ONTD Political

Anti-Cory Booker Mayhem Turns City Council Meeting into Near-Riot

6:26 pm - 11/21/2012

Police had to resort to pepper-spray to end an unruly city council meeting in Newark last night, after a procedural move by Mayor Cory Booker caused angry citizens to storm the stage in protest—an evening of mayhem that should lead to tremors in a possible fight against Chris Christie.

To give you the background on the scene, courtesy of the Newark Star-Ledger: the council was meeting to nominate a replacement for Donald Payne Jr., who gave up his seat two weeks ago after being elected to Congress. Booker was looking to nominate an ally, Shanique Davis Speight, to the empty slot. His opponents were pushing for John James, the son of former Newark mayor Sharpe James, who Booker beat in 2006 to claim his current job. When a councilman supporting James attempted to speak, he was not recognized by the acting chair, so he and three other council-members walked out in protest, leaving the council without a quorum.

That's when Booker stepped in. In the absence of a quorum, council rules allow the mayor to sit in and cast votes. Anticipating just such a moment, Booker's chief of staff had planned ahead, making sure the mayor was at the council meeting—for the first time ever—to take action. Speight was nominated to the empty seat and Booker cast the deciding vote in her favor.

That's when the mayhem started. Residents grew furious over what looked like back-room cronyism orchestrated by Booker and his allies, and began chanting "Cory's gotta go." When Speight entered the chamber to be sworn in, dozens of citizens stormed the dais and had to be pushed back by police. One man was even arrested. Speight had to leave the room to be sworn in elsewhere.

No matter which way you look at his maneuvering—and his staff insists he followed all the rules—this incident won't look good for Booker the next time he runs for office. Booker is widely expected to challenge Chris Christie for the New Jersey Governor's chair next year, and the Republicans already have their first ready-made campaign ad. Booker's own constituents turning against him and losing their minds over a shady deal to pack the city council with his friends? That's not the image that America has come to expect from its superhero Twitter mayor. (@CoryBooker has been unusually silent since the meeting last night.)

With Christie riding high for his "state before party" approach to hurricane relief (a new poll this morning finds his approval rate at 67 percent), and Booker's food stamp challenge suddenly overshadowed, the episode gives Christie the opportunity to label the mayor as partisan hack.

source: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/11/anti-cory-booker-mayhem-turns-city-council-meeting-near-riot/59223/#
farchivist 22nd-Nov-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
No matter which way you look at his maneuvering—and his staff insists he followed all the rules—this incident won't look good for Booker the next time he runs for office.

I would disagree with that. What it does is make him look decisive. This has been brewing for a while; the dissenting council members had vowed gridlock until they got their way. Acting in accordance to the rules to get shit done when you know gridlock WILL occur is not a bad thing. As Booker said:

"The actions taken last night by the Administration and half of the membership of the Municipal Council were in the interest of good government and designed to ensure the continuity of the legislative process," Booker said. "It was imperative that the Mayor and the Municipal Council immediately take the necessary steps to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. The likelihood of a deadlock among the eight remaining members has been apparent for quite some time."
- Source

I certainly wouldn't have done differently.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
ragnor144 22nd-Nov-2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Looks at Wikipedia...

Sharpe James (born February 20, 1936) is a Democratic politician and convicted felon from New Jersey


This article makes it sound like something was done completely against the rules without a quorum, not like there was another allowed way to do this. It look like Mayor Booker tried it the "right" way, but that wasn't going to work.

I admit I'm biased - I like Booker and don't want someone else I admire to turn out to be a another schmuck.
wldrose 22nd-Nov-2012 03:57 am (UTC)
And the exmayor is a bare knuckle political of the old school machine politics and is as crooked as a dogs back leg, he is pissed he ended up in jail. Some of his old power base is still on the counsel and they were going to put the kid in and cause even more obstruction. Really Really not cool.

Daddy started spouting on about how Booker fixed it so he would be in jail, and that Booker didnt do things like save his neighbor from burning to death, etc.
farchivist 22nd-Nov-2012 05:03 am (UTC)
*reads up on Sharpe James*
Oh. I see.
So this was just a bullshit attempt by Sharpe to rule through his son by proxy. Nice. Good for Booker, then, to smack down this asshole.
d00ditsemily 22nd-Nov-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
Oh Newark, hasn't Booker done a ton for you guys? He seems very reasonable and accessible no need for this.
bettalaylow 22nd-Nov-2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
Do you know anything about Newark other than what you've read on Corey Booker's twitter account?
roseofjuly 23rd-Nov-2012 06:57 am (UTC)
Oh, come on, it's not like Cory Booker HASN'T done a lot for Newark. That goes beyond his Twitter.
ladypolitik 23rd-Nov-2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
chaya 22nd-Nov-2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
So some people left in a tantrum so nobody could get anything done, and Booker had planned for said tantrum and made sure he was present?

How does this look bad for both sides again?
bettalaylow I know Booker is Hero in this community22nd-Nov-2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
But people familiar with Essex County politics knows Booker is controlled by the Godfather Steve Adubato and he was the one that led to Shamique Davis' appointment. To give you background Adubato is mobster who went legit he's a power broker who doesn't give a shit about the residents but has turned Newark into a cash cow for him and his business associates while the vast majority of the residents remain unemployed and in poverty.
bethan_b_bad 22nd-Nov-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh goody. Did someone say your name three times in the mirror or something? You're like bloody clockwork, I swear.
farchivist Re: I know Booker is Hero in this community23rd-Nov-2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
But people familiar with Essex County politics knows Booker is controlled by the Godfather Steve Adubato

[citation needed]
sophiaserpentia 22nd-Nov-2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
So, wait, his participation was entirely by the rules, precipitated by his opponents walking out in the middle of it? And then his opponents' supporters tried to rout the council's vote through violence?

Edited at 2012-11-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
bestdaywelived 24th-Nov-2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Sharpe James is a piece of shit.
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