Tag Archive: nj-5

Garrett cares more about AIG than his own constituents

In what has become something akin to a broken record, Scott Garrett was the lone NJ Representative to vote for something.  In this case, the vote was to preserve $165 million of bonuses paid to AIG employees who were responsible for nearly bringing down the entire company.

With our tax dollars.

This would be bad enough in and of itself, as half of ALL House republicans voted against Garrett on this, but if you look at the hypocrisy that is Scott Garrett, it makes it even worse.  This man claims to be a “budget hawk” when he votes against the stimulus bill (which would bring thousands of jobs to the district) or when he votes against things like mortgage relief for struggling families or health insurance for children or raising educational standards – but he has consistently voted for never-ending billions for Iraq with no oversight.

And now, this.

So this same man who brings close to zero dollars to the people of his district – not through earmarks (even though NJ is last in the country in money received from the Federal Government relative to what its citizens send in tax dollars), not through votes on bills that would help the economy here – is one to vote for letting $165 million of our tax dollars go unchecked to those who had a huge hand in creating the financial crisis that this country, state and district now faces.

Just think about the number of jobs or number of households facing foreclosure (with 2 out of the top 4 (and 3 of the top 8) counties in the entire state in number of foreclosures during January), or children without healthcare, or number of crumbling roads in the district that could benefit from $165,000,000 which Garrett would rather see go to people who don’t live in the district in return for screwing up the economy.

This isn’t a “budget hawk”.  This is someone who is beholden to corporate interests and not the people he is supposed to represent.

Garrett explains his anti-environmental vote by lying

In a recent column, Herb Jackson calls Congressman Scott Garrett (R-Fringe Right Wing) out on yet another instance of him being “Mr. 12-1” as the only NJ delegation member to vote in a particular way (read: the wrong way) on a bill.  This time, it was a bill that failed by 2 votes, and in typical Garrett fashion, he “explains his vote” (which Jackson is too generous with that headline) by creating a false perception of himself as someone who just wants to do the right thing only if the evil pork projects which are a small part of the bill itself weren’t in there.  So because he don’t like it completely, he has to make sure that nobody gets anything.  The only problem is that Garrett completely distorts his actual position with a laundry list of things that are mere symbolism and no real meaning.

“If only”…”if only”…Once again.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Garrett says the following (emphasis mine):

“If The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 only contained spending that truly improved and protected our environment, I would whole-heartedly support its passage. The legislation, however, bundles good projects with pork projects and spending of $5.5 billion over five years. Examples of pork in the bill include $3.5 million to the city of St. Augustine, FL for a birthday party, $200,000 for a tropical botanical garden in Hawaii and $250,000 to study the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This is appalling, especially in a time of economic crisis when the American people are looking to Washington to cease the excessive federal spending that continues to bloat our national debt. It’s time to get serious about fiscal responsibility and do more than simply pay lip service to the concept.”

As a member of the Land Conservation Caucus, Congressman Garrett has a strong record as a supporter of environmental protection, taking the following actions to protect the environment:

And then it lists a number of things like making a phone call for someone or signing a letter or 2 or “providing comments concerning”.  

If by “strong record as a supporter”, you mean “is very much against”, then sure – he isn’t full of it.  But the truth is, Garrett is one of the worst, if not the worst Congressmen when it comes to his actual voting record on environmental issues.  

I know, you’re shocked.  SHOCKED!!!  

But it is true – Just a few years ago, he was actually THE worst in Congress by at least three or four different measures – and one of the worst since the 1970’s.   Project VoteSmart’s list of his ratings on Environmental Issues is telling, as he has perfect ratings from interest groups on the farthest of the right.  In fact, he only ranked a score of 33 by the Republicans for Environmental Protection group.  

Even his own party even thinks he is, in their own words, a “nut”.

We wrote about this particular issue a couple of months ago over at Retire Garrett and this likely won’t be the last time this year we will be writing about it again.

Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney Joins Blue Jersey Radio LIVE Tonight at 8:00 p.m.

Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney
Dennis McNerney, Bergen County Executive

UPDATE: I don’t mind saying – that was a really great interview. Dennis offered some great insight, both politically and from his perspective as a government official. Seriously, check it out. – JG

Each week, Blue Jersey Radio streams LIVE with New Jersey’s latest political buzz, interviews with newsmakers, and your stimulating calls.

This week: Our guest is Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. What should we know about the elected leader of New Jersey’s most populous county – a community larger than 6 states, including Alaska? We’ll find out. With a new Chair in place at the BCDO, the huge importance of Bergen County in the Governor’s race this year, and the fight to take back the 5th District in 2010 having already begun, Dennis could offer quite a bit of insight. Tune in and find out!

It’s all LIVE tonight at 8:00 p.m..

And, of course – you can always give us a call and have your say. That number again is: 646-652-2773.

Talk to you later!

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A Town Hall Epilogue

(Promoted from the diaries because New Jersey’s Congressional delegation would be much better off without Rush Limbaugh Republican Scott Garrett -SW)

As many of you know we had our first official Take Back the 5th Town Hall yesterday.  Although there was a threat of snow, we still had a fairly good turn out (nearly 40 people on a Sunday afternoon), and a distinguished panel of speakers.  The most encouraging sign in my opinion was the diverse group of elected officials that came out to speak.  Freeholders Vernon Walton & Jim Carroll, Sheriff Leo McGuire, Ridgewood Councilman (and 2006 Democratic Nominee) Paul Aronsohn, Former Closter Councilman Jack Kelly, and Ogdensburg Mayor Jim Sekelsky, all were on hand to discuss why Scott Garrett was an ineffective Congressman and the work that needs to be done to unseat him in 2010.      

Another thing that became very evident to me is how different the voters are in each county of NJ-5.  A message that could work in Warren and Sussex probably won?t work in Bergen, and the geographic challenges that a candidate faces in the district make it very difficult for him/her to connect with voters.  New ideas and methods need to be implemented in order to win in 2010, and this event opened a new dialogue for organization and message development throughout NJ-5.

In my opinion alternate campaign tactics to be utilized to address these challenges.  When Paul Aronsohn spoke about how he walked across the district in 2006 knocking on doors and engaging voters in made me realize how great of an idea that was.  If we could organize people to walk in their respective towns in the district, knocking on doors, distributing literature, and just opening a dialogue with voters on why Garrett is not representing them, we could really begin a grassroots movement.      

Once again, Scott Garrett shows how he hates families

In today’s Bergen Record, Herb Jackson notes the following quote earlier in the week by one of our “esteemed” Congressmen:

Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, questioned whether the Obama administration is simply prolonging economic bad news rather than preventing it with its latest plan to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday where Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testified, Garrett voiced the anger of families that have been paying their mortgages and didn’t buy houses they couldn’t afford. Here’s part of a statement he released afterward:

“I’m worried that the administration’s proposed efforts will only delay the inevitable full correction of the market, while saddling future generations with tens of billions of dollars of additional debt.

“Delaying the onset of a true housing bottom, it seems to me, has other unintended negative consequences, as well. Not until we reach a bottom will we begin to provide certainty on the value of so-called toxic mortgage-related assets found on financial institutions’ balance sheets around the world. The uncertainty surrounding the value of these assets is one of the main contributors to the downward spiral of our economy, so the sooner we reach certainty, the better.”

Of course, Garrett would love nothing more than to let the “free market” do its thing, as we know how much he trusts corporations to “do the right thing” (as witnessed by his very own stimulus bill last year consisting entirely of corporate tax breaks, even though corporate tax breaks have been proven to be the single worst “stimulator” of the economy).

The problem here is that Garrett is supposed to represent people and families, as opposed to corporations, and if you were to look at a summary of foreclosures in January 2009 by county, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties are ranked first, fourth and eighth in the state in homes foreclosed.

What does Garrett propose that these families do while waiting for a “true housing bottom”?  What is Garrett’s plan for helping the families out in his own district – with not one, not two but THREE of the top eight counties in terms of foreclosures?

I guess those families can wait for the corporate tax breaks to put food on their table, find them a new place to live or pay for heat.

Take Back the 5th Town Hall

TODAY: It’s an extraordinary act of faith and commitment to launch a public meeting like this, in as uphill a District as NJ-5, as early in the cycle as Adam, Matthew and Michael and friends are doing this. This is how change gets made and this is where netroots crosses with grassroots. BRAVO — promoted Re-promoted by Rosi

Promoted by Jason Springer: Are you going?

Save the Date: March 1, 2009, 2:30 PM, Demarest Borough Hall

As you all have read over the past few months, myself, Adam Lambert (the artist formely known as clammyc), and Michael Simonson have been involved in organizing a Take Back the 5th Town Hall, which is taking place this Sunday, at the Demarest Borough Hall.  We have a great line up of featured speakers and hopefully we can start a real dialogue towards organizing and defeating Scott Garrett in 2010.  

Speaking will be Paul Aronsohn, a Ridgewood Councilman, and 2006 Democratic Nominee in NJ-5, Jack Kelly, a former Closter Councilman, and Paul Eisenman, head of Bergen Grassroots.  Guests will include Mayor Jim Sekelsky of Ogdensburg, Carl Richko, former Mayor of West Milford, and elected officials throughout the district.

Unintentional comedy alert: Garrett says “stop the madness”

Subtitled:  “Wherein I eviscerate the latest asshattery from my odious and clueless Representative


In the latest installment from Mr. 12-1, Scott “the nut” Garrett pens an absolutely ridiculous editorial in yesterday’s Bergen Record about the stimulus/jobs/recovery bill – arguing his points as to why he voted against it.

This is a man who can claim that he thinks “many of these programs may be worthy of federal support, but there is little need to include them in a stimulus package today“, yet he has voted against worthy federal programs such as assistance for victims of elder abuse, health care for children, relief from Hurricane Katrina, and nearly every single bill that involves federal spending – something that makes Garrett regularly the only NJ representative voting (and many times one of 50 or less out of more than 400 total representatives) for or against something on any given week.

What makes this even more laughable is when one looks at his reasoning, comparisons, justifications and alternatives, there is nothing to suggest that he even knows what he is talking about – let alone do anything to help the struggling families of NJ’s fifth district stay in their homes, keep or obtain employment or deal with the rising costs of healthcare.  

Scott Garrett, Maybe the Worst Congressman in the United States

A call to action for the citizens of NJ-5. –  – Promoted by Rosi

Cross Posted on Retire Garrett

Since the start of the 111th Congress Representative Scott Garrett has managed to show his constituents 3 major points.  First, if you are a woman you don’t deserve (nor are entitled) to make the same amount as your male counterparts.  Secondly, American children do not have the right to free healthcare.  Finally, and possibly the worst of all, the SEC did nothing wrong in overseeing the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and more oversight isn’t necessary.  This is what Garrett had to say regarding Madoff and the role of the SEC (per Herb Jackson):

But Rep. Scott Garrett, the top-ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said he did not think more government regulation was needed.

“Each and every one of Mr. Madoff’s relevant business fell under the jurisdiction of one or more financial regulators,” Garrett, R-Wantage, said at the start of the hearing. “Given what we currently know about this situation, I do not believe there was a regulatory gap that needs to be filled with more, often excessive regulation.

“Rather, we should be focused on ensuring that current regulations are being met and that proper oversight is occurring… We cannot end all fraud nor guarantee these changes would have prevented it.”

Excessive Regulation?  Nearly $50 billion dollars have been stolen and our Congressman doesn’t think we need anymore “excessive regulation?”  This is the kind of representation constituents of New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District get.

If a Democrat in NJ-5 cannot rally together a coalition of voters who think that women should be paid the same as men, that all children are entitled to healthcare, and that the Bernie Madoff scandal didn’t warrant a rethinking of our regulation policies, then we do not deserve to beat Garrett.

These votes need to be used against Garrett in 2010, but they need to be coupled with a  message of new policies that would better benefit the residents of NJ-5.  Simply heaving negative press at Garrett does not work.  It needs to be clearly expressed that the Democratic nominee thinks and how his/her policies diverge from Garretts.

Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from Warren County to Bergen County need to realize the positions our Congressman is taking and need to start the work right now to unseat him in 2010.  


Hypocritical quote of the year

Yes, the year is young, but this one is yet another in a stunning array of hypocrisy that is so-called “budget hawk” Scott Garrett.

When talking about why he voted against the stimulus bill – thereby denying his constituents much needed things like extended unemployment benefits, tax credits for working families, tax credits for college students, energy incentives, infrastructure, help in the areas of health care and public schools – just to name a few – Garrett had the following to say on CNBC (go to around the 9 minute mark):

This spending plan, if you put it in comparison to what this country’s spent, it’s all the money we spent on the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Louisiana Purchase, the Marshall Plan and some of NASA’s funding as well added together….That’s an amazing amount of money, without the oversight, and you will see so much waste, fraud and abuse the public will be outraged

Of course, that lack of oversight, waste, fraud and abuse didn’t seem to bother Garrett as he repeatedly voted for hundreds of billions for Iraq that was wasted, abused and fraudulently given to republican party cronies with no oversight.

But let’s not let little things like facts get in the way of a good lie, right Ernie?

And to make matters worse, what does Garrett want instead?

Garrett has introduced a bill that would reduce the federal corporate business tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, and lower the capital gains tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

Yes, cutting corporate taxes instead of helping families stay in their homes or put a little more cash in their pockets.

So out of touch with what America’s families need.

Garrett’s staff jerks around his constitutents

I had the opportunity to attend a MoveOn event yesterday with one of my fellow Retire Garrett partners, Michael Simonson, where we (around 25-30 of us) were going to head to Garrett’s “new” Glen Rock office to discuss the upcoming stimulus bill and the importance of bringing jobs (especially green jobs) to the District.

MoveOn’s local organizer had contacted Garrett’s office, and was advised that at least one of his staff would be in the new Glen Rock office, which replaced the old one on Route 4 in Paramus.  His staff was aware of our mission, and we were armed with signs, stories and pleas for Garrett to do the right thing for the district and help out his constituents.

After all, NJ gets less back from the Federal government than any other state relative to what our taxpayers send to the Feds, and the “budget hawk” line of crap is shot to hell when you realize that he voted for every single no-strings-attached dollar (and there were hundreds of billions of them) sent to the Iraq sinkhole.

Oh yeah, and we need jobs and infrastructure here too.

So, as you can see from the pics below the fold, we were ready to talk to his office, but when we got there, it was locked and empty – as if they hadn’t even moved in yet.  This, despite the fact that we said we were coming and were told that someone would be in that very closed and empty Glen Rock office.

Why is Garrett afraid of talking about more jobs for his district?

click below to see pics from the event, including us outside his locked and empty office