Tag Archive: NJ Congressional Delegation

Reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

9/11 Ground Zero rescue workers

Today, more than 100 first responders are walking the halls of Congress to lobby lawmakers to reauthorize and make permanent the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named for NYPD detective,the first death by respiratory disease attributed to work at Ground Zero. He spent 450 hours there.

Following 9/11, America fairly throbbed with patriotism, nationalism and enough bloodthirsty revenge that allowed George Bush to launch a war on the wrong guy. We’ve recovered our senses since then, but the names of the people lost at the World Trade Center and Pentagon are still recited out loud, as they should be.

But there are other names and we have a chance to do more than remember them; the survivors and those who rushed in, then stayed to do what had to be done.  

Check out the new tool: House Background Checks Vote Count

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is out with a tool that lets you track where your congressman is on a bipartisan House bill (HR-1565) from congressmen Pete King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) that would strengthen and extend background checks for gun purchases.

The tool lets you track where your congressman is on the bill, and makes it easy to call, email, or send out a message to your rep via Facebook or Twitter. So far in NJ, Rodney Frelinghuysen has racked up the most reported calls, with Leonard Lance the second-most, both listed “unknown” on this bill. Some NJ reps are already co-sponsors, but not all you’d expect would be.

Check out the tool right now: House Background Checks Vote Count

King and Thompson talked about the bill on Morning Joe. It’s identical to the Manchin-Toomey bill blocked in the Senate by heavy lobbying from the NRA and Tea Party forces. But the House bill already has more than 160 co-sponsors. It’s backed not only by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but also by Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which describes itself as the second-largest gun rights organization in the U.S., and “The Common Sense Gun Lobby”. The effort also has the support of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who was propelled to Congress as a gun control advocate after her husband was killed and her son badly injured in the LIRR mass shooting of 1993, and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who left the House  after a mass shooting during a 2011 appearance in her district; she was shot in the head and left with neurological damage, 6 others were killed.

Here in NJ: Sen. Barbara Buono is collecting supporters on the issue of gun control. Today, Cory Booker joined her to support her call for stronger gun laws than Chris Christie supports. And there was a rally over the weekend linking gun control advocates from NJ to PA. And up in CT, Newtown mothers say, “We are not going away.”

More on this bill, below the fold.

Report DCCC offered Rothman $1 million to challenge Garrett

Now, who might put out a story like this?

PolitickerNJ is reporting that according to “two sources with knowledge of the offer” say that DCCC offered a cool $1 million to Steve Rothman if he stayed in the 5th to challenge Scott Garrett. And that the offer would slide up to $2 mil if polling showed the matchup competitive.

The sources are unnamed.

What would be the motivation for somebody to tell politicker this?

DCCC? No. Rothman has already declared his intentions in the 9th, no reason to screw a 15-year House member. Even if the story’s true, it doesn’t serve DCCC to embarrass a congressional Dem.

Rothman’s team? Obviously, no. Only hurts the boss.

There’s a lot of anger directed at Rothman now from some corners. You can read it all over our pages, but not from me. Disappointment, even for some a sense of betrayal, that Rothman would “take the easy route” and compete with another Democrat in the district Pascrell now lives in, but with constituents the bulk of which Rothman represents. Resentment that Rothman declined to challenge a Tea Party love-object in a district with a clear GOP advantage.

I have no idea if the item is true or not. But I can’t help thinking who gains in a story without evidence or confirmation from the players that makes Rothman look bad, or look like somebody DCCC might write off. Am I too cynical?

And I thought 2012 was going to be fun.  

Steve Rothman Releases Endorsement List

Yesterday, Rep. Steve Rothman made it official, that congressional redistricting will lead him to challenge not Tea Party darling Scott Garrett into whose district his home has been drawn, but Bill Pascrell, a fellow Dem elected to Congress the same year he was 15 years ago.

You can imagine the rending of garments at DCCC. And the state party. But given the imperative towards re-election hard-wired in House members, whose 2-year election cycle keeps them in perpetual re-elect, and the fact that much of the new district Pascrell now lives in is Rothman stomping ground, Rothman’s move has some logic. He was mayor of Englewood 2 terms, and that’s where he’ll relocate back into district. He already reps nearly 55% of the people (61% of registered Dems) in the new 9th, he says. (hat/tip Daily Kos Elections for this chart, which shows Rothman 53.95%, Pascrell 42.90%).

Rothman v. Pascrell was immediate national news, a race between colleagues on the same side of most issues, sharing a party, supporting the same president in a presidential year. How awful will this race be? How personal their complaints against one another? How much will it divide the rest of us?

Mabe we have some clues in Rothman’s first endorse list of 61 people; legislators, the Hudson & Bergen Dem Chairs, mayors, and municipal chairs, a Bergen-heavy list. Prominent are incoming Senate Majority Leader (and Blue Jerseyan) Loretta Weinberg, longtime Rothman ally, and both Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and Assemblyman-elect Tim Eustace, the two names with the most buzz as potential challengers to Scott Garrett in the contest Rothman passed on.

Pascrell, for his part has solid support from Passaic Chair John Currie, and gave no evidence of worry. Pascrell described himself as:

“a fighter who is ready for whatever may come. I will be as relentless in the election as I have been for my constituents. I do not know the meaning of the word quit.

Rothman’s full endorsement list, after the jump. If Pascrell is developing a similar list, Blue Jersey would very much like to see it.  

Rothman Will Challenge Pascrell


Some time tonight, according to an account in The Record, Congressman Steve Rothman called his Democratic colleague in the NJ congressional delegation and informed him of what has been rumored for days; he will challenge Pascrell in the newly redrawn district that now contains key towns they have both relied on for re-election.

It’s got to be a good night to be Scott Garrett.

Rothman’s going to move to Englewood, where he was once mayor, and make that a home base for his campaign. He’ll make the formal announcement Tuesday.

More after the fold.

Daily Kos Elections on NJ Congressional Redistricting

Over the last year or so, Daily Kos has launched 3 verticals that pull out some of the best stuff in what can, for me, be a cacophony of posts competing for not only for the mind but for the eye. I know I’ve missed good stuff, just because there’s so much stuff. Pulling those 3 new verticals  – Comics, Labor & Elections – out as  concentrations, with their own editors keeping watch, make Daily Kos a more readable site, at least for me. Particularly because NJ’s election cycle means we have crucial contests every year, and some of the most important Labor news in the country’s coming out of this state.

David Jarman (scroll for editor bio) is one of the editors of DK Elections. He’s got a post on the outcome of NJ congressional redistricting that I missed just before Christmas, but popped up in my Google Alerts this morning. Thought you’d enjoy the view of NJ redistricting from outside NJ. From Daily Kos Elections:

New Jersey redistricting: Commission tiebreaker opts for the Republican map.

Find Your Town – the New Congressional Redistricting Map

Here’s the new New Jersey, the GOP proposal for redrawing NJ’s now-12 congressional districts, chosen by the NJ Congressional Redistricting Commission’s tie-breaking member, John Farmer, Jr.

NJ Congressional Redistricting Map (North Section):


NJ Congressional Redistricting Map (Central Section):


NJ Congressional Redistricting Map (South Section):


Pascrell will sign on to equality-friendly Respect for Marriage Act

Jay Lassiter’s Blue Jersey diary, Paging Bill Pascrell, posted at 09:43:28am today, is already out-of-date.

And that’s good news.

Garden State Equality just announced a few minutes ago, that the Respect for Marriage Act, intended to repeal DOMA, is now a clean sweep of support by NJ Democratic members of Congress:

BREAKING NEWS: Every Democrat in the New Jersey Congressional delegation is now a sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA. That includes Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez, and Congressmen Andrews, Holt, Pallone, Payne, Rothman and Sires – and Congressman Pascrell just told us that he, too, will sponsor. (To facebook supporters, it urges): Click LIKE to thank our unanimous Democratic Congressional delegation.

I don’t know if Jay’s diary helped edge Rep. Pascrell into our column on this, or if his decision was already made. Doesn’t matter. His support on this issue is very welcome.

Just yesterday, Jeff Gardner wrote about Senator Bob Menendez joining the marriage equality efforts, long in coming, and gratifying.

For disclosure’s sake, as I’ve said here before, I’m a member of GSE’s board. I’d be writing about this anyway. It’s exciting stuff.