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.