Booker, a Democrat, is Plutocrat Friendly. In 2012 he even attacked the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's private equity fortune, which the Romney campaign greatly appreciated.
A never-married 44-year-old, Booker is vaguely rumored either to have a white girlfriend in Brooklyn or to be gay. (Wikipedia has up a picture of him with his arm around Oprah's Friend Gayle, who is described as Booker's "long time friend" -- Oprah, by the way, is affiliated with Waywire). So it will be interesting to see what he does on the matrimonial front.
The NYT reports:
Mr. Booker personally has obtained money for the start-up, called Waywire, from influential investors, including Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman. A year after its debut, Waywire has already endured a round of layoffs and had just 2,207 visitors in June, according to Compete, a Web-tracking service. The company says it is still under development.
In June, I got more well over two orders of magnitude more unique visits.
Yet in a financial disclosure filed last month, Mr. Booker, 44, revealed that his stake in the company was worth $1 million to $5 million.
Woo-hoo! My 100% stake in iSteve must be worth a couple of orders of magnitude more than Booker's fractional stake, right? I mean, it's simple arithmetic. Oh ... except, I'm not Presidential Timber. Never mind.
Taken together, his other assets were worth no more than $730,000.
That revelation, with just a week left in Mr. Booker’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate, shows how a few tech moguls and entrepreneurs, many of them also campaign donors, not only made a financial bet on the mayor’s political future but also provided the brainpower and financing to help create a company that could make him very rich.
Waywire has also provided jobs for associates of Mr. Booker: the son of a top campaign supporter and his social media consultant, who is now on his Senate campaign staff.
The company has a goal: making it easy to “collect, curate and share” videos from across the Web. But much about its operations and Mr. Booker’s role as chairman appears ill defined.
Mr. Booker declined to answer questions about the details of Waywire’s finances, including what percentage of the company he currently owns. A spokesman said Mr. Booker had invested some of his own money in the company but refused to say how much.
... The value of his shares could rise significantly, analysts say, should the company outrace competitors now puzzling over how to let users sift through the billions of Web video clips to find those that they want to watch. “Curation is the next big thing to happen to video,” said James L. McQuivey of Forrester Research.
Off topic, but I only vaguely get this whole "curation" mania. I don't recall dreaming when I was a little boy that I would grow up to be a museum curator. I was more into my Classic Comics about Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Buck, a famous zookeeper who had many adventures capturing tigers and king cobras. Is "curation" like the urge to create a mix tape in order to try to inflict your musical tastes on others?
Mr. Booker has made a national reputation in seven years as the chief executive of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city and one of the country’s poorest. But his involvement in founding, financing and promoting a private business highlights the significance of his other constituency in the tech industry, which is seeking a bigger voice in national policy in Washington. ...
This spring, the widow of Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, and the power couple Marc Andreessen and Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen held a fund-raiser for him.
And as a social media enthusiast, with more than 30,000 Twitter posts, Mr. Booker has cast himself as an ambassador between the high-tech world and his beleaguered city. His aides noted that he had leveraged his relationships to Newark’s benefit, including a pledge of $100 million to the city’s schools from Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder.
... Ms. Ross suggested in an interview that she saw in Mr. Booker a kindred social media spirit. She said she has wondered how the civil rights movement might have been different had the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had access to Twitter.
... There is no question, however, that Mr. Booker’s star power has brought attention: Mr. Booker impressed an audience at the South by Southwest conference in March in Austin, Tex., in which he touted Waywire as a way to empower the politically disenfranchised. Other celebrity connections have helped the company: Waywire has put Andrew Zucker, 14, the son of Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, on its advisory board and given him stock options.