Tag Archive: nj-5

Who Says the County Dems Endorsed?

I’ve been sitting on an email I received this weekend because I haven’t known quite what to make of it. The email gleefully announces what appears to be good news for the Dennis Shulman for Congress campaign:

The Shulman campaign is proud to announce that it has received the endorsement of the Passaic County Democratic Organization.

“The endorsement of the Passaic County Democrats is another sign that people across Northern New Jersey are responding to our message of change,” said Shulman.

There’s only one problem. There was no vote.

I know, because I’m a Passaic County Committeeman, and I attended the most recent of our extremely rare County Committee meetings on Thursday, March 27th, where neither of the 5th congressional candidates were in attendance, no one from either campaign appeared to speak, and no endorsement vote took place.

Apart from a call to say “aye” to all in favor of the new Freeholder candidate that the “screening committee” (aka “the Executive Committee”) had chosen for us, there were no other endorsement discussions – not in the U.S. Senate race, and not in any of the four Congressional races – at least two of them contested – with a piece of Passaic County in them. So, there was no occasion for “people across Northern New Jersey” to respond to anyone’s message of change.

Now, with the Senate race the talk of the state – especially the respective “county support” that Lautenberg and Andrews are relying on, and what it means – it seems like a really great time for us to understand what constitutes “county support.”

In Passaic County, county support means a decision made away from the eyes of the County Committee by an Executive Committee made up of Municipal Leaders (with weighted voting), the County Chair (who gets extra votes), and rumor has it, the Pascrell family (no one seems to know why). That sounds like democracy, right?

This diary is not intended to attack the Shulman campaign’s nabbing the so-called “endorsement of the Passaic County Democratic Organization.” The campaign went after, and apparently won, the only “endorsement” available to it. I only mean to question the meaning of a term that’s getting thrown around a lot right now – county support.

What does it mean to have earned “county support” where you live?

New Jersey Dems Commemorate The 5th Anniversary

Promoted from the diaries — Juan

Today, a number of New Jersey Democrats, both in office and seeking office this November, released statements on the fifth anniversary of the start of Bush’s disastrous Iraq misadventure.

Bob Menendez ~

…”We cannot continue to throw American lives and American money at a situation that neither will resolve. There are no good solutions to the conflict in Iraq, only better and worse options for the United States. The best option is to bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible. Sadly, if the President and his Republican allies in Congress continue to block Democratic efforts to transition out of Iraq, it seems that only the upcoming election gives our nation any hope of believing that this sixth year of war is the last one we will be forced to endure.”

Read more here…

Frank Lautenberg ~

“For five years, our troops have done their duty with bravery, answered every call and served above and beyond their commitments.  And for five years, President Bush’s leadership has failed to live up to their service and their sacrifice.  It is time for the President to get the Iraqi government to live up to its commitments and start to bring our troops home.”

Linda Stender ~

On the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, it is time our nation comes together to bring our troops home and set a timetable for withdrawal within a year. Nearly 4,000 American soldiers have lost their lives and 29,000 have been wounded in a war should never should have been waged.

“We have the best military in the world, but our soldiers should not have to referee a civil war while the Iraqi political leaders sit idly on the sidelines. President Bush continues to spend more than $12 billion dollars per month to fund a war that the majority of Americans disagree with. While the biggest sacrifice is the nearly 4,000 brave American soldiers who lost their lives and 29,000 additional wounded soldiers, we continue to dangerously neglect American priorities. With more than $3 trillion spent in total on the war, our schools, hospitals, bridges, and military readiness have all suffered. We are on the brink of a recession, American families are struggling, it’s time to bring our troops home so we can again focus on making America stronger.”

John Adler ~

“Nearly five years ago, President Bush rushed us into an ill-advised war in Iraq without a plan to win the peace or an exit strategy to bring our brave American troops home. In doing so, our President took the focus off the war against al Qaeda terrorist network that attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001. Instead of being bogged down in a civil war in Iraq, we must focus our military efforts on finding Osama bin Laden and destroying the al Qaeda terror network in Afghanistan.

“It is time for President Bush to put an end to our involvement in Iraq in a swift, honorable and responsible way. The war has claimed nearly 4,000 American lives and sent tens of thousands of our young men and women home with serious injuries. It will cost American taxpayers in the excess of $2 trillion.”

Read more here…

Dennis Shulman (NJ-5) LIVE on BlogTalkRadio TODAY at 4PM Eastern

Promoted from the diaries. — Juan

I live in New Jerseys 5th District, home of one of the worst Congressional members, Scott Garrett.  As I said in a diary a couple of weeks ago:

I live in New Jersey?s 5th district – my Congressman is Scott Garrett.  He is one of the most odious members of Congress.  When you see bills that pass the House with a vote of 390-35, he is one of the 35.  Consistently.  He has around an 85% voting record with George W. Bush.  On the other 15%, his position is more extreme than Bush.

There is at least one, really two progressives running in my district on the Democratic side.  Scott Garrett will never vote with Clinton, Obama or Edwards on anything that I want to see passed.  But the Democratic candidates in my district will.  As will many other progressive Democratic candidates – some of whom are members of the progressive blogosphere.  

Mystery Solved! Why Garrett Believes He has Been Fiscally Responsible

Most reasonable people believe that the House Budget Committee, on which Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) serves, and the Bush administration — whom, it may also be said, Garrett serves – have been pretty irresponsible with the federal budget since Garrett was elected to Congress in 2002.  The national debt has skyrocketed, future generations imperiled, etc…

Garrett, on the other hand, professes his innocence and continued zeal for responsible fiscal policies.

How can we reconcile that?

“To speak about God, and remain silent on Vietnam, is blasphemous.”

These are the words of the great rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

And it is these words, and this man, that have inspired rabbi Dennis Shulman (D) to challenge conservative extremist Scott Garrett (R) in NJ-5 this 2008.

Like his spiritual forefather, Shulman has concluded that he can no longer speak about God and remain silent on Iraq, as well as many of the other pressing and important issues of our times.

To learn more about Dr. Shulman, who is also a practicing psychologist, check out this recent New York Sun profile: Shulman Aims To Be First Blind Rabbi in Congress

Shulman Speaks On Stem Cell Research

NJ-5 Democractic challenger Dennis Shulman is calling on the citizens of New Jersey to vote for a bipartisan proposal to invest $450 million to fund stem cell research over the next 10 years.

“As a psychologist and rabbi, I encounter people struggling with Alzheimers and so many other potentially curable debilitating diseases,” said Dr. Shulman. “Out of touch politicians like Scott Garrett are blocking research that could lead to cures for my patients and congregants.  For me, this issue is personal.”

NJ-5 Candidates, Who can beat Garrett?

For one let me start with my rationale that would make a formidable candidate in NJ-5.  The candidate has to have had some kind of elected position before his run in 2008 Democratic primary.  This is important on many levels.  The most recent Democrats to run have not been in some kind of office during their campaign which hurts them as far as having a voting base (for constituent case work/name id) and the organization and fund-raising foundation that would already be in place from past elections.  Even though I think Camille Abate and Denis Schulman have good intentions in mind, I just don’t think they have the ability, message, or organizational structure to unseat an entrenched incumbent Congressman in a conservative leaning district. 

In 2006 Paul Aronsohn’s biggest obstacle was name identification.  Even though his message might have been on point and resonated he had to spend a lot of his time and resources on getting his name out to the district.  A candidate that is already an elected official gives them a distinct advantage of showing what their record is, and how this can translate as a member of the House of Representatives. 

Knowing all of this, the following are in my opinion the four strongest candidates the Democrats could field in 2008.  Personally I think Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney would be the best chance of winning, but am unsure if he’d be willing to mount an uphill battle against Garrett when he is probably one of the most powerful Bergen County politicians in his current position as County Executive.  After that I think Ogdensburg Mayor Jim Sekelsky has a really intriguing story and could run a real energetic campaign if he opts to run. 

Scott Garrett skips hearing on Iraq war’s cost

I’m sure they all have a good reason… right.  All but 1 GOP member of the House Budget Committee including our very own Scott Garrett seem to agree with the White House and are not worried about the cost of the Iraq war because they decided to now show the hearing to provide the oversight they are charged with.  From ThinkProgress…

The House Budget Committee held a hearing today to receive testimony regarding the CBO’s estimate that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may total $2.4 trillion. Only one Republican member of the committee attended. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) noted their absence:

  Doggett: “I assume, by Mr. [Paul] Ryan (R-WI) being here, that every member of this panel, including every Republican member on that side of the aisle where all the seats are vacant, received notice about this hearing about the cost of war in Iraq?”

  Spratt: “I’m sure they did.”

  Doggett: “And when was this notice of the hearing sent out?”

  Spratt: “Seven days ago, as required by the rules.”

Garrett has time to send them to war, but not enough time to hear what it will cost.  I can’t wait to hear him talk about how he is committed to fiscal responsibility, if by that he means not bothering to care enough to sit there and listen to the burden he has placed on the future generations of this country while he attacks people that don’t sign onto the blank check once again.

Scott Garrett (R-NJ5) should Denounce Coulter’s Hateful Remarks

Today I call on Scott Garrett to denounce in no uncertain terms the slurs hurled at the Jewish religion and community by right wing Republican pundit Ann Coulter. Scott Garrett, the incumbent in this district, should immediately and forcefully demand that his ally Ms. Coulter apologize for the hurtful comments she made.

Words have consequences, and, as we all know too well, this kind of bigoted rhetoric has all too often led to violence throughout history.