Author Archive: FlamingModerate

A Progressive Response to the Post-Partisan Debate — By Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

What do you think, Blue Jersey? – promoted by Rosi

    There is no question our political parties have failed us.  They perpetuate policies in place that have continued to result in the highest property taxes in the nation, no foreseeable increases in the job market for the average worker, and an escalation of health and insurance costs.

    It is no wonder that citizen anger has fueled the Tea Party movement, which boasts support from citizens across the state.  The current “republican-favored” Tea Party holds three principles: 1) the constitution is to be strictly interpreted as the blueprint for good government; 2) in a free society, actions should have consequences; and 3) the bureaucracy is too big to succeed.

    All of us can agree with any one of the components. After all, our U.S. Constitution was formed, “in Order to form a more perfect Union,” not to maintain the “status quo.”  As Thomas Jefferson once noted, “Institutions must advance to keep pace with the time.”  In this sense, many agree there is a need to constantly reevaluate our challenges, but we often disagree on the how.

Scarlet Knights Yield on Chance to Grow Medicinal Marijuana

By Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

    Rutgers University took an unfortunate pass on Governor’s plan to be included as a grower and research facility under the state’s medicinal marijuana law.  The news was announced on the heels of growing public support for the plan including myself, the original Assembly sponsor of the medicinal marijuana bill, and Governor Chris Christie himself.

    Many critics cited the struggles of University of Massachusetts Amherst that tried to become a medical marijuana grower, but was ultimately denied by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  However, it is important to note two major differences between the UMass scenario and the one occurring with Rutgers.

    UMass requested a growers bid from the DEA in a state that has not legalized medical marijuana to this day.  In addition, the waiver was requested in 2002 under the Bush Administration.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has already stated the feds will not interfere with dispensaries that operate in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal uses.  Its apples and oranges we’re talking about.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Last week I joined my colleague Senator Shirley Turner and introduced the Assembly version of  SR36 / AR 55, which urges Congress to repeal the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) policy against allowing gays and lesbians to serve in our nation’s armed forces.  I did this because I believe as an American, DADT discourages capable young men and women from otherwise serving their country.  And, this is a matter that affects our national security since we are eliminating a group of persons who are otherwise willing to serve and protect us here and abroad.  The policy does not make sense.  Moreover, the NJ State legislature has from time to time, passed Resolutions of equal worth urging Congress to take action on one national bill or another.  In this regard, we have a unique opportunity to express our views on this issue which impacts New Jerseyans serving in all branches of the military, including our New Jersey Army and Air National Guard units.

I understand however, that Progressives genuinely and understandably were hurt by being left at the altar with the defeat of the marriage initiative.  This is especially so when promises were made to the community and there was a claimed 24 votes to be had in the Senate (and only 14 materialized).  However, the Resolution to repeal DADT, not only gives us another opportunity to 1) support a worthwhile progressive cause; 2) continue a state dialogue on gay and lesbian issues; but also and more importantly, 3) engage that dialogue with members of the legislature who were not with us on the Marriage Equality vote.  Although Senator Turner, did not support the marriage bill, she voted for the Domestic Partnership legislation and the Civil Unions bill.  Her desire to be apart of the continued dialogue with the progressive community should be encouraged, not shouted down.

Iraq – Vietnam connection

Everyone has read about the uncanny connection between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations (both on a Friday, both elected in the year 60′, both succeeded by Johnson, one killed at Fords the other in a Lincoln….).  Well now is the time to start a thread about the similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam Wars.

Vietnam War led by Pres. Johnson – a Texan;
Iraq War led by Pres. Bush – a Texan;

Vietnam – Civil War between North & South with south based insurgency, the Viet Cong;
Iraq – Civil War between Shi’a and Sunni populations with influx of foreign insurgency;

Vietnam – arrogant Sec. of Defense, Robert S. McNamara (Harvard)
Iraq – arrogant Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld (Princeton);

Vietnam – “escalation” of US troops
Iraq – troop “surge”

Tom Kean Junior – The Zelig Candidate

Woody Allen’s 1983 film, Zelig, was the mockomentary about the “human chameleon”, Leonard Zelig, who became a celebrity in the roaring twenties for his uncanny ability to look and act like anyone around him.   If Woody wanted to make a sequel, all he’d have to do is follow Tom Kean Junior around and watch him flip-flop and squirm his way through the U.S. Senate race. 

Recently, Junior made the pronouncement that Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, should resign for his mishandling of the War in Iraq.  Never mind that Junior previously said he would have voted in support of the war.  The very war that Bush wouldn’t have run any differently since he holds Rummy in such high regard.  Shouldn’t have Tom called for the President to resign instead? 

T. Kean — the Zelig candidate

Woody Allen’s 1983 film, Zelig, was the mockomentary about the “human chameleon”, Leonard Zelig, who became a celebrity in the roaring twenties for his uncanny ability to look and act like anyone around him.   If Woody wanted to make a sequel, all he’d have to do is follow Tom Kean Junior around and watch him flip-flop and squirm his way through the U.S. Senate race. 

Recently, Junior made the pronouncement that Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, should resign for his mishandling of the War in Iraq.  Never mind that Junior previously said he would have voted in support of the war.  The very war that Bush wouldn’t have run any differently since he holds Rummy in such high regard.  Shouldn’t have Tom called for the President to resign instead? 

Memo to Carol Gay: Send Mr. Smith Home From Washington

CONFIDENTIAL MEMO

To:  Carol Gay
From:  Sister to Sister
Re:  Mr. Smith needs to come home from Washington & You can do it!
Date:  Labor Day

Carol, the rest of those ladies and gentlemen who ran against Chris Smith (R-NJ4) were pansies!  They actually thought they could run on the “issues” and win.  Ha.  They tried to run positive, issue orientated campaigns and appeal to voters on a grass roots level. After all, who couldn’t beat a 20+ year incumbent with little accomplished and no Chairmanship to show for?  Unfortunately, Smith just sits back in his plush arm chair by the fireplace; snug in his Virginia home, resting his feet comfortably on an ottoman with an embroidered American eagle personally designed by Nancy Reagan. 

Smith knows the opposition can drive back and forth on I-195 all day, seven days a week until Election Day, and not get through to anybody beyond the highway exits … the district is inpenetrable.  With four counties, five major daily newspapers, gated Senior communities that don’t let pesky politicians in, multiple cable systems, and competing NY / Philly networks, — You’d need a million dollars to get above 15% in a voter recognition survey!  Also, no need to contact the brain trust at the DCCC, who achieved an Enron monopoly on losing campaign strategies and support.  They won’t invest a nickel’s worth in the 4th District race.  Their consultants are $o needy, they can only blow their load in a few places and only where the con$ultant$ tell them.  No, Smith could put his feet up sipping lemonade drinks with his friend, Jerry Falwell, because all he needs is his trusty pen to sign away the “franking privilege” on all his letters.  This allows him to mail to his constituents for free all his campaign literature  disguised as “official” duties.

MEMO TO CAROL GAY: You CAN send Mr. Smith home from Washington

CONFIDENTIAL MEMO

To:  Carol Gay
From:  Sister to Sister
Re:  Mr. Smith needs to come home from Washington & You can do it!
Date:  Labor Day

Carol, the rest of those ladies and gentlemen who ran against Chris Smith (R-NJ4) were pansies!  They actually thought they could run on the “issues” and win.  Ha.  They tried to run positive, issue orientated campaigns and appeal to voters on a grass roots level. After all, who couldn’t beat a 20 year incumbent with little accomplished and no Chairmanship to show for?  Unfortunately, Smith just sits back in his plush arm chair by the fireplace; snug in his Virginia home, resting his feet comfortably on an ottoman with an embroidered American eagle personally designed by Nancy Reagan. 

Smith knows the opposition can drive back and forth on I-195 all day, seven days a week until Election Day, and not get through to anybody beyond the highway exits … the district is inpenetrable.  With four counties, five major daily newspapers, gated Senior communities that don’t let pesky politicians in, multiple cable systems, and competing NY / Philly networks, — You’d need a million dollars to get above 15% in a voter recognition survey!  Also, no need to contact the brain trust at the DCCC, who achieved an Enron monopoly on losing campaign strategies and support.  They won’t invest a nickel’s worth in the 4th District race.  Their consultants are $o needy, they can only blow their load in a few places and only where the con$ultant$ tell them.  No, Smith could put his feet up sipping lemonade drinks with his friend, Jerry Falwell, because all he needs is his trusty pen to sign away the “franking privilege” on all his letters.  This allows him to mail to his constituents for free all his campaign literature  disguised as “official” duties.