We already knew that Cory Booker told a crude, racially-insensitive fairy tale about a fictional drug dealer named T-Bone regularly on the speaking circuit for years (and still can’t bring himself to admit it publicly, even though he confessed privately to his mentor in 2008 that inventing T-Bone was a mistake).
But at least all those hundreds of thousands of dollars he made telling the fairy tale to mostly-white audiences were going to charity, right? At least that’s what Booker told the New York Times in March:
The mayor, whose city salary is roughly $135,000 a year, said he had donated almost all of the outside earnings to charity.
“Even though I am entitled to keep it,” he said, “after Uncle Sam takes his share and after I’ve given away hundreds and hundreds of thousands, I’ve kept very little of it, if any.”
Now, six months later, Cory Booker has finally (after stalling for weeks) allowed reporters access to his tax returns in an effort to get them out of the way in a Friday news dump. In addition to exposing apparent corruption, the returns revealed Booker flat-out lied about his charitable giving. BuzzFeed has the story:
From 2000, when Booker started giving speeches, to 2012, he has made $1,317,715, after taxes, addressing audiences. In that same time period, he has given $149,347 to charity.
That’s just 11.3 percent of his after tax speaking fees. And it’s not “hundreds and hundreds of thousands.”
The flip side of that is Mayor Booker kept fully 88.7 percent of his speaking fees through 2012. So when he told the New York Times, “I’ve kept very little of it, if any,” he was flat-out lying.
Except for last year, when he reported $82,500 in charitable contributions, he never claimed more than $17,000 in donations in a single year. He reported his lowest giving — $750 — in 2007, a year when he made $46,500 in speaking fees.