No one’s really sure at the moment, because as the Daily Caller notes, no one has seen him at his declared residences in quite a while. That would put an uncomfortable twist on the Senate race in the Garden State, which Booker has dominated since choosing to contend for it. If the mayor of Newark doesn’t live in Newark, exactly where does he reside — and is it in New Jersey at all? Newark residents would also like an answer to that question (via Instapundit):
Booker, who filed to run for the U.S. Senate from a P.O. Box in Newark, is registered to vote at 435 Hawthorne Avenue but his next door neighbors told this reporter and filmmaker Joel Gilbert on camera that they haven’t seen Booker in years and that he doesn’t live there.
“Does he still live here?” Gilbert asked Booker’s neighbor, Tashay Thomas.
“He never did,” she replied. “His security guards live here.”
Why did he claim to live there while sending police to be quartered in a private home?
“Because he is a liar.” Thomas replied.
Thomas yelled out to someone across the street: “They’re looking for that fake mayor who says he live here. He does not live here!”
“Cory Booker don’t live here,” said James Sharp, another neighbor. “Only his bodyguards live here.”
Why did he tell people he lived here? asked Gilbert.
“So that he could keep telling people he did stuff but he is not doing anything. A lot of people getting killed and he’s supposed stop the violence but he don’t.”
Booker has had a couple of famous incidents of pitching in when hard times hit, which helped boost his national standing as a mayor of Newark and an up-and-comer in the Democratic Party. Newark is just a ferry or train away from New York City, where the media and the money are. However, his residential status in Newark has been unclear for some time. In December 2011, the Star-Ledger reported that Booker was delinquent on taxes for his recently-purchased Longworth Avenue home — where a police officer greeted the Daily Caller’s Charles Johnson to tell him Booker wasn’t there, and the property isn’t listed on Booker’s ethics disclosure form, either. In fact, no residence is listed on it.
It’s not just Johnson asking questions about Booker’s ethics, either. From the Left, David Sirota at Salon blasts Booker for being as corrupt as the man he ousted from office — and the media for ignoring it:
What’s perhaps most significant, though, is how this sleepy special election so perfectly captures the now-pervasive assumptions made about the fundamental notion of corruption. More specifically, it exemplifies the horrifying assumptions the political class makes when deciding what to deem disqualifyingly corrupt and what to deem business as usual – and, thus, politically savvy.
Booker’s career is the best example of the assumptions at work. He first jumped onto the political stage by helping turn his campaign against then-Newark Mayor Sharpe James into a critically acclaimed documentary about the problem of municipal corruption. In “Street Fight,” Booker is depicted as the earnest clean-government insurgent and James as the uber-corrupt machine politician. Ultimately, as the Huffington Post reports, James was indicted and imprisoned on charges that he used his office to enrich himself and to “steer city-owned land to his one-time mistress.” For that kind of old school graft, he was held up as the icon of corruption by, among others, the New York Times, whose editorial board slammed him for “exhibit(ing) a finger-in-the-eye arrogance” and then lamented “a sad career arc for Mr. James, who was originally elected as a reformer.” …
By contrast, Booker has a different public image. With a suburban upbringing and Oxford pedigree, he has carefully crafted a political image that is pro-Wall Street, “new economy”-ish, proudly worshipful of wealth – and decidedly not “inner city.” Indeed, as one tech entrepreneur told the Times in explaining why Booker’s wealthy tech donors gave the Newark mayor a company, “It feels like he’s one of us.”
The same goes for Booker’s money: it isn’t the much-denigrated Inner City Graft, it is the much-vaunted Mahogany Paneled Conference Room Graft from rich dudes in bucolic places like Silicon Valley.
Such white-collar graft comes not in four-digit wads of cash, and doesn’t go to ward bosses like James. It instead tends to come in five, six or even seven digit checks and stock certificates to professional politicians who use anodyne terms like “public-private partnership.” Importantly, the money in the latter form of corruption doesn’t come from local parochial hundred-thousand-aires easily punished when things get a bit too embarrassing. It tends to come from mega millionaires and billionaires with the same pedigree and elite credentials as Booker – and those aristocrats rarely ever get punished, lambasted or humiliated with the “corruption” label because they own much of the media and most of the political system.
Be sure to read it all, and then keep an eye out for the response on residency. It’s not a problem for a Congressman to live outside of his district as long as he resides in the state, at least not legally; politically, it’s a different matter. It does make a difference if a Senatorial candidate actually resides in another state, and one would presume that it might make a difference to Newark voters if its mayor lives somewhere else in every sense but on paper.