Booker, Lonegan amp up attacks in second U.S. Senate debate

By Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger
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on October 09, 2013

U.S. Senate candidates Cory Booker (left) and Steve Lonegan spar in their second televised debate. Moderator Jim Rosenfield of NBC 10 is in the middle at Pfleeger Concert Hall at Rowan University in Glassboro. (Michael Bryant/Pool Photo/Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

TRENTON — Somehow, the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan managed to get even more heated tonight.

In their second and final debate, Booker and Lonegan went after each other on everything from hot-button social topics like gay marriage and abortion to their stance on the debt ceiling and gun control. And they took some nasty shots at each other's records.

Booker, the Newark mayor leading by about a dozen percentage points in recent polls, continued to paint Lonegan as a member of the "tea party extremist" wing of the Republican party, blaming them for the current shutdown of the federal government.

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Booker, Lonegan trade insults as they head into debate

By Ryan Hutchins/The Star-Ledger
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on October 09, 2013

Republican activist Stephen Lonegan and Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker will face off in a statewide televised debates tonight. They are both running in a U.S. Senate special election on Oct. 16. (Star-Ledger file photos)

 

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan traded insults Tuesday in the race for U.S. Senate, both accusing each other of failing the communities they have led.

Booker called his opponent a "hypocrite" for requesting $500,000 — and ultimately receiving $350,000 — in state aid when he was the mayor of Bogota. Lonegan has preached against bailouts and said New Jersey should not have received disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy last year.

"He took a city with a balanced budget and drove it into a ditch," Booker said of Lonegan at a news conference in Cliffside Park, responding to a report in Tuesday’s Star-Ledger. "He ran up a budget deficit to the point he needed a bailout — the very same kind of bailout he’s criticizing other people for taking right now."

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In New Jersey Debate, a State Senator Tries to Deflate a Confident Christie

The New York Times

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and his Democratic challenger, State Senator Barbara Buono, on Tuesday at William Paterson University. Mr. Christie has a formidable lead in polls.

 

With less than a month before Election Day, it was a rare sign that, in fact, there is a race for governor in New Jersey this year.

At the candidates’ first debate on Monday night, Gov. Chris Christie just had to hold the line on poll numbers that show him walking away with a margin of victory big enough to make him a formidable contender for the Republican nomination for president.

His Democratic challenger, State Senator Barbara Buono, was looking to make an impression, something she has struggled to do since entering the race with little name recognition and little money to increase it.

Ms. Buono did strike a few hits in the debate at William Paterson University.

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If she runs for speaker again, Oliver says she wouldn't want or need GOP support

By Max Pizarro | October 8th, 2013

 

NEWARK – When they start naming things after you in this paranoid world of politics, not even very cynical people draw funereal conclusions about the careers of those esteemed honorees getting name-plated, bronzed or embossed.

Not so in this case, said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who insisted the new conference room on the 14th floor of the Leroy Smith building downtown doesn’t mean the end of the leadership role of Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34) of East Orange.

“It’s just the beginning of her career,” said the powerful albeit dinged and somewhat embattled county executive, who took another anvil-sized headline on the back this week when the Star-Ledger focused in on the possible improper distribution of federal funds by the county.

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Essex County officials fire back amid calls for federal probe into charity fund

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
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on October 07, 2013

NEWARK — A Newark councilman called for a federal probe today into allegations an Essex County agency steered federal stimulus money to people who didn’t qualify for aid, but county officials fired back, saying the woman who made the accusations is now denying she ever did so.

Councilman Ras Baraka’s demand for an investigation followed a Sunday Star-Ledger story which quoted the director of the East Orange Community Development Corporation alleging county officials instructed her to dispense federal aid to people who made too much money to qualify.

The story also quoted two anonymous employees who confirmed her account and cited dozens of applications for aid which raised questions about the agency’s standards.

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FDU Poll: Christie beating Buono 58-25%

By Max Pizarro | October 8th, 2013

 

On the day of their first scheduled debate, incumbent Gov. Chris Christie leads Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono 58 to 25%, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll.

The 33% spread is even greater than when PublicMind posed the same question in August, when Christie led Buono 50 to 26 percent.

Unlike her Republican foe, Buono continues to struggle to garner the support of Democrats. Although 44 percent of Democrats support Buono, more than a third (38%) say they will vote for Christie. The governor, on the other hand, has the support of nine-in-ten Republicans, and 53 percent of independents.

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Baraka seeks investigation of Essex County agency

By PolitickerNJ Staff | October 7th, 2013

 

Ras Baraka has asked the U.S. Attorney to investigate claims that an Essex County agency improperly doled out federal funds to unqualified applicants for aid.

The request arises from allegations contained in a Star Ledger report that ran Sunday containing claims that pressure was applied by Essex County officials to provide aid to reisdents whose income far exceeded program limits.

"I hereby request that your office conduct an investigation to determine if a crime has been committed," Baraka said in the email to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.  "If so, who is responsible for the misuse of federal funds."

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U.S. Senate Contest: Booker insists he's competing for every vote against scrappier Lonegan

By Max Pizarro | October 7th, 2013

by headlines depicting him as a tweeter not a fighter, a somewhat amused Newark Mayor Cory Booker this morning answered to the charge that he’s dispassionately sleepwalking, or at least night jogging, toward Election Day next Wednesday.

“We’re not taking anything for granted,” insisted the Democratic nominee competing in next Wednesday’s special election for U.S. Senate. “We have to earn every single vote.”

Up by 12 over Lonegan in the last public poll with the Republican challenger trending in the right direction, Booker has run a campaign that has gone heavy on sweat suits with adoring fitness freaks.

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Anxious Allies Aiding Booker in Senate Bid

The New York Times

October 7, 2013

 

Cory A. Booker, a Democrat, campaigned in East Orange, N.J., on Saturday.

 

Cory A. Booker is an undisputed star of a new generation of African-American leaders, electrifying liberal audiences with his oratory and charming the social media set with his digital savvy.

But the Senate campaign Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is running in New Jersey — at times sputtering, unfocused and entangled in seemingly frivolous skirmishes over Twitter messages involving a stripper — has unnerved his supporters, who thought that a robust and unblemished victory over his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan, would catapult him onto the national stage.

As his allies move to shore up what was supposed to be a painless path to Congress, the biggest and wealthiest of them, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will start spending more than $1 million on Monday to broadcast television commercials on Mr. Booker’s behalf, a vast sum to pour into a single candidacy.

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Lonegan vs. Booker: Polar Opposites in a Polarized Nation

Mark J. Magyar | October 7, 2013

NJ Spotlight

 

It’s the kind of race Phyllis Schlafly envisioned in 1964 when she wrote “A Choice, Not An Echo” in support of Barry Goldwater’s successful effort to wrest the GOP away from the “Rockefeller Republicans” and unsuccessful effort to wrest the country away from liberal Democrats and the “Great Society” they wanted to build.

Schlafly, now 89 years old and still president of the Eagle Forum, was one of the first national Republican leaders to enthusiastically endorse Steve Lonegan’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, declaring that his victory in the October 16 special election would be “proof that straight talk, not watered-down messages, are what Republicans need to win back elections.”

Lonegan has not disappointed conservative backers like Schlafly by toning down his rhetoric in any way, even though he is running for the first time with the support of the state’s Republican Party.

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