Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Cory Booker For Vice President? God Forbid!


Imagine if they both ran for VP!

-by Dorothy Reik,
President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

In my half sleep this morning I heard some pundit, probably on MSHRC, saying that Cory Booker's selection as running mate would bring the Bernie supporters running to back to the Hillary fold! Nothing could be further from the truth and it shows how out of touch the Democratic Party, the media and Hillary are with those of us who have had enough of neoliberals masquerading as progressives. The New Yorker explains how it began back when Booker was running for his first City Council seat. Booker was an investment as part of a longer story on Booker's educational experiment in Newark-- more on that later.

Booker raised more than a hundred and forty thousand dollars, an unheard-of sum for a Newark council race. A Democratic operative said of enthusiasts on Wall Street, "They let Cory into their boardrooms and offices, introduced him to people they worked with in hedge funds. As young finance people, they looked at a guy like Cory at this stage as if they were buying Google at seventy-five dollars a share."

  And their investment paid off. Soon Booker was running for Senate. Here's a quote from Alex Pareene from this article in Salon:
He will, in short, be the worst kind of senator. The kind that has no power and no real desire to exercise power on behalf of the people the senator ostensibly represents, but the kind that always expresses opinions on television about whatever national issues people on television care about that day. He will be on Morning Joe and Meet the Press constantly. He has even already said that he might consider might consider Rand Paul and Ted Cruz as models for how a freshman senator might make "big marks." Not "big marks" in the sense of any sort of lasting legislative legacy, because Ted Cruz does not care about legislation or policy, but "big marks" in terms of media attention and stunts designed to appeal to a core of supporters who prefer their senators brash and loud. Another one of those senators will not help anything.
Wall Street, satisfied with their investment, doubled down. While he talks the talk, like HRH HRC, his FEC filings tell the story his words try to hide, as CNBC reports: "Securities and investment firms have given Booker about $1.88 million of his total $17.6 million in contributions this election cycle, according to records from SNL Financial and OpenSecrets.org. The industry has been the biggest group to give to the former Newark mayor, with lawyers and real estate firms the two next-highest." The bankster money has continued to flow and, as of now, the New Jersey freshman has taken in a whopping $4,637,159 from the Finance Sector. They must like him (on the Commerce Committee). By way of comparison, Tim Kaine of Virginia, another "friend of Wall Street," is also a freshman but the banksters have only "invested" $2,365,957 into his career. And no one would argue that another freshman, Blue Dog Democrat Joe Donnelly, has been less than solicitous of Wall Street's every whim. All he's gotten was $1,620,318. Wall Street-friendly Republican Deb Fischer (NE) was also elected in 2012 and all she's seen from the Finance Sector is a miserly $762,098. Wonder what Booker does for them that these other Wall Street shills don't?

As for the Bernie backers, many will tell you that Booker hardly distinguished himself as Mayor of Newark, as the Daily Beast reported:
Months after he first entered the Senate, the New Jersey comptroller alleged that under Booker’s watch-- or, more likely, because he was not watching-- corruption ran rampant at a publicly funded water-treatment and reservoir-management agency, where Booker’s former law partner served as counsel. And speaking of his former law career: Despite having resigned from his law firm once entering the mayor’s office, Booker received annual payments until 2011, during which time the firm was profiting handsomely off of Brick City. That would be the Brick City that Booker professed to love with the fire of a thousand suns, but did little to fundamentally change. Murder, violent crime, unemployment, and taxes all rose dramatically under his stewardship.
And then there was the school boondoggle in which he suckered his pal Mark Zukerberg into donating $100 million to the Newark City Schools-- money that absolutely disappeared! Booker is a champion of charter schools and vouchers-- anathema to progressives. Of course the first move was to hire high priced consultants to justify the charters and the the substitution of test scores for seniority in determining teacher pay. In the wake of the turmoil of the budget and other reforms, Anderson and a consulting group that received $3 million over two years generated a new plan-- One Newark-- that basically eliminated neighborhood schools by assigning students among 55 district schools and 16 charter schools, part of Anderson’s strategy of reducing the selection bias inherent in charter school systems. However, there were no plans for transportation built into the plan, and it called for "more than a third of Newark’s schools…[to] be closed, renewed, relocated, phased out, repurposed, or redesigned."  For the whole ugly story from the seduction (not difficult) of Christie and Zuckerberg to ultimate failure, you can turn to Dale Roussaleff's exhaustive coverage in the New Yorker:
“We know what works,” Booker and other reformers often said. They blamed vested interests for using poverty as an excuse for failure, and dismissed competing approaches as incrementalism. Education needed "transformational change." Mark Zuckerberg, the twenty-six-year-old head of Facebook, agreed, and he pledged a hundred million dollars to Booker and Christie’s cause.

"Almost four years later, Newark has fifty new principals, four new public high schools, a new teachers’ contract that ties pay to performance, and an agreement by most charter schools to serve their share of the neediest students. But residents only recently learned that the overhaul would require thousands of students to move to other schools, and a thousand teachers and more than eight hundred support staff to be laid off within three years.
If you want even more you can check out The Prize, Dale Russakoff's award winning book that chronicles the whole sick episode.

Of course, our friend Howie Klein was on to him from the beginning, asking if there was any way to keep Booker out of the Senate: "Booker is a nightmare for progressives. He's a careerist corporate whore and a 100% tool of Wall Street. Outside of social issues, he might as well be a Republican."

Now we ask another question: Is there any way to keep Cory Booker out of the White House??? We don't need yet another Wall Street-sensitive corporate Democrat but if Booker makes it to VP that's exactly what we will get! What we need are more people like Newark new mayor, Ras Baraka!

As one of my New York friends used to say: "Comes the revolution...." He never finished that sentence-- he left it for us.

Labels: , , , ,


At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the author's politics probably high 90's percent. But when I read supposed serious-minded adults using hate radio type of insults, like Her Royal Highness (HRH) HRC, or MSHRC instead of MSNBC, all I can think of is 'sore loser' and strikingly boring imitations of half-witted Fox 'casters calling CNN the Clinton News Network or other such junior-high humor mentality. Just state your damned case without your puerile bad sport crap.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want another reason the choice of Booker would be alarming? He’s allied with George Norcross, the corrupt, conservative Camden County Democratic boss.

After Frank Lautenberg died in June, 2013, there was a special election to fill the unexpired term. In the August primary, South Jersey’s notorious Norcross machine put its weight solidly behind Booker.

Booker won the August primary for the special election with 59 percent of the vote, and went on to win the 2013 special election in October 55-45.

But why was a special election held—at great expense—less than a month before the November General Election?

Christie scheduled it because he didn’t want Democratic voters who normally vote only in presidential years to turn out when he was running for his second term as governor (all NJ state officials are elected in odd-numbered years). He especially feared that having Booker at the top of the ticket would bring out Black voters who would then vote for the entire Democratic ticket.

While most North Jersey Democrats cried foul, the Norcross Christiecrats didn’t object because they didn’t want Booker’s coattails hurting Christie’s reelection chances either. It’s no secret that they did nothing to help, and covertly worked to undermine, their own party’s candidate, Barbara Buono—a progressive state senator the Norcross faction had stripped of her position as Senate Majority Leader the year before.


Post a Comment

<< Home