An Open Letter To Cory Booker With Unsolicited Advice

Dear Mayor Booker:

I know you are considering making the run for Governor of New Jersey. It is an important decision for you, for our State and for the Democratic party. So here’s my take. We need you. The state needs you and our party needs you.

No doubt New Jersey is in for some rough times. Sandy of course, and the devastation she left in her wake. But Sandy, notwithstanding, we already had plenty of problems facing the next Governor.

The Transportation Trust Fund needs refunding; required and very expensive pension payments are coming due for the state; unemployment (before Sandy) is higher than the national average; property taxes under Governor Christie have soared because of municipal aid cutbacks; implementation of the Affordable Care Act; funding women’s health needs; expanding medicaid; and nurturing higher education reformation are just a few of those problems crying out for thoughtful solutions articulated by a thoughtful leader.      

So here are some of the reasons I think we need you as our candidate for Governor next November

Reason #1: You are a man of serious thought and vision. The next Governor of New Jersey will be in a unique and powerful position to carefully think about these problems and to propose and articulate solutions which will be needed in order to see us through very painful budget decisions.

Reason #2:The office of Governor of New Jersey is enormously powerful and the person who sits in that seat will actually be able to implement ways of solving these problems. How will we create jobs and raise the minimum wage in NJ? What will our tax policies be and how will needed sacrifices be made fairly? You can be the clear voice for those solutions.

Reason #3: With the right person, Governor Christie can be retired before a second term. You have the intellectual ability, the name recognition, and the fundraising ability to hasten that retirement.

Reason #4:You are the one potential Democratic candidate who can unify our party quickly. That is important so we can win the office of Governor and preserve Democratic majorities in both houses of our legislature. And that is important because it is how we will determine solutions and priorities.

Reason #5: Some folks are encouraging you to wait for the next U.S. Senate opening from New Jersey. How can you begin to compare what you can accomplish in the constitutionally very powerful office of Governor of New Jersey vs. being a freshman United States Senator? The position of Governor is beckoning in the upcoming election. The U.S. Senate nomination is two years away and another lifetime in politics.

I know that some followers of Blue Jersey will disagree with me. I know there are those who do not agree with your advocacy of charter schools or with some of your leadership decisions in Newark. But I believe you have “what it takes” to move us forward. I’m being both practical and idealistic in encouraging you to make the right decision for yourself, for New Jersey’s residents, and for our party.

Sincerely yours,

Loretta Weinberg

Senator District 37

Senate Majority Leader


Comments (40)

  1. deciminyan

    I would support any Democrat who is running for Governor just to get rid of the harm that Chris Christie is causing to the state, women, middle class, and equal rights. I’d support Booker, Buono, Sweeney, Greenwald, or Codey. While I have disagreements with some of them over certain issues, and I have my own favorite, any of the Democratic contenders would be an order of magnitude better than what we have.

    But if Booker wins, there will be immediate speculation on his candidacy for President in 2016. I would hope that if Booker decides to run, he pledges to serve out his full term.

  2. parnell44

    Currently, Cory Booker is the best-known Democrat in the state.  His skillful use of the social media is certainly a plus.

    To his credit, his “food stamp challenge” is one that has brought him more, well deserved attention.  He is a politician who knows how to get involved with his constituents without the bluster and bullying of Chris Christie.

    He has the experience of working with a depleted budget and using innovative ways to stretch it.

    Like deciminyan, I would like him to promise to fulfill his term as governor if elected.  

  3. DSWright
  4. 12mileseastofTrenton

    Like Christie, he’s more style than substance.  A creature of the media who knows how to exploit the media.  

    Yet his policies on non-social issues are not all that different from Christie’s.  He’s in favor of doing wall street’s bidding, of school vouchers, and corporatizing education.  Not clear where he stands on unions or the war against public workers conducted by Christie and Sweeney.  As evidence by the recent city council action, he’s playing footsie with the bosses.

    Not much for a progressive Democrat to like.  Count me out.

  5. Bill Orr

    Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of of the essential.  Is Booker the perfect candidate to take on Christie? No. Some of his his education policies are misdirected and undoubtedly in other areas he would end up disappointing progressives. What is essential, however, is to defeat Governor Christie and field a strong candidate who would benefit down-ballot Democrats. Only Booker has the state-wide recognition and fund-raising prowess to do so. With Booker we get a minimum wage increase, women’s health care funding, marriage equality, expanded Medicaid, more favorable approach toward Obama Care, Supreme Court Justices more to our liking and someone more concerned with the middle class and the poor.  Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential.  

  6. Steve M

    For Senator, who knows.  It would depend on which other Democrats are running.  But I’m pretty confident that Booker is the best candidate to retake the Governor’s mansion.

  7. Got Kids

    but in these matters her advice will invariably lean toward whatever is in HER best interests.  Stay in Newark Cory for another term. You didn’t fight and claw your way to the Mayoralty so that you leave before the job was done, did you?

  8. Bertin Lefkovic

    …is not going to run next year.  I am willing to bet anything on this.  The risk to his long-term ambitions is just too great.  If he runs against Christie and loses, he is not going to be able to run for Senate in 2014, which means that his only option would be to run for re-election in Newark, where he is very vulnerable.

    He is undoubtedly a very intelligent and well-spoken person, but in the same way that President Barack Obama has proven himself to be sorely lacking when it comes to having a vision for our country, I do not believe that Cory Booker has a vision for our state and its needs.

    I think that he is a progressive-enough Democrat to be on the right side of most issues and if he were elected Governor, he would do the right things more often than not, but I do not think that he has core convictions that fuel a vision that drive him to become Governor.  Christie clearly does, although those core convictions drive him to do the wrong things more often than not.

    I think that Booker would be very happy being 1 of 100 Democratic Senators as he would be even more visible and vocal, which is far more important to him than having a vision and a voice, than he is now as Mayor of Newark and he would no longer have the responsibilities of executive office.  If he runs for Senate in 2014 and wins, he will most likely run for re-election in 2020 and then take a shot at the Presidency in 2024 or 2028.  However, if he never becomes President, I think that he will be much happier spending decades in Washington as a Senator than spending any time trying to run our screwed-up state.

    I am not convinced that Booker is necessarily the best or the only candidate who can beat Christie next year.  I think that Dick Codey, Bob Menendez, and Bill Pascrell could all present as strong if not a stronger challenge to Christie as Booker.  I think that if she could win the nomination, Barbara Buono could be competitive enough to help retain Democratic majorities, but would probably have to hyperperform with women to be able to beat Christie.  Even Sweeney would probably do well enough to hold on to our majorities, but I don’t see any way that he beats Christie.

    The only prospective gubernatorial candidate who could be a Peter Shapiroesque candidate is Chris Bollwage, who in my opinion is the most likely sacrificial lamb candidate that the bosses will run against Buono if Booker, Menendez, and Pascrell do not run.

  9. JCpolitico

    Ask anyone who knows anything about Newark under Booker and they’ll tell you Booker is a poor manager with crappy executive stills. He might be able to win an election against Christie but he won’t be a good governor.

    I think Menendez, if he could bear giving up his power in DC would be a far better candidate. Sweeney will never play well in Central and North Jersey, because hes too conservative in the wrong ways, is a teamster, former double dipper and, if im correct, did not graduate from college.

    Buono, whom I like a lot, would be a better choice. She can take advantage of the gender gap and also appeal to left leaning independents and moderates and isnt part of a historically racist organization (the teamsters union). That said, I doubt she’ll win. But Cory Booker isn’t the solution.

    Also, can we stop featuring Weinberg editorials on Blue Jersey? We should be holding her feet to the fire, not amplifying her nonsense.

  10. Babs NJSD

    I’d also like to underscore the fact that Mayor Booker has supporters across America!

    Right now I’m in Southeast Florida and will be meeting with local and snowbird Democrats, friends who have a national perspective. Several indicated they were very impressed with CB at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte!

    We’ll be celebrating the successes of 2012, but we will be forward looking, and NJ will be prime on many folks radar in 2013.

    We know that Christie has many, many chits upon which to collect from his fundraising work in 2012 all across the country. There is no doubt that the Democratic “package” for this race will be leaner in all respects, but it is IMPERATIVE that our package must be … complete and competitive!

    There is certainly more than one Democrat that is capable and ready to be NJ’s next governor…BUT… unless Christie suddenly implodes, Cory Booker is the one natural and logical choice to beat him! Christie has made it a whole different ballgame!

  11. carolh

    I don’t always agree with his approach, but having met him, I believe he is sincere. The entire RNC will come in behind Christie, and we need someone with national recognition.  I would love that to be you, Senator, but Cory Booker is an able candidate and will garner a lot of support.

  12. firstamend07

    He runs for Governor he wins and is Governor,he loses he runs the next year for Senator without primary opposition.

    The deal is made !

    Booker /Christie poll numbers will be even by March.

    Christie will be running on a bad NJ economy and a bad budget. He will also have to deal with the minimum wage constitutional amendment.

    The shore will not be rebuilt and Christie will catch some of the blame.

    Booker would be foolish to not run.

    ….but the deal is done ,he will run

  13. Bertin Lefkovic

    As the founder of the JGC and the WPC-NJ, SML Weinberg, how do you reconcile your preference for Cory Booker over the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination, Barbara Buono?

    When Booker announces that he is not running for Governor next year, will you, the JGC, and the WPC-NJ be endorsing Buono for Governor?


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