Booker's Iowa Visit

07.31.13

Here's What Cory Booker Planned To Do In Iowa

A riveting talk, a meet and greet and schmooze with campus media. Too bad he couldn't make it.

Cory Booker was scheduled to visit Iowa even after he had declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, according to a contract his speaking agency entered into on his behalf with the University of Iowa.

The contract, obtained by the Daily Beast via a public records request, stipulates that Booker would speak to students on August 29, 2013 on the topic of "How To Change The World With Your Bare Hands." It was signed by a representative of Booker on June 20, 12 days after the Newark mayor announced his candidacy in the special election for Frank Lautenberg's U.S. Senate seat. Kevin Griffis, his campaign manager, told the Daily Beast, "The event was agreed to in May, well before the special election was called, but there was lag time in processing the paperwork. The event was never, at any point, on the campaign’s calendar." On Monday, a spokesman for the University of Iowa said the school had been expecting Booker to come. 

The event, as agreed upon by the two parties, would have been preceded by an invitation-only reception, as well as a 15-minute interview with campus media. If travel permitted, there would be some time for an "informal discussion with students" as well. 

The contract provided that he would have been paid $30,000, a sum which included airfare and ground transportation for two. Hotel and meals would have been the University's responsibility. Since the contract stipulated Booker would receive his fee in full only after the speech, the University is not responsible for paying the Newark mayor.