The New York Times highlights the moderate-liberal Democratic mayor, who is mulling a U.S. Senate run: "Mayor Cory A. Booker has earned about $1 million from public speaking engagements during his seven years in office, as he has built his position at City Hall into a national brand. 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.'"
So what's the supposed controversy over a brotha legally making bank?: "A rare mayor with national name recognition — he appears regularly on television and has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter — Mr. Booker has faced criticism even from onetime supporters that his travel and speeches outside Newark serve his national ambitions more than they do the 280,000 residents of this struggling city. He has said that the travel has allowed him to bring philanthropy to Newark, paying for things that the city budget could not, like security cameras in crime-ridden neighborhoods and a program to help former convicts adjust to life outside prison. His popularity has also attracted developers to the city, fueling a building boom that includes the city’s first new hotels and supermarket in decades. Still, he has resisted releasing information about his travel or his fees for public speeches, contending that it has nothing to do with his work as mayor, and that he is not required to do so by law. Mr. Booker, 43, said he would release a full accounting of his outside earnings in the next month or so."
Where is the money going?: "For example, he said, he earned $25,000 for a speech at a local preparatory school, 'the very same day I wrote a check to a nonprofit.' For another recent speech, he said, he earned $40,000, which he donated to Integrity House, a drug-treatment center. In addition, he said, he gives away a lot of money to other causes: 'baseball team uniforms, my neighbor’s house that burned down.' He said he spoke mainly to educational institutions and nonprofit groups, and declined invitations to speak to any corporations that did business with New Jersey or with Newark. In one case, he said, he considered declining an invitation to speak to an oil company, but decided to accept, and have the company write a check directly to a local nonprofit group."