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Cory Booker: A Wall Street Ally With A Disastrous Legacy As Mayor

- July 25, 2016

A Short Legacy Of Disappointment, Differences With Clinton On Education, Cozy Wall Street Ties, And Personal Lies


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Tonight, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is set to headline at the Democrat National Convention.
  • Booker's primetime slot on the night of Bernie Sanders' remarks will draw attention to Booker's cozy ties with Wall Street.
  • Booker's prominent speaking role is a surprise for his former constituents 90 miles away in Newark, where he leaves a legacy of mediocrity and disappointment in neighboring Newark - rife with city residents' complaints.
  • Booker breaks with Clinton on educational reform and her position on charter schools.

BOOKER COZY TIES WITH WALL STREET CONTRASTS WITH HIS PARTY'S PLANS TO BREAK UP LARGE BANKS

The Democratic Platform Includes Language Calling For "Breaking Up The Country's Largest Banks." "So far, Sanders and his team have locked up draft policy wins on (Democratic platform) language for abolishing the death penalty, expanding Social Security through raising the cap on how much Americans earning $250,000 or more pay to expand benefits, and breaking up the country's largest banks." (Daniel Strauss, "Sanders Is Itching For A Convention Fight," Politico, 7/1/16)

Booker Received The Most Campaign Contributions From The Securities And Investment Industry During The 2014 Election Cycle. "Financial firms are shelling out big cash for the mid-term Senate elections, but their favorite candidate is an unlikely one: left-leaning New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker. … Securities and investment firms have given Booker about $1.88 million of his total $17.6 million in contributions this election cycle, according to records from SNL Financial and OpenSecrets.org." (Jeff Cox, "These Senators Get The Most Wall St. Campaign Cash," CNBC, 10/23/14)

  • Booker Received $1.87 Million From The Securities And Investment Industry During The 2014 Cycle. "Sen. Cory Booker received $1.87 million from the securities and investment industry, making him the top recipient of Wall Street money this election cycle, according to federal election donations analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics." (Sarah Gonzalez, "Booker Gets More From Wall Street Than Any Member Of Congress," WNYC, 11/14/14)

WNYC Headline: "Booker Gets More From Wall Street Than Any Member Of Congress" (WNYC, 11/14/14)

Political Wire Headline: "Wall Street's Favorite Senator" (Political Wire, 11/16/14)

BOOKER LEAVES A LEGACY OF MEDIOCRITY AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN NEWARK - RIFE WITH CITY RESIDENTS' COMPLAINTS

Politico Reported Booker "Left Behind Bruised Feelings" In Newark And Said "There Remains A Gnawing Suspicion That Booker Cared More About The Optics Of A Social Media Moment Than Actually Delivering On Basic City Services." "But a closer look at Booker's seven-year tenure as mayor here reveals plenty of people ready to tell the other side of the gauzy stories repeated in adoring magazine profiles. Yes, he transformed the city's downtown Central Ward and put a dent, at least for a time, in Newark's infamously high crime rate, but he also left behind bruised feelings in the neighborhoods where residents wanted jobs more than cheerleading. And to the residents who forked over big increases in fees and taxes, there remains a gnawing suspicion that Booker cared more about the optics of a social media moment than actually delivering on basic city services." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

Politico : "There's A Widely Held Perception That Booker Was More Interested In Remaking The More Visible And Higher-Profile Downtown… Than Areas Farther From The City Center." "But there's a widely held perception that Booker was more interested in remaking the more visible and higher-profile downtown, which he had represented as a council member, than areas farther from the city center." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

"Talk To People In Newark, And It's Not Hard To Find Someone Who Sensed That The Running-Addicted Booker Was Racing To Get Somewhere Else…" "Talk to people in Newark, and it's not hard to find someone who sensed that the running-addicted Booker was racing to get somewhere else, and it wasn't just across town." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

Residents Of Newark Complaint That Taxes Went Up Without An Increase In City Services While Tax Incentives Went To Big Corporations. "Joe Manze, a lifelong resident of the more affluent Forest Hills, the neighborhood that once was home to Ballantines and Tiffanies, saw his taxes grow to a whopping $21,000 in property taxes. 'Booker came here and the taxes went through the roof,' Manze, a finance manager for Chrysler, said. 'Taxes are astronomical. There should have been more services.' People questioned who he was really serving. Residents saw Booker as catering to his pals and donors from New York, creating jobs for reverse commuters, while city jobs dried up. Meanwhile, tax incentives, abatements went to corporations." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

Booker Was Celebrated For An "Emergency Diaper Delivery" For A Newark Resident During A Snowstorm, But That Resident Said The Reason She Couldn't Buy Her Own Diapers Was Because Her Street Had Not Been Plowed For Three Days. "Barbara Byers is one of them. Remember that emergency diaper delivery? That was her. 'He did come and bring me Pampers,' Byers told me recently on Highland Avenue. Back in 2010, her brother had tweeted at Booker three days after a massive snowstorm that Byers could not get out and was running out of diapers. Booker, as he was fond of saying on his Twitter feed, was 'on it.' Byers laughed at the memory and thinks everyone missed the point: Booker, she said, focused on the individual heroics because the larger task of managing city services eluded him. 'The only reason he brought me Pampers was that it had been three days and our street hadn't been plowed,' she said." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

  • Resident: "I Have Five Kids And, Trust Me, I Don't Just Run Out Of Pampers. All We Wanted Was For Him To Plow Our Streets. It's About Knowing How To Manage A City." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

According To The Newark Star-Ledger, Booker Was Out Of The City For 118 Days In One 18-Month Stretch, "Often Earning Lucrative Fees For Speaking Gigs." "The criticism that Booker was not focused on his day job stuck. The Newark-based Star-Ledger tracked the days Booker was out of the city 118 days in one 18-month stretch, often earning lucrative fees for speaking gigs." (Amy S. Rosenberg, "Cory Booker's Newark Mirage," Politico, 7/8/16)

BOOKER BREAKS WITH CLINTON ON EDUCATIONAL REFORM AND HER POSITION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

Booker Supports Education Reforms Such As School Vouchers, Merit Pay For Teachers And Charter Schools. "Booker's major substantive difference with many progressives is on education policy. He is -- like President Obama -- an advocate of the 'education reform' movement; he has backed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's expansion of charter schools and merit pay for teachers, as well as a form of vouchers for some impoverished areas." (Molly Ball, "Why Do Liberals Hate Cory Booker?," The Atlantic, 8/23/13)

In A 2007 Speech Before A New York Teachers' Union, Clinton Said That She Opposed Vouchers Because "I Don't Think They're Constitutional." CLINTON: "So I think about what my teachers meant to me, and why I believe so passionately in public education. You know I'm often asked as I travel around, 'well, Senator, why won't you support vouchers?' And I'll say, well, I'll tell you why I won't support vouchers. Number one, I don't think they're constitutional." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The New York State United Teachers Convention, Washington, DC, 4/27/07)

In 2015 Clinton "Appeared To Disparage Charter Schools" And Came Out Against Merit-Based Pay For Teachers. "Then last month, she appeared to disparage charter schools, which are public schools operating outside of the traditional system. "Most charter schools-I don't want to say every one-but most charter schools, they don't take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don't keep them," she said in an interview with TV host Roland Martin at a town-hall meeting in South Carolina. … Days later, Mrs. Clinton spoke at a union round table and expressed opposition to using student test scores as a way to evaluate teachers. 'I have for a very long time also been against the idea that you tie teacher evaluation and even teacher pay to test outcomes,' she said. 'There's no evidence. There's no evidence.'" (Laura Meckler, "Clinton Views On Charter Schools, Teacher Evaluations Upset Some Democrats," The Wall Street Journal , 12/17/15)

 


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