Tag Archive: Rothman

Rothman proves my point

This sounds like good legislation. Thanks, didn’t know about this.

– promoted by Rosi

I recently wrote a blog post here on Blue Jersey endorsing Steve Rothman in his 9th District Congressional primary.  I tried to intimate that although his actual voting record was very similar to that of Bill Pascrell, and both had excellent voting records on LGBT issues, there was a significant actual difference between the two legislators.

On Wednesday I attended the rally for Steve Rothman where President Obama’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod came to NJ to personally endorse Congressman Rothman and give a strong sense of the high regard in which he is held in DC.

Steve’s Chief of Staff, Tom O’Donnell came over to me to talk about a new piece of LGBT legislation that Rothman had just introduced. (For those of you who might ask…. Yes, he’s the same Tom O’Donnell that used to be Rush Holt’s COS). It seems that Cong. Rothman was reading a news article this month about a judge in San Diego who dismissed an entire jury panel in a case involving same-sex marriage activists, saying the prosecutors’ rejection of a possible juror because of his sexual orientation violated the defendants’ rights to a representative jury.

As some people know, an attorney cannot use a peremptory challenge to remove a juror because of the juror’s race or gender. Only in California and Oregon have they extended that rule (Batson) by legislation to include sexual orientation.

Proactively, without the influence of any lobbyist or activists, seeing another area of life where LGBT people could face discrimination, he introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act of 2012. This bill, known as HR 5848, prohibits the exclusion of individuals from service on a federal jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Now Tom mentioned this to me because I have contacts on the Hill and asked if I would help spread the word to get co-sponsors, but this was a story I also need to tell here, at home,  with so much on the line.

Like I’ve been saying all along, he “gets it”, and he proactively finds ways to address and fight discrimination wherever it may be. His actions speak very loud and strong and true for inclusive LGBT and progressive issues.

Rice and Rothman

Babs was the first out transgender person in the DNC’s history, and now serves in the DNC’s Executive Committee, where she is still breaking ground for the Democrats.  – promoted by Rosi

Ron Rice Jr for Congress … Steve Rothman for Congress

I honestly do not care to openly take sides in a primary when there are 2 or more Democratic candidates  that support most of the issues that I do and are people with whom I’ve had positive personal dealings, but this year there are 2 congressional races where good folks are competing … fighting, and I feel compelled to make my personal choices known in a public forum in the hope of helping their campaigns because there is enough of a difference between the candidates in each race to warrant my involvement.

I am not a constituent of either congressional district and do have friends on both sides. However, because whoever is elected will have a direct effect on Federal issues in which I and many of my peers and supporters are directly involved and whose lives are directly affected, I must in good conscience weigh in.

10th Congressional District – Ron Rice

Young Mr.Payne is not his father. I’ve seen no evidence of his father’s global vision, his human compassion, his gregarious nature, his humility, or his ability to correct what might be perceived as a mistake. Donald Payne’s seat should not be a “legacy” seat.

As a member of the Womens Political Caucus of NJ, I understand fully why they were quick to endorse Nia Gill a respected and independent State Senator… NJ has not had a woman in Congress since 2003. I looked back to my personal dealings with her and my problem has been a kind of aloofness and curious lack of responsiveness.  She knew me, her staff knew me, but when I tried to meet with her and one of her constituents about a piece of important legislation, we seemed to be stonewalled time and time again for a meeting. She ended up cosponsoring the legislation based on e-mails, but for some reason would not meet with us. The nature of the response was curious and was not conducive to any kind of a relationship. If I am going to advocate effectively for a culturally stigmatized group it is necessary to have a respectful and comfortable relationship with Democratic legislators.


The Mudslinging in the 9th is Landing in the 5th

promoted by Rosi

Cross posted from Retire Garrett.

It’s time for a little inside baseball…

At the March 15th BCDC Convention, Steve Rothman defeated Bill Pascrell for the party’s endorsement in the upcoming June 5th primary.  By winning the endorsement, Rothman will appear on the same line as the BCDC’s endorsed candidates for President – Barack Obama, U.S. Senate – Bob Menendez, Congress – Adam Gussen and Freeholder (2 freeholder seats are up this year) – Tracy Zur and Steve Tanelli.

In an attempt to mitigate the value of the BCDC endorsement, Pascrell has formed his own slate of candidates to run under the banner of “Bergen County Democrats 2012.”  This slate will not include a candidate for Senate nor will it include the name of the President at the top of the ticket.  However, it will include two Freeholder candidates hand-picked by Bill Pascrell and Jason Castle, a Congressional candidate running in the 5th District.

Just to clarify and confusion, Bergen County is divided into parts of two different Congressional districts; the 5th and the 9th.  In the 5th District, Adam Gussen, Jason Castle and LaRouche Democrat Diane Sare are vying for the chance to face Republican incumbent Scott Garrett in the fall.  In the 9th, two incumbents, Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell are running against each other in the primary due to redistricting that always occurs following the census.

In The Real World

I have decided to take lap top in hand and write my opinion as to Rothman’s decision to run in the new 9th district vs. the new 5th district after reading numerous newspaper articles and blogs. I am a municipal Chair who is supporting Rothman’s decision and here’s why:

When I first learned of the redistricting, I was infuriated to learn that some moron had split my town into two congressional districts.  How they were allowed to do this when it was probably against the law was beside me- Obviously no one ever challenged the actions in the past when Cities were divided and it probably would cost millions to take the decision on, even though, it is probably illegal what was done.  But New Jersey has a way of interpreting the laws as it sees fit and why should this time be any different- However I digress from the reason why I am on my lap top; and the second thought in my head was “Go Get Him, Rothman!” — him meaning Garrett.  

Then reality hit me hard.  It didn’t take more than a few minutes when I realized that Rothman would probably go for the newly drawn 9th district and here’s why in my opinion.

In a perfect scenario with the support of all Democrats coming out to vote in the new congressional 5th district, the republicans wouldn’t stand a chance.  

In a perfect scenario, it wouldn’t matter that the Republicans in Garrett’s original district come out in numbers that would shame most democratic voters, a Democrat would still win.

In a perfect scenario, it wouldn’t matter that the NRA, the Tea Party (probably backed by the Koch Brothers -who helped found the Tea Party and whose father founded the John Birch society) and other Good Ol’ boy businesses who will pour money into Garrett’s campaign like water through a sieve, because we could run a democrat against them who couldn’t possibly raise the monies Garrett’s cronies could but will still win against the Garrett machine.

In a perfect scenario, it wouldn’t matter that the Garrett’s backers would finance him regardless of the  question as to why they would want a Democrat in office- especially someone who is Jewish.  Because in a perfect scenario, it wouldn’t matter to the Good Ol boys of Sussex and Warren Counties in the political back rooms.

In a perfect scenario, Rothman would clobber Garrett, because good always triumphs — in the perfect scenario that is.

In the real world, any Democrat running against Garrett doesn’t stand a real chance in Hell of winning this race at this time.  Again, here’s why in my opinion-

One-Just the demographics alone illustrates the fact that there is a huge swath of very active voting Republicans –

Two- If you do enough reading and talking to people regarding the new 5th district, somewhere between 70-72% of the voting population is in Bergen County.  The remaining 26%- 28% are in the new Warren, Sussex and Passaic Counties.  And- the Republicans come out to VOTE  by heavy margins.

Three- If all of you can guarantee me that we can get 100% (alright- 95%) of all REGISTERED Democrats to come out and vote so that our Democratic Candidate could unseat Garrett- I will personally ask Steve Rothman to reconsider.

Four:  Anyone who is Jewish doesn’t stand a chance against the ultra – conservative Republicans who still refer to a Jewish candidate as “Jew Boy” or “the Heb”.  I am a Jew, and these people still refer to those of my religion in exactly those words- If I have had to hear them repeatedly throughout my lifetime, then by gosh, you are finally going to read those words.

However, in the real world, the best we could do with the new 5th, is to run a candidate against Garrett so that the Democrats could finally expose the man for what he truly is.  By doing that, we can severely dent his suit of armor and knock him off his horse.  However, he would probably still be standing.

The next time around in 2014, we could run a candidate against him, and then we could actually stand a chance in winning because he doesn’t have a steed under him anymore and his armor is destroyed.  Why—-because we kept up the attacks.

In a perfect world, Rothman should have run, even if he fell on the sword.

In the real world, that would never happen — Neither Rothman or Pascrell are willing to fall on the sword.

Based upon my experience in getting the Democrats out to vote, with all the anger amongst the Democrats towards the President and Congress, we are going to have a heck of a time getting them out to vote period!

I know because I have already spoken with people who are going to stay home if it’s a battle between Obama and Romney- that’s how disgusted the Dems are- Or some want a different Democratic candidate for President.

We, as leaders of the Democrats in Bergen County, will have our job cut out for us in just getting people to the polls in November to vote Democratic.

In the perfect scenario, regardless of who won in the 5th district, the constituents would have a Congressman/woman who would fight for them and represent them.

In the real world, that probably won’t happen for the 5th district- my district!

In the perfect scenario, regardless of who won in the 9th district, the constituents would have a Congressman who would fight for them and represent them, be it Rothman or Pascrell.

In the real world, that will happen for the 9th district!

So by the time Rothman called me to ask for my support in my (now) divided township,  I already knew what I would say– because I had already realized he had no other choice in the real world.

3 NJ Congressmen on Public Option Whip List

Three of NJ’s Democratic congressional delegation are being targeted to firm up or gain their support of the Progressive robust public option (Medicare +5 rate).


The Congressional Progressive Caucus is closing in on the support needed to pass a Health Care Reform bill with a robust public option. Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs the strongest bill possible to give her a strong negotiating hand when she goes to conference committee with the Senate.

Congressmen Steve Rothman, John Adler and Albio Sires are all listed as either lean yes, undecided or lean no on Health Care Reform with a robust public option that sets reimbursement rates at Medicare levels plus 5% instead of a weaker negotiated rates level.

Please reach out to these Congressmen and let them know we need the strongest most progressive version of the bill possible!

Why Cory Booker Will Be New Jersey’s Next US Senator

With a newly elected 85 year old Senator the speculation about who will be Frank Lautenberg’s replacement is inevitable.  With a deep bench of Democratic politicians awaiting his retirement the race for his seat is sure to be hard fought and sought after.  In my opinion there are two ways the race for Lautenberg’s seat will play out:

     1.  Lautenberg retires and the Governor appoints his replacement;  

     2.  Lautenberg serves his 6 year term in its entirety and there is a primary    

          for the Democratic nomination in 2014.  

There is a long list of powerful New Jersey politicians who covet Lautenberg’s seat.  Congressmen Rothman, Pallone, and Andrews would surely throw their hats in the ring.  Whoever the Lt. Gov is (assuming Corzine wins reelection) will most likely consider a run, and in my opinion the best positioned potential candidate, Mayor Cory Booker, is widely known to have ambitions to higher office.

Latinos in NJ for Obama Part 2: THE Latino Issue.

Props to my brother for the following:

Seton Hall’s Center for Social Justice and the Brazilian Voice filed FOIA litigation today in the District of New Jersey to compel DHS and ICE to release records on ICE home raids in NJ.


Senator Obama:

I am a simple minded voter. Your story and that of your family is what first drew me to your vision for the United States of America. Like the vast majority of Americans (with the exception of bluejersey junkies), I do not know, nor can I possibly absorb or break down, your position on every single imaginable issue dear to the heart of the American electorate. My decision to support you in this election is based purely on the issue that is closest to my heart and the issue that affects ALL Latinos in New Jersey and the United States. My family crossed the border “illegally” from Tijuana to San Diego twenty years ago looking for opportunity. I was but seven years old, but I can still remember the desert sand, the tripwires, the “coyotes”, ducking from border patrol, and crossing a highway towards living the dream that I live today.


My father came to this country from a small village in Africa because he was looking for opportunity. So when I see people who are coming across these borders, whether legally or illegally, I know that the motivation is trying to create a better life for their children and their grandchildren.


The Arizona Republic reports that it’s Obama’s work on issues that touch the Latino community — such as racial profiling — and his personal experience with immigration that makes him a strong bet for these Latino leaders:

John Laredo, former Arizona House Minority Leader, said that the work Obama, who is an Illinois senator, has done against racial profiling and other issues have benefited Latinos…

State Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said Obama’s experience addressing the needs of people of color is documented. “Look at what he’s done for minorities and Latinos in Illinois,” he told Latino voters.

“When you look at education, health care, housing and particularly immigration, Obama has been at the forefront.”

Former State Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez said because Obama’s father was from Kenya, Obama can relate to many Latinos’ desire for immigration reform.

Immigration cuts across all racial and political Latino party lines. Many so called Democrats reveal their true Republican identities when addressing this issue.

Hillary: As one of my former coworkers once exclaimed, “Could you at least pretend to be a Democrat?!”

House gives Bush another $50b for war, 3 NJ Dems back down

Yesterday Dems in the House passed another supplemental funding bill for the war, to the tune of $50b.  If it manages to pass the Senate, Bush promises to veto it, because it dares to ask for a few things that should have been asked for years ago:

Not later than January 15, 2008 and every 90 days thereafter through the end of fiscal year 2008, the Secretary of Defense shall set forth in a report to the Congress a comprehensive set of performance indicators and measures for progress toward military and political stability in Iraq.

  (c) The report shall include, at a minimum, the following specific provisions:

  (1) With respect to stability and security in Iraq, the following:

  (A) Key measures of political stability, including the important political milestones that must be achieved over the next several years.

  (B) The primary indicators of a stable security environment in Iraq, such as number of engagements per day, numbers of trained Iraqi forces, trends relating to numbers and types of ethnic and religious-based hostile encounters, and progress made in the transition to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC).

  (C) An assessment of the estimated strength of the insurgency in Iraq and the extent to which it is composed of non-Iraqi fighters.

  (D) A description of all militias operating in Iraq, including the number, size, equipment strength, military effectiveness, sources of support, legal status, and efforts to disarm or reintegrate each militia.

  (E) Key indicators of economic activity that should be considered the most important for determining the prospects of stability in Iraq, including–

  (i) unemployment levels;

  (ii) electricity, water, and oil production rates; and

  (iii) hunger and poverty levels.

  (F) The criteria the Administration will use to determine when it is safe to begin withdrawing United States forces from Iraq.

Holt, Pallone and Rothman, along with 67 other House members, signed a letter back in July, which by October had 90 signers telling Bush:

We are writing to inform you that we will only support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.

I guess it’s all in the name?  Referring to the Supplemental spending bill, the last line is:

This Act may be cited as the `Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, 2008′.

I don’t see how it gets anywhere near living up to its title.

Rep. Rothman and Returning from Iraq

On Monday, I participated in a conference call that Rep. Steve Rothman had with bloggers upon his return from a trip to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Kuwait. It was a good conference call. We need more Congressmen doing more conference calls with bloggers. Yet we also need to think more about how we support our servicemen and women when they return.