Tag Archive: Josh Zeitz

Chris Smith Denied Bankruptcy Protection to Troops

Josh Zeitz is the Democratic nominee in New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional district. He is running against Republican Chris Smith, who has backed George Bush’s ecnonomic and foreign policies and who serves as the chair of the anti-choice caucus in the House.

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 to deny our troops bankruptcy protection.

More after the jump.

NJ-04: The Bush-Smith Economy

American families are hurting because our economy is hurting. Just in the past six months, we’ve seen almost half a million American jobs disappear. To take a longer view, George W. Bush’s administration has seen the weakest job growth, less than half of one percent per year, of any President since Herbert Hoover. The Bush-Smith record on jobs is abysmal. By contrast, under Bill Clinton jobs grew at five times that rate (2.5% average growth per year). And no one can accuse Chris Smith of having supported Bill Clinton.

Job losses are one problem, and inflation is another. During the past twelve months, wages have risen by 2.8%. While that sounds good, inflation has jumped 4%, which means that the average person who has actually had a job has had his or her salary cut by more than 1% over the past year. It’s worth mentioning that the average American family’s annual household income is actually lower now by about $1000 compared to when George Bush took office seven years ago, while health insurance premiums have doubled (from $6000 to $12,000 per year) and, as we all know, the price of a gallon of gas has tripled. American families are losing ground. We need to do something, and we need to do it now.

More after the jump.  

NJ-04: Smith: Allow Unscreened Luggage/Cargo on Planes

Amazingly, Chris Smith Voted to Allow Unscreened Luggage and Cargo on Airplanes.

Chris Smith voted against airline security. In 2003, Chris Smith voted against stronger regulations that would have provided the highest possible level of funding for Homeland Security, preparedness and disaster response programs. The bill would have required screening of all air cargo that traveled on commercial passenger planes. In 2002, Smith even voted against enforcing faster deadlines for screening all passenger luggage for explosives. (2003 Vote# 514, 2002 Vote #362)

“Chris Smith has the wrong priorities. Why did he vote against the higher screening standards that are commonplace today? While Americans still wrestle with the economic impact of terrorism, Chris Smith tried to leave us more vulnerable.” said Josh Zeitz Campaign Manager Steve D’Amico.

More after the break.

Mercer County for Obama kicks off canvassing effort

Exactly 101 days before the election, Mercer County for Obama held its first canvass of the season in Ewing, Hamilton, Trenton and Lawrence. Some 20 volunteers filed into Josh Zeitz HQ at 9:30 AM on Saturday for a day of voter registration canvassing in Hamilton and Lawrence townships. After a brief canvass training from Obama grassroots leader Liz Lempert and remarks from Congressional candidate Josh Zeitz and Freeholder Dan Benson, canvassers gathered packets, pins, literature and voter registration forms and set off for their canvassing locations.

My canvass partner and I hit the road some time after 10 AM and drove a mile to our canvass turf, a heavily black neighborhood near the Hamilton-Trenton border. The residents greeted us with warmth and enthusiasm, and we ran out of Obama buttons in little more than a block or two. At one door, we helped register a man who was convicted of a felony decades ago and has long been out of the system, but had never registered to vote because he thought he was not allowed to. (In New Jersey, convicted felons may register to vote after they have completed any sentence, parole or probation.) We registered several people in their thirties and forties who had never voted before. In just a few hours, we collected nine completed voter registration forms and left about a half-dozen others with residents who asked for them.

I posted some pictures from yesterday’s event below the fold, and more on Flickr. You can read more about Saturday’s canvass at the Mercer for Obama website.

NJ-04: Zeitz Op-Ed on Oil and Gas Crisis

In today’s Times of Trenton, Josh Zeitz published a powerful op-ed piece on the crisis of energy prices facing American families this summer. Josh is the Democratic candidate for the House in New Jersey’s 4th district, and is challenging long-time Republican incumbent Chris Smith.

Josh rightly calls out Rep. Smith for a series of votes that have contributed to ridiculously high gas prices, in particular his vote to create the Enron loophole in 2000 and, even worse, against closing the loophole earlier this year.

More after the jump.

Swing State Project upgrades Adler and Zeitz

If you were reading the blog or listening to Blue Jersey radio this past Saturday, this is confirmation of the news Jeff Gardner reported with a little extra surprise.

The Swing State Project has come out with their new competitive house race rankings and NJ has four races to keep an eye on including some news to surely bring a smile to supporters of John Adler and Josh Zeitz. First the Adler upgrade:

NJ-03 (Open): Tossup to Lean Democratic

After a fractious GOP primary, Republican Chris Myers has $155K in the bank and is suddenly not looking like the stellar recruit that the NRCC made him out to be. (Surprise.) Meanwhile, Democrat John Adler has built up a massive fundraising edge with nearly $1.5 million on-hand. It would be difficult for anyone to not acknowledge the Democratic edge here in this D+3 district.

In NJ-4, Josh Zeitz got some welcome news as his race has been added to the list of Races to watch. This will certainly be good for the Zeitz campaign as they try to keep up the momentum they’ve been building.  It’s also good to see the continuing expansion of the playing field.

With Zeitz as a race to watch, Adler as a lean Democrat, Stender as a tossup and Shulman on the radar with a likely R ranking, things are shaping up very well for Democrats in NJ come November.

Evening Campaign Roundup

There was alot of campaign related news today, so I decided to do an evening roundup.

Responding to the Bush/McCain proposal to repeal a drilling moratorium that has been in place since 1982, Governor Corzine joined Senators Lautenberg and Menedez along with Congressman Pallone to call for a permanent ban on offshore drilling…

Pallone, Lautenberg and Menendez’s legislation would prohibit the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for exploration, development or production of oil, natural gas or any other mineral from Maine to North Carolina.

In NJ-5, Dennis Shulman issued a statement this afternoon opposing the FISA Legislation…

The President, his advisers, and his rubber stamps in Congress, including Scott Garrett, have demonstrated a pattern of disregard for the laws of the United States. This bill not only immunizes telecom companies from lawsuits, but it would also block the American people from ever knowing the full extent of the Bush Administration’s illegal behavior.

I urge my fellow Democrats in the Senate to vote against this unnecessary and deeply troubling law.  I believe that Congress must protect the rights of citizens and the laws of our country from career politicians in Washington too willing to cave to special interests and endanger the fundamental rights that we, as Americans, hold so dear.

The race in NJ-4 sees Josh Zeitz attempting to hit Chris Smith for donating $2000 to Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi after the Congressman’s office was raided by the FBI…

Why did Chris Smith feel it was important to give cash to an obviously corrupt Congressman? No other Member of Congress made such a show of solidarity. We know Smith went out of his way to show his support, because Renzi was the only campaign to receive a contribution from Smith during the reporting period.

The race in NJ-3 has John Adler talking issues with the voters at the first of his town hall meetings tonight in Mount Laurel, while his opponent Chris Myers tries to lob an attack over Adler’s support for School Construction Funding in the budget.

NJ-04: Smith gave $2K to corrupt Rep. Rick Renzi

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.

Chris Smith donated $2,000 to the reelection campaign of corrupt Congressman Rick Renzi. He made the contribution on May 16, 2007, nearly a month after the FBI raided the Renzi family insurance business for additional evidence. (Chris Smith, July Quarterly Disbursement Report)  

On April 19, 2007 the FBI raided the Renzi office as part of well known investigation into Renzi’s role in a government land-swap. Renzi used his government position to influence the deal, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.

Chris Smith cannot claim ignorance. Renzi’s corruption was very public and forced him to resign from the House Intelligence Committee. The scandal generated national attention because Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez had previously fired the federal prosecutor who opened the investigation in 2006. Renzi has since been indicted on 35 counts of corruption. (Phoenix Business Journal, April 20, 2007 Washington Post, Feb 23, 2008)  

Why did Chris Smith feel it was important to give cash to an obviously corrupt Congressman? No other Member of Congress made such a show of solidarity. We know Smith went out of his way to show his support, because Renzi was the only campaign to receive a contribution from Smith during the reporting period.

“Chris Smith has the wrong priorities. Instead of focusing on high gas prices and our struggling economy, Chris Smith decided to spend time making a political contribution to a Congressman facing federal indictment on corruption charges.” said Josh Zeitz Campaign Manager Steve D’Amico.

NJ-04: Declaring Energy Independence Day

First, I want to wish you all a Happy 4th of July. I’ve been thinking about the meaning of Independence Day, a day on which we as a people publicly declared our desire to be masters of our own destiny, to chart our own course as a free and independent society no longer under the control of others. For 232 years we Americans have done just that. We have governed ourselves, and I’d say that our record is one in which we can justly take a great deal of pride.

On this 4th of July, I’ve also been thinking about another kind of independence, namely energy independence. We are a strong country with our best days yet ahead of us. Right now, however, we face tremendous problems because we are deeply dependent on foreign oil. And we’re not just importing oil from friendly democracies like Canada, but from places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, countries who have very different values and interests from our own.

More after the jump.

So You Want to be a Netroots Darling

What do Darcy Burner, Mark Begich and Rick Noriega have in common? They’re all netroots darlings, and they’re all coming to Netroots Nation in 2 weeks. And so is just about every well-read national blogger in the country. So are Howard Dean, and (just announced) Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The list grows on.

What else do all these netroots darlings have in common? (Well, besides having had tens of thousands of dollars raised for them.) None of them are from New Jersey.

So, where are the New Jersey candidates? With super-duper t-t-top tier races in NJ-7 and NJ-3, why don’t I see Linda Stender and John Adler on the list of speakers? With strong challengers in NJ-5 and NJ-4 trying to make the leap to the top tier, why aren’t Dennis Shulman and Josh Zeitz listed?

With two weeks until the convention opens, there’s still time for these candidates or their surrogates to book a flight to Texas and make their case to the new generation of opinion-makers and buzz-creators. Maybe the next national netroots darling is right under our noses here in New Jersey.

What say the campaigns? Since I’ll be there anyway, I would sure love to show you around.

Just sayin.