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Senate Hopeful Lonegan Launches Attack on Cory Booker

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 06:32 PM

Steve Lonegan, who has been endorsed for U.S. Senate by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, has launched a blistering attack on challenger Cory Booker, saying the Newark mayor has seen the city’s murder rate sky rocket under his leadership.

"They had another murder in the streets of Newark yesterday; a 20-year-old girl shot to death in the streets of Newark. There was another shooting not far from there," Lonegan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"That puts them at close to 50 deaths this year in the city of Newark. I mean it's like becoming the murder capital of New Jersey. Violent crime is actually up now since Sharpe James was mayor – up above last year of the James administration."

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Booker, a 44-year-old Democrat, is challenging Lonegan, a Republican, for the New Jersey seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg on October 16.

Lonegan also ripped into Booker on education and employment, saying that Newark’s high school dropout and unemployment rates were appalling.

"We have a dropout rate . . . in one of the most expensive school districts in the United States . . . of about 70 percent, which is unconscionable," he said.

"And after millions in fact billions of tax dollars, suburban tax dollars and federal tax dollars poured into Newark for all kinds of redevelopment and corporate subsidies, a whopping 15 percent unemployment rate."

Lonegan also commented on a Washington Post article published Tuesday in which Booker spoke about the mystery surrounding his sexual orientation.

"Maybe that helps to get him the gay vote by acting ambiguous," Lonegan told Steve Malzberg.

In the article, Booker said he is unfazed by rumors about his sexuality.

"People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia," Booker told the newspaper.

"I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, 'So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.'"

Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, N.J., said the question of Booker’s sexuality is not new.

"It's kind of weird. As a guy, I personally like being a guy. I don't know if you saw the stories last year. They've been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o'clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure," Lonegan said.

He also told Steve Malzberg: "I don't like going out in the middle of the night, or any time of the day, for a manicure and pedicure. It was described as his peculiar fetish . . .

"I have a more peculiar fetish. I like a good Scotch and a cigar. That's my fetish but we'll just compare the two."

As a student at Stanford University, Booker penned a 1992 article for the student newspaper titled "Pointing the finger at gays." In it, he said he once "hated" homosexuals, but later evolved and overcame his prejudices.

Lonegan called the upcoming election a referendum for voter dissatisfaction with the Obama administration.

"It’s a referendum on Obama’s failed Middle East agenda and his foreign policy failures," he said.

"The entire Republican Party is unified because this is an election that's going to be a referendum on the entire Obama agenda, on Obamacare, on the Constitution, and on the Bill of Rights."

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