A vote for Booker is a vote for Christie

Just friends?
Just friends?


                New Jersey’s top Democrats are cowards. New Jersey’s top  Republicans are cowards. That is why Cory Booker, who did nothing for Newark but divide it, preside over unprecedented bloodshed in its streets, and form a diabolical alliance with Chris Christie to suppress its people, will walk to his re-election in November. I mourn for democracy in New Jersey.

                Booker does not deserve to be a United States senator and I am ashamed of those progressive Democrats who might have posed a challenge to his re-election in Tuesday’s primary but chickened out. They ran scared.

                Just as the Republican ran scared. Gov. Chris Christie made Booker a senator last year by manipulating the election dates—and wasting $24 million in the process. Booker and Christie conspired to bring privatization to the Newark schools—a stealth conspiracy that benefited, certainly not the children of the city, but the billionaires who support the clown in the Statehouse and the fraud in the Senate seat.

                The main-stream press, which simply anoints Booker as a “popular” Democrat without a moment’s analysis of how and why he became senator—or even mayor—already has decided how the race will go. So much so for a press that takes the people’s side against oppression—no, they would rather simply declare Booker “popular” and leave it at that.

                Oh, really? And how many votes did Booker get out of Newark in the senate race last year? And what did Ras Baraka’s election say about the popularity of this unknown from nowhere who was declared a “rock-star” by Oprah Winfrey who, of course, has nothing but the interests of Newark residents at heart.

A strong Republican could have wiped out Booker, a weak candidate who might even have lost Newark. Junior Thomas Kean probably could have won–and I could think of others, as well. Jennifer Beck. Chris Smith. Even Joe Kyrillos. But Christie wanted Booker to be senator and so he politically castrated the Republican Party who had its best shot at electing a Republic senator since Clifford Case.

                At least the main-stream press did report the opinion of a political commentator who said this about the cowardly failure of the Republican Party to nominate someone who could probably have beaten Booker:

                “It’s because we don’t have an organized Republican Party in New Jersey.  We have a Chris Christie Party, but we don’t have a Republican Party. So there has been no real effort to create a presence.”

                That’s true—as far as it goes. But what both the press and the commentator fail to mention is this: Christie and Booker are members of the same party. They have been helping each other ever since Christie became governor. Look at the way they conspired to evade the charter school law, as outlined by Dale Russakoff in her piece in The New Yorker.

                Christie might be a laughable, bloviating white man from Livingston and Booker might be an articulate African-American from—well, we’re really not sure where he is from—but the two are working together  for the same masters, the hedge-fund managers and other billionaires  who want to privatize education.

           Please, have we forgotten how Booker declared himself “nauseated” because President Barack Obama dared to criticize Mitt Romney and Bain Capital? Some have called Booker the Manchurian candidate after the Cold War novel that depicts how Chinese Communists secretly controlled a former POW who would become president of the United States. The analogy isn’t apt because Booker is openly the Wall Street candidate–jusat look at the donors who backed his candidacy–and how he got the same people to donate to the Shavar Jeffries campaign in an effort to destroy the Baraka insurgency.

                Christie and Booker are members of the same oligarchic party that seeks the suppression of genuine, bottom-up reform of the state’s institutions—because such reform would endanger the livelihoods of those who spent millions to ensure the election of people like them.

                I am a registered Democrat living in Elizabeth. The regular Democratic party is under attack from Republicans who call themselves Democrats and control the school board. These Republicans have endorsed and campaigned for Christie and Christie has rewarded them by ensuring they get plum jobs like running motor vehicle agencies. He also has ensured Elizabeth would receive school construction funds–when Newark didn’t–and would not be troubled by charter schools. It’s good to be friends with the emperor, naked or not.

                I have to laugh when The Star-Ledger gets all excited about exposing some of the faux school board Democrats who get into trouble with the law for getting undeserved free lunches for their kids—while, at the same time, they fail  even to mention the $24,000 a month Cami Anderson spends on lunch in  the Newark schools. Anderson, we should remember, was Booker’s candidate for schools superintendent—and still is.

                So I was prepared to vote for the regular Democrats until I received a piece of campaign literature with a picture of Booker putting his arm around my local city council candidate. I felt my gorge rise.

                Sorry, no way. I can’t vote for anyone close to Cory Booker.  Or, of course, Booker himself. The pain he has brought to Newark is almost unspeakable. The man is famous simply for being famous—and charming the press and dear Ms. Winfrey, the gazzilionaire.

                I was going to write in Rush Holt and still might—despite my disappointment he didn’t challenge Booker. But maybe I’ll just write in Ras Baraka’s name. Whatever you think of Baraka, he is the anti-Booker and that’s good enough for me.

  1. Out of loyalty to my party I voted for Booger but this is the first time I will opt out of the privilege to do so this November! I have always had questions about Corey and the more time passes, the answers are revealed.

  2. As usual, Bob, I agree with almost everything you say here. But a couple of caveats:

    1) Cory Booker campaigned for Marie Corfield, and, by Marie’s account, he campaigned hard. For me, that counts for an awful lot. Not enough to negate what you say here… but I give him credit for working for her against Donna Simon, who was funded by the very reformy hedge fund types (B4K) that have been pushing for education “reform.”

    Marie was the best chance we had to pick up a real voice to stand against reforminess in Trenton. I will always appreciate Booker’s standing up for her, much as I loathe many of the other things he has done or allowed to happen on his watch.

    2) You know far more about NJ politics than I ever will. But Kean is the only guy on your list, IMHO, who had a shot against Booker – and it’s not like his last senate race was so great (and against an opponent I would say was quite a bit weaker than Booker). Beck would never have a chance… and Chris Who? I bet you couldn’t find a dozen voters north of I-78 who’ve ever heard of the guy.

    The time to challenge Booker was in the last primary. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, bless them both, gave it their best shots. I wish one or the other would have bowed out gracefully (my preference was for Holt to stay in, but I would have been fine with Pallone). They didn’t, Booker won, and that is that.

    In many ways, Booker is in a place where he can do the least damage to education and the most to help with stuff he seems to be on the right of — Supreme Court nominees being the top of that list. If Cory Booker is going to be a figure in this state’s politics, the Senate is probably the best spot for him. Better there than Drumthwacket.

    BTW: we missed you at the NJ edu-bloggers roundtable. The consensus, however, is that you are setting the standard for us all.


    Bob Braun: I believe Booker got more out of that visit than did Corfield. He showed himself–falsely–as teacher- and union-friendly. He is, of course, neither. And, if I’m not mistaken, she lost by more votes this go ’round than last. True or not, he proved he had very short coat-tails.

  3. I recently had a discussion with family and friends about this topic and came to the conclusion that the only option at this point is to do a write-in candidate. At the least, the principle of the matter would be voiced. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to rally the masses to do the same. Political strategy is set in motion years in advance. It takes a keen eye of interest to watch how the ball bounces far ahead of when ballots get mailed.

    Bob Braun: You’re right on all counts. I was hopeful Sheila Oliver would have renewed her campaign after the primary last year but decided against it. I think it’s important to show the wealthy unseen hands that there is resistance to their candidates and so, while it is merely a gesture, not voting for Booker will show he has no coat-tails. Running behind the ticket he leads is not a good sign.

  4. The Democratic party in NJ is a joke, nobody had the stones to stand up to this corporate shill? Hey Senate seat for sale! and Mike Bloomberg is winning the bidding war! I am looking anywhere I can to find an independent progressive to vote and campaign for. Wall Street will have 2 candidates, I want 1!!!!

  5. I like your idea of writing in Ras Baraka. But I’ve already voted by mail in the primary and I wrote in Bob Braun.

    Bob Braun: Who’s he? Thanks for the honor.

    1. EXCELLENT IDEA! I think I’ll write in “Bob Braun” too. It can’t hurt, and at least my vote will be for someone I believe in. So sick of searching for the lesser of 2 EVILS!

  6. I say we torch the entire democratic party all of them have sold out to Wall Street. Every time I vote for one I feel like a fool.

  7. Agree with you completely Bob Braun, wish we could in fact elect someone to office like yourself, who tells the truth.

  8. I agree with everything you say here Bob and I don’t plan on ever voting for Corey Booker. However, I have to put in my two cents about Sheila Oliver. She cut a deal with Sweeney and Christie and was instrumental in getting anti-union legislation passed. I know her history and voting record, which up until Christie came into power, were good but unfortunately once Christie became Governor she played a big role in helping him, especially as regards burnishing his image as a “moderate” Republican (ha!) who could “work across the aisle” and therefore be a viable candidate on the national level. He thanked her by ridiculing her publicly at a Koch brothers’ sponsored conference and making N.J. Democrats a laughing stock around the country…thank you very much Sheila Oliver.
    BTW I totally agree with the Jersey Jazzman about Marie Corfield – I only wish she were running in my District.

    Bob Braun: Thanks for the insight. I guess it’s a toss-up which party suffers more under Christie–the meretricious Democrats or the castrated Republicans. It’s what happens in a cult of personality. The moths rush to the warmth of pretend leadership only to be burnt up in the self-interested of dangerously ambitions individuals. Thus always for Stalin’s “useful idiots.”

    1. In her heart, Shelia Oliver knows the right thing to do, but was outsmarted by Christie and betrayed by Joey D.!

      Bob Braun: Joey D has a habit of betraying Democratic women, doesn’t he?

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