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HIGHTSTOWN, N.M., March 14, 2014 - In the wake of last month's report by the state comptroller alleging massive corruption by the head of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. and others, New Jersey state Sens. Sam Thompson, R-Middlesex, and Ron Rice, D-Essex, have jointly called for the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation to open an inquiry into government abuses of power and cover-ups in Newark under former mayor and now U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.
Many of the people targeted by the comptroller's report, which has been referred to law enforcement agencies for further action, are either friends or long-time associates of Booker, according to the report.
U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, endorses the Thompson-Rice effort as long overdue and desperately needed, and he encourages New Jerseyans disgusted by ongoing corruption in Newark specifically and New Jersey in general to show their support by signing an online petition calling for the investigation.
"I'm not saying Cory Booker belongs in New Jersey's rogue's gallery of corrupt politicians, but given the staggering number of scandals and Newark's continuing deterioration during his time as mayor, you have to wonder how soon it will be before the wheels absolutely fall off the Booker bus," said Sabrin. "After all, he was the pitcher of record when a bunch of his cronies used public assets as their own personal ATM."
"Like New Jersey's roads after this past winter, Cory Booker's political path is full of pot holes," he said. "It's time the Legislature started digging into real corruption over in Newark, and I applaud and endorse the efforts of Sens. Thompson and Rice in that regard."
Newark, rated in a recent survey as the third-worst run city in the country, is one of America's poorest cities. The median household income is well under half that of the rest of New Jersey, and one in three city residents live in poverty . Violent crime is rampant and skyrocketed under Booker's watch as mayor.
Booker has also been the target of national jibes for a recent out-of-control F-bomb rant on Twitter and for being geographically challenged when he claimed in a speech on the Senate floor that he once drove to Hawaii.
Sen. Rice was quoted in one report laying into him: "Mayor Booker was running around the country tweeting and showing up to press conferences to kiss babies, while either ignoring or facilitating the fraud and waste occurring under his administration."
Cory Booker, to borrow Peggy Noonan's description of President Obama, "makes himself feel safe with the sound of his voice."
Even the liberal New York Times has jumped on the bash-Booker bandwagon. Saying that there's a "Barnum & Bailey quality" to the way he spins things, it harshly criticized him for not paying attention to Newark's business because he was too busy jetting off to Hollywood to ask for money from his celebrity pals.
"When The Times tees off on a progressive Democrat in the way it did on Cory Booker by effectively calling him a circus clown, then it's serious," said Sabrin.
"Sen. Booker is always eager to have the top job, but he never seems eager to do the work. When he promises transparency, it's on his terms only, which leaves you looking through a glass darkly with a bag over your head because he rigs the game."
"It's time for somebody besides citizens and taxpayers who foot the bill to be held accountable for what goes on around here," said Sabrin.
For further information contact campaign press secretary Scott St. Clair, 206-919-6047.
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