Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Will Independent-Minded New Jersey Voters Prove Big Money And Corporate Media Wrong Today?


And Cory Booker-- same crooked garbage

Christie made sure that the election for the open Senate seat would not fall on the same day as his own election-- costing New Jersey taxpayers millions of dollars-- because he was afraid Cory Booker's celebrity status would turn out lots and lots of Democrats who might not otherwise bother voting... and who could tilt his own race towards Democrat Barbara Buono. So today's the day of the primary.

Corporate media has developed a convenient pro-corporate fake bipartisan theme that Christie can't lose his race and that Booker can't lose his race. The Bobbsey Twins of New Jersey politics are skating to twin victories, a paean to lo-info voters. As Susie Madrak said yesterday at Crooks and Liars, "If you want to risk a Manchurian candidate who, while running as a nominal Democrat, is and has been deeply entrenched with the vulture capitalists and their disaster capitalism education "reform", grew up in and has never rejected the religious right (while selling himself as gay-friendly, he's cultivated the same extremist movement that has promoted homophobia in Uganda and benefited from their mythology of Newark's "transformation"), is steeped in Wall Street money and philosophy and is deeply admired by the usual right-wing think tanks, you should vote for Cory Booker in tomorrow's NJ Senate primary." She explains all that in great detail in her post and then concludes "There are some actual Democrats running in this race, including Rep. Rush Holt. Do the country a favor, and vote for one of them."

The Newark Star-Ledger, which knows Booker better than anyone, didn't end election coverage last night with a very favorable picture of Newark's shallow celebrity mayor. People have been asking what the very wealthy, very shady characters who have been financing his career-- the same sleazebags financing Christie's career-- expect in return.
Five dozen wealthy donors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley have placed their bets on both of New Jersey’s big political stars-- Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker-- this campaign season, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows.

When the governor and the mayor hit the fundraising circuit in California this year, they collected maximum donations from many of the same tech moguls at gatherings hosted by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a friend to both men.

When they were home in the Garden State, the two celebrity politicians drew big checks from the same prominent real estate brokers and land developers.

And in New York, Kenneth Langone, the Republican billionaire who pushed Christie to run against President Obama in the 2012 race, has given $5,200 to Booker’s campaign for U.S. Senate this year and $3,800 to Christie’s re-election effort.

In all, 59 people in four states have given to both candidates this year, the Star-Ledger review found. From that donor base, Booker has received $300,550 and Christie has drawn $212,000-- a small portion of their total fundraising hauls: $8.6 million for the mayor and nearly $7 million for the governor.

"Christie is known as a moderate Republican; Booker is known as a business-oriented Democrat," said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia. [Sabato, who is a pretty superficial, conventional wisdom kind of pundit is right about Booker and dead wrong about Christie.] "Bingo! They’re the sort that attracts cross-party money, and the money of people who want to be with the big boys, the winners."

On the stump this year, Booker and Christie have played up their bipartisan work as a selling point for their candidacies. And both are quick to rail on Washington’s gridlock and its deeply unpopular politicians.

Some of their support seems to be issue-based. Two billionaires-- Alan Fournier of New Jersey and John Doerr of California-- are prominent backers of some of the education policies Booker and Christie espouse.

"It’s really all about education. They both have very strong track records on education reform and trying to help kids," said Fournier, founder of a multibillion-dollar hedge fund based in Summit and co-founder of the nonprofit education group Better Education for New Jersey Kids. "New Jersey has the worst gap between minority students and upper-class suburban kids in the country, and we spend more in New Jersey than most states on a per-pupil basis, but we haven’t gotten the results."

[Be sure to read the far more accurate explanationby Madrak of the Christie/Booker defunding of public education and why Big Business is paying them each big bucks to spearhead it.]

...The contribution limit for Booker is $10,400 because he is already raising funds for the Senate race in 2014. For Christie, the limit is $7,600 for the primary and general election this year. Only one donor, Wall Street heavy hitter Dan Lufkin, has maxed out on both.

The cross-party donor list also includes Steven Tisch, a part-owner of the Giants and the film producer behind Forrest Gump. Ken Goldman, Yahoo’s chief financial officer, has given to both men, as have the founders or co-founders of some landmark internet companies: LinkedIn, PayPal, Salesforce and Netscape.

...Booker, who has a big lead in polls going into tomorrow’s Democratic primary, has stressed his ability to work with Republicans. But he also pointed out that he and Christie disagree on most issues after his primary opponents charged he is too cozy with the Republican governor. His campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

One big reason Christie and Booker can raise from the same crowd has little to do with their shared governing philosophy or New Jersey issues, political observers say. The country’s richest political donors simply are betting on the candidates most likely to win, trying to ensure they get access to them, they say.

"If they donate enough money, they believe that when they call Sen. Booker’s office or Gov. Christie’s office, their phone call will be returned," said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. "The question is, What are these people buying? It may be contrary to the interests of the people of New Jersey."

In New Jersey, the shared support comes mostly from the real estate and development sector. Patrick Murray, polling director at Monmouth University, said those entrepreneurs may be preparing for a surge of business in New Jersey as the economy improves.

"New Jersey is a place that developers want to be in, but it’s expensive to develop here, so they want every break that they can get," Murray said, noting that they gave slightly more to the governor. "Christie is someone who can help them. As we’re coming out of the recession, we’re going to see development pick up, and certainly folks want to be at the front of the line."

Sabato said by sharing so many prominent donors, Christie and Booker are inviting the anger of their respective political bases.

"You always pay the piper eventually," he said. "When they run for president-- and both these guys are at some point-- every apostasy will become a TV ad."
The Star-Ledger has a long list of some of the special interest characters who are legalistically bribing both Booker and Christie. They're not paying these two shady politicians off because they think they'll be standing up for ordinary working families-- far from it. Think about it, if you're from New Jersey, when you go to the polls today.

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