Cory Booker on Principles & Values
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
Rugged individualism didn't get us to the moon. It didn't beat the Nazis. It didn't map the human genome. It didn't beat Jim Crow. This election is not a referendum on one guy in one office, it's a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other. Remind America that patriotism is love of country and you cannot love your country unless you love your fellow country men and women.
Booker: I wanted to push people to understand the absurdities of homophobia, and became a campus activist on those issues, and so I wrote this article to challenge people about their homophobia. It started as a teenager that saw growing up, an environment that was hostile to my peers who my faith taught me to love no matter what.
BOOKER: I've read the report. I've read the redacted versions of the report. We have something that is astonishing going on in the United States of the America. We have a president that is not acting like the leader of the free world. He's acting like an authoritarian against the actual Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold. And so this is a difference with a lot of us on this debate stage. I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings immediately. He is now stonewalling Congress, not subjecting himself to the checks and balances. We swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. When we look back in history at what happened when a president of the United States started acting more like an authoritarian leader than the leader of the free world, the question is, is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.
In 2002, Booker made it known that he would vie for the seat of the mayor. Many had expected him to rerun for the council seat, but booker was tired of the constant sabotages by the fellow councilors whenever he proposed any changes.
BOOKER: It was a few weeks of seeing a president who wants to undermine constitutional intent and say that he's above the law. He has not been complying with subpoenas. He has not been complying with legitimate congressional inquiries to continue the investigation that Mueller very specifically said it's on Congress to continue after he clearly indicated that there is potential corruption and obstruction of justice. This president is not above the law. He should not be able to stop the checks and balances on the executive. I feel like we have a moral obligation now to investigate this president. Impeachment proceedings will give us more legal leverage to get the information Congress needs to get to the bottom of what his administration has done while they're in office.
BOOKER: It was seeing a president who wants to undermine constitutional intent. He has not been complying with subpoenas. He has not been complying with legitimate congressional inquiries to continue the investigation that Mueller very specifically said it's on Congress now to continue. This president is not above the law. He should not be able to stop the checks and balances on the executive. And I feel like we have a moral obligation now to investigate this president.
Booker was a valuable asset for the almost universally white, rich, Republican voucher movement, which along with the charter movement introduced him to some of his major political donors.
And upon this faithful foundation we built a great nation, and today, no matter who you are--rich or poor, Asian or white, man or woman, gay or straight, any religion or none at all--you are entitled to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Our founders put forth a Declaration of Independence, but also made a historic declaration of interdependence. They knew that if this country was to survive, we had to make an unusual and extraordinary commitment to one another.
For the houses that my parents did like, they would be told that the homes had already been sold. So the Fair Housing Council decided to begin to send out white "test couples" to see if indeed the homes were sold or off the market. They weren't.
[Their lawyer], having been part of sting operations like this before, informed the real estate agent that he was in violation of NJ state law and his real estate license was at risk. The Bookers, he explained, would be purchasing the home. We moved into Harrington Park and became four raisins in a tub of sweet vanilla ice cream.
Yet in my first year of law school, my bright vision for the future suddenly went dark. My experiences working with kids, engaging with nonprofits, and serving in cities had sparked a powerful drive to dedicate myself to working in these areas.
I couldn't articulate exactly what I intended to do about them. I was ambition without focus; I had passion to make a difference but no plan for how to do so.
My father taught me early in my life that attitude is a conscious choice; it is a currency available even to those with no access to money. If the world punches you in the gut, that doesn't define you; it's what you do next that speaks your truth. My father's truth was relentless positivity.
"That's kind of incredible," Booker said. "New Jersey is a special kind of place." Booker said that to New Jersey's credit, race was never an issue in his campaign.
Booker will serve out the remainder of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg's term, which ends in January 2015. Booker will serve on three Senate committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and Environment and Public Works. Two of his assignments--commerce and environment--also were committee assignments for Lautenberg.
"Oh my God," Booker said.
In another exchange, Lonegan said the state has poured countless dollars "into a big black hole in Newark."
Booker called Lonegan's tone "insulting" and, in a theme he repeated throughout the debate, said Lonegan needed to stop "talking down to New Jersey's cities."
"We're one state with one destiny," Booker said
Source: Vogue magazine profile, "Local Hero Cory Booker" , Dec 19, 2012
Larger questions loomed for the Booker administration. His support was the softest in the city's black sections, particularly in middle-class black areas with ties to the old black political establishment. Would Booker be able to maintain his coalition, or would small slights cause black voters to withdraw their support?
Press Release from 9 Senators: [Cory Booker and 13 co-sponsors] introduced legislation that would block a registry of people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality. "Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights central to the very idea of being an American," Sen. Booker said. "Forcing people to sign up for a registry based on their religion, race, or national origin does nothing to keep America secure. It does, however, undermine the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and promote the false notion that people of certain faiths and nationalities are inherently suspect. Our legislation would block Donald Trump and subsequent administrations from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry."
National origin-based immigration registry systems have proven ineffective at combatting terrorism and strengthening national security, but effective at instilling fear in certain communities. The George W. Bush-era National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), registered over 83,000 individuals from 24 Muslim-majority countries, but yielded zero terrorism convictions.
Opposing argument: (GovTrack.us's analysis of S.54): President Trump pledged during his campaign to institute a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration and Syrian refugees "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." He made good on much of that promise with an executive order suspending America's refugee admission program for 120 days and banning all entry from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days. Trump has defended a Muslim registry as necessary to national security. "They have to be [registered]. It's all about management. Our country has no management," he said when first proposing the idea in 2015. Trump reiterated his plans as president-elect in December.
Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:
Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.
FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.
Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.
Bill summary:The select committee must (1) conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the attack on the Capitol; (2) identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and the lessons learned from this attack; and (3) submit a report containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations to prevent future acts of violence, domestic terrorism, and domestic violent extremism, and to improve the security of the U.S. Capitol Complex and other American democratic institutions.
CBS News summary, by Grace Segers on June 30, 2021:H.R. 3233 would have created a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the root causes of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, modeled after the 9/11 Commission.
On May 28, the House passed the bill by a vote of 222 to 190, including 35 Republican votes. It then failed in the Senate, where it received an insufficient number of Republican votes to advance.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on June 24 that the House would establish a select committee [appointed by House Democrats, instead of a bipartisan independent commission] to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and general security issues related to the incident. Pelosi said its leadership and members would be announced later. The House passed the resolution to form the committee on June 29, 2021, by a vote of 222-190.
OnTheIssues note: The Senate voting record refers to the earlier rejected bill H.R. 3233, and the House voting record refers to the later bill H.Res.503. The later bill had no Senate vote (but the two House votes were almost identical).
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Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R) vs.Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
vs.Psychologist Valerie McCray(D)
KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Eric Greitens(R) vs.Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Eric Schmitt(R) vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
vs.Mark McClosky(R) vs.Vicky Hartzler(R)
vs.Tim Shepard(D) vs.Billy Long(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
vs.Ted Budd(R) vs.Pat McCrory(R)
vs.Cheri Beasley(D) vs.Rett Newton(D)
ND: Incumbent John Hoeven(R)
vs.Michael J. Steele(D)
NH: Incumbent Maggie Hassan(D)
vs.Chris Sununu(R ?)
NV: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
NY: Incumbent Chuck Schumer(D)
OH: Incumbent Rob Portman(R,retiring)
Bernie Moreno(R) vs.Tim Ryan(D)
vs.Jane Timken(R) vs.Josh Mandel(R)
vs.JD Vance(R) vs.Mike Gibbons(R)
vs.Morgan Harper(D) vs.Matt Dolan(R)
OK: Incumbent James Lankford(R)
OR: Incumbent Ron Wyden(D)
vs.QAnon adherent Jo Rae Perkins(R)
PA: Incumbent Pat Toomey(R,retiring)
vs.Everett Stern(R) vs.Jeff Bartos(R)
vs.Val Arkoosh(D) vs.Carla Sands(R)
vs.John Fetterman(D) vs.Malcolm Kenyatta(D)
vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Scott Milne(? R)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Sarah Godlewski(D) vs.Alex Lasry(D)
vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)