Tag Archive: Rep. Leonard Lance

What’s Happening Today Wed. 12/04/2013

Substandard Health Insurance Policies: New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) and consumer advocates release today a report on substandard health plans and the impact they could have. Advocates will highlight the full range of options open to consumers receiving cancellation notices. See the report here or join a teleconference at Noon (866-740-1260 Code: 7483644). NJPP is also renewing its call for the State to utilize without delay the $7.6 million remaining from a state planning grant to educate New Jerseyans and ensure consumers are fully informed of their choices. 

Fair Share Housing Center says documents it obtained through litigation against the Christie Administration indicate, “Guidelines for major Sandy programs were not adopted until after the administration chose who got the funds.” For more information on what Fair Share uncovered go here. On Monday Christie displayed his displeasure with this group’s gaining access to the documents. He called them a “hack group” – a sure sign they are onto something.

AIDS Awareness Week: As David Cruz on NJTV News reminded us, “Newark has always – and still does – lead the state in HIV/AIDS cases. In 2012, there were more than 14,000 Newarkers living with the disease. That’s close to 70 percent of the cases statewide.” Across the country, there are 56,000 new HIV infections every year. Dr. Eddie Jumper of North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) says, “The real crisis is the countless others who may be engaging in high-risk activity – like unprotected sex and sharing needles – who just don’t know their HIV status.” He adds, “Get tested.” View the 3-minute segment on NJTV News, including David Cruz taking an HIV test. (Disclosure: I am the founder and past E.D. of NJCRI.)

Give me a break: The Star-Ledger reports, “They compare him to French President Charles de Gaulle at the end of World War II. They call him a ‘happy warrior.’ But above all, the staff members of GQ bestowed a new honor on Gov. Chris Christie: “Boss of the Year 2013.”

“Let the guessing begin on what changes are in store for Gov. Chris Christie’s cabinet.” That question was raised by Bob Jordan at APP.com who adds that when Christie announced some personnel tweaks in his administration Monday, he said, “You’ll be seeing a lot of me in these next few weeks as we have more of these kinds of announcements.” As Christie increases his out-of-State travel he must want to ensure a loyal, competent staff to carry out his agenda. What changes do you guess are coming?

EVENTS TODAY

Gov. Chris Christie: No public events scheduled today.

Port Authority NY/NJ Board of Commissioners: Meeting at 1:30pm, 225 Park Avenue South, NY, NY. The Authority continues its obfuscation regarding the closing of the Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge by claiming it was part of a traffic study. However, the Authority has provided no documentation to support that claim. Of course such has not stopped the Authority from yet another toll increase which just went into effect. Once again New Jerseyans are paying more while the majority of the revenue is applied to NY projects.

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance: A telephone town-hall meeting from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. To find out how to join the call, you can contact his office at (908) 518-7733. On Facebook he is saying, ACA “remains unworkable and deserves to be repealed.”

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez: is at West New York Public School 3 which will be renamed after him at 11:00am in West New York.  

Ah… The Life of Sportsmen

Enjoying a day in the country, camaraderie, teaching one’s child how to shoot and skin an animal, and bringing home to the family fresh meat for dinner. That was part of my early childhood with my father and his friends. I used a bb gun.

Shoot forward (no pun intended) to today’s powerful firearms and the massive industry lobbying. Meet the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) based in Washington DC with regional offices and state legislative caucuses. A N. Y. Times editorial refers to it as “a powerful voice arguing that gun safety measures will somehow undermine hunting, fishing, target shooting and other activities … And when it comes to insider influence on Capitol Hill, it has the ear of members of the sportsmen’s caucus, which has often supported measures embraced by the firearms industry.”

Meet your Congressional Sportsmen’s NJ Caucus members: Rep. Rob Andrews, Rep. Leonard Lance, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Rep. Jon Runyan, and Rep. Chris Smith. And your NJ Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership: Sen. Donald Norcross, Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblyman John Burzichelli.

Financial sponsors of the foundation include firearms manufacturers such as Remington which advertises its AUTOLOADING MODEL 597™ and praises “the speed with which it zips out rounds, and Browning which promotes its AR5 which is “built to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing and softest shooting recoil-operated autoloader on the planet.” Other sponsors include the NRA and Koch Companies. (Yes. Those infamous brothers.)

While the foundation supports a broad range of worthwhile sportsmen activities, it also opposes a ban on the military-style rifles and high capacity magazines used in mass shootings. The Vice Chair of its Board is Mark DeYoung, President and CEO of ATK Armament Systems (formerly ATK Ammunition Systems.)

We are a long time and far away from my father’s life as a sportsman using a single action rifle for hunting and today’s fearsome firearms used to kill 20 or more people in a matter of seconds. It’s time for legislators to show moral courage and determination. It’s time for new rules.

Beyond the fold: information about the above congressmen’s positions.

New Jerseyans on President Obama

Thoughts on President Obama, his inauguration speech, and his second term:

  •  Tyrone Powell, a 65-year-old Paterson accountant: “Obama needs to be true to his convictions.  I feel the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King got from God to help the poor – he enacted part one and passed it down to Barack.”

  •  U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-CD 6): There will be a measure of inspiration in the president’s speech Monday, but the focus for New Jersey and for the country will be on creating jobs and continuing to nourish economic recovery.”

  •  Rutgers History Professor Clement Price: “The speech and the second term should be about overcoming Washington gridlock. He has not shown the kind of political skill that we saw with Bill Clinton and much earlier with Lyndon Johnson. His second term should not be driven by excitement. It should be driven by a work ethic.”

  •  Camden Mayor Dana Redd: “My number one issue is public safety.”

  • U. S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-CD 7): “It is a celebration of our democracy.”

  •  Newark Mayor Cory Booker: “We live in a tough environment right now. Obama has already shown his ability to forge his way forward. This time it’s just about continuing the work.”

  •  Nick Ragone, author: “Our broken politics, for starters, is in desperate need of healing, while long-term entitlement obligations threaten our future like the sword of Damocles. A road map to fixing either would be a great place to start.

  •  Patricia Johnson, a West Orange healthcare worker: “Getting people back to work.”

  •  Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37): “We watch Barack Obama assume his second term, and we remember the horrors that guns in the wrong hands have caused taking the lives of President John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.”

    Open thread:  Add your thoughts.

  • One Day More!

    “One Day More!

    Another day, another destiny,

    This never-ending road to Calvary.”

              Les Miserables

    Another day and we will learn about this never-ending road. There is some chance we will survive the “fiscal cliff,” but we will still be left dangling as the debt crisis and larger financial issues remain to be resolved in the coming months. This stupid, ongoing bickering, with even more to come, is not only tiresome, but hurtful to  all of us and our economy. This 112th congressional session has broken records in term of the few bills it has passed.

    It appears that if a minimal bill is passed by by midnight or hours later, our Hurricane Sandy Relief Aid bill might be attached. But even that is far from a sure thing. House leadership does not seem to like the bill passed by the Senate and wants to appropriate a smaller sum and possibly include other expense-cutting off-sets. Also, appropriation bills are supposed to start in the House not the Senate, but two months after Sandy the House so far has failed to take up the matter.  

    Our congressional contingent, with the possible exception of Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), is in support of the bill. However, our more conservative Republican members might acquiesce to a smaller package. Rep. Leonard Lance of Clinton Township wants a “clean” bill that does not include pork and unrelated items.” Even our Democrats might go along if they feel there is no other recourse to obtain funding. If a bill is not passed by January 3 the matter will have to be brought back up in the Senate and House in the new 113th congressional session.

    In the meantime insurance companies and FEMA are paying slowly. The federal flood insurance fund is almost out of money. Foundations and relief agencies are helping along the edges. However, homeowners, beach communities, and large infrastructure projects remain in an uncertain, precarious position. Our State is strapped for extra money to provide any significant help, and only with a large infusion of construction-related aid can our economy begin to strengthen.  

    Presumably Governor Christie is applying pressure in the background. We will see how much good his endless, out-of-state forays on behalf of other Republican congressmen have accomplished. Our congressional contingent is certainly advocating for our needs. We should continue to call House members, particularly Republicans. Nonetheless, we are stuck in the muck of bickering, waiting for “another day, another destiny.”