I watched Friday’s political debate between Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democrat, and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the Republican, who are the major party candidates running for New Jersey’s open US Senate seat, and boy was it a doozy.
This “Battle of the Bald Guys” will be decided in a special election that’s being held on Wednesday October 16th, 2013. The seat became vacant after the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
New Jersey voters have not elected a Republican candidate to the US Senate since 1972, and Lonegan is such a weak candidate, that the GOP’s losing streak should remain in tact.
After watching the one hour debate, it was clear that the candidates represent opposite ends of the political spectrum, despite the fact that they both grew up in Bergen county.
Booker is an attorney who played college football at Stanford, earned a Yale law degree, was a Rhodes Scholar, who was elected Mayor of Newark in 2006. Lonegan is a general contractor with a business degree and MBA from New Jersey state colleges, who served as the Mayor of Bogota from 1996 to 2008. Newark is the most populous city in the state with over 277,000 residents, while Bogota’s population is a little over 8,000 people. [Newark has 35 times more people than Bogota]
I have to admit that I’m really puzzled. How in the world did a buffoon like Steve Lonegan win the Republican nomination? He answered nearly every substantive question during the debate with a well rehearsed sound bite, or an attack on Cory Booker, and he dodged answering nearly every single question.
Lonegan made the spurious claim that the only “growth in Newark is Cory Booker’s bank account,” and protested that “New Jersey needs a leader not a tweeter,” while he accused his opponent of parading around Hollywood with “Hollywood elites.”
When Lonegan was asked about immigration reform, he said that “we must secure our borders.” Secure our borders from whom? The tamale lady?
The Republican candidate criticized Booker for gun violence in Newark, and no one questioned the fact that Lonegan is anti-gun control, and opposes all background checks for gun purchases.
He also stated that senior citizens will lose their their doctors because of Obamacare, and said that preserving his mother’s medicare was more important than extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured. He voiced his support for the government shutdown, and reiterated his opposition to extended unemployment benefits, gay marriage, and a woman’s right to choose.
The most shocking statement that Lonegan made, in my opinion, was the fact that he opposes Pell grants, and all financial aid for college students. Is this guy for real?
Cory Booker painted his opponent as a radical right-wing extremist, who is out of touch with New Jersey voters. The Newark mayor accused Lonegan of being a leader of the right-wing extremists “hijacking the government to get what they want.”
Booker praised the Affordable Care Act, and suggested that the law should be improved, with both parties in Congress working together. He illustrated his ability to bridge the partisan divide by citing his partnership with Governor Chris Christie, and their joint efforts to improve the Newark school system.
The Democratic candidate was adamant about his support for gay rights and racial equality, and suggested that his candidacy for the Senate wouldn’t have been possible “if judges didn't say everyone in America is equal under the law.” He went on to say that “The ability to marry the person you love is one of the most fundamental liberties in America."
Steve Lonegan is an inarticulate anti-gay misogynist who stands absolutely no chance of winning the “Battle of the Bald Guys.” Cory Booker is a smart and articulate big city mayor with a proven track record, who will represent New Jersey effectively.
The choice is incredibly clear for New Jersey voters. There’s only one candidate to vote for, and that’s Cory Booker.
The special election is in 9 days.
straight talk in a queer world. jiveinthe415.com
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