I am really sad to hear that Bob Franks, a former Republican Congressman from the 7th, passed this morning. Bob was a Republican and supported their candidates and elections always, but he also recognized that there were people who were not Republicans that needed his help.
When I was a new Councilman in North Plainfield in the late 1990s Bob was still in office. When I called him his staff was helpful even though I was a Democrat and supported candidates who ran against Bob. Twice Bob called me himself to answer questions. I though that this was how members of Congress acted.
This is one of the main reasons why I went after Mike Ferguson so hard in 2006. I had the example of Bob Franks as to how a Congressman should act even to people in the other party, and Ferguson was nothing like that. He was brusk, dismissive, got involved in local races, blew off requests for help from Democratic towns, and generally only helped those who were on his side.
People often said that I was hyper-partisan after we did Blue 7th PAC and Dump Mike, but it was not. I had the wonderful example of what a partisan elected should act like in Bob Franks, and was insulted that Ferguson was not that kind of man.
Bob Franks will be missed. He has done a lot for this district, state and country. I offer my condolences to his wife and daughters, and hope that we can have many more Bob Franks on both sides of the aisle in the future.