Cory Booker on Corporations



SOAR Act: $25M for Startup Opportunity Accelerator

Sen. Cory Booker recently introduced the Startup Opportunity Accelerator, or SOAR, Act. The legislation would direct $25 million of funding over five years to a U.S. Small Business Administration program called the Growth Accelerator Fund. The program allows business startups to compete for funding to help their businesses grow.

The Growth Accelerator Fund helps companies to find new connections, new routes to investment, and new ideas and strategies to achieve their full potential. The SOAR Act also gives special consideration to applicants serving women and minority business owners.

"This program will stimulate our nation's entrepreneurial energy and spur economic growth in untapped areas," Sen. Booker said. "Over the past 17 years, the number of women-owned businesses in New Jersey has increased more than 48 percent and I'm looking forward to seeing that growth continue," Sen. Booker added. "With the SOAR Act, we'll be able to increase investments made in promising entrepreneurs."

Source: 2014 Press Release from Senate office booker.senate.gov , Sep 24, 2014

Lower corporate tax rate & close loopholes

Our corporate tax code offers a veritable menu of misplaced incentives and a high tax rate. But there is an alternative. Together, we can create a simple, dependable tax code that levels the playing field, creates jobs, and positions American businesses to lead the world. Any eventual solution should include the following:
Source: 2014 New Jersey Senate campaign website CoryBooker.com , Jul 1, 2014

Government procurement should promote women-owned business

I will make sure that the government contract procurement process promotes women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs, as well as fair pay.

I will follow the lead of the many courageous women who have helped achieve the progress we have made, and will do all I can to support their efforts to build a country in which gender does not impact how much you bring home in your paycheck, to what extent you control decisions about your health, or how far you're likely to go in your career.

Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com , Nov 3, 2013

Fund minority businesses with KIVA microloans

We brought KIVA into Newark, which is a technological platform [for crowdsourcing microloans]. Small businesses would not need to get loans from banks anymore. We started off with Latina businesswomen who could not get a $5,000 loan from a traditional bank because she didn`t seem credit-worthy. But through an online platform, people like you and I can help to expand businesses in our city. And by the way, their repayment rates are as good or better than people that think banks are great. These are the things we can expand. But it actually has federal implications: How can we better start small businesses around our country? How can we go in creative ways to get access to capital in this bad economy?

So, from technology innovations to innovations around everything, things we have done in Newark, I hope to help inform federal policy. But from day one, I want to be helping folks around New Jersey in very pragmatic ways to get the support they need to start a business.

Source: 2013 Interview on NBC's Rachel Maddow Show , Oct 22, 2013

Attacks on private equity "nauseating"

What Booker's critics mainly take issue with are his associations. Exhibit A is always Booker's notorious appearance on Meet the Press in May 2012, in which he called the Obama campaign's attacks on private equity "nauseating" and pleaded for more civility in the campaign. Booker subsequently attempted to clarify that he supported the specific critiques of Mitt Romney's record that had been leveled, but for some liberals, the betrayal was complete and irreversible.

Booker has, it is true, raised plenty of money from Wall Street over the years. Of the $8.6 million he's raised for his Senate campaign, $531,000 came from the financial industry. This is hardly unique for a Democrat from New Jersey, a solidly blue state where many financial firms are headquartered. Booker's campaign has also drawn $700,000 in donations from Silicon Valley. The ties go beyond campaign support: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has donated $100 million to improve Newark's schools.

Source: The Atlantic, "Why Do Liberals Hate Booker," by Molly Ball, , Aug 23, 2013

Corporate campaign donors also helped rebuild Newark

Some see Booker as "a big-shot celebrity, a man who is using the mayor's office to build his own fame and wealth." His campaigns have been underwritten by Wall Street donors, many of whom otherwise give almost solely to Republicans. Unsurprisingly, the mayor has developed a finance-friendly view of the world. This became a matter of national controversy in May, when he called the Obama campaign's attacks on Bain Capital "nauseating". Critics pointed out that Booker had received hundreds of thousands in contributions from figures at Bain and other private-equity firms.

His connections have certainly helped get Newark back on its feet. This becomes clear as we drive down Bergen Street: After the riots, it became an alley of boarded-over storefronts and vacant lots. With new business investment, the area is showing signs of life, albeit of a more suburban kind: There's an Applebee's, an AutoZone, and a multiplex, which Booker was intent on siting close to the sidewalk, to encourage pedestrian traffic.

Source: Vogue magazine profile, "Local Hero Cory Booker" , Dec 19, 2012

Predatory lending & unchecked avarice destabilized economy

American economic might [stands] strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class. Our platform emphasizes that a vibrant, free and fair market is essential to economic growth.

We also must pull from our highest ideals of justice and protect against those ills that destabilized our economy--like predatory lending, over-leveraged financial institutions and the unchecked avarice of the past that trumped fairness and common sense.

Source: 2012 Democratic National Convention speech , Sep 4, 2012

Supports Women, Minority and Small Business Assistance

Booker Supports Women, Minority and Small Business Assistance: My goal in 2011 is to empower even more Newark entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC) has proposed a new small business program with loans of up to $150,000 to women, minorities, and small business who seek to grow and expand. And we will start a new effort to help small, minority contractors break into the construction industry.
Source: Fifth Annual State of the City Address 2011 , Mar 1, 2011

Restrict corporate use of consumer mandatory arbitration.

Booker signed restricting corporate use of consumer mandatory arbitration

Excerpts from Letter from 35 Senators to the CFPB: We write to commend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its proposed rule to limit the use of mandatory, pre-dispute ("forced") arbitration clauses in consumer financial product and service contracts. Every day, Americans across the country are forced to sign away their constitutional right to access the courts as a condition of purchasing common products and services like credit cards, checking accounts, and private student loans. Binding arbitration is a privatized justice system that studies show consistently produces results that favor large corporations and offers no meaningful appeals process. As a result, consumers are left without redress, and companies are unaccountable for their unscrupulous behavior.

Opposing freedom argument: (Cato Institute, "ATLA monopoly," May 2002): The trial lawyers new goal is to tighten their monopoly grip on the court system, and prevent the rest of us from choosing a more efficient means of resolving our disputes. Arbitration is simply private court. Lawyers with a vested interest in a monopoly court system are trying to stop the arbitration business from developing. But there's nothing forced or mandatory about it. Contracts are the result of choice. People should be free to choose for themselves what contracts to make and what rights to give up.

Opposing economic argument: (Heritage Foundation, "The Unfair Attack on Arbitration," July 17, 2013): Any study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should examine whether a limit on arbitration would:

Source: Letter to CFPB Director 17LTR-CFPB on Aug 4, 2016

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Other big-city mayors on Corporations: Cory Booker on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Sep 12, 2018