Did Cory Booker Fake a Friendship with a Drug Dealer Named T-Bone?

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Flickr/Veni Markovski
There aren't many scandals that have the horsepower to derail Cory Booker's ascendant political career. But the Mayor of Newark is, after all, a man, and men are prone to ... pretend to be friends with drug dealers. Will the news that Booker might have faked being friends with a drug dealer named T-Bone for the majority of his political career make a difference in his bid for U.S. Senator? Probably not, though right-wing media will try to get in a few licks.

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It Was Only A Matter Of Time Before The Cory Booker Criticism Began

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One who tweets much can only expect this to happen.

In an article for PolitickerNJ, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver expressed an interest in running against Cory Booker for the Democratic nominee spot in the upcoming 2014 New Jersey Senate race. And, right off the bat, she brought some fighting words with her.

"I want to know what his platform is. What is your position on gun control, what is your position on public education? I don't care that you're in Vogue magazine or Esquire. That's not important to me as a citizen of this state. What's important to me is what will your positions be on Capitol Hill?"

When Cory Booker filed his papers for a senatorial race next year, the main question he faced was whether or not veteran Senator Frank Lautenberg would seek re-election for an office he has occupied for a few decades or so. But, now, it seems as if he has another obstacle to face from potential opponents: himself.

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Mayor Corey Booker's Senate Run Basically Falls on Lautenberg's Retirement

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All eyes are on Corey Booker. Three weeks ago, we reported on the mayor's announcement that he would consider running for the New Jersey Senate in 2014. And, following suit, BuzzFeed's Ben Smith argued that the mayor and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick were destined to battle it out for Barack Obama's presidential throne in 2016. Speculation has already planned out the next three years of this guy's political career. Ugh.

However, Booker might be stepping into charted territory. Frank Lautenberg, the current senator, has held down the office since 2003 after leaving it for a few years. Beforehand, he was first elected senator in 1982. He's good friends with Senator Chuck Schumer and, because of his large chunk of time in office, a well-known face in the Democratic Party. Next year, if he decides to run for re-election, he'll be 90 years old. 

That decision might make or break Mayor Corey Booker's fate.
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Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker to Run for Senate in 2014

Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker released a YouTube video this morning outlining his own political aspirations for the future. Booker, a nationally-known, high-profile figure, is seen as one of the rising stars of the Democrat party, and many expected him to challenge Republican incumbent Chris Christie for governor in 2013. Following the governor's response to Hurricane Sandy, his approval ratings have hit record highs.

"I will complete my full second term as mayor of Newark New Jersey," he said in the video. "And as for my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate."

Sources tell NBC New York that the mayor will definitely run for a US Senate seat in 2014, which is currently held by Democrat Frank Lautenberg. The incumbent will be 90 years old in 2014, and running for a six-year term.

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How's Living On $4.32 A Day? Mayor Cory Booker Finds Out

A few weeks back, we reported on a quick back-and-forth between the Newark chief and a follower on Twitter over governmental responsibility. It resulted in a challenge: for a week or more straight, the two would live on a SNAP budget - SNAP being the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or better known to us as food stamps. This amounts to $4.32 a day, $30 for the whole week.

As a result, the Mayor hopes to raise awareness of food justice. In the face of possible fiscal cliff auto-setbacks, states' SNAP programs have been left on the chopping board

He started the challenge this past Monday and, sticking to his social media tendencies, has kept us in the loop of everything he's eating (or, for that matter, not eating).

"For the first time, in a very long time, I am considering every meal and the cost of food I am eating... I cannot remember the last time I started the day without a cup of coffee." he writes.

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Gov. Chris Christie to Run for Re-Election in New Jersey

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If Saturday Night Live is any validation, the most revered public figure to come out of this Hurricane Sandy catastrophe is none other than New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The man was calling out incompatible mayors, lambasting accusations of political treason, surveying his state with daily press conference updates, and, throughout all, rocking the hell out of his governor sweater. 

Since this storm, his popularity in the state has skyrocketed, with many of those on the opposite side of the aisle praising the governor for putting politics aside to lend a helping hand with President Obama. So it makes complete sense why, yesterday, it was reported that the governor has filed his papers for re-election in the statewide polls next year. With those in hand, the governor will be able to fundraise, set up shop for campaigning, and hire a team of electioneers. 

But the real question now is: Who the hell is he going to run against?


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Mayor Booker's Under-handed Scheme to Fill Vacant Newark City Council Seat Incites Chaos

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I want the Mayor that rescues people from burning buildings back.
It went down at Newark City Hall last night after Mayor Corey Booker executed an under-handed move to get his preferred choice for a city council vacancy voted into office.

Booker lobbied to get Shanique Speight voted onto the council to fill the vacancy left by current U.S. Rep Donald Payne Jr. In a rare and seemingly underhanded, but technically legal move, the mayor became the deciding vote that awarded Speight the vacant seat.

"In the absence of a quorum, I have an obligation to sit in," Booker told the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

That scenario didn't sit well with residents and the supporters of other candidates vying for the vacancy -- spurring some of them to rush the dais to prevent Speight from being voted in. The commotion was so intense that Speight had to be sworn into office later that night by the city clerk.

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Mayor Cory Booker Accepts Twitter Challenge, To Live On Food Stamps For A Week

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By this point, we're desensitized towards larger-than-life headlines of Newark Mayor Cory Booker. This guy is saving people from fires, handing out toilet paper to the distressed during blizzards, mediating on bulletproof vests for bodega owners and, who knows, maybe even preparing a Presidential run. So is there anything he can't do? Well, we're about to find out.

Called out by a Twitter follower (one out of his 1.2 million) named TwitWit on the role of government in citizenry nutrition and food stamps, Booker got into a verbal back-and-forth that led to him asking a simple question: "Let's you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?"

The tweeter agreed and, since then, attention has been building towards the challenge as Mayor Cory Booker affirms to followers that he's ready to do this to prove a point. TwitWit identified herself as a 39-year-old woman from North Carolina to the Associated Press but has chosen to remain anonymous due to threats from users over her views on food stamps. For this reason, the tweets between the Mayor and the user have been deleted.

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Newark Bodega Owners Demand Cheap Bulletproof Vests

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Although Mayor Corey Booker is on a mission to re-invent Newark, the crime rate in the New Jersey city is still a statistic he cannot rub: The violent-crime rate is way above the national median for urban centers, and, according to neighborhoodscout.com, one in 94 Newark residents is the victim of some sort of assault. There are 534 crimes per square mile, creating a widespread battleground for the city and its denizens. 

For this reason, some of them are taking action to protect themselves from the ongoing spree.

Today, the Bodega Association of the United States met with Booker to discuss protection plans for its workers. One of the demands that stands out is a proposal for cheap, subsidized bulletproof vests to be offered to bodega owners. Strapped up and ready to go.

Somehow, this idea speaks volumes more than mere crime statistics.

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker Vs. NJ Governor Chris Christie in 2013? It Could Happen

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The Star-Ledger.
Next week, the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Charlotte, North Carolina. As most of these things go, the three-day extravaganza will be a rallying call to the party's base. Along with business leaders and Democratic figures, one of the keynote speakers will be Corey Booker, the Mayor of Newark - the man who delivered toilet paper in a blizzard and saved some people from a burning fire during his free time. Yeah, that guy. Cue the parallels with young Barack Obama's convention speech in 2004.

But those connections have some sort of foundation: Booker is young; he is African-American; he speaks with eloquence as a Stanford graduate and Rhodes Scholar; and he overruns one of the most crime-stricken cities on the East Coast. On the left, he is the Superman liberals have been waiting for since George McGovern - sound like somebody that you used to know, Gotye?

Well, if he is the Ryan Gosling of the blue states, he knows he has to start acting like it. And, with that idea in mind, the Mayor might have a few plans up his sleeves: according to PolitickerNJ, Booker has informed state chairs that he is considering a run against current Governor Chris Christie for the New Jersey gubernatorial seat in 2013.

We hate being those predicting pundits who stir public opinion with forecasts lacking any concrete evidence... but can anyone say 'Booker for President in 2016?'

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