Cory's Booker of Lies
See also: Hollywood Trying to Buy it for Booker
A few chapters back in the Cory Booker story, the dashing young mayor of Newark, New Jersey was actually dashing into a burning building to save a helpless woman.
Now here we are, a few plot twists later, and Cory Booker's halo is looking kind of mucky. Take those flirty tweets he sent to an impressively tattooed stripper, the one and only Ms. Lynsie Lee. Did the public react to this naughty news with prudish gasps of disgust?
Nope. Instead, cynics, who were getting used to Booker's antics, pointed out he may have deployed those tweets to scotch rumors of certain other.... proclivities.
Now, really, tell me. How well is your campaign going when your best-case scenario is you really did mean to tweet that stripper?
It's getting hard not to notice that Cory Booker likes to lie. A lot. Which is why New Jersey's special Senate election on October 16 is tightening fast. Booker's lead over businessman Steve Lonegan has collapsed from a princely 30-point advantage to a mere 3. People are starting to whisper Booker may lose.
Let's start with the Great T-Bone Fantasia, unearthed by crack reporter Eliana Johnson of NRO. T-Bone was baaaaad. T-Bone sold drugs and threatened to shoot Booker dead. But, wouldn't you know, T-Bone had a vulnerable side, too, sobbing out his heartrending story in Booker's car.
What drama! What inner-city realism! What a crock. T-Bone never existed, no matter how many times Booker told his made-up tales to enthralled audiences at Yale and other upscale venues.
And that teen gunshot victim who died operatically in Booker's arms? He died in the hospital. And witnesses say Booker grandstanded at the crime scene, moving the victim around in "a big act," endangering what was left of his ebbing life. As for Booker's mentor, who supposedly died in "a truly poetic way"..."at school in front of a roomful of kids," her grandson debunks that death scene as a complete fabrication.
But all this dying and shooting and sobbing and drug dealing has made the Ivy League-educated Booker into a big star on the speaking circuit, raking in piles of dough, which, by the way, he lied about, too.
No, he didn't keep "very little of it, if any," as he told the New York Times, claiming he'd "given away hundreds and hundreds of thousands" to charity. He kept most of his speaking fees for himself, thank you very much. 88.7% of it, to be exact, adding up to more than a million dollars.
And as long as we're talking about money, which comes up a lot when you're talking about Cory Booker, let's talk about the lies he so effusively flung around, regarding his financial connection to his old law firm.
Apparently, the Newark mayor is convinced he should enjoy "confidential" agreements with his former law firm, which he's above having to disclose on Senate candidacy filings. Now he's been forced to admit that since he's been mayor, he's banked over $668,000 in payouts from Trenk diPasquale, the law firm he quit in 2006.
And by the absolutely craziest, wildest coincidence, Trenk diPasquale got $2 million worth of legal contracts from Newark, during Booker's mayoralty. No wonder Booker refused to disclose his tax returns, finally relenting to give reporters a grudging 3-hour peek.
Turn the pages and you'll get a new Booker scandal, but it's tough to top my favorite, the Waywire brouhaha. What a juicy little distillation of the way we live now. Booker came up with an idea, you see, a very big, important idea: Let's give Newark kids who make videos a way to break into "the national conversation." Faster than you can say "pay off a politician," Booker's Silicon Valley pals had invented a shiny new company in which Booker owned the biggest share, which, according to the New York Times, is worth between $1 million to $5 million.
Some critics worried Waywire would interfere with his mayoral responsibilities, but the company assured us Booker had no actual work. His only job was to serve as "inspiration architect." Wow, don't you wish you could get a gig like that? Of course, in typical Booker style, he fully disclosed his Waywire holdings on his financial filings -- in invisible ink.
Waywire flopped, and that brings us to Booker's biggest lie of all: that he's been a successful mayor. This summer, as Booker was palling around with Hollywood honchos, Newark residents suffered a horrific crime wave that left nine people dead in nine days.
"We are hurting here, this crime is killing us, blood runs on our streets," a Newark woman told a TV reporter. "The sham that has been portrayed about this city, that we're getting better . . . that is a lie!"
So maybe, just maybe, the Cory Booker saga will take a surprising twist, as Republican candidate Steve Lonegan closes the gap. Lonegan, a local business owner who cut spending as mayor of Bogota, has aggressively challenged Booker. When Lonegan held a press conference in front of a crack house Booker owned, a Booker-associated thug squad tried to shut him up. But word about Booker's unsavory crack house shenanigans got out, anyway.
Don't feel too sorry for Cory Booker, if his next chapter finds him seeking work in the private sector. No doubt, he'll be handsomely paid, and that's the truth.
Stella Paul's new ebook is What I Miss About America: Reflections from the Golden Age of Hope and Change, available at Amazon for just $1.99. Write Stella at Stellapundit@aol.com.