Reading Cory Booker’s ‘Aye’ Vote on Iran as a 2016 Obama Voter VP Calculation

By Max Pizarro | 09/14/15

PolitickerNJ

 

Whether calculated for this specific end or not, U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) aye vote on the Iran deal reinforces a strategic political design long advanced by the senator’s allies who see him as a viable vice presidential option.

The heart of their long-standing argument for Booker as a running mate (presumably for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), hinges on a two-fold argument: one, he can still project youthful excitement and maintain a vigorous campaign work rate (attributes especially helpful if he’s backing up Clinton); and two, he can harness those voters long ID’d as the core of Barack Obama’s 2008 support.

Booker’s “yes” vote on Iran dovetails perfectly with the latter brand play, giving him the option of reminding progressives that despite his turbulent relationship with their ranks, including his game of footsie with Gov. Chris Christie, his irritation over 2012 Democratic ads attacking Mitt Romney, his corporate outlook, and the pull of a pro-Israel financial base, he went leftward in support of Obama on the biggest vote of his career.

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What we know about United Airlines makes this PATH project suspect | Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on September 13, 2015

Christie walks with David Samson at Newark Liberty International Airport in November 2013, after they, Senate President Steve Sweeney and United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek announced that United Airlines will begin service to Atlantic City International Airport starting in April.

 

It seemed a strange decision when the Port Authority agreed to spend $1.5 billion to extend the PATH lines to Newark Airport, given that the agency's capital plan included no money for more pressing needs, like building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

Now, in the wake of the unfolding United Airlines scandal, there is reason to at least suspect that sinister motives may have been at work.

United fired its CEO and two top deputies last week after an internal probe into the airline's dealings with the Port Authority while David Samson was its chairman. We don't know what's in the airline's internal report. But several sources have said that United essentially bribed Samson by arranging a direct flight between Newark and his vacation home in South Carolina, at Samson's request.

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Christie Administration Stands Firm on Less-Detailed Tax-Revenue Reports

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Christie On Defensive Amid Reports of Favor Paid to Port Authority Chairman

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United C.E.O. Is Out Amid Inquiry at Port Authority

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Zuckerberg’s Expensive Lesson

JOE NOCERA

The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist

THE NEW YORK TIMES

SEPT. 8, 2015

It’s just hitting bookstores, but Dale Russakoff’s new book, “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?,” has already become a source of enormous contention, both in Newark, where the story takes place, and among education advocates of various stripes.

The plotline revolves around what happened to the Newark school system after Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder and chief executive of Facebook, donated $100 million in 2010 to transform the city’s schools, a sum that was matched by the prodigious fund-raising of Cory Booker, Newark’s former mayor (now the state’s junior senator). The stated goal of the grant, according to Zuckerberg at the time, was to turn Newark’s schools into a “symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” Five years later, with the money basically gone, I think it is fair to say that hasn’t happened.

Russakoff’s story, in brief, is that Zuckerberg, knowing little about education reform, naïvely put his faith in the charismatic Booker, a champion of the reform movement. Booker advocated the usual things: more teacher accountability, more charter schools and new agreements with the teachers’ union that would allow for the best teachers to be rewarded — and the worst to be fired.

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Revamped charter school law, not moratorium, will benefit N.J. students | Opinion

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
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on September 05, 2015

First grade student Riley Ledbetter talks during a class at Seek Academy, a highly successful charter school run by TEAM Academy in Newark Thursday, January, 22, 2015

 

By Ron Rice Jr.

Something strange is happening at the state capitol. In spite of the bona fide track record public charter schools have established in New Jersey, two separate bills have been introduced in the state Senate and the Assembly that would impose a moratorium on expanding their enrollment. The sponsors of each bill are experienced politicians with a great deal of savvy and very little taste for quixotic missions, so these moves seem suspicious.

We then have leaders who are railing against the proliferation of charter schools as if anyone who merely applies just gets a charter without any state oversight, review or even the most basic features of accountability. They simply call for "slowing down" the entire process.

Slowing down the expansion of high-quality public charter schools for the 20,000 students currently on a wait list to attend one of those schools? Half of those students are concentrated in Newark. In fact, New Jersey has slowed down the approval process of charter schools over the past few years much to the chagrin of those families.

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Christie seeks pass on Obama's Clean Power Plan

By S.P. Sullivan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on September 02, 2015

President Barack Obama congratulates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while playing the "TouchDown Fever" arcade game along the Point Pleasant boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., May 28, 2013

 

Calling it an "unlawful" overreach by the federal government, Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday slammed President Barack Obama's new Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions at fossil fuel-fired power plans across the U.S.

Christie's administration is seeking an administrative stay and reconsideration from the sweeping new rules issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which have been endorsed by New Jersey environmental groups and the state's largest utility.

"This is a fundamentally flawed plan that threatens the progress we've already made in developing clean and renewable energy in New Jersey without the heavy-handed overreach of Washington," said Christie, whose criticism of the Obama administration's energy policies have grown more strident as he seeks the Republican nomination for president.

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Two Big Financial Gifts Reflect Changing Face of School Fundraising

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Newark and Camden School Districts In Line to Receive Hefty Private Donations

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