Now that Frank Lautenberg has died, the race is on to replace him for the New Jersey senate seat. In that reliably Democratic state (Republican Chris Christie’s election as governor notwithstanding) whoever wins the Democratic party nomination in the primary in August will likely become senator at the special election in October.
The Democratic establishment is behind Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, and he is a heavy favorite to win. Back in 2007, I wrote about Booker when he was a relative unknown, saying that while he is undoubtedly a charismatic figure,
The influential The Black Commentator website has strongly criticized Booker, arguing that he is completely in the pockets of rich, right-wing, white, power brokers who are pushing school vouchers and seeking to co-opt the next generation of black leadership to serve their needs. Whatever the merits of that charge, watch out for the name Cory Booker in national politics. I think we are going to hear a lot about him in the next 5-10 years.
The Black Commentator article, written all the way back in 2002, had Booker pegged correctly, since his subsequent behavior shows him cozying up even more to Wall Street and receiving a lot of money from them in return.That is never a good sign.
But there is a much better candidate and that is current congressman Rush Holt. He has been a fierce champion of civil liberties, opponent of the current system of crony capitalism, and opponent of the now notorious FISA system. Here he is in 2007 and 2008 speaking prophetically in congress against the abuses that could occur.
We need someone like him in the senate. Please support Rush Holt if you can. I have just done so. I supported Elizabeth Warren as soon as she announced her candidacy and she has turned out to be a terrific senator in holding Wall Street accountable. I think Holt will be another much-needed voice in that body on the civil liberties front.
The fact that he is a physicist is an added bonus, for me at least.