All Articles Tagged "Cory Booker"
Is the world ready for an openly gay US President?
How about president, who might be gay – but then again, might not be gay – and will refuse to answer the question either way?
Of course, I’m talking about Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who in an interview with the Washington Post, addressed the rumors about his sexuality by confirming in a round about way that he does like the ladies, goes on dates and, at the suggestion of his pastor, is contemplating settling down with a “life partner.” Booker, who is running for U.S. Senator of New Jersey, also said that if he was gay, why would that matter? And he hopes that his ambiguity would challenge both his detractors and supporters on their homophobia. As quoted in the Post, he said:
“And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.”
He also confirmed that he was not seeing Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, with whom Booker was linked six years ago and says that the only reason why we haven’t seen or heard about him out on dates is because, “How unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?”
Rumors have been swirling for years about the sexuality of the unmarried Mayor of Newark. Most recently an old column a college aged Booker had penned for his Stanford University’s newspaper back in 1992, spoke very candidly about his struggle with homophobia and his evolution on gay rights and tolerance, help to reignite the gay rumors. The inference, of course, is that the Booker former fear of the gays was spurred more out of denial of who he was, than the act of homosexuality in general. It didn’t help matters much that when asked on the matter, Booker’s own spokesperson refused to confirm or deny either way.
Playing ambiguous with his sexual identity might be a risky strategy for the political “rock star,” who some suspect might have aspirations for president. It’s hard to believe that in 2013, when folks are running away from marriage like Spaniards run from charging bulls, that anyone would still question a man’s sexuality just because he is not married. But for whatever continued reason, the idea of single straight people makes the general public pretty nervous. And in 2013 when we’ve elected Adult Video stars, actors and comedians to public office, in addition to our first black president, it’s hard to believe that whom a person loves, or casually sleeps with, would matter more than their politics. But who are we kidding? Sexuality seems like such an arbitrary reason to not vote for a candidate, whom otherwise might do a good job but folks use all sorts of irrational reasons all the time when deciding on politicians – from their race, religion, gender and even down to a particular style of hair and dress. So why wouldn’t sexuality be excluded?
For example, a few years back I was having lunch with a casual friend, who is heavily involved in local politics. We were discussing one of the local races, which involved a pretty well liked politician, who was much rumored to be secretly gay. Despite the candidates reputation for being a good public servant and seemingly looking like an ideal fit for the office he was running for, my friend said very emphatically that he would not vote for him because he was gay. I told him that was silly, “You like the guy. Just vote for him.” But my friend, who couldn’t offer a good reason other than his disapproval of his supposed sexuality, scrunched up his nose and said that while he did like the guy personally, “but still what if he starts passing all sort of gay stuff…”
Ah yes, the gay the stuff. It’s unclear exactly what policies my friend was eluding to, which might suggest a gay slant – other than gay marriage but I’m not sure how that would have any effect on his life or the lives of anyone, who does not want to gay marry? But that’s my personal politics. And you know what they say about all politics being personal? Now that I think more about it, I might be more inclined to vote for a gay candidate, particularly if they were black, just because I would think they would have a more vested interested in ending discrimination.
So what do folks think? Is the world ready for a gay US President?
Newark Mayor Cory Booker rather easily won the special Democratic primary that took place in New Jersey yesterday, as the state prepares for a special election on October 16 to replace longtime Senator Frank Lautenberg who died recently. Booker took about 60 percent of the ballots in the four-person field. With the exception of a now-deleted offensive tweet from Republican candidate Steve Lonegan, Booker rode a wave of popularity to last night’s vote. Lonegan is trailing Booker in the polls today, according to CNN, 29 percent to 54 percent.
But in the latter stages of the primary race, greater negativity has started to seep into the media coverage. A good chunk of it has to do with money. As The New York Times reports, the mayor has a stake in the troubled video-based website Waywire valued between $1 million and $5 million. “That is, at best, strange,” says The Daily Beast. “As mayor, Booker is paid about the same as a member of Congress, and one can imagine the outcry if a sitting congressman used his connections to lure investors into a corporate venture that made him an instant millionaire. Indeed, it would be illegal for a congressman to do so, and while it may not be illegal for a Newark mayor, the whole thing still stinks.”
He has said he will give up his stake in the company if he becomes senator, and the company will be forbidden from lobbying his office. It may not be much of an issue since visits to the site are low — fewer than 3,000 in June — and the company has had to make cuts to staff and office space. It sounds like Waywire is having trouble staying afloat at the moment despite investment from people like Oprah Winfrey and Google’s Eric Schmidt. (The Beast takes Booker and Waywire to task for having the 15-year-old son of Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, on the board. He resigned last week.)
In other money news, as The Washington Post points out in this slideshow, Mayor Booker has made more than $1.3 million in speaking engagements since 2008, donated $619,000 to charity, paid $423,000 on that money, and kept $232,000 of it. And his campaign has raised $8.6 million and has spent $4.6 million, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Still, the issue for The Daily Beast is whether he used powerful connections to make money. And it’s not just that site. The Atlantic Wire has a rundown of Booker’s critics, most vocally, Alex Pareene on Salon, who says Booker hasn’t proposed solutions to tackle the issues at the heart of what ails Newark and is using the Senate as a stepping stone to the White House.
“The anti-Booker sentiment has been brewing among liberals for some time. But it was less intense when Booker was less close to becoming one of 100 senators, instead of a Twitter celebrity and mayor of a city of 277,000,” writes The Atlantic Wire. (Separately but worth noting, Booker would only be the second African American in the Senate should he win in October. And the other Senator, Tim Scott from South Carolina, was appointed to his seat when Jim DeMint stepped down.)
Booker has faced critics for some time. They’ve accused him of being too interested in getting media attention, either through his 1.4 million Twitter followers (he would have the most in the Senate just behind John McCain from Arizona), or through his heroics, or his appearances. “Yet Booker is the front-runner not necessarily because of his political accomplishments, but rather his remarkable ability to promote his public persona as a champion of the people. That, some fear, is exactly the problem with sending him to Congress,” writes The Week.
So the backlash has been in full effect for a while but it seems to be getting louder as this special election continues on. I’ll personally admit to a (very) soft spot for the mayor. (Very… very.) But it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at a candidate before they’re elected into office. The question is whether Booker can stand up to that scrutiny and whether he can live up to the promise. Despite the naysayers, a lot of people think he can.
Remember when we told you a little earlier about celebs who’ve said no to meat? Well, it looks like the vegan lifestyle is more than just another alternative trend in Hollywood. Here are a few more celebrities who’ve given up eating anything with four legs. As summer settles in, we’re all tempted to break free from our habits during the cold hibernating months. But, that doesn’t mean we have to dismiss our health. Why not be inspired by these healthy celebs? Here’s a list of those who still practice veganism.
Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker has used social media as a major tool for reaching out to his constituents. With his run for New Jersey Senator, he’ll likely continue to rule the Twitterverse.
“Mayor Booker’s message was clear, focus the future of government about modernizing systems and making it look much more like the 2.0 world that we live in today,” Mike Street writes for Black Enterprise.
In addition to his political work, Mayor Booker is also the founder of Waywire, a social network focused on video.
For more about the Mayor’s social media activity, and why he does it, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is joining the ranks of the millions of people who use food stamps to pay for their groceries — at least for a week. This past Sunday, Booker challenged one of his Twitter followers, a 39-year-old mother from North Carolina, to join him on a seven-day food stamp experiment. The challenge came after a back-and-forth discussion following a tweet by Booker that said: ‘An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics’ Plutarch ancient Greek historian (c. 46 – 120 CE),” reports UPI. The follower, who is a self-described “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism,” took issue with the tweet.
The University of Bridgeport, which is holding the “UB SNAP Food Challenge” next month, offered to referee the Booker challenge, which will happen December 4 through 11. Booker plans to document his efforts on various social media platforms. According to the rules, reports BET, it has been stipulated that each person has a total budget of $35 to spend on food and beverages, which is $5 per day or $1.66 per meal. They also can’t accept food from outside sources, such as family, friends and work, and cannot use food that’s already in the home, excluding condiments and spices.
It has been estimated that there is a likelihood that half of all adult Americans between the ages of 20 and 65 will use food assistance at some point. Today a record number of people — nearly 50 million – will use food stamps to pay for their Thanksgiving dinners. According to United States Department of Agriculture data, 36 percent of participants in the food stamp program are white, 22 percent are African American, 10 percent are Hispanic, two percent are Asian, four percent are Native American, and 19 percent are of unknown race or ethnicity.
Typically, food stamp recipients get $133 a month per person. Besides holiday meals, many recipients are using their stamps typically to purchase foods with poor nutritional value. The federal food assistance program SNAP pays $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion for purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages every year, reports The Los Angeles Times. But the government doesn’t reveal details on what people spend their food stamps, notes the Washington Post. Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak, says the newspaper.
While we don’t know what Booker will buy with his stamps, we do know this seems to be another move by Booker to take a hands-on approach to governing. You may recall that during Hurricane Sandy the Mayor invited people without power over to his house. Mayor Booker’s hands-on approach was actually greeted with boos and a near pepper spraying last night when he stepped in to cast a vote to fill a city council spot with someone that other members and people in attendance didn’t agree with. You can watch the mayhem below (h/t Slate).
From Hello Beautiful
Cory Booker is the epitome of the type of man you’d be proud to bring home to momma. The Newark, NJ mayor is handsome, successful, gives back and has a sense of humor. These are the qualities I swoon over and I know I’m not alone beauties! While Jezebel thinks he’s make a horrible boyfriend, but amazing imaginary boo, I think Cory Booker is–dare I say it–all that and a bag of chips!
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com.
This morning, one of my co-workers said, “Does Cory Booker think he’s Batman?” Well, when you spend your evening saving someone’s life, there’s no think to it. You are a super hero.
Last night, the Newark, New Jersey mayor was returning home from an interview when he saw that his neighbor’s house was on fire.
According to the Star Ledger, the 42 year old Democratic mayor fought off his own security detail to get into the burning building. By the time he reached the second floor, Booker said he was engulfed in flames and smoke.
“I suddenly had the realization that I can’t find this woman.” Booker said. “I look behind me and see the flames and I think “I’m not going to get out of here. Suddenly I was at peace with the fact that I was going to jump out the window.”
Then he heard her cries in a back bedroom.
“I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed,” Booker said. The two made their way downstairs, where they both collapsed, Booker said.
The mayor, the woman he rescued and three other people were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and burns.
As if his actions weren’t enough, the mayor is still very humble about his heroics. This morning he told reporters:
“I’m a neighbor and did what most neighbors would do, which is jump into action to help a friend.”
Hmmm. For the record Mr. Mayor, people would like to think they could and would do something like this if the situation ever arose; but in actuality, most people wouldn’t.
The mayor, who sustained second-degree burns, is back at home now, with a bandaged hand.
Much respect to the him.
Considering Cory Booker is a bit of a cutie, I have just three words: We.go.together.
Do you think you could have done what Mayor Cory Booker did?
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(nj.com) — On the day Mayor Cory Booker made his first state of the city address, he had vowed to end political contributions given in exchange for city contracts. “No one with a city contract can give money to politicians in the city of Newark going forward,” Booker told reporters February 7, 2007. But that same afternoon his deputy mayor, Ronald Salahuddin, was doing just that, according to FBI surveillance tapes. “Your contract’s the only one that’s been executed,” Salahuddin told Nicholas Mazzocchi, then the state’s largest contractor in building demolition. Only two months prior, according to the tapes, Salahuddin solicited a $5,000 contribution from Mazzocchi to Booker’s nonprofit, Newark Now, telling him, “This makes you strong.”
(The Grio) — When Cory Booker was elected mayor of Newark in 2006 the overwhelming reaction was this is a perfect match. Here is a proud city, battered but never beaten, now being led by a brilliant, motivated and highly educated public servant. Their ambitions and aspirations appeared to be in sync. Newark has renamed itself the “Renaissance City”, and Cory Booker, the 36-year-old Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School graduate, calls cities: “the last frontier to make real the promise of America.” His often-repeated mantra could be taken as his mission and his vision. Newark’s problems were upfront and obvious and Mayor Booker offered solutions. What to do about rising crime? “Increase the number of police on the streets and take a harder line on crime.”
(The Star Ledger) — A battle over transparency surrounding Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark schools will now be decided in court. In a motion filed just after noon today in Superior Court of Newark, the ACLU of New Jersey announced it is suing Newark, accusing the city of violating numerous OPRA regulations and demanding the release of all correspondence between Zuckerberg, Booker, Gov. Chris Christie, and Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf surrounding the September 2010 donation. The Secondary Parent Council, a 30-year old parent and grandparent advocacy group in Newark, filed an Open Public Records request on April 5, requesting all letters, emails and memos between Booker, Zuckerberg and Christie regarding the donation and its potential uses. The two-page request also lists almost every government official who could have weighed in on the donation including Cerf, former education commissioner Bret Schundler, deputy commissioner Rochelle Hendricks, the Newark City Council and members of the state legislature.