ACLU-NJ: Conversation with Rep. Rush Holt, Scientist & Civil Libertarian
When: Tonight 7pm
Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton
50 Cherry Hill Road in Princeton
Rush Holt is my old boss; I’m a vet of his campaign staff. We lost Holt as our representative when Hunterdon was redistricted into CD7 and Leonard Lance territory; a distinct step down. But he’s still my hero. Here are 3 things I find encouraging about him:
1) He was always more interested in the word “representative” than in the word “congressman.” That is, more compelled by his responsibilities to those he represented than any title referring to himself as a member of Congress. If that sounds pretty Boy Scout of him, then that’s exactly it. He has been a straight arrow as long as I’ve known him.
2) Rush is a good-government crusader in the best of ways. A leader in all kinds of civil rights and civil liberties issues, which include voting rights, protecting civil liberties in the face of NSA spying, and the First Amendment.
3) Brains. Straight up. I remember when we launched the My Congressman IS a rocket scientist bumper sticker, and started getting requests for them not only from District and Jersey, but from college campuses and other places where education and science are prized. I’ve seen those stickers – in Rush Holt green, black and white – in several states. But if anyone gets the idea that Holt’s smarts are highfalutin’ or ivory tower-removed, get over it. The guy’s a 5-time Jeopardy winner, and the only dude I know of ever to beat IBM’s Watson supercomputer. But he’s far less interested in his own intelligence than in other people’s educational opportunities, and in what science research can make available to the world.