The Donald’s Price

According to one Democratic insider involved in Cory Booker’s campaign for Mayor, there will be a careful Cost-Benefit analysis before they decide whether they want/need an endorsement from Congressman Donald Payne. Payne’s asking price, the insider says, might be too high — in no particular order: a At-Large City Council seat for his son, Essex County Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr.; continued support of his brother, William Payne (29th district) and his nephew, Craig Stanley (28th district) when they seek re-election to the State Assembly next year; protection of numerous Payne allies who work for the City of Newark; support of certain Democratic County Committee members and backing for the re-election of another Payne relative, Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen; a commitment to back a Payne ally, Assemblywoman Oadline Truitt (28th district), when she runs in a 2006 special election and again in 2007; and even a guarantee of support to keep his own House seat. (After defeating Mayor Kenneth Gibson in May 2006, Sharpe James endorsed Payne in his primary challenge to House Judiciary Chairman Peter Rodino.). On the other hand, Booker (if he wins) might be hesistant to engage Payne in many local political battles — at least during his early days as Mayor. Payne has been around Newark politics since the late 1960’s and has won many more skirmishes than he has lost.

The Donald’s Price