tool to illustrate that difference: The Life of Julia. See for yourself.

The life of every middle-class woman will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this election.

Right now, the policies President Obama put in place are helping make health care and college more affordable. They’re ensuring that a woman can take action if she has not been paid fairly as a working professional, that she won’t have to pay more for health coverage than a man, and that she can retire with dignity.

These policies aren’t just helping women right now. They’re going to have significant effects on a strong middle class and on our economic growth for decades — helping generation after generation of Julias. Because this president knows that women aren’t a special-interest group. They’re almost half of our workforce. They’re our mothers, wives, and daughters. And that means women’s issues are America’s issues.

With Mitt Romney in the White House, we’d see Obamacare repealed and an end to Medicare as we know it, and we’d have a president who’s refused to stand up for equal pay for equal work.

Everyone needs to understand the very real consequences that this election holds for women — from their education, to their health, to their ability to earn equal wages for equal work.

Republicans like Mitt Romney are hoping you’re not thinking about your health, your future salary, or your child’s education when you’re considering the choice you have this fall. And they’re going to spend most of their time and almost every dollar they raise on distracting you with things that, frankly, aren’t the issues that matter to ordinary Americans.

So, ask yourself: What do you want this country to look like? Would you like it be a place where your opportunities aren’t limited by your ability to afford college, where you have access to the preventive care necessary to keep you healthy, and where your hard work earns you the same amount as men doing the exact same job?

Then do something.

Take a look at The Life of Julia, and then share it. Every woman — and everyone who cares about a woman — in America needs to see this:

http://my.barackobama.com/Life-of-Julia

Thanks,

Stephanie

Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

I literally cannot believe it.

Stop the Ryan Budget: Sign today!

The Republicans have actually passed a budget that cuts as much funding for educating children with disabilities as it gives to Big Oil companies.

It’s true, and it’s just one example of the extreme, tea party ideology that’s overtaken Republicans in Congress. Written by Rep. Paul Ryan, the far-right’s plan intends to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, students, veterans and the middle class.

I won’t let them. The future of our children comes before Big Oil. We can’t cut programs that seniors depend on to give the wealthy more tax breaks.

It’s unconscionable.

That’s why I’m teaming up with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to put a stop to the Ryan budget. But to do it, we need your help. Stand with us and let’s tell the far-right that we won’t tolerate their extreme schemes.

Click here to stand with Senator Gillibrand and me and tell the far-right that we won’t let them balance the budget on the backs of the middle class.

The Republican Ryan budget encourages companies to ship jobs overseas, slashes education opportunities for middle-class families, and cuts deeply into health care programs — all while cutting taxes on the wealthiest among us by as much as 30% and raising the deficit.

This budget doesn’t reflect our values. The way it treats our children, our most vulnerable, and our middle class is wrong.

We’ve got to fight back against the tea party extremism that’s taken over the House of Representatives and stop the Ryan budget.

Click here to stand with Senator Gillibrand and me and tell the far-right that we won’t let them balance the budget on the backs of the middle class.

It’s time for us to come together and defend our values.

My best,

Bob Menendez

 

Sign now!
 

Council Contests in 2012

There will be elections for six City Council members in 2012, one from each neighborhood area defined as a ward.

The current representatives are

First Ward
Robert Rachlin 
(D)
2215 Allen Street
(732) 499-7389

Second Ward
Michael Cox 
(D)
776 West Scott Avenue
(732) 388-2880
Third Ward
Jerry Scaturo 
(D)
515 Albermarle Street
(732) 381-1924
Fourth Ward
David Brown 
(D)
353 East Stearns Street
(732) 388-6545
Fifth Ward
Jennifer Wenson-Maier 
(D)
1314 Bryant Street
(732) 396-8536
Sixth Ward
Samson Steinman (D)
1104 Plymouth Drive
(732) 388-4475

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Bank of America may cut from around 29,000 jobs up to 40,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan instituted by Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, who said that the company has become too complex after his predecessor, Kenneth D. Lewis, assembled leading positions in deposits, credit cards, mortgages, investment & corporate banking and wealth management.

The firm, which had $2.3 trillion in assets, was among a large number of corporations that posted multi-billion dollar profits last year without paying a cent in federal income taxes.

“It’s time to simplify the organization, streamline the organization and make sure our business processes are relevant when you have a smaller, more focused company. We just don’t need to be the biggest,” Moynihan said.

Major global banks have been jettisoning workers en masse for the past few months – Bloomberg News reported that the fifty largest global banks announced nearly 60,000 job cuts this year, the fastest pace since the 2008 crash.

Bank of America is not only heavily exposed to the housing crisis — it still has billions of dollars of bad mortgage debt on its books — but it’s also struggling to integrate some big acquisitions from recent years, notably Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial.

“What you ended up with was a company that was too complex, had a lot of parts that were inherited,” Moynihan said.
Bank of America may cut from around 29,000 jobs up to 40,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan instituted by Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, who said that the company has become too complex after his predecessor, Kenneth D. Lewis, assembled leading positions in deposits, credit cards, mortgages, investment & corporate banking and wealth management.

The firm, which had $2.3 trillion in assets, was among a large number of corporations that posted multi-billion dollar profits last year without paying a cent in federal income taxes.

“It’s time to simplify the organization, streamline the organization and make sure our business processes are relevant when you have a smaller, more focused company. We just don’t need to be the biggest,” Moynihan said.

Major global banks have been jettisoning workers en masse for the past few months – Bloomberg News reported that the fifty largest global banks announced nearly 60,000 job cuts this year, the fastest pace since the 2008 crash.

Bank of America is not only heavily exposed to the housing crisis — it still has billions of dollars of bad mortgage debt on its books — but it’s also struggling to integrate some big acquisitions from recent years, notably Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial.

“What you ended up with was a company that was too complex, had a lot of parts that were inherited,” Moynihan said.
Bank of America may cut from around 29,000 jobs up to 40,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan instituted by Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, who said that the company has become too complex after his predecessor, Kenneth D. Lewis, assembled leading positions in deposits, credit cards, mortgages, investment & corporate banking and wealth management.

The firm, which had $2.3 trillion in assets, was among a large number of corporations that posted multi-billion dollar profits last year without paying a cent in federal income taxes.

“It’s time to simplify the organization, streamline the organization and make sure our business processes are relevant when you have a smaller, more focused company. We just don’t need to be the biggest,” Moynihan said.

Major global banks have been jettisoning workers en masse for the past few months – Bloomberg News reported that the fifty largest global banks announced nearly 60,000 job cuts this year, the fastest pace since the 2008 crash.

Bank of America is not only heavily exposed to the housing crisis — it still has billions of dollars of bad mortgage debt on its books — but it’s also struggling to integrate some big acquisitions from recent years, notably Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial.

“What you ended up with was a company that was too complex, had a lot of parts that were inherited,” Moynihan said.