GOP U.S Senate nominee Steve Lonegan has sued the city of Newark for the release of Mayor Cory Booker’s expense records since he took office, because the city has failed to comply with the Lonegan campaign’s OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requests.
Newark activist Donna Jackson said that Newark’s government is hiding the real conditions in the city in an effort to give Booker political cover. “Booker’s national profile is killing us,” Jackson said.
Now, today we learn that Newark has also been stonewalling the National Review over public records.
NR reporter Eliana Johnson’s research into T-Bone led to questions about another story that Booker often told on the stump, in Hollywood, etc. That of the unsolved 2004 shooting murder of Wazn Miller.
Almost no one would have heard his name if Booker hadn’t repeatedly told the story of his last minutes. According to Booker, he heard shots in his neighborhood, Miller stumbled backwards and collapsed into his arms, and then died, as Booker whispered into his ear, “Stay with me, stay with me.”
Miller might have been another in a depressingly long line of Newark teens murdered and then forgotten, except for Booker’s presence. Booker describes that day as one of his darkest, when he feared most for the city’s future. It was also the day when he resolved to double his efforts to lead Newark, one of America’s poorest and most violent cities, out of the turmoil that has afflicted it for more than 40 years. Booker invoked Miller’s murder during a successful 2006 campaign to become Newark’s mayor, and today rarely shrinks from describing the harsh reality of crime in New Jersey’s biggest city. “People are dying on a chillingly regular basis in Newark, and there is no moral outrage,” says Booker.
NR wants the police reports associated with Miller’s murder to document Booker’s account. That should be a quickly complied with OPRA request. Yet, Editor Rich Lowry writes that the Newark machine is stonewalling:
It should be easy to get more information about the Miller case. New Jersey is an open-records state. Yet for weeks now, we have been stonewalled and given the run-around by everyone we’ve asked for help in obtaining the relevant police records. We’ve asked nicely, we’ve asked firmly, we’ve asked in every way imaginable, but gotten nowhere. It is much easier to learn about the most sensitive aspects of top-secret national-security programs than it is to get Newark police records related to that day.
Enough is enough. Yesterday we filed suit against the Newark Police Department, the City of Newark, and Mayor Booker to obtain the records in keeping with New Jersey law. This suit shouldn’t be necessary, but the official obstruction in Newark has made it so. In such an instance, everyone should favor openness.
What is Booker hiding?
And more importantly, why is the Newark City Government running defense for the Booker for Senate Campaign? If government resources are being used for political purposes, as appears to be the case in the Lonegan and National Review suits, there ought to be criminal prosecutions.