Tag Archive: house of representatives

The War on Women Continues

Right now, the Violence Against Women Act is being held up in Congress because Eric Cantor believes that Tribal authorities have no right to pursue justice for Native American women who are victims of rape by non-Native rapists.  Currently, in a fact I was made aware of by Chiefs I know personally here in NJ, American Indian women fall through terrifying cracks in our justice system in the United States because of problems with jurisdiction. When I was made aware of this  a few years ago, I could not believe it was not on the news every night. The situation is appalling.  Not only are these women subject to internal domestic abuse due to the harsh conditions so many must endure, they have to deal with being raped by non-native men who cannot be brought to justice in court. It is unthinkable and most Americans I know would be outraged by this – if only they knew it was happening.  

Engineering an Upset Victory

Many of the problems facing America today are self-imposed by the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. It’s clear that in order to restore America’s economy, improve its schools, reclaim the mantle as a leader in technology and science, and improve living standards for all Americans, the Republican stranglehold in Congress must be removed.

It’s a big task. Twenty-five seats will need to flip in order to release the Boehner/Cantor grip on progress.

Here in New Jersey, there are at least two House races that are going to be uphill battles for the Democrats, but with some hard work and good GOTV campaigns are winnable. One, in my home district (NJ-3), is the candidacy of Shelley Adler, who is running against Republican lap dog Jon Runyan. Another is the race in the 7th District, where Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula is challenging two-term congressman Leonard Lance.

At one time, Lance was considered a moderate Republican, but that term has become oxymoronic. Over the last couple of years, Lance has embraced the extreme Tea Party agenda and has become part of the problem in impeding progress. As he mentions in my video interview below, Chivukula has been trained as an engineer – a problem solver – and is the right person to replace Lance.

Yesterday, I spoke with Chivukula on why he’s running and why he’s the best man for the job.

CD5 and CD3

I have lived in Northwestern New Jersey in CD5 for over 30 years, but for the last 9+ years I have had the misfortune of having Scott Garrett as my Representative in Congress. Assemblywoman Connie Wagner would be my choice to unseat him. Having served in the Assembly since 2008, representing the 38th District, she has proven to be a champion of progressive ideals and values. I also think that Connie will be able to raise a significant amount of money in order to compete against Garrett and the Tea Party money.

Dr. Tom Sacks-Wilner lives in Medford, CD3. For several years I have been a donor to Tom’s fundraising/bundling group. He is a person who raises money readily and efficiently. With an expansive donor base that he has fashioned, he can easily raise at least $6 million from now to November 6. His ability to fundraise will provide the mandatory funds needed to define Jon Runyan. He has been politically active behind the scenes, especially in progressive causes.

In light of the Republican-favorable redistricting, Connie and Tom would each have a mountain to climb to defeat their respective opponent; however the challenge is certainly not insurmountable. I believe both would make their races interesting, should they choose to run.  

Rush Holt on Marriage Equality

Among the scores of Democratic politicians in today’s crowded Marriage Equality press conference was one federal official, Congressman Rush Holt. Holt represented the entire New Jersey congressional delegation – all seven congressmen and both senators – in expressing their support for the Marriage Equality bill, S1. Holt’s brief remarks are below; the text of the letter is after the fold.

Here’s a great idea for redistricting

Of all the things that we have seen come out of California from voter initiatives, this is one that I can get enthusiastically behind:

Disappointed at seeing state lawmakers gerrymandering their own districts behind closed doors in ways that protect them from challengers, California voters approved an initiative in 2008 that transfers the job to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Using bingo balls and a hand-cranked bingo cage, State Auditor Elaine Howle conducted random drawings of names from three pools of applicants to select three Democrats, three Republicans and two people who don’t belong to the either of those parties.

We generally have very noncompetitive Congressional elections in most of the 13 and soon to be 12 districts here in NJ.  And that is by design.  This is a year that Congressional districts will be redrawn, and the last time solidified that there will not be a change in political party representation in the districts.  In fact, other than John Adler winning in 2008 and losing in 2010, not one of New Jersey’s Congressional districts changed party control since 1999, when Congressman Holt won the 12th District.

more below the fold

No Way … Yes Way

While we celebrate having avoided the Republican deluge in other states, let’s not forget that the NJ landscape is now more slippery than before. The unexpected can happen: “No Way” can become “Yes Way.” We better get our ass in gear for 2011 and 2012.

  • Jon Runyan will win … but in spite of “late property tax payments, two lawsuits, a tax lien, 1995 arrest for driving under the influence, spotty voting history and a farmland tax break,” he does.
  • All Five incumbent Bergen Democrats will lose … How the mighty have fallen!
  • Pallone will win with only 11 points Two years ago he won with 35 points.
  • Holt will win with only 7 pointsTwo years ago he won with 28 points.
  • All four Hunterdon Co. Democrats will lose … but they do.
  • Rand Paul, Mark Rubio, and Nikki Haley will win and Anna Little will garner 44% of the vote and U. S. exit polls suggested that more than one in 10 voters identified themselves as members of the Tea Party movementThe Tea Party only got started in early 2009.
  • Democrats will lose at least 60 seats in House of Representatives … but they do.
  • NJ House races: 1st Quarter Fundraising

    (incumbents denoted by *)

    US House of Representatives
    Candidate Net Contributions (line 6c) Cash on Hand
    Jan-Mar Cycle to date
    No candidate raised enough to file
    *Frank LoBiondo (R) $  86,812.00 $   749,415.90 $ 1,395,891.15
    John Adler (D) $ 534,481.71 $   973,926.45 $ 1,003,551.16
    Chris Myers (R) $ 334,786.77 $   334,786.77 $   288,100.46
    John Kelly (R) $ 306,113.68 $   306,113.68 $   281,358.48
    Josh Zeitz (D) $  47,912.52 $   145,214.13 $    90,769.72
    *Chris Smith (R) $ 141,045.41 $   408,135.45 $   468,384.54
    Dennis Shulman (D) $ 123,098.14 $   314,829.13 $   245,549.80
    Camille Abate (D) $  63,973.99 $   204,433.52 $   103,193.05
    *Scott Garrett (R) $ 192,859.50 $   689,050.24 $   457,521.36
    *Frank Pallone (D) $ 226,981.00 $ 1,601,977.66 $ 3,351,388.58
    Linda Stender (D) $ 436,616.96 $ 1,051,466.84 $   845,123.48
    Kate Whitman (R) $ 243,648.23 $   444,183.23 $   307,260.88
    Leonard Lance (R) $ 194,130.99 $   194,130.99 $   255,654.19
    Martin Marks (R) $  29,305.00 $    48,340.00 $   103,566.51
    P. Kelly Hatfield (R) $  50,480.29 $    50,480.29 $    94,442.19
    Michael Hsing (R) $  16,143.00 $    16,143.00 $    13,214.14
    *Bill Pascrell (D) $ 164,315.00 $   889,919.60 $ 1,189,944.87
    *Steve Rothman (D) $ 122,210.00 $   825,006.25 $ 1,878,605.12
    *Donald Payne (D) $ 124,620.00 $   272,410.00 $ 1,044,013.94
    Tom Wyka (D) $  18,012.32 $    27,690.32 $    13,388.94
    *Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) $ 261,966.00 $   638,397.50 $   730,570.60
    *Rush Holt (D) $ 122,313.39 $   604,735.61 $   752,718.74
    *Albio Sires (D) $ 129,265.00 $   705,765.32 $   272,091.13

    NJ Women in Politics Open Thread

    Some facts on New Jersey women pols via The Home News Tribune:

    • There are no women in our federal congressional delegation
    • We are 35th in the country for women in the state Legislature
    • Less than 15 percent of our municipalities have female mayors

    In light of these facts, please use this thread to link to a woman running for office, small or large, anywhere in our great state.