Frank Pallone & DFA Chair Jim Dean
I had a call last night from Congressman Frank Pallone to talk about the concession by GOP NJ-6 candidate Diane Gooch to “Tea Party-approved” Highlands Mayor Anna Little. I had a few questions for him, and he had a few answers (emphasis is mine):
Question: Are you now running against the candidate you wanted to run against all along?
Frank Pallone: Doesn’t matter to me. Either way, the I have to run on my record and they’ll make me the issue. The main thing is that it’s going to be a clear divide on the issues. She’s certainly a right-winger and it will be the biggest divide. She (Anna Little) ran as the Tea Party candidate, with the Tea Party’s positions, on women’s right to choose, on guns. But it’s also about the role of the federal government.
Question: How do you see Little on the federal government?
Frank Pallone: Well, I want to talk a little about activist government vs. limited government. Government should not do everything. But when we’re in a recession – in tough times – that’s not when the government should sit back and do less. We need to help out.
This is Franklin Roosevelt versus Herbert Hoover. When you’ve got recession, it’s not the time for the federal government to say, Let’s let everything go. The Recovery Act, the stimulus, efforts to create jobs, creating safety nets for people; federal government can make a difference for people, but she’s against that. And people are going to know who they’re choosing based on those issues.
Question: Diane Gooch was the candidate the GOP establishment wanted, but she wasn’t the candidate who had support on the ground. How does this fact speak to you about the power of grassroots organizing?
Frank Pallone: You know, the right wing thinks they’ll get the the people out and do well. They think that they’re the ones who have the grassroots support. I think it’s important for progressives to to understand that it’s important right now to get involved – knock on doors, volunteer, talk to friends.
The Right is of the opinion that they’re organized. And they think that we’re not.
That’s a cautionary last statement, isn’t it? I want to add here that Rep. Pallone will be a Speaker & Mentor at the Democracy for America national Campaign Training next Saturday June 26. We put that Training in Ocean County because that is where Chris Christie slammed Jon Corzine, whose Campaign Chair was Rep. Pallone.(Full disclosure: Jeff Gardner & I are both organizers of that Training.)