Democratic Newark mayor Cory Booker’s Republican New Jersey Senate opponent Steve Lonegan says he helped cancel a Booker rally with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel by criticizing both mayors’ appalling records on innercity crime.
Former Obama White House chief of staff Emanuel was slated to hold a Booker endorsement in Jersey City Friday, prompting Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, to announce his own “Murder Mayors” rally across the street highlighting the violent crime epidemic in both Booker’s Newark and Emanuel’s Chicago. After Lonegan announced his event, Emanuel canceled the pro-Booker rally and headed home to Chicago, where 13 people were injured in a South Side shooting late Thursday.
Lonegan believes he was the reason the Emanuel event was canceled.
“They were doing it as of this morning. I can only assume that we influenced” the cancellation, Lonegan told The Daily Caller while on his way from his “Murder Mayors” counter-rally to a meeting of the state’s Federation of Sportsmen.
Booker was not scheduled to appear alongside Emanuel at his own rally.
“Booker’s been out in California since the beginning of the week. He’s campaigning in Hollywood and San Francisco. He has, from what we understand, a fundraiser at a disco in Hollywood tonight and another one tomorrow night. In the meantime we’ve had a rash of murders” in Newark, Lonegan said.
“Booker is a Hollywood stand-in for Barack Obama, and Rahm Emanuel came in to give him his marching orders,” Lonegan said. “California doesn’t need a third senator. New Jersey needs its own senator.”
Actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and filmmaker J.J. Abrams are hosting a separate Hollywood fundraiser for Booker Monday.
“Newark is worse now than under Mayor Sharpe James,” Lonegan said, referring to the legendary Democratic machine politician whose imprisonment on corruption charges at the hand of then-prosecutor Chris Christie allowed Booker, who lost to James in the 2002 mayoral race, to win James’ old office in 2006. “His city is disintegrating and yet he’s walking around Hollywood.”