Unprecedented Campaign Begins in New Brunwick

DEMOCRATS FOR CHANGE is  a bold innovative new campaign against the powerful Democratic Party machinery here in New Brunswick…

PolitickerNJ: http://www.politickernj.com/ma…

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ? Launching a bold grassroots electoral campaign of a magnitude not seen in decades, a diverse coalition of 50 New Brunswick residents hailing from all corners of the city filed petitions yesterday afternoon (Monday 4/6) to run for seats on the Middlesex County Democratic Committee in the upcoming June 2 election.

The candidates, running under the common slogan ?Democrats for Change,” represent the full range of city neighborhoods in all five New Brunswick wards and include such notable residents as Thomas Peoples, leader of the Fourth Ward Crime Watch and Angela Salazar, 2002 New Brunswick High School valedictorian.

?Democrats for Change? candidates want each neighborhood to have representatives that will put the real-life concerns of their neighbors first on the city?s agenda.

Noting that current city leaders have grown aloof to the needs of residents and are unknown to most of the city, Thomas Peoples, candidate for committeeman in Ward 4, District 5 said: “There is no communication with the Councilpeople. They never come to the neighborhoods. The only way we can have change is if real people step up to represent that actually LIVE in all neighborhoods.?

Adam Gold, a Rutgers graduate and candidate for committeeman in Ward 6, District 6 added: ?I just want people to be able to answer a simple question: Who is representing you??

?Democrats for Change? slate plan to address citywide issues that impact all residents such as the lack of representation for many constituencies in the city (by supporting ward-based elections) and the need to improve the city?s schools and to make them more accountable (with an elected school board).  Additionally, candidates plan to tackle specific issues impacting their neighborhoods such as improving street cleaning, alleviating parking and transportation problems, offering greater access to affordable and safe housing, expanding and improving city parks, and providing activities and programs for local youth.

Let’s Make Health Care Work for NJ

Promoted by Jason Springer

Last week I stood on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton to launch a state-focused initiative to give the people of New Jersey an active role in the Congressional efforts to reform our nation’s broken health care system.  I want to Make Health Care Work For New Jersey, and I want to get everyone involved in the reform process.  

Thank you, Congressman Pallone

“The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

– Vice President Hubert Humphrey

In Washington, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-6) is fighting for the progressive agenda.  On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved, by a 289 to 139 margin, a record expansion of the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  Capitol Hill watchers expect the bill to easily pass through the Senate and reach President-Elect Obama’s desk within days of his inauguration.  In addition to reauthorizing a program that presently covers seven million children, yesterday’s expansion will provide four million more with access to basic medical care.

This victory has been long coming.  Both Democrats and a minority of Republicans attempted in the previous Congress to pass similar legislation, only to have their work vetoed twice by a President more interested in providing corporate welfare than extending health care to the children of the poor.  

New Jerseyans should take pride in the knowledge that Congressman Pallone has led the House’s efforts toward passage of the expansion.  As Chair of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, he helped draft the legislation and went to the floor to shepherd it through to final approval.  Pallone’s work is consistent with his progressive principles and a reflection of his long held commitment to providing access to health care for all Americans.

The child health bill provides $32 billion to insure a total of 11 million children whose families lack the resources to pay for preventative and emergency care.  Moreover, the legislation removes the discriminatory clause that excluded the children of legal immigrants – first generation Americans – from coverage.

With the economy entering recession, more than 2.6 million people lost their job last year alone – the highest one year loss since 1945.  Experts estimate that for every 1 percent increase in the number of jobless, 1.5 million people lose health coverage.  47 million Americans are uninsured. Sadly, 9 million are children, and according to a recent report, 273,000 of them are from New Jersey.

Thanks in large measure to the work of Congressman Pallone, our country is one step closer to reducing that number.  In doing so, we guarantee access to basic medical care for those who need it the most: our children.

NY Times: House Votes to Expand Children’s Health Care

Press Release: House Democrats Introduce Legislation To Expand Health Care Coverage to Millions of Children

Come To Somerset County On Election Day

I am asking you to take Election Day off from work and come to Somerset County to make this election as painful as possible for the Republican bosses.  We can win this county for Barack Obama and put some serious dents in the Republican hold here.

Just last month Somerset’s registration advantage moved from the GOP to the Democrats, we have awesome candidates for Freeholder in Doug Singleterry and Cecilia Xie Birge, have four different Congressional races (Pallone, Holt, Wyka and Stender), and candidates running in just about every town.  This is an opportunity we haven’t seen in a long time, and we need your help to make it happen.

We will be working out of Bridgewater (Martinsville), Hillsborough, Montgomery and maybe one other town but our goal is to reach every single district in the county at least once.  We need you to give us a few hours to make this happen.  

This is an amazing opportunity to put NJ7 in the Democrats’ pocket, elect Democratic Freeholders in Somerset for the first time since 1979, take some of the wind out of Rodney Frelinghuysen, and win control of at least four towns.

We need challengers at the polls, van drivers for our volunteers, people to go door-to-door to our voters reminding them to get to the polls, and others to staff the staging areas.  Anyone 16 years or older can volunteer on election day and make a real difference.

If you can give us one, two, three, four or eight hours on election day, please give me a call at (908) 561-6387 or e-mail me at nathanrudy@gmail.com .

If you can’t come to Somerset, please be sure to volunteer in your home town or county.  The more workers we have the more votes we’ll get!

Let’s win on November 4 up and down the ticket.

McCleod Uses Chris Christie to Dishonestly Attack Pallone

The Republicans actually have a candidate in NJ6 to run against Frank Pallone, former Holmdel and Keyport Municipal Court Judge Robert McCleod.  It doesn’t seem like much of a challenge — on his website the link to “What’s Wrong With Frank Pallone” comes up 404 and all the information in on Word documents — he has the great Republican ability to twist facts to the breaking point and use Chris Christie politically.

What?  Use Chris Christie politically?  How is that possible when Christie is such a non-partisan crusader against fraud and corruption?

Anyway.  Back to McCleod.  Apparently he has decided to pretend that Chris Christie impaneled a grand jury just for Frank Pallone to investigate his connections to the health care industry.  Here’s what he wrote in a “memo“:

Attorney Chris Christie impaneled a federal grand jury to investigate whether Pallone had been the beneficiary of improper campaign finance actions by officials at UMDNJ.

The grand jury was impaneled to investigate problems at UMDNJ, not to investigate Pallone.  In fact, according to the article McCleod points to as the source for his attack, it was not Pallone who was investigated but a lobbyist who raised money for Pallone.  Pallone was not a target at all, much less the reason the grand jury was impaneled.

In a less cynical era we’d call it a lie, but today it is spin.  

McCleod takes it a step further, stating as fact his own guesswork based on his own false interpretation of the facts:

To ward off any further action by this grand jury Pallone commenced his pattern of counterattacks on Christie and later John Ashcroft. “The Jersey Boys,” The American Spectator, Washington Prowler, January 14, 2008.

There is no evidence, or even suggestion, in the article referenced, that Pallone went after the $50 million no-bid contract Christie gave Ashcroft as an effort to protect himself.  It would have been stupid to draw attention to himself and piss off Christie, but he did it anyway.  McCleod made up the accusation out of whole cloth, then attributed it to a third party to make it look real.

And to make it all perfect, McCleod decides to play the gay card.  This one is really pretty funny:

Besides enriching himself with contributions Pallone is doing the bidding of Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and another big recipient of Stryker family money. The Stryker family is also a big contributor to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a cause close to Pallone’s heart, or another body part.

This is the level of discourse we get from the New Jersey Republicans?  This is the kind of person who gets to be a municipal judge?  Goodness gracious.

Third Quarter Cash on Hand for Democrats

Cash on Hand from the FEC quarterly filings:

Rob Andrews (NJ1) $2,429,899
Rush Holt (NJ12) $623,200
Frank Pallone (NJ6) $3,105,223
Bill Pascrell (NJ8) $1,031,440
Don Payne (NJ10) $751,399
Steve Rothman (NJ9) $1,838,631
Albio Sires (NJ13) $132,605

Your politics 101 quiz:  Which of these Congressmen is thinking of running for the U.S. Senate?

Good coverage of our rally at Pallone’s office & meeting w/Pallone

This is the first time The Home News has come out for a MoveOn (& peace group) petition/letter delivery at a congressional office (at least of the ones I’ve been to in Central Jersey).  The picture took up most of the above the fold front page of the ‘local’ section.

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Pallone wasn’t happy that the article didn’t mention that he had voted against the war or that he voted against the previous supplemental spending for the war, but the upside is that it may spur him to write an OpEd.


Protesters meet at Pallone’s New Bruns. office

NEW BRUNSWICK – About 20 members of various anti-war groups gathered in the Church Street office of Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., Thursday afternoon to rally for an end to the war in Iraq. Group members also said they seek a de-escalation of the war of words with Iran.

The constituents’ one-hour session with Pallone officials – equal parts teach-in, lobbying effort and critique of elected officials – also made clear they want Pallone to vote against President Bush’s request for a $93 billion appropriation to help fund the war in Iraq.

“We need true leaders that are going to say “no’ to this president and this war,” one protester said.

The group also expressed its misgiving with what some characterized as war profiteering and with poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where wounded troops returning from war are treated.

Pallone was in Trenton Thursday to attend Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s budget speech. Pallone, however, is scheduled to meet with … the Central Jersey Coalition to End the War…

The Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War, US Labor Against the War, Monmouth Co. Dem for America and Monmouth Co. Greens (about 8 of us) met with Cong. Pallone last Friday.

Pallone is standing by his promise to not vote for the Supplemental (he has never voted for one in the past), even if there are conditions put on it, as Murtha intends to do.

He said Woolsey asks him often to sign on to her bill to end the war, HR 508.  His problem with it is that it has too much stuff in it.  He’d like a simpler bill and is signed on to Murtha’s withdrawal plan, but he’ll look at Woolsey again.  He appeared not to have heard the objection to Murtha’s `over the horizon’ concept – that the troops will be ready to go back in and probably will.

He again said he would look into Jones and DeFazio on requiring Bush to get authorization before attacking Iran. He agreed there is reason to worry about what the administration might do.  We discussed whether legislation following the Union of Concerned Scientists recommendation barring the US from using nuclear weapons could be initiated.

He is a co-sponsor of Rothman’s condemnation of Ahmedinejad for holding the conference of holocaust deniers, which includes Bush-like language about Iran’s uranium enrichment program and language defending Israel’s right to defend itself.  He wasn’t aware of how it feeds into administration rhetoric, but won’t reverse his co-sponsorship.

The issue of depleted uranium was brought up. [CJC had previously asked the Congressman to sign on to the “Depleted Uranium Munitions Study Act of 2003” (HR 1483IH).]  There doesn’t appear to be any current legislation regarding this issue.

He will consider drafting legislation that would go further towards undoing the Military Commissions Act.  He again said he wouldn’t consider impeachment.

He said legislation on Katrina will be coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Vote for ‘Out Now’ on Pallone’s POLL

Especially if you live in the 6th district, please vote in Pallone’s Iraq withdrawal strategy poll

“Immediate withdrawal” is losing badly to “redeploy” and “stay the course.”

Update:  On second thought, write or call and ask for a more sophisticated poll.  The phrasing of the options is overly simplistic and the detail on B, vs. the lack of detail – provisions for the safety of the troops as they are brought home – makes the poll questions skew toward a particular result.  Contacting the office, also allows one to make a clearer statement of constituent’s views on withdrawal.

Results of Current Poll: What do you think is the best Iraq policy?
The last response was on 12-11-2006 14:36.

Answer (followed by Votes & Percentage):

A – Stay the course

2016  35.2%

B – Dramatically lessen the American footprint in Iraq by redeploying American troops, giving the responsibility of securing Iraq to the Iraqis.

2253  39.4%

C – An immediate withdrawal of US forces in Iraq

1380  24.1%

Total 5721

Where’s Mike? We Know This Weekend!

After six years of hiding and jiving, Mike Ferguson is finally sending out a public schedule of where he’s going to be.  AND YOU CAN BE THERE TOO!

We have his bus schedule for through election day, and it is extensive since he is afraid he might lose his seat.  But you can show him — just like in this video from the debate! — that the voters are just not with him.

PLEASE GET PICTURES OF THE RALLIES.  Especially the ones with sparse attendance.  Send them to nathanrudy@gmail.com and we’ll post the best ones.  Cell phone pictures are fine.  Video of his talks is good, too, especially when he is lying. 

The full schedule is after the jump. When we can find them, we’ve provided links to Google Maps.  Sometimes the maps aren’t perfectly accurate and you’ll have to drive up and down the street to find the "rally".

Sy Hersh ‘Watching Lebanon’ & Pallone’s Open House

Is anyone else freaking out about Seymour Hersh’s latest New Yorker article, Watching Lebanon

According to a Middle East expert … Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah – and shared it with Bush Administration officials – well before the July 12th kidnappings. “It’s not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into,” he said, “but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it.”

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

Administration officials denied that they knew of Israel’s plan for the air war. The White House did not respond to a detailed list of questions…

“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

And guess who’s behind it: