Tag Archive: Josh Zeitz

NJ-04: Bush-McCain-Smith Iraq Policy Hurts New Jersey

Congressman Frank Pallone and I hosted a conference call earlier today to discuss what the war in Iraq has cost New Jersey and why New Jersey can?t afford another four years of the failed Bush policies in Iraq that Chris Smith and John McCain want to continue. To see exactly what the war in Iraq has cost New Jersey, go to National Priorities.org.

On the call I emphasized the following:

· I support a responsible end to the war in Iraq so that we can invest in America?s urgent domestic priorities like renewable energy, and break our addiction to foreign oil as well as lower gas and electricity costs.

· Chris Smith and John McCain have supported George Bush every step of the way on Iraq, from believing faulty intelligence, to believing we would be greeted as liberators, to believing the war will pay for itself with Iraqi oil.

· Each month, the United States spends $10 billion a month in Iraq ? money which could be used to address domestic priorities like ensuring affordable health care, rebuilding our infrastructure or hiring more teachers or public safety officers.

· Incredibly, Iraq is right now holding onto $79 billion in excess oil revenues. We?re spending $10 billion a month to rebuild Iraq instead of using that money to create jobs here in America.

· The citizens of the 4th Congressional district have paid $2.2 billion for the war effort. That money could have been used to provide every home in the 4th Congressional District with Renewable Electricity, with enough money left over to help provide affordable health coverage for our residents.

That $2.2 billion could:

· Provide 203,137 People with Health Care for One Year

· Power 3,096,562 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year

· Hire 37,775 Public Safety Officers for One Year

· Provide 724,756 Children with Health Care for One Year

· Provide 28,856 Port Container Inspectors for One Year

· We can?t keep doing what we?re doing. We need change at all levels of government.

· Chris Smith and John McCain have no plan to bring our troops home.

· We need to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress to bring our troops home and invest in our country?s future.

The campaign is entering a critical phase and I need your support. You can contribute at my ActBlue page. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit my website to learn more about what I stand for.

Candidates Welcome Bush to NJ

We’ve gotten press releases from many of the campaigns “welcoming” President Bush to NJ on behalf of Chris Myers and Leonard Lance.  Here is a sampling:

First we have the Stender Campaign:

The Bush-Lance Economy: Failed Record Causes Meltdown

After eight years of failed economic policies, Wall Street’s collapse under the Bush Administration has now left thousands of New Jerseyans’ jobs at risk and imperiled the pensions and savings of many more. The last eight years show why New Jersey families desperately need change as workers fear losing their jobs, homes, and retirement funds. Fiscally irresponsible Republicans in Washington have left our economy in shambles. Leonard Lance offers only more of the same, even agreeing with George Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.  Today, the President comes to New Jersey to bail out his latest troubled victim: Leonard Lance’s campaign.

Next, we have this from the Adler Campaign:

Myers Welcomes “Modern-Day Herbert Hoover” Into District,

Adler said that Myers, given the severity and immediacy of the crisis rocking the economy, should have told Bush it would be inappropriate to go ahead with today’s high-priced event to raise money for his campaign. But like everything else about his campaign, Adler said, Myers has put his own political needs, as well as his absolute allegiance to President Bush and his eight years of failed policies, ahead of the people in the 3rd District. Adler said the fundraiser “is all about payback” from the White House for Myers’ steadfast support for Bush’s legacy of failure, including the Iraq War, the damaged economy and the staggering costs of education and health care.

Finally, we get a welcome courtesy of the Zeitz campaign:

The Bush-Chris Smith Economy

Chris Smith and the Republican Party’s philosophy of deregulation, laissez faire, trickle-down economics is to blame for the current crisis. They continually fought for tax cuts for the rich while gutting consumer protections for the middle class and they let Wall Street run amok.

  • President Bush and Chris Smith are leaving us with a record $500 billion deficit for 2009. The Republican Party and Chris Smith have turned a record surplus into a record deficit.
  • President Bush and Chris Smith have failed to present any conditions for their proposed $1 Trillion Bailout for Wall Street and Financial Sector
  • 54,000 New Jersey jobs are at stake. About 54,000 New Jerseyans are employed with securities, commodity and brokerage firms.
  • NJ taxpayers will suffer the impacts. The loss of jobs, and resulting loss of state tax revenue will damage our state budget, further placing burdens on already enormously high property taxes.
  • I know you will all be shocked to hear there is nothing welcoming the President from any of the Republicans.  It’s almost like they don’t want you to know he’s here, until you see their FEC reports of course.

    NJ-04: Smith Rejected Equal Work for Equal Pay-Lilly Ledbetter

    Chris Smith likes to say that he’s an independent voice who doesn’t vote along party lines. Smith also claims to be pro-worker, pro-union, and pro-woman. Well, here’s one vote that demonstrates that he is none of those things.

    Smith, along with 99% of House Republicans, voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. The bill passed the House 225-199, as virtually all Democrats voted in favor of it, but it was filibustered by George Bush and Chris Smith’s allies in the Senate. [HR 2831, Vote #768, 7/31/07] Smith, Christopher (NJ/R) N  

    Lilly Ledbetter suffered wage and gender discrimination at her job but could not sue because the existing law is outdated and poorly written. The Lilly Ledbetter Act that Chris Smith voted against would ensure that workers who face wage discrimination, the majority of whom are women, are able to protect their right to equal work for equal pay. It is a travesty that women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn on the job. Equal pay for equal work is not only an issue of fundamental fairness, it’s an absolute necessity if we want to reward hard work and encourage personal responsibility. Apparently, Chris Smith doesn’t share those American values.

    “In this time of exploding prices for gas and basic necessities, job losses, and the collapse in the value of our homes, it is unconscionable to think that our government would favor corporations who knowingly discriminate against women or any employee by paying some workers less than others for doing the same work. Yet that is exactly what Chris Smith did with this vote.” said Josh Zeitz campaign manager Steve D’Amico.

    The campaign is entering a critical phase and we need your support. You can contribute at Josh’s ActBlue page. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh’s website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

    DCCC Names Zeitz, NJ-04, among “Races to Watch”

    An email announcement from the Zeitz campaign:

    On Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced that Josh Zeitz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District, was added to their targeted Races to Watch list.

    The targeting demonstrates that the DCCC believes this race is competitive and worth investment. Demographic shifts have created the unique conditions for beating 28 year incumbent Chris Smith. Democrats now enjoy a voter registration edge in the 4th District and consistently win the district at the Presidential, Gubernatorial and Senate levels. With boosted turnout and registration expected from urban areas like Trenton, Zeitz is poised for one of the biggest upsets of the cycle.

    “We’re excited to have the DCCC engaged in the race,” said Zeitz campaign manager Steve D’Amico. “With our economy struggling and a representative like Chris Smith, who is more interested in introducing legislation to abolishing common, everyday birth control than he is in helping middle-class families, voters in the 4th District are realizing it’s time for change.”

    This comes shortly after The New Republic’s recent expose on some issues in his past.

    NJ-04 BOMBSHELL: Smith’s Segregationism & Homophobia EXPOSED

    Today, a bombshell article in The New Republic (TNR) exposed what many of us thought to be true?that Chris Smith’s misguided priorities go far deeper than his twenty-two attempts to ban the common, everyday birth control pill.

    Thanks to new investigative reporting by TNR’s James Kirchick, we now know that Chris Smith is a founding member of the radical right.  A reporter at TNR, Kirchick is the author of a highly-regarded article on Ron Paul’s ties to segregationists; that article changed the national narrative on Paul earlier this year.

    Kirchick’s new article reveals that Chris Smith has longstanding ties to religious-right hate groups; that he sat on the board of advisers of a pro-racial segregation organization in the 1980s; that he authored legislation that would bar gays and lesbians from working openly as nurses, doctors, first responders, federal employees or federal contractors; and that he played a role in a vicious disinformation campaign about HIV/AIDS that demonized gays and lesbians as “serial killers.”  The article also reveals that Smith concealed campaign contributions from at least two hard-line, pro-segregation groups.

    The New Republic only scratched surface of Smith’s bigotry. Following up on TNR’s reporting, this morning, the Zeitz campaign discovered Chris Smith not only worked with segregationists; he voted with them. In 1981, Chris Smith voted to restore non-profit status to segregated private schools [HR 4121, 7/30/81] that were created as a mechanism for white Southerners to avoid the full implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

    The Zeitz for Congress campaign also obtained a copy of Chris Smith’s early college writings. In an article dated 1973, Smith accused gays and lesbians of being in league with “the Anti-Christ”:

    In Smith’s words:

    “We can live in harmony with His [God’s] spiritual laws and be like the man, as Christ said, who built on an undestructable [sic] rock, or we can live in disharmony with the Anti-Christ; the devil, not the laughable, fiery and character with horns, but the evil one often spoken of by Jesus and he like the man who built his life on sand which eroded and eventually fell. God wants us happy; His laws are for our welfare, our protection, not Sin!”

    Chris Smith’s bigotry goes beyond his early career. In the 1990s, Smith introduced legislation that would force any company or public entity that receives federal funds to fire openly gay employees. The legislation would deny gays and lesbians the right to work as teachers, doctors, nurses, first responders, federal contractors, or state and federal workers.  It might even deny basic rights like student loans to gay college students.

    What we’ve learned today:

    Chris Smith is a founding member of the Religious Right, having sat on the advisory board of the Christian Voice. The Christian Voice strongly supported racially segregated private schools in the South and worked closely with Jerry Falwell.

    Chris Smith voted to support segregation by allowing all-white private schools (which were created after forced-desegregation) to remain segregated.  

    Chris Smith failed to abide by FEC rules and report contributions from openly racist, misogynistic, and homophobic groups on the radical right.  

    Chris Smith introduced legislation in the 1990s to mandate that the government (or any recipients of federal funds, like local school district, fire departments, police departments and federal contractors) fire any openly gay employees. Openly gay individuals would have been barred from any receipt of federal funds such as school loans, food stamps or unemployment benefits.  

    “Chris Smith is an extremist,” said Steven D’Amico, Zeitz for Congress campaign manager.  “There is nothing moderate about racial segregation.  There is nothing moderate about denying jobs and education to millions of gay Americans. There is nothing moderate about taking away the right to use common, everyday birth control. These are unacceptable positions that are out of step with basic human decency.”

    I’m asking you to do a couple of things here. Please make a contribution. Also, if you’re in or near the district, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com to volunteer.

    We can win this race, and we need to do it in order to show New Jersey and the country that this kind of extremism is immoral and unacceptable, and voters will hold such extremists accountable.

    Thanks so much.

    NJ-04 Video: Smith Votes to Criminalize ‘The Pill’

    I’m Josh Zeitz, the Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s Fourth District. I want to talk to you about my strong support for reproductive rights, but first I want to tell you about the person I’m running against. My opponent, Chris Smith, is the leader of the anti-choice caucus in the House of Representatives.

    Chris Smith has introduced legislation to criminalize the common, everyday birth control pill and IUD on twenty-two separate occasions. He wants to put millions of American women in jail for using the pill. We have to say no to this kind of extremism.

    My campaign has produced a video outlining Smith’s attempt to criminalize birth control, and you can view it by clicking below.

    I believe that access to basic birth control and family planning services is a fundamental right. By refusing to provide contraception and age appropriate sex education, Chris Smith’s policies increase the number of unintended pregnancies.

    By providing women with a full range of information and health care options, we can help them make informed decisions about their lives and bodies. Together we can continue to provide women the right to choose.

    I know how important reproductive rights are to all of you, and I want to thank you for taking time to learn more about this crucial Congressional race.

    If you are able, please make a contribution at my ActBlue page.

    If you’d like to volunteer, please contact steve_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit the campaign at www.joshzeitz.com to learn more about what I believe.

    Sincerely,

    Josh Zeitz

    NJ-04: Smith Opposed Country of Origin Labeling on Meat Products

    Promoted from the diaries because it’s just so bizarre that we shouldn’t know where our food comes from. – – – Thurman

    Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing. We are going to tell voters about some things Chris Smith doesn?t want you to know about his record, like his vote against giving consumers all the information they need to make the right choices when buying food.

    Salmonella in our vegetables is only the latest consumer safety crisis families have faced in recent years. From problems with drugs like Vioxx, Vytorin, and Avandia to poison in lead paint used in our children’s toys and toxic substances in our toothpaste, our consumer safety protections have failed us. Consumer groups have been pushing for years to require all food imports to contain Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). One would think this is a fairly simple concept on which people in both parties could agree.  

    NJ-04: Zeitz Challenges Smith to 4 Debates

    Josh Zeitz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th Congressional district, today challenged Rep. Chris Smith to four public debates.

    In honor of the 150th anniversary of the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates, Zeitz asked Smith to join him at one public debate in each of the fourth district’s counties: Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean. During their campaign for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated in each of Illinois’s nine congressional districts.

    As a sign of respect, Zeitz mailed a personal debate invitation to Smith’s home, along with a copy of a book on the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

    Here’s what Josh had to say:

    “The rising cost of food, gas, health care, and education is hurting many working families,” wrote Zeitz. “People have a right to know how each of us proposes to address these grave problems, and they have a right to challenge us in a public forum.”

    “I can think of no better way for us to honor the anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates than by providing the residents of New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District a similar opportunity to see their candidates engage in a vigorous but respectful exchange of ideas.”

    “While neither of us would presume to walk in the footsteps of these two giants, let’s agree to honor their memory — and to honor our neighbors in Central Jersey – by debating in Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington, and Mercer Counties.”

    The campaign is entering a critical phase and we need your support. You can contribute at Josh’s ActBlue page. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh’s website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

    If any of you have specific things you’d like to suggest Josh focus on in the debate, feel free to email ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Josh and the campaign want to hear your thoughts.

    NJ-04: Smith Voted Against Ethics Reform

    Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing. We are going to tell voters about some things Chris Smith doesn’t want you to know about his record, like his opposition to ethics reform.

    In 2006, Chris Smith voted against comprehensive ethics reform. The legislation would have banned travel on corporate jets, prohibit lobbyist gifts, and slow the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street. It would also require disclosure of earmarks so that special interest provisions receive public scrutiny. The measure applied to all special interest earmarks including the Alaska Bridge to Nowhere. It would force Members of Congress disclose if they had a financial interest in the earmark. (Vote 4448, 2006. Leadership Document, “Democrats Fight To Clean Up Culture Of Corruption; Republicans Fail To Change Washington,” 9/14/06)

    “Voters deserve to know why Chris Smith voted against banning corrupt lobbying practices and hidden earmarks,” said Josh Zeitz campaign manager, Steve D’Amico.

    If you’d like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh’s website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

    Zeitz vs. Smith: Smith voted against Clean Water

    Chris Smith says that he wants to run on his record in Congress. Unfortunately, there are parts of his record that voters may find less than appealing, namely his vote against clean water.

    In 2005, Chris Smith voted against $342 Million in clean water funding. The votes were against restoring funding to the Clean Water Fund. The fund, established under the Clean Water Act, assists local communities with their water processing infrastructure to prevent sewage and waste from contaminating bodies of water. Communities nationwide face more than $300 billion in backlogged requirements to upgrade and repair clean up water systems. There are over 29,000 impaired rivers, lakes and steams nationwide. (2005 Votes # 198 and Vote #194; 2005 Statement by Rep. David Obey, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H.3642, 5/19/05; EPA, National Section and New Jersey Section 303(d) List, link here.)

    The problem hits especially hard in New Jersey where 675 streams, creeks and rivers, 161 lakes and 134 other bodies of water need monitoring to ensure contamination is prevented. These waters are considered impaired and at risk.

    Why did Chris Smith vote against restoring funding?

    He certainly cannot use the Federal budget as an excuse, he voted to give himself a pay-raise nine times since 1999. (CRS: Salaries of Members of Congress Updated January 8, 2008; 1999 Vote #300; 2000 Vote #419; 2001 House Vote #267; 2002 House Vote #322; 2003 House Vote #463; 2004 House Vote #451; 2005 House Vote #327; 2006 vote #261; 2007 Vote #580)

    “While Chris Smith was busy raising his own salary he was also voting against clean water protection for New Jersey. Voters deserve and explanation.” said Josh Zeitz campaign manager Steve D’Amico.

    If you’d like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh’s website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.