America, have you enjoyed your Cory Booker? He has been your American superhero, your bright shining full-of-integrity star in the awful firmament of American politics. He saves ladies from burning buildings. He has a Gosling-style tumblr dedicated to him. He scored free Hot Pockets for America, or at least for Newark. He’s just like you, if you were much better at everything and people fawned all over you on the twitters. It is with great regret, therefore, that Wonkette must inform you that Cory Booker is just another dirty politician like all the rest!
A behind-the-scenes political maneuver by Newark Mayor Cory Booker to fill a vacant council seat with his choice led to a near-riot in city hall tonight, with dozens of residents rushing the council stage and police responding with pepper-spray.
After weeks of jockeying for Rep. Donald Payne’s successor, Booker made an unprecedented personal appearance to cast the deciding vote with his council allies for Shanique Davis Speight, a longtime ally of power broker Stephen Adubato, over the angry objections of residents.
“In the absence of a quorum, I have an obligation to sit in,” Booker said, though he was barely audible over the din.
The packed city council chamber was gearing up for a showdown over the appointment as well known figures including former Mayor Sharpe James, Amiri and Amina Baraka, former Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins and former Council President Donald Bradley came to back their choices.
Councilman Ras Baraka attempted to speak but was not recognized by Councilman Anibal Ramos, who was serving as acting president. Instead Ramos proceeded with the nomination of Speight.
Baraka, Councilwoman Mildred Crump, and Councilman Darrin Sharif walked off the dais in protest, and Booker came in cast the decisive vote, as laid out in state statute.
The move was planned by Booker’s chief-of-staff, Modia Butler, to scuttle the appointment of James’ son John Sharpe James, an avowed Booker opponent, in favor of Speight. Butler had the mayor at the ready in case of a tie or if there was no quorum.
That was a thrilling blow-by-blow account of inside-baseball Roberts’ Rules usage, wasn’t it? All you need to know is that Cory Booker used New Jersey state statutes to get his way. QUEL HORREUR! The good people of Newark did not appreciate Mr. Booker’s law-abidin’ procedural maneuverin’, however. Newark residents, in conjunction with union thugz, rushed the stage and lunged at the Booker’s new council crony, Shanique Davis Speight.
After the vote, residents stood chanting “Cory’s gotta go!” as officials shouted over the confusion.
But when Speight was escorted by police to be sworn in, a group of residents, led by SEIU Local 617 President Rahaman Muhammad, stormed the dais and appeared to lunge toward Speight and her grade-school-age son.
Police restrained the group as they toppled a podium and residents were caught in the rush. When Muhammad would not give way, an officer doused him with pepper spray, along with residents, reporters and at least one other officer.
People of Newark, we expect you to now lunge, podium-topple, and dais-storm at every minor city council happening in your fair city. The bar has been set high. The rest of America, we hope you enjoyed your brief flirtation with hope and have now ceased writing Cory Booker 2016 fan fiction.