Tag Archive: tom kean jr.

Garden State Equality tells Kean Jr. to withdraw ad, apologize to women, people of color, LGBTIers

If you thought Virginia Senator George Allen’s “macaca” comment was bad…


Garden State Equality calls on Kean Jr. to withdraw the commercial and to apologize to New Jersey’s women, people of color and LGBTI community

Contact: Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, cell (917) 449-8918

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — In response to the new radio commercial of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr. in which Kean Jr. proudly showcases a supporter who made racist,
sexist and anti-gay statements in The Bergen Record from 1989 through 2005, Garden State Equality today called on Kean Jr. to withdraw the commercial and to apologize to New Jersey’s women, people of color and LGBTI community.

“The audacity of this candidate with low capacity,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality. “You’d have to be a
dim bulb, or actually share your prejudiced supporter’s views, to fail to notice the supporter’s years-long newspaper trail of
deeply offensive statements. Tell us, Tom Kean Jr., which is it? You can’t affable your way out of this one.

Kean Jr.’s supporter, Larry Giancola of Gutenberg, New Jersey, is the only voice beside Kean Jr.’s to appear in the 30-second radio commercial that premiered yesterday.

“The most troubling thing about the commercial,” Goldstein said, “is the possibility that Larry Giancola’s statements over the years (detailed below) reflect Tom Kean Jr.’s own views given
Kean Jr.’s horrid civil rights record in the state legislature.”

In 2002, Kean Jr. missed a vote that would have created the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. In 2004, Kean Jr. was one of only nine members of the 40-member state Senate to vote against the
domestic-partnership bill that went on to become law with bipartisan support.

“We in New Jersey’s LGBTI community were devastated when Tom Kean Jr. voted against the domestic-partnership bill that – as state law today – gives gay couples a miniscule 10 of the 1,138 rights that straight couples get with marriage.  The bill took gay people from third-class to second-class citizens, a very far cry from equality, and yet Kean Jr. couldn’t even vote for that.  But several of his Republican colleagues did.  How dare Tom Kean Jr. call himself a moderate.”

Here is the newspaper trail of prejudiced statements that Larry Giancola made in The Bergen Record from 1989 through 2005: 

Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls being gay a sin – in an extremely progressive state that’s been a national pioneer for LGBTI rights.  “Recent research suggests that biological conditions that exist before birth may be largely responsible for determining whether a person is homosexual or not. I disagree with you on this and so does the New Testament. The Bible calls homosexuality sin.”  [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 9/24/89] 

Kean Jr.’s radio hero believes there is no place in America for feminism and diversity.  “We should export our college ideals of liberalism, feminism and cultural diversity.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05]

Kean Jr.’s radio hero disdains diversity on college campuses.  “What cultural diversity has to do with expertise in one’s field of work is anyone’s guess. I would much rather be under the care of a competent physician then some politically correct doctor.”  [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05]

Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls curriculum that teaches about race and gender “an absolute joke.”  “Nowhere in this article is there any hint of really learning something useful. The academic courses mentioned — Gender, Race and Class; History of Ethnic Fashion Design — are an absolute joke.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 12/18/05] 

Kean Jr.’s radio hero questions the need for U.S. aid to Africa.  “The United States contributes far more money to Africa than any other country, and what does it have to show for it? Africa today is no better off than it was 10 or 20 years ago. The miracle of turning Rhodesia into Zimbabwe has resulted in starvation.” [Larry Giancola, Bergen Record, 8/28/05] 

Kean Jr.’s radio hero calls Americans “wimps.”  “The American people are turning into the biggest wimps this country has ever seen.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 3/20/03] 

Kean Jr.’s radio hero questions the resolve of the American people. “When there is the least little danger, they run for cover like rats.  It will be a miracle if we keep our freedom with such brave citizens.” [Larry Giancola, The Bergen Record, 3/20/03]

Kean Jr.’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, has compiled one of the best records on civil rights, including LGBTI rights, in the U.S. Congress.  He has received a career 91 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign. 

Among Senator Menendez’s achievements:  He has fought passionately and successfully against a U.S. constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples.  He is a national leader in fighting for the right of foreign-citizen, same-sex partners of Americans to immigrate to the U.S. as married opposite-sex spouses would be allowed.  And in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, he courageously led the way in persuading the federal government to offer equal assistance to all surviving families, including LGBTI families, through the Victims’ Compensation Fund.

Kean Jr. and Fiscal Discipline

Today, Tom Kean Jr. made the only trip I know of to Camden County outside of his cash-and-dash champagne and caviar fundraiser at the Tavistock Country club.  At a small business in Collingswood, Kean Jr. repeated his mantra that he supports the Bush tax cuts and that Menendez opposes them.  For me, this underscores a larger problem in the Republican Party, one which we Democrats need to attack them with: they can no longer lay claim to being the party of fiscal discipline.

First, tax cuts are, generally speaking, popular measures that voters tend to support; I applaud Sen. Menendez for pointing out that Bush’s tax cuts, which have directly led to a multi-trillion dollar deficit, disporportionately assist the uber-wealthy and not working class or middle class Americans or New Jerseyans. According to records, the federal deficit for 2006 alone is over $400 billion — no responsible economist is going to call for tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy built upon the hypothesis that this will lead to increased revenues in the future, particularly with such a massive structural deficit.

If one combines Kean Jr.’s stance on Bush’s tax cuts to his pro-war stance, there is an additional $350-400 billion debt added to the national deficit.  The cost of the Iraq War is simply astounding, and that’s not even counting the unquantifiable cost of human lives and injuries.  This war has been kept of the budget record books by the Bush administration, but it exacerbates the short-and-long term federal deficit.

Kean Jr.’s stances on these two issues defy any logical stance on fiscal discipline, and Republicans need to be reminded that they cannot credibly hold to this position in contemporary American economics.

To Do List: Lie to the press – check. Stonewall military families – check.

We read here two days ago that Tom Kean Jr. refused to answer a series of simple questions posed to both him and Senator Menendez by a group of military families. We were shocked that a pro-war candidate for the United States Senate would have the audacity to stonewall a group of military families. And apparently, so were the military families asking the questions:

When a group of staunchly anti-war military relatives interviewed a mildly pro-war U.S. Senate candidate last month, they did not expect to like all his answers.

But they did expect answers….

And, of course, they deserve answers. (Exactly how busy is it at Kean headquarters, anyway?)

“I really thought he would answer our questions,” said group member JoAnn Sohl, a longtime Palisades Park resident whose son returned to Iraq this week after a 14-day leave. “He should have answered them. I would have a lot more respect. Our children are the ones fighting the war.”

In a statement responding to the Record article, Senator Menendez – who DID answer the group’s questions when asked – put it bluntly:

If you can’t even explain to New Jerseyans why you would send their sons and daughters to Iraq to fight in a war that shows no end in sight, you have no right to ask them for your vote in November

Thank you.

They Did Not Have To Die

In 2004, NJ State Senators Tom Kean Jr. and Ron Rice both filed a lawsuit against the McGreevey administration and received an injunction ending three proposed needle exchange pilots.  These pilots were to be in three cities most affected by HIV/AIDS: Camden, Atlantic City and Newark.

Yesterday, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. voted against a bill that would permit needle exchanges in the state of New Jersey.  New Jersey is the last state not to allow a needle exchange program to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS.

Without mentioning Tom Kean Jr., columnist Tom Moran calls this exactly as it should be seen:

Later that day, a compromise bill providing for six pilot programs across the state passed the Senate Health Committee, along with $10 million more for drug treatment.

What changed? For one, New Jersey has become the last holdout in the nation, the only state in the country where a drug ad dict cannot legally obtain a clean needle.

That means addicts here are more likely to share needles, more likely to get AIDS, and more likely to pass on the agony of this disease to their infant children. …

  Gov. Jon Corzine got involved, pressing recalcitrant Democrats. So did Senate President Richard Codey, who hammered out the compromise with Sen. Joe Vitale, the committee chairman.

It was a good day for public health in New Jersey.

But it has taken way too long. You almost want to light a candle for the many people who were lost over the last decade or so while the politicians in Trenton dithered. They did not have to die.

They … did … not … have … to … die.

I hope that line wakes Tom Kean Jr. up in the middle of the night.

A Most Revealing Quote by Tom Kean

This is what the New York Times writes at the end of a long article about Tom Kean Jr.’s family advantages:

“He’ll call me and say, ‘Dad, what do you think about this, what do you think about that?’ ” the elder Mr. Kean said. “What I want him to understand is, no matter what I say, he’s going to make the ultimate judgment — he’s the candidate.

Yes, even Junior is confused about who is on the ballot.  His own father still “wants him to understand” what his reponsibilities are.

Monday September 11 News Roundup/Open Thread

  • It’s all nine-eleven, all the time in the State, the Nation, and the World. I would say it’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but the President has done an awful good job punctuating his every change of direction with some reference to the tragedy.  Anyway, while folks like you are me are doing our best to mourn  the fifth anniversary of terror attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans, including some from Burlington County, GOP golfers will be trying to break par — between breaks for cocktails.  Read it and cringe.  Or weep.  Or hurl.
  • Wednesday (September 13) is the second meeting of the state’s death penalty commission.  It’s at the Statehouse annex in Trenton from 2pm-4pm.  From the New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty’s website: “Join members of NJADP and other interested citizens of New Jersey as we observe the 2nd public hearing of the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission. This is a public hearing – everyone is welcome and all interested parties are urged to attend.”
  • Former NJ Governor (and heterosexual) Jim McGreevy is set to launch a month-long national book tour tomorrow with the taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  He’ll be making several stops in NJ, including a book reception hosted by our friends at Garden State Equality on Sept. 19 in Woodbridge and  four other New Jersey bookstore appearances on his schedule: at Barnes & Noble stores in Moorestown and Edison on Sept. 23; Watchung Booksellers in Montclair; and Here’s the Story in Union on Sept. 24.  No word yet whether the book tour will be making any stops at any of the state’s “dirty” bookstores.  Meanwhile gay escorts in the New York and Philly metro areas are praying that the ex-Gov. won’t be naming names.
  • The NY Times poses this rhetorical question to Kid Kean this morning: “IF you were an employee of a company and were disgruntled with its performance, who would you want to hold accountable? The chief executive, who is popular with key constituents and wields clout over your financial well-being? Or at least one, if not two, of the chief executive’s top lieutenants, both unpopular, and presumably easy to scapegoat?”

    We know the answer to that question.  It remains to be seen how Junior deals with the consequences of the Iraq mess as the campaign hits its highest gear.  We can, however, be sure where Senator Menendez stands on Iraq.  He outlines his unwavering position beautifully in a podcast interview with Blue Jersey.  In any event, this race is still close.

  • NJ-3 Democratic Candidate Rich Sexton recently unveiled his flashy new website, done by South Jersey’s favorite tech genius Jason Springer.  Additionally, there is a really cool concert/fundraiser this weekend in Moorestown for the Sexton campaign featuring the musical stylings of Phil Roy whose tunes have been recorded by Mavis Staples, Los Lonely Boys, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Aaron Neville, Guster, Widespread Panic, Tuck and Patti.  His songs have also been included in movies including, “As Good as it Gets”, “Leaving Las Vegas”, “The Mask”, “Love + Sex”, and “Me, Myself and Irene”.  Phil Roy will be in South Jersey on Saturday singing and raising money for Rich Sexton’s run for Congress.  Hey, if you had to choose between “Sex” and “Sax” which whould you pick?  Yeah, I thought so.

    So what’s on your mind?

  • Menendez Fights Back Against Second Smear Campaign

    Senator Menendez gave a passionate speech today at the Democratic State Convention that brought the crowd to a sustained standing ovation.  He is aggressively fighting back against attacks from Republicans, and suggests that the new investigation by U.S. Attorney Bush Pioneer Chris Christie is politically motivated.  From the speech:

    We have seen an orchestrated series of leaks, bogus ethics complaints and outright fabrications since the beginning of this campaign.

    Menendez is exactly right.  The New York Times and Star Ledger showed that Kean’s previous ethics charges were totally false.  So there’s a track record here that does not favor Junior. 

    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?