While serving as mayor of Newark and running for New Jersey’s open Senate seat, New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker has also found the time to start a multimillion dollar tech company called Waywire, an online video-sharing service, with two veteran tech executives. Booker has personally won funding for the firm from Oprah Winfrey and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and his stake in the firm is valued at between $1 and 5 million.
Unfortunately, a member of the company’s advisory board has just stepped down: Andrew Zucker, the 15-year-old son of CNN president Jeff Zucker. Booker’s campaign denies that he was involved in hiring young Zucker, whom apparently another board member saw as having “a knack for spotting tech adoption trends among teens,” and who was “known to informally advise his father on such matters.”
In March, Booker described Waywire’s mission as a way to help “marginalized voices break through the oligarchy of media” — maybe some 15-year-olds qualify as marginalized media voices, but the son of the president of the world’s largest news network, not so much.
On Wednesday, The New Republic’s Marc Tracy noted that some of Waywire’s funders have also included some of Bookers’ campaign donors. TNR had harsh words for Booker, who has portrayed himself as a man of the people, saying “Silicon Valley-inflected, do-gooder corruption is his credo.”
Booker is the favorite to win both the Democratic nomination as well as the October’s special election for the late Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat.