One Thumb Up: My 2020 Presidential Democratic Candidate Review of Senator Cory Booker

I have always been a fan of Senator Cory Booker since coming onto the political scene as the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. His political…

One Thumb Up: My 2020 Presidential Democratic Candidate Review of Senator Cory Booker

I have always been a fan of Senator Cory Booker since coming onto the political scene as the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. His political fight got so intense and so Southern Strategy low-down, a movie was made about his campaign for Mayor. Booker has always been a fighter, so running for President should be a cakewalk for him.

Senator Booker has done some mighty good things. But as it is with nearly every candidate I’ve written about, he has issues too. I’m a little butt hurt about it, but I gave him the same piercing eyes that I have given all candidates who have officially announced they are running for President.

Senator Booker is a strong candidate, but he may have to give an account for his financial ties, losing money, and issues during his time as Mayor of Newark. Time will tell. Since voters are so lazy these days and don’t research candidates on their own, he may just breeze through the primaries. He has the support of the establishment and he meets all the criteria for White acceptance (light-skinned, speaks well/articulate, has Ivy League degrees — they love those, he’s friends with all the establishment old guard, and Silicon Valley loves him), and with that, comes robust financial supports which would allow him to stay in the race until the primaries are over.

Booker isn’t perfect, but he’s also not as terrible as some of the other candidates who are in the race. Let’s get to know our latest evil.

My General Assessment

Senator Booker has an extensive background in politics which began when he was in his 20s. Booker started out as a young community activist.

Booker went to Stanford University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1991 and a Master of Arts in sociology. After Stanford, Booker was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in United States history in 1994. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1997 from Yale Law School, where he operated free legal clinics for low-income residents of New Haven.

Local/New Jersey Politics

After college and finding his calling in community advocacy/social justice, he decided he wanted to be in politics. He moved back to his hometown of Newark to position himself for a run for city council in Newark after graduation from law school. In 1998, Booker won an upset victory for a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark, defeating a four-term incumbent. During his tenure on the council, he went on a hunger strike and lived in a tent and a mobile home in a section of his district that was drug-infested to bring attention to the problem (and to make the city clean up an overlooked area).

It seems in high school and throughout college, Booker has been one to engage with communities via grassroots efforts in meaningful ways.

From 1998 to 2006, Booker lived in Brick Towers, one of the city’s worst public housing buildings, which some accused to be a tactic for acceptance by his constituents — because no politician really wants to live in the gutter right? You’re just supposed to talk about poverty, talk at poverty, and talk to poverty — you should never immerse yourself into it so that you could better understand the experiences and plights of poor people and people of color.

This is the primary reason I fell in love with Cory Booker. From the very beginning of his political career, it seems he did the things that mattered most to his constituents. While some folks say be was trying to be Superman, I believe he really was vested in his community before the money and power in politics tainted him. He chose to live the way his constituents lived in order to recognize their lack/issues and work tirelessly to make things better for them. That’s what politicians are supposed to do. If you wanna impress me…rough it!

No politician had ever done such an unconventional thing to demonstrate to the people he served he cared and he understood their situation. Booker was able to speak for poor, forgotten communities of color everywhere and demonstrate how these folks are often overlooked by the very politicians elected to represent them.

In 2002, Booker would begin his hard-fought run for Mayor of Newark where he would go on to beat a longtime incumbent (who had been only the 2nd African American Mayor of Newark) who had easily won election four consecutive times. The race got ugly between two African-American candidates. Booker lost the election on May 14, garnering 47% of the vote.

His incumbent (a Black man) called into question Booker’s ability to lead in Newark because of his living conditions, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, political affiliations, and position in Newark. Basically, Booker wasn’t Black enough. Booker did not allow this style of politics discourage him. He would run for Mayor again in 2006 and win handily after going back to the drawing board, getting his political support and financial backing together.

Booker was re-elected for his second term in 2010.

During his time as Mayor, Booker has done some crazy but human stuff like saving a dog, helping a guy propose to his girlfriend, rescuing someone from a burning fire, shoveling snow for an elderly man after a constituent’s daughter reached out to him on Twitter, and inviting people in his district without power to sleep and eat at his home after Hurricane Sandy. While in office, Booker also voluntarily reduced his own salary twice by 8% during his first term as mayor. The man in my opinion has demonstrated a love for people that I believe couldn’t possibly be an act.

I spent a lot of time in this section describing his past deeds because the bulk of his political career has been spent as a public servant in Newark, New Jersey. No other candidate running can claim as many good deeds while holding public office in such a short period of time.

National Political Endeavors

Senator Booker was sworn into the Senate in 2013. Like everyone else running for office, Booker has sponsored or co-sponsored lots of bills in the 2018 session to give the appearance he really was pushing legislation.

Cory A. Booker
Sponsored legislation by Cory A. Booker, the Senator from New Jersey - in Congress from 2019 through Present

Bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Booker includes a bill to limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry (2019), a bill to reauthorize the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and certain wildlife conservation funds (2019), the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019, the RISE Act (2018), the First Step Act (2018),the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017, the MERCY Act (2017), the Lead Testing in School and Child Care Drinking Water Act of 2016, the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 and the Healthy MOM Act.

Senator Booker has sponsored or co-sponsored 38 pieces of legislation that have become law since arriving in Congress including the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 requiring employees of the federal government or a District of Columbia public employer who are furloughed or required to work during a lapse in appropriations beginning on or after December 22, 2018, to be compensated for the period of the lapse. That’s quite impressive.

Booker also sponsored or co-sponsored a large number of resolutions and concurrent resolutions. For the most part, Senator Booker’s legislation track record is robust. Make sure you review the Library of Congress record for Senator Booker. He has nearly 1,500 pieces of legislation with his name on it.

Booker didn’t just go to Congress to walk the halls pretending to serve his constituents — the proof is in the track record. His time in Congress will go down and quite fruitful and productive, as he’s associated with legislation signed into law by a Republican and Democratic president. That’s pretty impressive I’d say.

I would say another impressive characteristic of Booker is that he will work with GOP Senators to craft (and pass) a variety of legislation such as the First Step Act. Crossing the isle is a must in 2020. Congress today is so polarized it’s no good because it doesn’t really work the way a democratic government should. Junior Senators coming in don’t have the need to flex and grab power (yet).

The longer Senator and Representatives stay in Congress, the more corrupt and partisan they become. That’s why we need term limits. And if we can’t have term limits for Congress, the next best thing would be to vote any and everyone out after 2 terms.

No one should own a seat.

My Concerns

Senator Booker has several issues that he will have to give an account for. For instance, there are unanswered allegations about Booker misspending a $100 million dollar grant from Mark Zuckerberg meant to go towards the Newark school system. The money was supposed to make schools and students in Newark better. While some of the money went to teachers for merit pay bonuses, the rest of the money was unaccounted for.

Booker changed his vote along with 12 other Democrats on a proposal aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, angering many progressives. It’s said that Booker is in bed with big pharma which is the reason for flip-flop on the issues.

Jezebel reported that Booker received $267,338 from pharmaceutical companies, which led some on the left to say that this money explained his vote. New Jersey hosts the headquarters of many major pharmaceutical companies and they have long had good relations with the New Jersey delegations. Senator Booker is also in bed with Wall Street. Be sure to check out is Open Secret profile to understand why he votes the way he votes.

To follow Senator Booker’s money trail (campaign finance, and contributors), visit Open Secrets:

Everything you need to know about where Cory Booker gets his money
On Friday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced he is running for president. In an announcement video lined up for the…
Sen. Cory Booker - Campaign Finance Summary
Total Raised vs. Average Raised {:chart=>{:showvalues=>0, :numberprefix=>"$", :formatnumberscale=>1, :showborder=>0…
Sen. Cory Booker - New Jersey
4,409,757 grand total of contributions Cory Booker has reported in the current election cycle.Number of Contributions…

Booker also changed his stance at the last minute on testifying against Jeff Sessions’ attorney general confirmation. It’s not clear why this happened, perhaps it had something to do with the financial support he receives from the legal community. In any event, this is just another instance of Booker saying one thing and doing another. He has changed quite a bit since becoming a Senator.

There are a lot of people who dislike Senator Booker because of his ties to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Basically, rich people look out of rich people, and it’s believed Booker has never really done anything long-term/substantial to bring about real changes in the lives of the people he serves. Booker also had shady connections in a start-up called Waywire.

With one week left in Mr. Booker’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate, a few Silicon Valley tech moguls and entrepreneurs (many of them also were his campaign donors) provided the brainpower and financing to help make Senator Booker very rich. Waywire has also provided jobs for associates of Mr. Booker: the son of a top campaign supporter and his social media consultant, who were at the time on his Senate campaign staff.

There were a few other things about Senator Booker that were unflattering but not relevant in my opinion to the meat and potatoes of politics so I omitted them. I figure you get the gist of where this is going. Booker makes money moves. He’s on a new level now that he’s a United States Senator. He’s been the poor politician for a decade or so, now he’s cashing in.

Going to Congress does stuff to good people. We all need to realize this. Cory Booker is not the same Cory Booker from back in the day. He’s tainted just like all the rest of them, except he is smart and has a law degree to help him navigate his shenanigans.

My Conclusion

Booker looks dirty and smells dirty. It seems since he’s gone to Congress he’s no longer the hero Mayor from Newark, New Jersey we have all come to know and love. He is now selling himself to the highest bidder, hoping most of us will never find out he’s not the man he used to be.

I give him one thumb up, and I feel like I should take it back. Senator Booker did some really impressive things as Mayor though I can’t take away from him. He earned his one thumb up. I don’t feel like Senator Booker will be a candidate for the American people. He’s owned by the millionaire and billionaire donors and corporations on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Booker is no different than any GOP candidate, and we don’t need anyone else smiling in our faces and stabbing us in the backs, especially Black folks.

Booker is sketch. You need to watch him folks. Listen to his words and watch his campaign finance reports. In the meantime, keep looking my friends. While there is no perfect candidate, some are worse than others. It’s getting pretty depressing.

Helping you get to know your evils. Do no more harm.

To learn more about Senator Cory Booker and his priorities, visit his website:

About Cory | Cory Booker | U.S. Senator for New Jersey
Cory Booker was raised in Harrington Park, living his life as a proud New Jerseyan. After graduating from Northern…

Marley, February 2019

Did you enjoy this 2020 Democratic candidate review? Check out the others I’ve done for candidates who have formally announced they are running. Did I miss something? Comment below. Help those of us seeking to make good decisions in 2020.

Thanks for reading!