STATE – American Commitment Action Fund has released a campaign ad contrasting Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s soundbites with his record in office.
Booker is one of four candidates running in the special election Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, and critics charge that the mayor makes too much use of brief television spots and his 1.4 million-follower Twitter account to avoid engaging in real debate on substantive issues.
American Commitment Action Fund campaign ad
The ad, part of a $100,000 campaign by the super PAC, cuts together clips from Booker’s own commercials with clips of Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka and other Brick City Democrats criticizing the mayor’s leadership. “The charade is over,” the message proclaims.
A clip of Booker saying that “we got guns off the streets” is followed up by an NJ.com headline from June: “Newark store owner guns down thief in city’s 6th shooting in 36 hours.” The commercial also highlights a December 2012 New York Times article that points out while taxes have gone up 20 percent over the previous three years even though 1,100 city workers – including 160 police officers had been laid off.
Newark experienced a 43 percent increase in the murder rate from 2008 to 2012, according to the latest State Police report, and there has been an average of 91 homicides during each year Booker has been mayor (2006 through 2012), compared with an average of only 77 murders annually during the previous seven year period (1999 through 2005).
After playing a Booker clip where the mayor says, “I’ve proven that by bringing people together, even with big problems we can make big progress,” the commercial shows video of fighting during a city council meeting following the mayor’s illegal vote for a council member’s replacement.
The commercial also criticizes Booker for ducking the city’s problems, playing clips of Newark leaders criticizing their “absentee mayor.” According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Booker was out of Newark for 119 days between Jan. 1, 2011 and July 15, 2012.
Booker’s availability during the Senate campaign continues to be an issue. While the other Democratic candidates have agreed to multiple debates and candidates forum appearances, the Newark mayor will appear at just two. This week, he was criticized for choosing to attend a fundraiser with Oprah Winfrey instead of an NACCP candidates forum in Newark.
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