COTTO: Cory Booker sold out Newark, and New Jersey is next

Cory Booker claims to stand for many things, but he really believes in himself, and not in a good way. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., October 16, 2013 — Today, New Jersey is holding a special election for one of its U.S. Senate seats. 

The incumbent, who was appointed by Republican Governor Chris Christie after longtime politico Frank Lautenberg’s death, is not running. As luck would have it, the two men who are vying for a chance to represent the Garden State couldn’t be more different from one another.

SEE RELATED: Polls: Christie to win NJ and 2016 GOP race, Booker to win Senate bid

The Republican, who has closed much of a once-lopsided polling deficit, is Steve Lonegan. He is a perennial office-seeker who served a few terms as the mayor of Bogota, a small town not far from New York City. He is also a hard-rightist whose views on fiscal and social issues would be better suited for Mississippi. 

It seems mysterious that such a character could feasibly claim victory this evening. How could something like this happen?

The answer is simple: Cory Booker.

Booker is a seasoned celebrity who presents a neoliberal message on the Sunday talk shows just as easily as he makes the ladies’ hearts swoon with allegedly random acts of valor. He also happens to be the mayor of Newark, which is second only to Detroit as America’s least glamorous major city.

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The Oxford-slash-Stanford graduate first ran as a reform candidate; a fresh voice in Newark’s outlandishly corrupt political establishment. Over the years, however, he has become an old guardsman in his own right. 

“Booker did not just raise massive amounts of campaign money from the thieves on Wall Street and then attack President Obama on behalf of those thieves,” David Sirota of Slate wrote in August. “He did not just orchestrate a secret $100 million deal with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the Washington Post notes was designed to help those donors circumvent the public and ‘remake (Newark) public schools in the way they want to.’ 

“On top of all that, he also leveraged his municipal office to personally pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate speaking fees. Additionally, in a move that makes James’ larceny look altogether quaint, Booker convinced his tech-industry backers to bequeath him an entire company – and then tried to prevent the multi-million-dollar gift from showing up in campaign disclosure reports.”

Sirota later remarked that “the kind of stock-options-in-the-portfolio corruption Booker evinces is completely ignored, trumpeted as smart politics, and/or openly touted as an ‘asset.’”

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Interestingly, Booker — for all the fanfare of his “honest man” shtick — has been caught in a series of lies over the last several months. Up until a few days ago, the chief of these pertained to T-Bone, a hardcore thug who Booker supposedly helped out.

When the National Review revealed that T-Bone is nothing more than an urban legend, one can imagine how Booker fans took the news. 

They surely had insult added to injury when journalists discovered that Booker’s much-vaunted residence in one of Newark’s worst neighborhoods is not his real home.

Yesterday, Charles C. Johnson of The Daily Caller reported that Booker “is registered to vote at 435 Hawthorne Avenue but his next door neighbors told this reporter and filmmaker Joel Gilbert on camera that they haven’t seen Booker in years and that he doesn’t live there.”

Afterward, Johnson mentioned that “(l)ooking inside the windows at….435 Hawthorne….confirmed that both properties were vacant….except for two police officers.”

Everybody, meet the real Cory Booker. The facts sure don’t match up to the fiction, do they?

The man who brought promise to the mean streets of Newark years ago proceeded to sell them out like it was nobody’s business — except his, of course. Talk about a return on one’s investment. Now, Booker doesn’t even have to live among the folks who allowed him to find a spot on the national stage.

“Disgusting” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

New Jerseyans from Cape May to the Delaware Water Gap should know that this sort of dreck is Cory Booker; his actions must not be overlooked due to inspiring rhetoric. Garden Staters have no rational cause to believe that he will change his ways once seated on Capitol Hill. In all likelihood, he will feel emboldened by a statewide victory and ramp up his schemes.

Voting for Booker is voting against one’s own interests in the most quintessential form.

On the other hand, voting for Lonegan is just crazy. The Senate does not need a new ally for the likes of Ted Cruz. So, which path should concerned New Jerseyans follow? Writing in a name couldn’t do anymore damage than casting a ballot for either candidate.

If enough people go this route, then not only a message will be sent, but a call for moderation that is too loud to ignore. 

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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