Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s introduction of a federal political action committee was clumsy and bad politics, sources told PolitickerNJ.
In founding CoryPac, Booker said he was hoping to help Democratic candidates, including Sen. Bob Menendez get re-elected. But speculation is rampant that Booker’s true intent is to swoop into the Senate seat held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg should Lautenberg choose not to run in 2014, or possibly challenge Lautenberg head to head.
Booker has pledged his support for Lautenberg, even calling the senator Wednesday night, but when asked about a potential 2014 run this morning on Good Day New York, hedged in his response.
“I support Senator Lautenberg,” Booker responded. “I talked to him last night. He is my senator. I’ve supported him before. I’ve raised money for him. We’ve worked hard for him. But that’s three years from now.”
Sources say Booker may not have intended the PAC as a slight to Lautenberg, but his execution has come across badly.
Federal PACS such as CoryPac cannot be used for direct financing of a Senate run, but instead are generally used as goodwill money to spread around to other state and national candidates.
Leaning in Booker’s favor, however, is PAC-treasurer Peter Nichols, who also serves as Lautenberg’s treasurer. If the Lautenberg camp perceived the Booker Pac as a threat, one source told PolitickerNJ, Nichols would probably have been asked to step aside as treasurer.