Thursday, July 07, 2005

Cory Booker vs. Old Newark

Cory Booker has an impressive resume. He started his life in a middle class neighborhood in North New Jersey, graduated from Stanford University after attending on a football scholarship, studied history at Oxford University in Great Britain, and later received a law degree from Yale.

However, what is most impressive about Booker was his what landed him in Newark politics and the committment he has shown to public service. When he first moved to Newark, Booker deliberately moved to one of the most dangerous areas of Newark, going on a ten day hunger strike to protest the lack of security and police available in the area. He later lived in a mobile home and parked it on drug corners in an effort to inspire citizens to fight against the drug cartels that were taking over neighborhoods. Booker was later elected the Central Ward Councilman. To many, he is the ideal candidate to clean up the troubled city.

However, when Booker attempted to run for mayor, in 2002, he encountered a fortified political wall built by the veteran politician and fourth term mayor, Sharpe James. James has had a dubious tenure as mayor that includes a $213,000 salary last year and a reputation for overpaying his friends in government. His chief of staff was convicted of bribery and his police chief was convicted of embezzlement. Nevertheless, James has benefitted from a political machine that has portrayed Booker as a namby pamby suburban. James did not shy away from anti-semitic demogoguery during the campaign (Booker is half Jewish) and even claimed that Booker accepted donations from the Ku Klux Klan. Booker lost the race by a fair margin.

What is alarming to most democrats is the willingness for activists such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to associate themselves with James. This New York blogger decided that he had lost all respect for the activists because they aligned themselves with a man he considered to be a blatant liar.

One of the most popular topics on Jersey blogs now is the documentary "Streetfight", about the James-Booker race in 2002. Check it out.

One Blogger gives the case against James
This website gives the case against Booker.
Mr. Snitch provides a good dissertation on the documentary "streetfight" about the James-Booker race in 2002.

7 Comments:

At 8:56 AM, Blogger wfoley said...

nicely written. but three questions it leaves unanswered: when did booker run against james? did he lose? (it appears so) and will he be a candidate in 2006? I think you should ask Booker for an interview, and blog it

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Sam said...

He ran in 2002, lost, and has announced he will be running again in 2006.

Jack, I have a story about meeting him last summer.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger dkreiss said...

I am sure that Booker would grant you an interview.

You really need to watch Street Fight, because it covers all the ground you looked at while also putting the race in the perspective of the changing of the black political guard in Newark and across the nation, along with how entrenched politicians survive.

I can understand why Jackson and Sharpton endorsed who they did (favors beget favors) but I cannot condone it -- also note McGreevey's connection to James, as well as Corzine's endorsement (a fact that was left out of the documentary.)

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Jack said...

dkreiss,
Thank You very much for you comment. I was certainly suprised to find out that Corzine had endorsed James. Please return and comment regularly.

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

You might be interested in this dissertation on the documentary:

http://mistersnitch.blogspot.com/2005/07/deconstructing-street-fight-why-some.html

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sharpe james-corey booker race is truly fascinating. The race typified the struggle between the establishment of black politicians (ie james, jesse jackson, al sharpton) and newcomers like barak obama and booker. Comments by James during the campaign that challenged Booker's blackness were particularly jarring. I will never fully understand how a majority of voters brought themselves to affirm his venomous corruption. I can only hope that the black politician of the future will resemble booker far more than race warlords like james and company.
-Julian

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen Street Fight yet, you can go to the website and get on the mailing list for when DVDs are available. The website is Marshallcurry.com

 

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