Back and forth ads in Booker-Lonegan battle
October 9th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Back and forth ads in Booker-Lonegan battle

(CNN) - A conservative Super PAC is questioning Michael Bloomberg's new TV spot that supports New Jersey Senate hopeful Cory Booker and touts the Newark mayor's education achievements.

The American Commitment Action Fund says it's spending $130,000 to run an ad that will air across the Garden State, accusing Booker of failing Newark's schools despite a $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg to help improve the schools.

The new commercial, which the group says will start running Wednesday, claims that Booker, the two-term Democratic mayor of Newark, used millions of dollars of the money for focus groups and polls while none went to city classrooms.

Bloomberg, the multibillionaire and independent three-term mayor of New York City, earlier this week announced a $1 million ad buy in support of Booker, to put up a spot through his Independence USA PAC that touts Booker's efforts to reform Newark's schools.

NJ Senate debate: attack, attack, attack

The Action Fund quickly fired back.

"Cory Booker's record of failing Newark and its students can't be concealed by a $1 Million misleading ad buy," Action Fund founder Phil Kerpen said in a release.

A new poll released Wednesday indicates Booker leading Republican nominee Steve Lonegan by 12 percentage points in the run up to next week's special Senate election. Booker had larger leads in surveys conducted in August and early September. The winner of the contest will fill out the remainder of the term of the the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

In a statement, Booker's campaign called the Action Fund ad "deeply misleading."

"Working with Governor Christie, Newark Public Schools, the New Jersey Department of Education and the Newark Charter School Fund, Mayor Booker moved aggressively on a school transformation agenda," said Deputy Communications Director Silvia Alvarez

"The changes have resulted in an increase in graduation rates of more than 7 percent since 2010 – the highest increase among the state's largest school districts."

Meanwhile, the Lonegan campaign says it's spending more than $150,000 to run a new ad statewide that ties Booker to President Barack Obama.

"Cory Booker supports Obamacare and Obama's trillion dollar tax hike," claims the narrator in the spot.

Last week a Booker campaign TV commercial included a clip of Lonegan describing himself as a "right wing radical."

Filed under: Cory Booker • New Jersey • Steve Lonegan
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Booker, saves people and animals and has done well.
    this,lonergan has the screecher from AK as his loud mouth piece.
    Case closed.

    October 9, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Who cares? Booker will win...

    October 9, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Hmmmm. 7% increase in graduation rates since 2010, after Zuckerberg gives Jersey school $100 million. I'm sorry to say this, but that's an epic fail. I sourly note that academic performance was not touted by Ms. Alvarez.

    Right-wing notions of "education reform", like No Child Left Behind and its almost indistinguishable successor, Race to the Top - wrong-headedly supported by Gates, Zuckerberg, and, sadly the President - are doubtlessly to blame the very poor return on Zuckerberg's investment. If I was Lonergan, I'd definitely hammer on this. Of course, Lonergan's remedies probably involve idiotically dismantling public education altogether, but the criticism is valid in the meantime.

    Hey CNN, how about an in-depth investigation of how the $100 million has been spent, and some actual detail of these "aggressive reforms"? Inform us.

    October 9, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. just saying

    it is totally hilarious that people would expect the very people that wrecked the school system with their leftist insanity, to suddenly and miraculously have the solutions to the mess that they themselves created. it is simply another case of liberals rewarding failure with more money, only to fail yet again.

    isn't it painfully obvious now, after spending ever increasing amounts of money, that the problem is not a lack of money?! the problem is the failed leftists/liberals/unions that have destroyed what used to be a very good school system, producing educated kids. american has to stop believing the leftist rubbish and start holding them accountable for their failures. of course, the leftists and liberals always blame others, just as they do with everything else.

    October 9, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    @just sayin,

    Read my post above. "Education reform" is a conservative idea. Gullible liberals have lapped it up.

    By the way, you ever been an educator? I doubt it, since you're so misinformed on the subject. Let those of us who have taught in public schools instruct you.

    October 9, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Data Driven asked:

    Hey CNN, how about an in-depth investigation of how the $100 million has been spent, and some actual detail of these "aggressive reforms"? Inform us.
    The initial interest by Zuckerberg was because of the severe budget cuts Gov. Christie made to education to pay for his tax cuts. It didn't have anything to do with the addtional $450 million in federal aid that New Jersey lost because Christie's staff didn't fill out the paper work properly and refused to fix, not even after when the mistakes were pointed out to them.

    October 9, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Robert Camacho

    Whether you like or not, Mayor Cory Booker will be the next US Senator from NJ.

    Booker for Senate !!!

    October 9, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Data Driven

    @just sayin,

    Read my post above. "Education reform" is a conservative idea. Gullible liberals have lapped it up.
    I have nothing against "education reform", but I have always been very wary of charter schools. I think they represent the systematic dismantling of our public education system. It's pretty obvious to me that vouchers will be the means to do it.

    Vouchers are money given to parents to pay for education for their kids. Eventually, the right wing is going to call it a handout and will try to cut it from the budgets. It's almost the same thing they're trying to do to Medicare. Turn it into a voucher. Call it a handout, and then cut it from the budget.

    October 9, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Data Driven


    Fascinating info. I hope Buono's been bringing this up in ads and debates!

    October 9, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |