- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay comments
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
Newark mayor will live on food stamps for a week
Twitter follower will join challenge
Question of the Day
NEWARK, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he and a Twitter follower will try living on food stamps for at least a week.
The idea stemmed from a back-and-forth conversation between Mr. Booker and a woman who goes by the name TwitWit and uses the handle (at)MWadeNC. They began talking about the idea Sunday night while discussing the role the government should play in funding school breakfast and lunch programs.
Mr. Booker said Tuesday he intends to follow through with the plan. TwitWit said it is a "great idea" but wants more information on how it will be carried out.
During their Twitter exchange, TwitWit wrote, "nutrition is not the responsibility of the government."
The conversation soon changed to food stamps.
"Why is there a family today that is 'too poor to afford breakfast'? are they not already receiving food stamps?" TwitWit wrote.
"Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?" Mr. Booker responded.
"Sure, Mayor, I'm game," TwitWit wrote back.
"Great. Lets do this. I hope you live in New Jersey. Lets film it and see how we do," Mr. Booker responded. He later wrote, "We will have to get a referee — DM me your number so we can see if we can work out details."
Mr. Booker, a prolific Twitter user who has 1.2 million followers, said Tuesday evening he is committed to living on the equivalent of food stamps, but could not say how he will approximate the benefits, execute the idea or how long it will last.
The average monthly food stamp benefit was $133.26 per person in New Jersey in fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"We're going to set up the rules," Mr. Booker told reporters. "And that's what we're researching right now. This will not be a gimmick or a stunt."
Mr. Booker said he wants the challenge to be a chance "for us to grow in compassion and understanding" and dispel stereotypes.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday night TwitWit said she is a 39-year-old married mother of two from North Carolina. She spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because she said she has received threats since her Twitter discussion about food stamps.
She said she is willing to participate in the challenge but wants to know the ground rules before committing. She has not heard from Mr. Booker's office and is upset she has not been included in the research process.
"To hear he's planning and setting things up, it makes me feel like I'm a little bit of a prop in the game," she said.
She thinks she and Mr. Booker should approximate living on food stamps for a month.
TwitWit said she does not oppose food stamps. But if more taxpayer money is allocated for food stamps, she believes, more people will require them.
"There is going to be a lot more of us needing those food stamps if it doesn't stop," she said.
She thinks many people are mischaracterizing her conversation with Mr. Booker, which initially centered on funding school meals.
"I don't have a vendetta," she said, and urged people to work together. "I'm looking at things from a different angle."
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay comments
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow