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  1. #1
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    Cory Booker, good at theatrics, not so good at governance

    So i already complained previously at how people seem to gush over Cory Booker when all he does give nice speeches. Apparently, i'm not the only one who feels that way.

    When snow blanketed this city two Christmases ago, Mayor Cory A. Booker was celebrated around the nation for personally shoveling out residents who had appealed for help on Twitter. But here, his administration was scorned as streets remained impassable for days because the city had no contract for snow removal.

    Last spring, Ellen DeGeneres presented Mr. Booker with a superhero costume after he rushed into a burning building to save a neighbor. But Newark had eliminated three fire companies after the mayor’s plan to plug a budget hole failed.

    In recent days, Mr. Booker has made the rounds of the national media with his pledge to live on food stamps for a week. But his constituents do not need to be reminded that six years after the mayor came into office vowing to make Newark a “model of urban transformation,” their city remains an emblem of poverty.

    They say Mr. Booker’s frequent Twitter posts to his 1.3 million followers, his appearances on television and at gatherings of moguls and celebrities — he was out of town nearly a quarter of the time between January 2011 and June 2012, according to The Star-Ledger — have distracted him from the local trench work needed to push his agenda. Business leaders say he dazzles at news conferences, but flags on the follow-through. Residents have wearied of the outside fascination for the mayor whom Oprah Winfrey called “a rock star” and Jon Stewart on Wednesday referred to as “the superhero mayor of Newark.”

    Taxes have risen more than 20 percent over the past three years, even after the city laid off about 1,100 workers, including more than 160 police officers. Crime has risen, and unemployment is up. Schools remain under state control, and the city’s finances remain so troubled that it cannot borrow to fix its antiquated water system. While new restaurants have risen near the Prudential Center downtown, those in the outer wards were placed under a curfew this year because of shootings and drug dealing.

    “There’s a lot of frustration and disappointment,” said Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, a Democrat representing Newark. “People feel that the mayor basically is out of the city too much and doesn’t focus much on the day-to-day.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/ny...ewanted=all&#h[]

  2. #2
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    Other quotes from the same article i posted:

    But a growing number of Newarkers complain that he has proved to be a better marketer than mayor, who shines in the spotlight but shows little interest in the less-glamorous work of what it takes to run a city.
    They were attracted by the public persona of Booker, the clean-government attitude that he projects throughout the country,” said Frank Giantomasi, a development lawyer whose firm moved here from the suburbs in the hope of helping the city’s rebirth. “I think he’s done a fabulous job of telling people what Newark can be and what Newark is right now.”

    But even some fellow New Jersey Democrats who believe that Mr. Booker is their best chance to oust Mr. Christie, a Republican, say he should run for Frank R. Lautenberg’s Senate seat in 2014, arguing that Mr. Booker is better suited to speechmaking in Washington than to governing a state.
    Lately, though, criticism has come even from those he won over: people working on the education projects he supports, council members who ran on his reform slate, business leaders and families who believed in his promise to bring “a renaissance for the rest of us” to a city plagued by self-dealing and mismanagement.
    “While he genuinely does care for the citizens of Newark,” Mr. Coutinho added, “a lot of people here feel that he’s been looking beyond Newark for a long time.
    ITT: what happens when you let pretty speeches get the better of you

  3. #3
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    It's ironic that the people who gushed over Cory Booker would condemn Republicans for doing the same thing with a candidate.

  4. #4

    I was not-gushing over Cory Booker before it was cool.

  5. #5
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    Um, you realize that Newark is a poor, crime-ridden shithole right? It's literally impossible to be a mayor who fixes everything when that's the hand you're dealing with.

  6. #6

    The fact that Newark isn't ashes or nuclear wasteland is boding pretty well for Booker.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by archibaldcrane View Post
    Um, you realize that Newark is a poor, crime-ridden shithole right? It's literally impossible to be a mayor who fixes everything when that's the hand you're dealing with.
    That's cool. We could give him a nobel peace prize for trying really hard. Or for not being somewhere worse.

  8. #8
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    You really seem hell bent on shitting on this guy Kuya.

  9. #9
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    Schools remain under state control
    This confuses me. So like, a public school?

  10. #10
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    after the mayor’s plan to plug a budget hole failed.
    Why do we fail, Mr. Booker?

    He's the mayor Newark deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

  11. #11

    I hate that I have to do this, as I'm not too crazy about Cory Booker nor was ever caught up in the hysteria surrounding him, but there's just too much wrong in that article. It's bugging me now. (sorry, Kuya)

    Not sure of this was unintentional, but you linked a single article written by one of the biggest journalistic proponents of the Tea Party movement. The article doesn't even reference any sources in the majority of its claims, and really is more of an opinion article than something meant to be factual (from what I've dissected in ~5 minutes).

    As expected, many of the claims appear bogus and/or not telling the full story. I'm not going to bother going through all of it, but here's a couple to get started:
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...0983-2,00.html
    http://content.usatoday.com/communit...-in-44-years/1
    http://www.cityrating.com/crime-stat...ey/newark.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Times Article
    Murders dropped 36% in Newark — from 105 to 67 — from 2006 to 2008. Shooting incidents dropped 41%. Rapes fell 30%, and auto thefts 26%. Newark went 43 days without a homicide in early 2008, the city's longest such stretch in 48 years. In the first quarter of this year, Newark had its lowest number of homicides since 1959.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...#ixzz2F49JtWg3
    BLS data also shows that the average unemployment rate in Newark as it compares to the national unemployment rate is averaging 3% closer than it was in the years previous to him taking office.
    http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet
    (can't link directly to output)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuya View Post
    ITT: what happens when you let pretty speeches get the better of you
    Pretty speeches are essentially a big part of what his job is, believe it or not.
    http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/government/

    Different towns/municipalities/cities/etc delegate different levels of power to their Mayors. Newark is one of those cities that gives very little direct power to the mayor at all.

    Mayors in Newark essentially have little to no legislative power, outside of campaigning. They do not propose, vote on, or write-up bills or anything involving the budget; though they do still have the power to veto. This is the exclusive job of the city council, which is elected separately from the mayor. They do not report to or take any orders from him. The best he can do is formally "suggest", apart from campaigning. Of course though, I have no idea how good/bad that city council is and how he may or may not have influenced them. That's certainly up for debate, at least.

    None of that is to give him a free pass at all though, and I'm not one of the 'Cory Booker fanboys', and frankly I could care less about him... but the issue is just a tad more complex than "This guy sucks as mayor, because the city has all these budgetary "issues", and he is the man solely responsible for all of it." Just to be fair here.

    Regardless, main point is that you might need to check out some of the actual numbers/fact further here, and not take anything a single random news article written by an opposing party supporter says as completely true and unbiased (applies both ways, of course).

  12. #12
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKenshin View Post
    Not sure of this was unintentional, but you linked a single article written by one of the biggest journalistic proponents of the Tea Party movement.
    The New York Times?

    I'm confused.

  13. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by archibaldcrane View Post
    The New York Times?

    I'm confused.
    Eh? lol

    The article is written by Kate Zernike, that's obviously what I'm referring to? Not who it was published by.
    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/refere...ike/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Zernike

    Looking further, I actually might be mixing her up with another conservative writer that occasionally pops up on NYT. In which case, I'm unsure of her political leanings (don't have time to confirm at the moment). I'll look into it later.

    But Kate is the author of Boiling Mad, which is actually decently bipartisan analysis of the Tea Party Movement.

  14. #14
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    Cory Booker, good at theatrics, not so good at governance

    Only hipsters gush over Cory Booker.

  15. #15
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    I gushed over Cory Booker before it was cool.

  16. #16
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    Yeah Kate Zernike is pretty right wing, she covers Republican campaigns for the NYT.

  17. #17
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    Shitty sensationalist journalism attacking a high profile up and coming politician.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2317458.html

    NEW YORK -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker pushed back Monday against a front page New York Times story suggesting that his mayorship hasn't lived up to its promise and that he appears more concerned, at times, with his public persona than with running the city.

    "In my entire career, I have never seen an article so factually wrong and so willfully willing to exclude facts to attack my work and the progress of our city," Booker said in an email to The Huffington Post. "And the article's appearance on the front page made it all the more difficult to swallow."

    Booker's office, in conversations with The Huffington Post, raised several issues regarding Friday's article. Booker said the article's harsh conclusion left out details that would have provided important context.

    The Times story, coming as Booker weighs possible gubernatorial or Senate runs in the coming years, painted an unflattering portrait of his tenure as mayor -- a notable departure from the typically favorable press he's received from national media outlets. In particular, the ending of the Times story left the impression that Booker may be too preoccupied with glitzy, Manhattan events to deal with the nitty gritty details of overseeing Newark's city departments.

    Times reporter Kate Zernike wrote:

    Asked about complaints from residents and business owners that garbage is not picked up, abandoned buildings are not boarded up and public spaces are in disrepair, the mayor talked about a new system that allows him to track which streets need snowplows and which departments are paying for too much overtime -- even when he is out of town.
    He invited a reporter to see the system in action. He then called to apologize that he could not be there: “I’m in and out of New York all day.”

    Instead, his staff demonstrated the system. Mr. Booker was on his way to host a reading at a bookstore on the Upper West Side, filmed by CNN. He then spoke at a benefit at Cipriani and attended a movie premiere at Google’s New York headquarters. Afterward, he announced on Twitter, “I sat on a panel with Richard Branson.”

    Booker, unsurprisingly, doesn't think that's a fair assessment and pointed out that the Times story neglected to mention the context of the events that took him out of Newark that night.

    The Upper West Side reading -- covered by C-SPAN, not CNN -- was for a book on teen homelessness that he wrote the forward to and which features a Newark youth. Booker said he and Kevin Ryan, the book's author, have raised more than $200,000 for non-profit charity Covenant House "and have leveraged the book to raise awareness and action on a too often overlooked issue."

    The Cipriani benefit was for children's charity K.I.D.S. (Kids In Distressed Situations). "They were giving an award to Newark Now, a nonprofit I founded, and have raised over $150,000 worth of clothes and toys for deserving Newark kids and families during the winter and holiday season," Booker said, noting that such aid is especially needed following Hurricane Sandy.

    The "movie premiere" at Google's New York headquarters was for "Breaking the Taboo," a film about the failed drug war. Zernike quoted only the first part of Booker's tweet, which read: “Sat on a panel with @RichardBranson last night for the premiere of this film about the failure of the war on drugs.“

    In an email, Zernike said the article explained why Booker was in New York City and is "not sure why including the name of the book (for the reading) or the group (for the benefit) or the film and panel (for the premiere) would have added much context."

    But officials in the mayor's office said they aren't only concerned with article's conclusion. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Newark business administrator Julien Neals said the mayor's office had problems with other areas of Zernike's reporting on Booker's leadership, including the city's preparedness to fight fires.

    For instance, Zernike wrote that Booker saved a neighbor in a burning building -- an event that earned him superhero status in the national media -- before noting that Newark had "eliminated three fire companies after the mayor’s plan to plug a budget hole failed." Neals argued that Newark isn't any less prepared to fight fires. While Newark did close three stations, he said, two are being renovated and will reopen and no firefighters have been laid off in the process. (However, it was reported in 2010 that retirements had been taken to avoid layoffs).

    "The fire personnel were redeployed to areas where the response time didn't suffer," Neals said. "We are under the national average of three minutes or less."

    Neal said the mayor's office also takes issue with Zernike's description of how the mayor has handled snow removal, taxes, Newark's population change and restaurant curfews.

    Times Metro editor Carolyn Ryan told The Huffington Post that she plans to speak with the mayor's office on Tuesday.

    In addition to specific local issues, Neals said he was surprised by the final paragraphs in Zernike's article. Neals said he didn't know why Zernike expected Booker to be on hand when staff members walked her through the CitiStat tracking system for city departments.

    During a 90-minute phone call, Zernike and Booker spoke about several issues, including CitiStat. On a later call, Zernike said Booker urged her to come to city hall for a demonstration.

    Zernike said she emailed Booker's press secretary, chief of staff and business manager to relay the mayor's offer and confirm that she would attend. "His press secretary and I then arranged a time," she said. "The mayor called me back that night and, as the story said, apologized that he could not be there [and that] he had to be in and out of New York all day. His staff demonstrated the system for me."

    Zernike couldn't recall the mayor's exact language in inviting her to the demonstration, but asked, "If I was not to expect him to be there, why did he call to apologize that he could not be there?"

    UPDATE: This article has been edited to reflect a more complete chronology of events leading up the CitiStat demonstration.

  18. #18
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    So the dude is just as amazing as we all thought? Cool.

  19. #19
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    Not just that, but the author is butthurt that she didn't get a personal reception by Booker and retaliated by writing a hit-piece in the NYT?

    lol

  20. #20
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    Damn, that's what i get for counting on a conservative to do a good hit piece.