Is Newark Better or Worse After Cory Booker?


As Cory Booker (pictured) cruised to victory in Wednesday’s special election to fill the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg’s seat, what legacy has Newark’s mayor left behind in the state’s largest city?

RELATED: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Wins Democratic Senate Primary

During his two back-to-back terms in office, starting in 2006, Booker has made headlines with a hands-on approach. With 1.4 million Twitter followers (his city has less than 300,000 residents), Booker shoveled snow from a constituent’s father’s driveway after she Tweeted to the mayor’s account asking for help. In April 2012, he saved a woman from a house fire. And after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, Booker invited Newark residents without power to stay at his home.

The backdrop for those feats is a majority-black city (PDF) which has a reputation as one of American’s deadliest, and where two out of five children live below the poverty line. The city was rocked by civil disturbances in 1967 from which many say it has never completely recovered.

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Booker, Winning Rocky Senate Bid, Gets a Job to Fit His Profile

The New York Times

Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.

He will arrive in Washington already one of the country’s most prominent Democrats, and its best-known black politician other than President Obama, who backed him aggressively. Mr. Booker’s fund-raising prowess puts him on course to lead his party’s campaign efforts in the Senate, and he has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick for 2016.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Booker had 55 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Steve Lonegan, a Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J., and state director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, according to The Associated Press. Still, the campaign gave a wider audience to certain facets of Mr. Booker that long ago began to prompt eye-rolling among his constituents.

With a Twitter following six times as large as the city he has led, Mr. Booker was known outside Newark largely for his appearances on late-night television and his heroics: rescuing a neighbor from a burning building, shoveling out snowbound cars, living on a food stamp diet.

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Christie, Buono trade barbs in second and final N.J. gubernatorial debate

By Brent Johnson/The Star-Ledger
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on October 15, 2013

Gov Chris Christie and Sen Barbara Buono debate at Montclair State University for the second and final time before the gubernatorial election next month. Montclair, NJ 10/15/13 (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)


TRENTON — In their second and final gubernatorial debate, Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono tonight once again showed their sharp differences on everything from the economy and property taxes to support from the state's party bosses.

In one heated exchange, Buono said Christie, a Republican, has been able to forge friendships with party bosses because he "represents the worst combination of bully and bossism."

"You're not interested in cleaning up that boardwalk empire of backroom political bosses," said Buono, who is fair behind in polls and fundraising numbers.

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Segregation Found In N.J. Education System


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Rutgers Institute on Education Law and Policy (IELP) has released a report revealing double segregation prominent New Jersey schools.  The report showed that a majority of minority students in New Jersey face isolation by race and economic status.

IELP titled the report “New Jersey’s Apartheid and Intensely Segregated Urban Schools: Powerful Evidence of an Inefficient and Unconstitutional State Education System”. It refers to New Jersey’s “apartheid” schools because of their overwhelming similarities to schools created by apartheid laws. The report defines these schools as having zero to one percent White students, and “intensely segregated” schools as having zero to 10 percent White students.

Racial segregation can be problem more frequently seen in states in the South. However, African American students in New Jersey are twice as likely to attend "apartheid" schools than students in the South. Coming after the areas around Chicago and Detroit, New Jersey has the third highest fraction of black students in the state in "apartheid" schools, with 26 percent in attendance.

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Obamacare has insurance brokers excited and wary for future

By Dan Goldberg/The Star-Ledger
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on October 13, 2013

When the new health insurance exchanges opened on the first of the month, Obama administration officials hailed it as “a historic day” when millions of Americans would have new access to affordable health insurance for themselves, their families and their small businesses.

David Oscar, an insurance broker in Montclair and a past president of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters, said insurance brokers he knew had a different name for Oct. 1.

“We called it ‘Dante’s Inferno,’ ” he said. “It was the seven levels of hell.”

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Wednesday's Special U.S. Senate Election: for Booker, double versus single digits

By Max Pizarro | October 14th, 2013

If Cory Booker wins on Wednesday by less than double digits, the GOP sees a less than formidable adversary ahead of next year’s regularly scheduled election.

They’re sniffing the air ahead of Wednesday.

“I’m surprised,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21). “Cory Booker was not as strong as people predicted.”

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Mayoral candidate Baraka and Newark's council back Booker for Senate

By Matthew Arco | October 14th, 2013

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Senate campaign received the backing Monday of the Newark City Council.

Council President Luis A. Quintana and Councilmen Augusto Amador, Ras Baraka, Carlos Gonzalez, Anibal Ramos, Jr., Ronald Rice and Darrin Sharif issued a statement in support of the mayor’s bid for the U.S. Senate.

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Where it stands: Booker v. Lonegan and the U.S. Senate Special Election

By Max Pizarro | October 13th, 2013

Booker campaigning today at the Portuguese Social Club in Elizabeth.


This coming Wednesday’s race for U.S. Senate started in ho-hum fashion, with insiders declaring Cory Booker the winner while heralding the arrival of no-hoper Steve Lonegan as someone who could supply entertainment value during an otherwise moribund election season.

Booker’s people appeared early to be the only ones un-amused.

They weren’t about to allow their candidate to play the straight man to what they saw as Lonegan’s coming movement conservative antics. Opting for a very light schedule of press avails, they took a kind of high road delight in being able to justify avoiding Lonegan.

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Where Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan stand on the issues

By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
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on October 13, 2013


From gay marriage to their mayoral records, Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan are at odd on almost every political issue. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)


Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steve Lonegan are about as far apart ideologically as you can get. Here’s where they stand on the major issues, drawn from their own words.

The economy

Booker: Supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and investing in more programs to combat child poverty, including government payments to low-income children for a college fund. Wants to implement more regulation on Wall Street to prevent another financial meltdown and invest more in research and development.

Lonegan: Believes regulations are suffocating businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, keeping the economy in the doldrums. Wants to sunset all federal regulations after 10 years and then re-examine them to see if they’re still necessary. Opposes raising the minimum wage, and has called for eliminating it altogether and allowing market forces to decide.

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N.J. Supreme Court agrees to hear Christie's gay marriage appeal

By Salvador Rizzo/The Star-Ledger
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on October 11, 2013


Standing in front a dozen television cameras and a bank of microphones, Cindy Meneghin (center) asks her longtime partner Maureen Kilian (right) to marry her during a news conference outside the headquarters of Garden State Equality in Montclair hours after a state judge ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey. Meneghin said the two women from Butler were high school sweethearts and have been together for 39 years. 9/27/2013 (Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger)


TRENTON — The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in New Jersey’s ongoing same-sex marriage case and indicated today that it would not decide the case until next year.

A state trial judge, Mary Jacobson, ruled Sept. 27 that same-sex couples were being denied equal rights in New Jersey in the wake of a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June and ordered the state to allow same-sex marriages starting Oct. 21.

The state's highest court also agreed to hear an emergent appeal to decide whether same-sex marriages may proceed on Oct. 21 as Jacobson ordered, or if they will be put on hold until the entire case is decided next year.


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