The Take Back NJ Coalition has released the following letter (also attached) to Senator Cory Booker following the announcement of a high-dollar fundraiser for Booker’s presidential campaign hosted by George Norcross and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo later this month:
June 21, 2019
The Honorable Senator Cory Booker
717 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Booker,
As members of the statewide coalition Take Back NJ, we are concerned with a recent inconsistency between your national posture and your relationship with your constituents in New Jersey. We admire your stance on ICE, your pledge not to take PAC money, and your advocacy for the underserved, and yet we feel that these convictions are undermined by your acceptance of a fundraiser hosted by George Norcross and Joe DiVincenzo.
The evidence presented on June 17 by the Tax Incentive Task Force suggests that Norcross and his associates not only took unfair advantage of New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority’s programs, but that they engineered the program by leveraging unethically obtained access and influence to implement regulations favorable to themselves, their friends, and their families. As stated in the report, the misuse of this program amounts to a loss of $11 billion in potential tax revenue for New Jersey. Associating with Norcross at this point is a betrayal of your own constituents, particularly those who live in Camden and who have been deprived of the economic development that their community was entitled to. The Economic Development Task Force has made one criminal referral so far, yet most believe this story is far from over, and that more corruption and wrongdoing will be revealed.
Meanwhile, Joe DiVincenzo runs a detention center for immigrants that is so inhumane that it has failed an inspection by the Department of Homeland Security; which has documented rotting food, clogged toilets, unwarranted strip searches, and the misuse of solitary confinement. No one who is sympathetic to the plight of immigrants in our country under the Trump administration can turn a blind eye to the conditions at this center. It is wrong to normalize cruelty toward the detainees— and yet your continued association with him does just that.
The age of cronyism, corruption, and political bosses needs to be over in New Jersey. We are determined to rid our state of political bosses and the undemocratic influence they wield. We ask that you stand with us instead of with them. We ask that you stand by your values and your integrity and reject Mr. Norcross’s and Mr. DiVincenzo’s fundraiser.
Essex Rising Good
Government Coalition of NJ
Hudson County Progressive Alliance
Indivisible Central NJ
Indivisible NJ 5th District
Mahwah After the March
NJ-08 For Progress
NJ11th for Change
New Jersey Working Families Alliance
Our Revolution Essex County
People Demanding Action NJ
People for Progress
South Jersey Women for Progressive Change
STAND Central NJ
Women for ProgressCory Booker Take Back NJ