Announcing that I am a candidate for reelection

(Congressman Holt is answering more of the questions posted earlier. – promoted by jmelli)

Today I announce my campaign for reelection as the Congressional Representative for the people of the 12th Dictrict of New Jersey.

I am announcing on the web and through this blog intentionally to make the point that in my campaign and in my work as Member of Congress I seek input from citizens and I seek to build community.

Comments (33)

  1. LG9911

    I first met Rush when he was running for Congress and I was a member of the Plainsboro Township Committee.  Through all his years in the House, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of Central New Jersey — and our nation — on significant “quality of life” and “pocketbook” issues.  He fights for fiscal responsibility, economic development, access to healthcare, and quality education for our young people.  As we in the state Legislature grapple with the issue of property taxes, Rush continually works hard on the Hill….pushing legislation to give a bigger tax deduction for student loans, to extend the deduction for employer-provided education assistance, and to increase the deduction for health insurance expenses of the self-employed.  Rush has fought at every opportunity to extend medical care to as many people as possible and to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare, so that seniors won’t have to make a choice between life-saving medication and putting food on the table.  Reduction in class size, investment in teacher training and setting higher standards for our students are education initiatives that Rush believes will truly create a better classroom environment and learning experience for our children.  And certainly, with the high density in the central part of New Jersey, one can certainly say that Rush Holt has been a protector of our precious open space.  He has successfully reinstated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which enabled states across the nation to preserve critical tracts. It is for all of these reasons I am hopeful that those in the 12th Congressional District will see what a fine Representative Rush Holt is and keep him fighting for us! – Linda R. Greenstein, New Jersey Assemblywoman, 14th Legislative District

  2. Middlesex Rush Holt Meetup

    If immigrant workers are given legal status is there any possibility that the legislation could require that they be paid the local minimum wage, so as to avoid setting up a two-tier minimum wage structure?

    -Jane Snyder, Gwen Southgate

  3. Jason Springer

    Congratulations on announcing your candidacy for re-election.  You have been very involved with Blue Jersey and we thank you for that.  A recent topic of conversation on this site has been the issue of net neutrality.  I was wondering where you stand on the issue and the pending legislation before congress?  Thank you again and best of luck

  4. jerseydem2006

    Rep. Holt — I’m glad you announced this way.  Thanks for making yourself available to us here in the blogosphere.

    Can you talk a little bit about what Dems would do if they take back the House?  A common criticism is that Dems don’t have an agenda other than attacking Republicans.  I don’t think that’s true, but I’d like to know how you think Democratic priorities would differ.

  5. Middlesex Rush Holt Meetup

    What is the status of your bill requiring that our voting machines leave a verifiable paper trail? What can we do to support this legislation?

    Mae Rubinstein

  6. Lambertville Meet-up
  7. wyatt

    With all that is going on in America today, we need to make sure we work hard to keep honorable public servants like Congressman Rush Holt in Office.  His voting rights legislation is just some proof of his desire to insure the integrity of America.  We have been lied to by the Bush administration, so how can we trust them if they are unwilling to support paper audit trails and ways to prevent voter intimidation and deceptive practices that suppress voter turnout

  8. Rosi Efthim

    Good morning, Congressman.
    That was a knockout speech, as usual. I was particularly struct by what you said about addressing Congress’ tendency to make decisions based on ideology rather than evidence.

    On a somewhat related matter, I am wondering where you are on HR 543, the discharge petition which would essentially force discussion on the Iraq War on the floor of the House.

    We’re hoping you are considering it.

    Also, NJ for Democracy will be launching one or more Iraq War Forums this summer to get the issue of planning our withdrawal to the forefront. This will be public forums, and we’re hoping you will be a part of them.

    Rosi Efthim
    NJ for Democracy

  9. kateb

    We hope everyone supports HR 550, for voting machine paper trails. It is imperative that we push to support this individually and collectively because we have seen rampant voting abuses that have potentially harmed the outcomes of past elections.

    GO RUSH!

    Monmouth County Meetup

  10. Asm. Gusciora

    Rush I look forward to you joining the majority party in Congress as well as a leadership post.  We need you to continue your hard work in our Nation’s Capitol defending the environment and creating better educational opportunities for all.  The Republicans for the last 12 years have shamelessly cut education aid and many of our environment protection programs.  Drilling in Alaska is not the answer and never was a sound energy policy.  You deserve high marks for your efforts to limit the polluting and deforesting of our wildlife areas.  And finally we can certainly value your leadership on Iraq.  You made the  tough decision to vote against the War and time has demonstrated you were right.  They were wrong.  Good luck on your election and we will certainly be actively supporting your efforts.  Reed Gusciora. 15th Legislative District.

  11. Congressman Rush Holt (Post author)

    For those who did not get to see the webcast of my announcemnt speech, I’ll recound a couple of points:

    Because I was raised to believe that politics is honorable and that our self-government depends on the commitment of citizens, I have been especially torubled by the deep and broad cynicism about politics and politicians.  It calls into question our very abilty to govern ourselves.  As I felt that cynicism creeping into my own thinking I decided to run to be the kind of Representative that I wanted– someone who would a) listen to people, b) weight the evidence, c) think ahead and deal with issues before they become crises, d) speak out and take tough stands regardless of the political fallout, and e) never forget that every day there are good, hard-working people, especially those without privilege, who are asking, “Does that Congressman really work for me?”

    I work to confound people’s expectations about politicians that no politician really cares about them.  I even try to startle them out of their cynicism.

    Although I have served for almost eight years now and am well known around Central New Jersey, that is not good enough for me or for you.  Every day, every week, I have to earn the privilege to representing the 650,000 people of the 12th District.  The citizens, too– you– also have a responsibility to see that I get a good idea of what affects the families of Central New Jersey and what are the best ideas from around the district to dealing with those problems.

    Rush Holt

  12. rmcgrath

    Rush – That was a stellar announcement, fired by the thoughtfulness, sincerity and principled positions on the issues that have distinguished your service in Congress. You possess a unique voice and an independent conscience, but your policies are consistent with the best the Democratic Party has to offer. What is especially reassuring is that the people in your district have responded so positively. You took what was considered a swing district and made it your own through performance in office, thoughtful policies, principled positions and the power of your personality. While we don’t take any reelection for granted until the voters have spoken, I look forward to seeing you as part of the Democratic majority in Congress after the upcoming election. I know you will continue to make us proud.  Joe Cryan, Chairman, New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

  13. Middlesex Rush Holt Meetup

    What do you think about the seemingly complete absence of accountability in the Bush Administration?

    -Andrew Hoekzema

    Why are the Democratic leaders not united in offering solutions to various national issues like Iraq, Immigration, etc.

    -Mae Rubinstein

  14. Senator Karcher

    “Rush has stood out as one of the most thoughtful and engaged members of this Congress, and has brought his intelligence and experience to bear for the good of his constituents, and the entire country.  His involvement with a verifiable paper trail to ensure the integrity of the voting process is key to providing for democracy which is above allegations of tampering and voter fraud.  Rush Holt is one of our best and brightest, and should be returned to the halls of Congress to effectively serve New Jersey’s 12th district as our Congressman.”

    Ellen Karcher
    Senator, 12th Legislative District

  15. eponinelee

    As the NBC program this last Sunday shown, the credit card companies are conniving to bilk consumers through such gimmicks as shortening the grace period for payment, so they can charge customers interests higher than useries. Although technically legal as this is allowed under the users’ contract drawn up by credit company lawyers, this would require consumers to read through and understand,  immensely lengthy, complex details written in impossible to read fine prints and in arcane legal jargons only a speicialized attorney can comprehend. Consumers are left with no protection except the old cliche of “consumers beware.” Is there anything Congress can do to help consumer in this unfair contest in which credit card companies, with their pricy lawyers and right to draw up the users’ contract have all the chips, shamelessly exploit their disadvantaged customers?

    Chan Leung , from Ringoes


    Upon his successful election to Congress in 1998, Rush Holt made a commitment to be a different kind of Representative in Washington and offered assurances that he would be a true fighter for working families. With nearly 4 terms under his belt, there is no doubt he kept his word!

    As Representative Holt launches his campaign for a 5th term, We are proud to offer our support to him on behalf of our one million members and 1,000 local affiliated unions statewide. He has earned a reputation as one of the hardest workers in Washington, and has shown time and time again that he is not afraid to stand up to the misguided policies of the Republican leadership or the Bush Administration.

    He voted against CAFTA and has been an outspoken critic of flawed trade policies which have devastating effects on our own workforce as well as for the workers of the nations with whom we enter into these pacts. He is a sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill designed to help make sure that workers are not denied their right to union representation, and has been a fixture on picket lines and at rallies supporting workers’ rights to a voice at work. He spoke out against Republican attempts to slash overtime pay for workers, and has vowed to lead the fight to repeal several pieces of legislation which weakened the Occupational Safety and Health Act which has served as a safety bill of rights for workers since 1970.

    Working families in New Jersey need Rush Holt in Washington and we are prepared to utilize all of our available resources to make sure he is back when a new session of Congress reconvenes in January 2007.

  17. Media In Trouble

    Congressman Holt.

    The general consensus in the legal community is that the wiretapping as the administration portends to be doing it, is blatently illegal. With the newer revelations that in fact they are now de facto data mining millions of American’s telephone records as well, when will the Democrats unite on this issue?

    Floyd Abrahms sat on a committee called TPAC in 2004 (report here), to address these specific issues. He was recently on Charlie Rose’s show and said that arguing that the Authorization to use Force gave the President authority to data mine and wiretap is extremely far fetched and would never hold water.

    So, Congressman Holt, is this nation still based in “rule of law.” If so will the Democrats enforce the law?

    I realize that the fear of enforcing the law is that there will be a Clintonesque political backlash and the House (shoudl it be gained this November) will be lost. However, I remind you and your fellows that the Clinton Impeachment brought a backlash because it was based on baloney, and not you know, our 4th ammendment rights.

  18. Brian McGinnis

    Thank you for taking the time to be with us today Congressman.

    As you know the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a piece of crucial civil rights legislation

    Earlier this year, a group of Congressmen wrote a letter to Chairman Sensenbrenner, pushing to kill the renewal of a provision that provides naturalized American citizens who may still have English language difficulties with access to multilingual ballots.

    Given the current salience of immigration/citizenship issues, my question is, do you support the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its entirety?

  19. aswbonniewatsoncoleman

    As always thank you, for your continued excellence in representing the 12th Congressional District. Hopefully you will be able to work with a Democratic majority next year and get to the real issues currently facing New Jersey and the Nation. I applaud your tenacity in taking action to restore integrity in our government, and consistently fighting for our security and safety while bridging the gap between science and policy. I am glad to have you as my Congressional Representative and look forward to supporting your efforts.

    Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman, NJ General Assembly

    1. Congressman Rush Holt (Post author)

      Jane and friends at the Middlesex gathering, I’ll try again to reply to your question about wages for guest workers or legalized immigrants.  (Somehow I erased my comment a few minutes ago in the process of posting it.)

      The proposed guest worker program is a recognition that we as an economy and as a society are dependent on a variety of workers, some of whom today did not get legal authorization to be in the US.  The problem with the guest worker programs (as presented on the Hill sofar) is that the workers would be nearly indentured servants.  They would be dependent on a single employer and subject to deportation according to that employer’s whims.  They could not band together to protect their rights and interests.  They will not have rights of action as individuals to grieve about safety or other workplace issues.  As for wages, there has been some discussion of setting a minimum, but I suspect that in any proposal that might find its way to the floor for a vote there will not be a good wage protection.

      More generally about immigration,we need a comprehensive approach.  There are so many aspects to the problem—keeping our borders secure from terrorists and criminals, the dependence of our economy in the present and the future on having a steady supply of both high-skilled and not-so-skilled, but advancing workers, the lost resource of foreign-born children who are ready and eager to attend college in the US, but are denied aid and threatened with deportation, and an inefficient, suspicious bureaucracy restricting visiting scholars  or family members of US citizens—that the problem cannot be handled successfully in a piecemeal fashion.  We must recognize and admit that we as a nation and as an economy are dependent on people breaking the law.  That is clearly untenable.  We propose to build a wall along the southern (why only southern? Could it be a degree of ethnic prejudice?  The best documented recent case of terrorists crossing the border was from the north.) and yet we do not take down the huge virtual “help wanted” signs visible to eager workers abroad.  We must treat foreigners, even those here illegally, with respect.  Summary deportation of 10 million undocumented people is not only impractical and naive, but seizing violators in the middle of the night in front of their terrified children is inhumane.  We need a practical and humane path to earned citizenship.  We need a more reliable system for keeping track of those who want to come and those who enter the US.  We need to have laws that are enforceable and then we must enforce them.  No one knows how many foreign workers we need or could absorb without harming the jobs or present citizens and residents or even how many would come if permitted to enter and leave freely.

  20. mikepanter

    Rush, I can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve provided to me since I took office in 2004. You have been not just a partner in serving out shared constituents, but also a great example of how to make a difference in politics without compromising on values.

    You are an asset to our state, and as a Congressman you are an asset to national policymaking. I am confident that you will be successful in this year’s campaign, and I wish you luck.

    Assemblyman Mike Panter
    12th Legislative District

  21. mertam

    I just wish I could vote for you again. I was very pleased with your representation while I lived in Middlesex County. Unfotunately, I recently moved to an area of the state represented by a representative that shares my views on almost nothing.


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