Rice and Rothman

Babs was the first out transgender person in the DNC’s history, and now serves in the DNC’s Executive Committee, where she is still breaking ground for the Democrats.  – promoted by Rosi

Ron Rice Jr for Congress … Steve Rothman for Congress

I honestly do not care to openly take sides in a primary when there are 2 or more Democratic candidates  that support most of the issues that I do and are people with whom I’ve had positive personal dealings, but this year there are 2 congressional races where good folks are competing … fighting, and I feel compelled to make my personal choices known in a public forum in the hope of helping their campaigns because there is enough of a difference between the candidates in each race to warrant my involvement.

I am not a constituent of either congressional district and do have friends on both sides. However, because whoever is elected will have a direct effect on Federal issues in which I and many of my peers and supporters are directly involved and whose lives are directly affected, I must in good conscience weigh in.

10th Congressional District – Ron Rice

Young Mr.Payne is not his father. I’ve seen no evidence of his father’s global vision, his human compassion, his gregarious nature, his humility, or his ability to correct what might be perceived as a mistake. Donald Payne’s seat should not be a “legacy” seat.

As a member of the Womens Political Caucus of NJ, I understand fully why they were quick to endorse Nia Gill a respected and independent State Senator… NJ has not had a woman in Congress since 2003. I looked back to my personal dealings with her and my problem has been a kind of aloofness and curious lack of responsiveness.  She knew me, her staff knew me, but when I tried to meet with her and one of her constituents about a piece of important legislation, we seemed to be stonewalled time and time again for a meeting. She ended up cosponsoring the legislation based on e-mails, but for some reason would not meet with us. The nature of the response was curious and was not conducive to any kind of a relationship. If I am going to advocate effectively for a culturally stigmatized group it is necessary to have a respectful and comfortable relationship with Democratic legislators.


What brings me to support Councilman Ron Rice? Yes, he is ambitious, hardworking, personable, well educated, with his feet on the ground and hooked into the grassroots and the local scene, (all politics is local … and politics is a blood sport) yet with a statewide and national presence and perspective. I’m comfortable and confident about people who are more than talking points. … and yes, I know we need to do that … but there is the person with the right balance of ideals, progressive goals, political smarts, independence and national contacts and the temperament to succeed and be a leader and help his constituents. I think that person is Ron C Rice.

I was simply amazed that there was some discussion framed in a negative way because young Ron Rice did not attend local Newark schools. I am a parent of a child just about Ron’s age who lived in another inner city, Jersey City, and my spouse was a teacher in JC… there was no way our son was go to a Jersey City public school. I had a familiarity with the local school system, and assuming that Newark was anything like Jersey City at that time, I would think that Ron’s parents would probably be negligent to send him to a local Newark public school if they had any semblance of an ability to send him to a better learning environment. Was not the Newark Board of Education under state supervision at that time?

9th Congressional District- Steve Rothman

As one who worked in a positive way with both Congressmen fighting for Democratic line in the 9th CD, I was really conflicted because a good friend is a senior staffer of one I am not supporting. I wanted to sit on the sidelines, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought about the differences about the personal relationships and how I perceive character and the things that are important to me … it became much easier. Both are good men, both are superior Congressmen who serve their constituents well. As a person who was brought up in a working class inner city, I relate to Bill Pascrell’s style.

However, with Steve Rothman I found there is a personal comfort level, there is a genuine connection with people. There is also a toughness, perhaps not with the same outward edge as Bill Pascrell, but with the same hardness if not in a more polished surface. It was 2 years ago that I led a group of NJ transgender Americans that visited the Hill to talk about legislation that both had signed on as cosponsors, to thank them. Now some of the folks were barely into transition and, although well dressed and groomed, not particularly passable. When we stopped by Pascrell’s office, the Congressman did not seem very comfortable and it was noticed.

At Rothman’s it was a much warmer and there was a natural comfort level on a person to person basis. Steve Rothman has, from the time I met him and first talked to him one on one in 2004 in Boston has always, “gotten it” … always had that “mensch factor”. I’ve always felt genuinely welcome in his office or wherever I have met him at events. He has always responded when asked to act on legislation or to reach out to LGBT constituents or cover LGBT events in his district.

I’ve got to tell you Steve Rothman was the only one I know that had the foresight to back Barack Obama … if that doesn’t say anything about his judgment, passion and political smarts… hey what does? … We certainly disagreed back then, I being a member of Hillary’s LGBT Steering Committee, and any disagreements were respectful and honest. And, hey, he was right!

I see that Bill Clinton has endorsed Bill Pascrell. Hey, that is payback from 2008!  You know….That’s just politics and is quite transparent.


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