Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fight On!

As many of you know, Paul Aronsohn lost on Tuesday, but he came closer to beating Scott Garrett than any of his predecessors. In 2002, Scott Garrett won 61% of the vote, in 2004, 58%, and in 2006, 55%. This is a long-term struggle, and will require at least one more election cycle before we can beat Garrett. The more people learn about his extremist rhetoric, the more they want a change.

Paul wrote an email to supporters claiming he is proud of the passion in the campaign. He wrote that his "inclination is to run again."

We'll keep fighting here at Retire Garrett, and we'll make this blog much better than it was in the past. No more hiding, Mr. Garrett, we'll find you.

I invite all of you to give me and Sidd Finch ideas on how we can build this people-powered movement for change in the 5th district of New Jersey and how we can win in two years.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Click through. Google will love you for it!

--NJ-05: Scott Garrett

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Friday, October 20, 2006

Michael J Fox hits Garrett- HARD

Cross posted at

OK. Maybe he's talking about another nutjob, Senator Jim Talent, but substitute "Garrett" for "Talent" and "New Jersey" for "Missouri" and you've got an ad for the NJ5 race. A real powerful ad, and exactly the kind of thing the people of New Jersey's 5th district should know about E. Scott Garrett.

Paul Aronsohn is a strong supporter of embryonic stem cell research—for personal and policy reasons—and he has been very public about his support.

His opponent, incumbent Scott Garrett, fundamentally opposes embryonic stem cell research—a fact demonstrated by his actions in Congress, press reports, and public statements.

Please help Paul win this race.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chicken a la Garrett

Bergen Record today: Where's Garrett?

Garrett, a Republican representing the district that stretches from Warren across northern Passaic and Bergen counties, is facing a challenge from Democrat Paul Aronsohn. He and Garrett have diametrically opposing views on key issues, from abortion rights to embryonic stem cell research to offshore oil drilling. Voters in this district would benefit from hearing the two candidates challenge each other's positions.

But Garrett is refusing to appear alongside Aronsohn in any forum where more than a tiny fraction of the district's voters could see or hear them.

Is Garrett afraid of something? Is this Sussex County congressman trying to hide his record and views from voters, specifically from voters in Bergen and Passaic counties, who tend to be more politically moderate?

In a word, yes. He banks on the fact that people won't notice that he's an out of touch wingnut.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Interesting choice...

10/9/06 UPDATE:

Looks like the Daily Record isn't too happy about Garrett's cherry picking, either:

Rep. Scott Garrett, like most candidates, knows the importance of selective reading. A few months ago, a Daily Record editorial criticized Garrett for opposing a measure to ban price gouging by oil companies. It noted that Garrett, who faces a spirited challenge in the 5th Congressional District from Democrat Paul Aronsohn, thinks government should do as little as possible. It said, for example, that Garrett has opposed a President Bush-backed plan to extend unemployment benefits and federal money for Katrina relief.

But one line in the editorial praised Garrett for being "one of those rare politicians who seems to put his principles over political expediency."

What line do you think the Garrett campaign picked up and used on a mailer to district voters? You got it, the one about putting principle first. This is like an advertisement for a movie that cherry-picks one line from a lousy review for marketing purposes.

A spokeswoman for the Garrett campaign noted that the candidate simply picked up a line that had appeared in print.

Thursday, October 05, 2006
As I mentioned in a comment earlier, I received a snazzy mailer from "independent" Congressman Scott Garrett. (Someone must have screwed up, since the mailer failed to mention that Mr. Garrett is a Republican.) The cover of the piece, entitled "An independent voice, getting results", shows a quote from the May 9, 2006 Daily Record:

"Scott Garrett is one of those rare politicians who seems to put his principles over political expediency."

An impressive endorsement for an "independent" politician, huh? Well, I decided to take a look at the whole article, just to confirm how wonderful Mr. Garrett is. Here are some other quotes from the piece that Mr. Garrett could have used:
Garrett, R-Wantage, last week was one of 34 House members and the only one from New Jersey to vote no on a bill to make gas-price gouging a crime.

Garrett firmly believes in a government that should do as little as possible.

Recall that one of his first votes in Congress was opposing a plan by President Bush to extend unemployment benefits for those in need.

He also has opposed money for Katrina relief.

Devotion to principle is important, but there are times when concessions should be made to what's best for the public.

Seems to me that Mr. Garrett should be writing movie posters- "This movie is the greatest..." example of crappy filmmaking I've ever seen!- not representing the good people of New Jersey's 5th district.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Garrett and Iraq

E. Scott Garrett to the House of Representatives - September 09, 2004:

"Madam Speaker, Iraqis are not lashing out through political activism, they are shooting American soldiers. They are killing the very same people who have come to help them."

So, on September 9, 2004, E. Scott Garrett recognized that IRAQIS were shooting at American Soldiers. Well, here we are TWO YEARS LATER and he still says stay the course? What's the definition of insanity again?

Well, speaking of insanity, maybe we'll find those WMDs that Mr. Garrett still thinks are there:

E. Scott Garrett to the House of Representatives - July 13, 2004:

"So where are the weapons of mass destruction? Where they have always been, in the Iraqi area, within the reach of terrorists, a threat to U.S. troops, the region, and the world community as well."

Seriously, this guy isn't only out of touch with the people of NJ5, he's completely out of touch with reality.

Our President Is Working to Defend and Protect The American People -- (House of Representatives - March 18, 2004)

"Mr. Speaker, I stand here today in support of the President and his decisions, for I know his one overriding responsibility is to protect and defend the American people, and our President is working to do just that."

In support of the President and his decisions? Plural? Who the heck needs you then, Mr. Garrett? How about asking a freaking question or holding a hearing every once in a while?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Garrett Uses Taxpayer Money to Pay Off Campaign Contributors

Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett has taken an unusual step; he's paid one of his Capitol Hill interns. Michael J. Inganamort, III was a rising senior at American University in Washington, D.C. when he received a congressional internship on Capitol Hill during the summer of 2005.

Unlike most internships, this one was paid. It was paid to the tune of $2,201.38 over a seven week period. In fact, as anyone who's ever interned in a congressional office knows, paid internships in a Capitol Hill office are almost unheard of, and almost never go to someone who is not a graduate or law student, let alone a college student.

So what's so special about Michael J. Inganamort, III. His father, Michael J. Inganamort, Jr., contributed $500 to Scott Garrett's campaign for Congress in 2004. And between 2002 and 2006, Michael J. Inganamort, Sr., Michael's grandfather, contributed $3,000 to Scott Garrett's campaigns.

Scott Garrett had other interns during this period. Michael J. Inganamort, III was the only one who was paid.

So why is this important? Scott Garrett takes campaign contributions from contributors and then gives their progeny a cushy Capitol Hill internship with some money to go with it. Well, there's one thing that makes this absurd. This is taxpayer money. And we all know how Scott Garrett feels about taxpayer dollars.

Garrett voted against Hurricane Katrina aid to victims devastated by the disaster. He was one of eleven in the House of Representatives out of 435 to vote against it.

Garrett voted against extending unemployment benefits to those on the unemployment rolls. He was one of four out of 435 in the House of Representatives to do that; it was his first vote in the House too.

And why does he hate helping poor people, and middle class families struggling from capricious natural disasters and the whims of unemployment?

On Garrett's reelection website, he notes that he has "been an outspoken advocate for fiscal restraint, having consistently called for more sanity and accountability in government spending." I guess paying off your campaign contributors with taxpayer money is pretty sane and accountable.

He goes on to say that "the Federal government must stop taking irresponsible liberties with your hard-earned tax dollars." Spending that $2,201.38 on education or health care is far less responsible than giving it to a contributor's kid. Boy, if only we could pay every silver spoon fed child some hard-earned dollars, we could just eliminate Social Security.

Garrett also makes clear that "as [our] Representative in Congress, [he] will continue to work for spending restraint and a shift it priorities away from the federal budget and back to the family budget." Clearly the family budget he's talking about is the Inganamorts' budget. At least he's looking out for some of his constituents.

Scott Garrett is a disgrace. Let's elect a real Representative.

Garrett and Trigger Locks.

From the Brady Campaign:

As the rate of gun violence dramatically increased during the 1980s and early 1990s, American children paid the price. From 1984 to 1994 the firearm death rate for 15-19 year olds increased 222% while the non-firearm homicide death rate decreased almost 13%. While deaths from gunfire have been decreasing since 1994, firearms are still expected to overtake motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among American children.

Cars do kill children: so do poorly-made toys and swimming pools and dozens of common household items. But of all the thousands of products with which children have contact, only one - firearms - are completely exempt from consumer protection regulations. Back in 1972, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission was created, the gun lobby's political power ensured that the one product that is specifically designed to cause death and injury remained exempt. Thus, most handguns have so little trigger resistance that they can be fired by a three-year old, while many guns fire when dropped on the floor. Many popular semi-automatic handguns lack magazine safety disconnects or load indicators, meaning that children have no way of knowing that a gun that appears unloaded actually has a bullet in the chamber.

So something like trigger locks would be a no-brainer, huh?

House suspends trigger lock requirement
Action follows Wednesday's vote barring Justice from enforcing the law

Updated: 6:01 p.m. ET June 29, 2006
WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday passed legislation that would suspend a new requirement that gun dealers provide a trigger lock with every handgun they sell.

The development came on the heels of a 230-191 vote late Wednesday to block the Justice Department from enforcing the trigger lock law. The vote came during debate on a spending measure funding the department's budget.


The Senate had voted 70-30 to impose the trigger lock sales mandate, which proponents said would prevent gun accidents and save lives, especially those of children who discover a parent's handgun.


A foe of the amendment, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., said that the $5 to $7 that a trigger lock costs is a small price to pay for preventing some of the 30,000 gun deaths that occur in the United States each year.

Makes sense to me. How about you, Mr. Garrett?

Project Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt an amendment that prevents funds in the Commerce Department FY2007 Appropriation bill from being used to enforce a law requiring guns be sold with locks on guns. (Sec. 3014 (f))

Representative E. Scott Garrett voted YES.

Friggin $5 trigger locks. And $26k from the NRA is all it took. That, and a complete disregard for our kids' safety.

Thanks, Ernie.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Who does Ernie work for?

From today:

Key Executive Invokes the Fifth as House Members Assail BP
Lawmakers today lambasted executives from energy giant BP PLC for maintenance failures on their giant Alaska pipeline, as one key executive invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in refusing to answer questions.
BP announced in early August that it had discovered widespread corrosion requiring replacement of 16 of the 22 miles of “low-stress” oil pipelines at its Prudhoe Bay complex. The repairs have stymied production at a time when gasoline prices and energy policy are near the top of election year concerns.
Members of a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee assailed BP executives for failing to act on evidence indicating that feeder pipelines at the company’s Prudhoe Bay facility were susceptible to widespread corrosion.
Richard Woollam, former manager of the corrosion, inspection and chemicals group for BP Exploration Alaska Inc., invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions at the hearing.
Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., described BP as a “company with bloated profits that has failed to fix bad pipelines.”


- Rep. Garrett voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
- Rep. Garrett voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.
- Big oil and gas industries have given Rep. Garrett $48,000.

Thanks, Ernie.

Seriously, does anyone have evidence of E. Scott Garrett standing up for his constituents? I'd ask him, but he's seems to be avoiding questions, including those from Paul Aronsohn.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Which party supports veterans again?

cross posted at blue jersey

Center for war-related brain injuries faces budget cut
Posted 8/8/2006 10:01 PM ET E-mail
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.
House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center — half of what the center received last fiscal year.

Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.

"I find it basically unpardonable that Congress is not going to provide funds to take care of our soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line for their country," says Martin Foil, a member of the center's board of directors. "It blows my imagination."...

How is it possible that this Republican congress can find

- billions for Paris Hilton
- billions for oil companies
- billions for Halliburton

but not $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center? Geez. I'd bet President Bush has wasted more than that on bike tires. That's not fiscal conservatism. That freaking obscene.

Volunteer. Contribute. Support Paul Aronsohn.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Garrett's Crazy Church Conducts "Scientific Research"

More of Scott Garrett's crazy "Lafayette Federated Church"'s nutty views on the issues of the day.

According to a "online census" (whatever that means), the church shows that same sex marriage in the Netherlands is not as sustainable as marriage in the United States. Without so much as citing this "online census" (for which I can guess is not a scientifically legitimate survey), the survey suggests that gay couples stay married for significantly shorter periods of time. What this propaganda leaves out is that marriage, heterosexual and homosexual in the Netherlands is shorter than in the United States, which isn't exaclty the embodiment of marital stability with a larger than 50% divorce rate.

See for youself.

Scott Garrett's views are molded by this extremist view of Christianity. The Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other faiths in this district don't agree with Scott Garrett and don't really respect flat out lies being purported as facts when discussing people's lives.

More to come. In the meantime, support Paul Aronsohn.

Questions for Ernie

DEMS PLAYING POLITICS WITH MAJORITY LEADER DeLAY -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 22, 2005)

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, Social Security is in major trouble, hundreds of thousands of Americans still I need the opportunity to obtain health insurance, and much more work must I be done to secure our ports and borders. Yet the Democrats must have all those important issues solved because they are wasting all their time playing politics and making unsubstantiated accusations against United States House Majority Leader, TOM DELAY. Like their stance on most important issues, facts seem to matter very little to most Democrats. They have done nothing to help create jobs in this country. Nothing to help lower the cost of health care, nothing to help root out waste, fraud and abuse of the people's money, and to date, have not presented one plan to save Social Security. Yet they make politically motivated, unsubstantiated accusations without any evidence against Majority Leader DELAY and because they know that an investigation would clear his name, they are now putting up road blocks for the Republicans on the Ethics Committee to do their job. My friends on the other side of the aisle, your constituents need more from you than this. Voters sent you here for a purpose; I don't think these childish games are what they had in mind.

Ernie really went to bat for his friend and financial backer, huh? A few questions, though:

  1. Does Garrett know what party is in control of all 3 branches (and has been for some time)?
  2. Does Garrett think an indictment qualifies as a "politically motivated, unsubstantiated" accusation?
  3. Garrett seems to be very concerned about Social Security. Does that mean he opposes President Bush's reckless privatization plan?
  4. Has Garrett accepted money from any other indicted people? If so, has he ever returned those funds?
  5. When Garrett supported the move to allow an indicted person to serve as Majority Leader, was that an effort to remove "road blocks for the Republicans on the Ethics Committee to do their job"? Have they "done their job"?
  6. When Garrett said Democrats have done "nothing to help root out waste, fraud and abuse of the people's money", he meant Republicans, right? Afterall, the Republican-led Congress has failed to adequately investigate how billions upon billions of dollars have gone unaccounted for or misspent in Iraq. Perhaps his oversight was a result of his fondness for DeLay?
I can obviously go on, but I think you catch my drift.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Garrett Belongs to the Crazy Christianist Wing of the GOP

Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Scott Garrett really is a wingnut. He belongs to the extremely ultra-right-wing Evangelical church, the Lafayette Federated Church. This church is connected to wingnutters like James Dobson, as you can see here on their site.

In addition, you can see some of their literature that I have sleuthed out.

According to Garrett's church's literature, "there is no proof that [embryonic stem cells] can be manipulated to... become any cell or tissue in the human body." Well, according to the National Institutes of Health, that's just a flat out lie. And I'm going to trust the federal government's premier scientific medical research arm over Garrett's crazy church any day of the week.

According to the literature, NJ's stem cell law allows for the "commercial trafficking in the sale of baby body parts."

Don't believe me, see for yourself.

More to come on Garrett's wingnut church tomorrow!

I paid for these?

As a resident of NJ5, I never hear from E. Scott Garrett. Even when I write to ask him a question. So why the heck am I hearing from him now? (There isn't an election coming up, is there?) And why the heck do we need to pay for it? How much franking money has this "fiscal conservative" spent?

I'm no expert on franking rules, and these were probably drafted to skirt them anyway. Someone needs to step up and do something about this, though. Set aside all of the falsehoods and misleading statements (without citation) in these particular examples. We should not be paying for an additional advantage for incumbents. In my opinion, no incumbent- R, D or I- should be allowed to send taxpayer funded mailings for 9 months before an election. If they do, it should have to credit their opponent an equal amount.

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What's the definition of hypocricy?

Speaker: Representative E. Scott Garrett (NJ)
Title: Honoring the National Association of State Veterans Homes
Location: Washington, DC
Date: 07/25/2006


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, as a cosponsor of H. Con. Res. 347, I am pleased to support this resolution honoring the work of the National Association of State Veterans Homes and the 119 homes across the country that honor our nation's heroes.

I am proud to work on closely with the State Veterans Home in Paramus, New Jersey. This excellent facility is run by caring individuals who work hard each day to see that our veterans are given the care that they earned sacrificing for our nation. Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson recently had the opportunity to tour the facility with me and see the tremendous effort that Doris Neibart, director of the home, and all the nurses and staff have put into caring for veterans in the final stages of life's journey.

Throughout the 20th Century and now into the 21st, the American soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine has been a force for good in this world. Working together, they have kept our nation safe from the threats of fascism, communism, and now terrorism. We owe them all a great debt of gratitude and the best care we can provide.

Our nation has a rich history of promoting freedom and spreading democracy, a history that was made possible by countless individuals who served in our armed forces. We remember all who contributed as well as those that stand ready to serve the cause of freedom today. I am proud to represent so many selfless and brave heroes and to honor those who work for their welfare.

Wow. He must really support veterans, huh?

2005 Representative Garrett supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

2004 Representative Garrett supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Representative Garrett voted their preferred position 33 percent of the time.

2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans - House considered to be the most important in 2003, Representative Garrett voted their preferred position 50 percent of the time.

Rep. Garrett opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.

Rep. Garrett voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.

Nope. Not so much.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Postcards from Ernie....

In today's installment, we've got a postcard from Ernie to Dick Cheney:

Help Paul Aronsohn say "Happy Trails" to Ernie Scott Garrett!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Breaking! Garrett postcards found!

I cannot reveal my sources, but I've been able to get my hands on a bunch of postcards from Ernie Garrett's travels. Today's was sent from just off the NJ coast, dated 8/12/2009:

Next? Ernie writes home from South Korea (on a foreign agent's dime)!

Some Letters to the Editor in Sussex County

An interesting set of letters to the editor in the New Jersey Herald in Sussex County. People throughout the 5th are tired of Scott Garrett and want him gone.

Check it out.

Now We Know Why Scott Garrett Is So Out of Touch

Fascinating! Scott Garrett spends more time in Asia than in Emerson. Garrett spends more time feasting off of foreign lobbyists than he does listening to the concerns of his constituents. And Scott Garrett spends more time breaking House Ethics rules, lying, and making stuff up than he does representing the views of our district. Scott Garrett has got to go!

The Bergen Record, and thanks to Herb Jackson, ran an expose on Scott Garrett's abuse of power and corrupt practices. In the article, Jackson notes that Garrett has grovelled for lobbyists from the time he was elected to the present:
Rep. Scott Garrett was in office less than six months when he and his wife left on a $13,000 "educational trip" in June 2003 to Sri Lanka funded by that nation's chamber of commerce.

Before another six months had passed, he'd taken another $34,000 worth of privately funded travel, and along the way racked up the highest average per-trip travel expenses in the New Jersey delegation.

And Scott Garrett continues his streak of standing alone in the NJ congressional delegation. And again, it is not a noble thing to do.

I'd love to know exactly what Scott Garrett "learned" in Sri Lanka. Let's see where else student Garrett has gone:
In November and December, they were off to South Korea for a trip that cost $19,466. And less than a month later, Garrett traveled alone to Taiwan for a five-day, $5,080 "educational trip" sponsored by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.
Hmmm. Maybe Scott Garrett "learned" that our nation is losing jobs to Taiwan and South Korea in droves and that would cause him to vote against free trade agreements. Whoops! That's too much:
The same Taiwanese group had treated one of Garrett's aides to a $4,150 trip to Taipei three weeks earlier, while Garrett was in Korea. But it seems to have paid off: Earlier this year, Garrett was one of 50 co-sponsors on a bill calling for a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
Looks like foreign lobbyists have just as much pull in paying off Scott Garrett as American lobbyists do.

OK. So maybe I overreact, after all, it's good that Scott Garrett is "learning" something, since his extremist votes seem to demonstrate massive stupidity. But after all, what's so bad about privately-funded trips if they're legal and ethical?

Oh, wait, they're not:
Garrett's Korea trip appears to have broken House rules because it was funded by the Korea-United States Exchange Council, a registered foreign agent, and House rules bar members from accepting travel from foreign agents.
OK, so Garrett broke House Ethics rules, what's the biggie? After all, Tom DeLay broke those same rules and look what happened to him. That's right, he retired from Congress. Looks like you should follow his lead, Ernie!

In fact:
Roll Call reported last year that the Korea council was created by Hanwha Group chief executive Kim Seung-youn with the help of a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and funded trips for DeLay, Garrett, and 10 other members of Congress.
Tom DeLay and Scott Garrett sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Well, at least Garrett was willing to explain to us how there was nothing wrong about his trips and how this was all a big misunderstanding:
Garrett would not answer questions about the Korea trip or any others. He responded to a two-page list of questions e-mailed to his office with a three-paragraph response from his press secretary, Audrey Jones.

"Our policy is to only take those trips reviewed by the ethics committee," the statement said. Asked if the Korea trip had been approved, and when the policy of committee pre-approval was instituted, Jones simply re-read the sentence. Twice.

Well, I'll be damned. Scott Garrett is withholding information from his own constituents. I can't believe it. Well, that makes sense, after all, we're so dumb anyway that I can't imagine Scott Garrett trying to explain himself to us anyway. At least, he was timely in reporting his unethical behavior. Gotta give him points for that! Oh, wait:
Garrett's own form for the Israel trip reported it had taken place in 2001, more than a year before Garrett took office.

Jones ultimately corrected the dates to 2003. Garrett also filed the disclosure form for the Korea trip March 18, 2005, or more than 15 months after he returned. The form says disclosure is due within 30 days of a trip's completion.

Wow, this just keeps getting worse and worse for Ernie. At least, he filed the reports at all. I know Ernie has to believe in transparency. After all, he said so through his spokesperson:
Garrett's statement also said he "believes that transparency in all aspects of the legislative process is part of the practice of a healthy democracy."
That makes me feel so much better. I hope he means what he says. Alas, I am a dreamer:
But Jones could not answer why Garrett had signed three disclosure forms by his aides for trips ranging in cost from $634 to $1,388 that did not include destinations.
So, let's recap. Garrett takes more privately funded travel than any other New Jersey congressman, even though he is the most junior of the group. He takes trips that are more expensive than any other New Jersey congressman. Garrett takes a trip paid for by a foreign lobbyist and then becomes a co-sponsor for a bill that the lobbyist is pushing, even though the bill is antithetical to the interests of Americans. Garrett takes a trip to Korea that is a clear violation of House Ethics rules and takes the trip even though corrupt former congressman Tom DeLay took the same unethical trip. He is not forthcoming about any of this, and skirts the issues when questioned by reporters. Garrett files his disclosure forms 14 months too late and does not fully fill out the form.

If this were a report card for the end of the semester of college, I'd probably be expelled simply for my behavior, forget about my extremist votes which completely fail me out of school. Does anyone hear the retirement bells for Scott Garrett?

It's time to take him out. Immerse yourself in Paul Aronsohn's website.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Over 2,000 Houses Visited!!!

(by Parisa Sabeti)

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know that Paul reached a mini-milestone yesterday on the campaign trail - He passed the 2,000 mark! While walking through his 23rd town, Paul knocked on his 2,006th door. (I also think he drank his 2,000th bottle of Gatorade!)

This number, of course, doesn't include the thousands of additional houses visited by other members of our campaign team, who accompany Paul daily on our "walk-the-walk" tour.

Thank you all for your support. I hope you can join us on the trail one day soon; and please don’t forget to let us know about the people/places to visit when we come walking through your town.

Campaign Manager
Paul Aronsohn for Congress

ACTION ALERT: Take Immediate Action to Retire Garrett

I am planning to organize a student-led rally outside the Paramus office of Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett. If any of you know students in the 5th district or have any contacts with progressive campus organizations in the 5th, please shoot me an e-mail at

It will take more than blogging to defeat Scott Garrett, and we can do it. Let's show Scott Garrett that he can't avoid his constituents any more!

Also, General Wesley Clark will be with Paul Aronsohn tonight at the American Legion Post 170 at 33 West Passaic Street in Rochelle Park at 6 pm. I'll have it on video hopefully and up on the blog in the next few days.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Numbers Are Staggering

For those that support our continued military presence in Iraq, let me share some thoughts.

I was 18 years old when I came to college. In the last three years, four months, and eleven days, 22 American 18 year olds were killed in Iraq. One of them, Pfc. Bradley G. Kritzer, U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division, was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device in Baghdad on May 5th, 2004, three days before I turned seventeen. He was from Irvona, PA. He joined the army to pay for his education so that he could work for the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission. His dream was never realized. Remember, he was 18 years old.

I am 19 years old now. In the last three years, four months, and eleven days, 149 19 year olds have been killed in Iraq. I turned nineteen on May 8th, 2006. Two days before that, on May 6th, Lance Corporal Leon Deraps, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Marine Logistics Group, died in an Improvised Explosive Device attack in Fallujah. He was from St. Louis, MO. He was 19 years old. He was a Boy Scout who won 35 Merit Badges and was his Senior Prom King in High School. Remember, he was 19 years old.

I will turn twenty next year. In the last three years, four months, and eleven days, 273 20 year olds have been killed in Iraq. One of them, Pfc. Nicholas E. Messmer, U.S. Army, 2nd Infrantry Division, died on my eighteenth birthday on May 8th, 2005 in Khalidiyah in a hostile fire attack by the enemy. He was from Gahanna, Ohio. He was "into working out and wanted to be a firefighter." Remember, he was 20 years old.

I will be able to legally drink on May 8th, 2008, when I turn 21 years old. In the last three years, four months, and eleven days, 320 21 year old American servicemen and women have died in Iraq. Sergeant Elisha Parker, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, died on May 4th, 2006, in a hostile fire attack in Al Anbar Province. He was from Camden, New York. Nicknamed Eli, Sergeant Parker could have "gone to any college he wanted to." He was on the track team. Remember, he was 21 years old.

I will graduate college soon after I turn 22 on May 8th, 2009. In the last three years, four months, and eleven days, 260 American 22 year olds have died in Iraq. On June 9th, 2006, while I was slaving away at my internship here in Washington, D.C., Pfc. Ben Slaven, U.S. Army National Guard, 308th Transportation Company died in Diwaniyah in an IED attack. He was from Plymouth, Nebraska. According to his frist Sergeant, Slaven always "volunteered for duties like cleaning the floor with a toothbrush." Remember, he was 22 years old.

As a college student, I know a lot of 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 year olds. They're my friends, my classmates, my TA's, my club Presidents, my star athletes, my brothers and sisters. They are my generation. Kids from my generation are the ones dying in this war. 1,024 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 year olds have died so far in this war. Before we say that we need to stay in Iraq to prevent it from "degrading" into civil war, remember 18 year old Pfc. Brad Kritzer. Before we say that we can't just break Iraq and leave it, remember 19 year old Lance Corporal Leon Deraps. Before we say that we have an obligation to see success in Iraq, remember 20 year old Pfc. Nicholas Messmer. Before talking about how leaving Iraq would be giving in to the terrorists, remember 21 year old Sergeant Eli Parker. And before we say that we can still win in Iraq, remember 22 year old Pfc. Ben Slaven.

The war in Iraq is a failure, and we have made a lot of mistakes. How many more Ben Slavens will we have to lose before we get out? How many more Brad Kritzers will have to die before we realize that this war in unwinnable? How many more Leon Deraps will die in the blast of an IED before we accept that the U.S. military cannot make the Sunni and the Shia like one another? How many more Eli Parkers will have to die before we realize that we have created more terrorists? And how many more Nicholas Messmers will have to die before we realize that the best thing to do for Iraq and for America is to get our troops out immediately?

1,024 American mistakes who should have been at a college party instead of dying in Iraq. They should have been struggling with classes, not getting blown up by IED's. They should have been cheering their school's basketball teams in March Madness, not sitting at checkpoints, armed and ready to fire on Iraqis. They should have been working at a part-time job, not trying to put Iraq back together again.

Before anyone says that we should stay in Iraq, I challenge you to say that you are willing to go to Iraq and wear the uniforms that these brave men and women wear and hold the assault rifles and fear IED attacks. If any of you can say that staying in Iraq is worth it enough that you would be willing to go and serve and die, then I salute you. But if not, join me in saying that this war must end, and end immediately before we remember any more kids my age who needlessly died in a senseless and endless war in a country that does not threaten our national security. Join me now, before we lose any more.

Ernie Scott Garrett supports this war to no end. He backs the President wholeheartedly. We need a Congressman who will oppose this war and support our troops by bringing them home. Support Paul Aronsohn. We need a new direction.

Update: 44 New Jerseyans have been killed in Iraq, including 4 from the fifth district. Let us end this war.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rarely Do We See Magic

I've spent a lot of time posting about Scott Garrett on this blog and about how extreme he is. While this is all true and I plan to continue to post about his extremism, I want to write about how magical the Paul Aronsohn campaign has become.

Paul Aronsohn's campaign video, "Ya Gotta Believe," is truly an inspiration. Without negative attacks, or partisanship, it exemplifies the youthful, energized, and positive nature of this campaign, not just to throw the bum out, but to elect someone who truly believes that with hard work and perseverance, any of us can make a difference and improve people's lives. That is what public service is all about. And Paul Aronsohn is certainly an embodiment of that ideal.

As I leave Washington for two weeks next weekend, I will be excited to spend time walking with Paul and supporting his campaign. I do believe that this year represents an opportunity, a golden opportunity, to elect a Democrat in our district.

But it will not happen naturally. If we want to elect Paul and retire Garrett, we will need to work overtime for him. Walk with Paul, talk with your friends about him, contribute some money, learn about his campaign, his beliefs, and his experience. Never stop believing. If we all join together, we can make the unbelievable seem achievable.

Consume Paul Aronsohn's campaign website today!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lest we forget...

Just a quick reminder that, like many of the races across New Jersey and the rest of the country, the race in NJ5 is not just Dem vs. Rep. It's Dem vs. RADICAL Rep. Sure, the NJ5th is a Republican district. However, the republican voters of the district are moderate. Just like their former representative Marge Roukema. (Who, by the way, was demonized by her party for it.) Let's go to the wayback machine, shall we?

CFG made headlines in 2000 when it opposed the reelection of moderate New Jersey Republican Rep. Marge Roukema. Although CFG poured more than $250,000 into the war chest of Roukema’s primary challenger, right-wing assemblyman Scott Garrett, the incumbent prevailed. After the election, Moore crowed, “We didn’t beat Marge Roukema, but we made her life a living hell for two months.” If anything, this narrow defeat only encouraged CFG. Roukema retired in 2002 and Garrett ran again for her seat, again with CFG backing. This time, Garrett was victorious.
Ernie Scott Garrett is no moderate and his loyalty is obviously not to the voters of New Jersey's 5th district. It's our job to make sure that people who press that button simply because it says "R" know that they are voting against their interests.

Help Paul Arohnson. Contribute. Volunteer.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thanks, Ernie. Love, Exxon.

Ernie Scott Garrett has received $49,000 from the Oil and Gas industries.

Now, all of that cash didn't affect Ernie's voting, did it?
- Ernie voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.
- Ernie voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.
- Ernie voted to lift moratorium on offshore drilling

So now NJ drivers pay out the wazoo for Gas.


Exxon Mobil 2Q Profit Jumps 36 Percent
Thursday July 27, 9:29 am ET

DALLAS (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it earned $10.36 billion in the second quarter, the second largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.
The earnings figure was 36 percent above the profit it reported a year ago. High oil prices helped boost the company's revenue by 12 percent to a level just short of a quarterly record. Its shares rose to a new high in morning trading.

Who does this guy work for? I thought he was supposed to represent us.

Help Paul Arohnson. Contribute. Volunteer.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How to beat your Garrett.

We all do a lot of preaching to the choir in progressive blogland. We may disagree on specific issues from time to time, but we all agree that the time has come for political change. We agree that we deserve decency, accountability and true representation from our elected officials.

So, we spend our time blogging about the elections that concern us the most. We talk to each other about the horrible records of our respective shady Republican opponents. We preach to our collective choirs, "why doesn't anyone else see how obviously out of touch this guy (or woman) is?" Well, you know what? We appreciate getting more ammunition for our respective fights, but generally we DO know that. The folks who don't know aren't here. They're "out there".

So, how do we get to those folks "out there"? We get involved in a real way. We take one hour that we normally would have spent online or watching TV or knitting and we head over to our candidate's headquarters. We stuff some envelopes. We host a house party so people can get to know our candidate like we do. So they can spread the word. We walk with them, literally and figuratively.

And we decide to buy one less lunch/CD/XBox game/antique thimble a week and commit to send that money to our candidate.

Now you may say, "Hey Sidd- you're very smart and handsome. Your diary makes a lot of sense. Why don't you practice what you preach?"

My answer?

First, thanks for the compliment. It's very nice of you to say that. Second, I recently started preaching and practicing at the same time. I'm going to host a house party. I tell everyone I know about the campaign. I'm getting involved locally. And, since you asked, I'll commit right here and now to contribute the $ that would have gone to lunch once a week to Paul Aronsohn's campaign. (That's in addition to anything I was planning to contribute.)

Let's get something done. Know what I'm sayin'?

PS. Where's Scott?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You asked for it and Paul delivered!

I'm very happy to say that I received an email today announcing the updated website for Paul Aronsohn.

Get over there now and take a look! What you'll see is what more and more people are seeing every day- a real candidate running for the right reasons. As many of you know, Paul has committed to walk from one end of the 5th to the other to listen to the concerns of his future constituents. Head over there and you'll see an inspirational video about the walk, along with an interactive map of Paul's progress. (I wonder what a map of Ernie Scott Garrett's travels would look like? Does someone have access to maps of DC and Texas?)

A quick side story- I happend to have been in Woodcliff Lake, NJ yesterday on business. Driving down a side street, I noticed some red shirts in the distance. As I got closer, I realized it was a group of folks with Aronsohn for congress placards and t-shirts. What a perfect symbol. No fanfare. No BS. Just committed folks speading the word in an old-fashioned shoe leather campaign. Good work, guys!

Get on the bandwagon now, folks. It's going to be a great ride!

PS. You'll also see some shots from the Madeline Albright event (for you, Nick Lento!). For those of you haven't heard, General Wes Clark (Ret.) will be joining Paul for a free event in Rochelle Park on August 1st. Give the campaign a call ASAP if you want to go. Based on the buzz I've been feeling, it's going to be something you won't want to miss!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Paper Notices that Garrett Isn't Really From New Jersey

In the Hudson Valley News:
The House members who joined Hinchey in sending the letter to Bush were: Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NY), Congressman Tim Holden (D-PA), Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Apparently, others notice that Scott Garrett doesn't really represent us here in NJ's 5th. Now it's up to the voters to vindicate that impression at the voting booth.

Funny Garrett Line

In the Hill, Garrett says the following about immigration legislation:
Nothing would be better than something bad.
I agree, nothing would be far better than you, UnRepresentative.

Garrett Hates Immigrants

Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett just plain hates immigrants. He has consistently worked against immigrants having access to faster and more efficient naturalization, and he consistently works to deport all 12 million undocumented American immigrants who have families here and want to be good citizens. The Bergen Record has picked up on this story.

Immigrants are the lifeblood of this country. As a son of one immigrant and the grandson of four immigrants, I am disgusted by the paleoconservative and isolationist and nativist sentiments of Scott Garrett. While he couches his views in the language of "upholding our laws and securing our borders," this is merely lip service to the wingnut conservative base that despises Latinos "messing up our racial purity," as if our country was ever homogeneous.

The vote last week against the Voting Rights Act just shows how far Garrett will go to oppress minorities. I'm glad to see immigrant groups getting out and opposing Garrett. But what we really need immigrant groups to do now is to support Paul Aronsohn.

Contribute to and volunteer for Paul Aronsohn.

Ernie Scott Garrett's DeLay connection?

I have some homework for you.

We all know we live in a world of coincidences. However, we've come to understand that when it comes to Republicans, those coincidences should be investigated. This is where you all come in...

Now I'm no expert, but at a glance it seems like Ernie Scott Garrett is on top of his required financial filings. Take a look over at PoliticalMoneyLine and see for yourself. (You might want to keep that window open. We'll be going back.) Well, I figured that since the filings are there, I should take a look.

Hmmm. The 7/13/06 quarterly filing for the "Garrett-New Jersey Victory '06 Committee" (ack! hard for me to even type that!) Wow. Spent $5000 at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC- oh, that's right. Had to meet with Dick Cheney. Anyhoo...

How about the 7/14/06 July Quarterly filing for "Scott Garrett for Congress" (got a little vomit in my mouth from that one)? Page 64 tells me Ernie sent $2400 to Keel Systems from Spicewood, TX. No biggie, I guess. The Texas part is interesting, though. Oh. According to the Statement of Organization filed 6/2/06, it looks like Thornton Keel is also the "Custodian of Records" for the organization.

Now, call me cynical, but when I see someone from Austin, TX intimately involved in a campaign for a guy from the NJ 5th, I want to know more. (Remember what I said about coincidences? Here we go.)

Well, a quick googlization of Mr. Keel gets me this:

...The Texas Lobby Group also recruited Lara Laneri Keel, who was government affairs director of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which faces a related grand jury probe of the $1.9 million in corporate money that it spent to influence the 2002 elections. Keel is married to a cousin of Rep. Terry Keel, the treasurer of TRM successor Stars Over Texas PAC (SOT). SOT PAC recently paid $3,000 in “management consulting fees” to another cousin of Rep. Keel. A GOP candidate for Travis County Constable, Thornton Keel became campaign treasurer for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn in April, after a nasty split between
Strayhorn and consultant George Strake...

So, Scott Garrett, recipient of $15000 ARMPAC funds from Tom DeLay, just by coincidence has a guy from Texas on his payroll who just happens (along with his entire family?) to have been intimately involved with TRMPAC and related groups.

So now it's time for your homework:
  • Who is Thornton Keel?
  • Of all of the people he could hire, why did Ernie choose this guy?
  • What else is buried in Ernie's filings?

Oh, and one last question- WHERE IS SCOTT?

Welcome and Vote Update

I'd like to welcome Sidd Finch to the blog. He'll be a great addition as we work to retire that extremist UnRepresentative of ours. Hopefully, with two of us, we'll be able to update the blog much more.

Also, Scott Garrett has voted this week on a bunch of bills. He voted against families in order to discriminate against loving gay couples, he voted against life by denying life-saving medical research to 100 million Americans who are living with diseases that could be cured by stem cell research, he voted against the Constitution when he voted to destroy judicial independence to decide the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, and he voted to let business make excessive profit by supporting the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement. Oman is a repressive, authoritarian regime and has no business trading with us until it starts respecting human rights. But to Scott Garrett, human rights are nothing when big business is writing the checks.

I'm Sidd Finch and I approve of this blog.

Hi. I'm Sidd. Adam has generously offered to share some space here at Retire Garrett with me, as long as I clean up after myself. Thank you, Adam.

Keep checking back here to get an unofficial view of Paul Aronsohn's fight to replace right wing extremist Ernie Scott Garrett. As Paul has said, it's a fight worth fighting, so we're going to do all we can to get the truth out there about Ernie and his complete disconnect from the people of NJ 5th.

I'm on my way out the door, so here's something I posted yesterday over at Blue Jersey (a must visit spot for anyone who cares about NJ politics):

Madeline Albright comes to the 5th

Well, those of you who were unable to attend last night's reception in honor of Paul Aronsohn really missed something special.

First, special guest the Honorable Madeline Albright was an inspiration. Her candid speech not only reminded us of a better time, not so long ago, when the United States had the moral standing and respect to guide the world toward peace, but also gave us all hope for the future. That hope and optimism was reflected in her heartfelt words and genuine admiration for Paul Aronsohn, both as a person and a candidate.

Second, and more importantly, Paul Aronsohn dropped the gauntlet in a crisp, rousing, passionate speech. Anyone who came to the event as a token gesture in this "solid republican" district went home with an entirely different outlook. (I must admit that, while ever hopeful, I may have been one of them.) Paul made it clear that he is in this race to win it, he'll do what it takes to win against an extreme opponent, and with our help, he will win.

Paul, I've got three words in response: COUNT ME IN

psst- keep August 1st open. A little bird told me that General Wesley K. Clark (U.S.A., Retired), former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, will be visiting the 5th in support of Paul Aronsohn. Don't make the same mistake twice!

Oh- by the way, speaking of Paul's extreme opponent, does anyone know who that is? Someone told me it was a man by the name of E. Scott Garrett. Has anyone seen that guy around? Based on his voting record, I can't imagine he's the one representing the 5th district. Where's Scott?

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Few Questions for Garrett

So, in relation to my last post on Garrett's ridiculous vote on the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization, I called Garrett's office today to ask him a few questions. Here is the transcript of my conversation:
Garrett Intern: Congressman Garrett's office!

Me: Hi, my name is Adam and I'm a constituent in the Congressman's district, and I have a few questions for him regarding his vote on Thursday against the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

Garrett Intern: Well, if you give us your name and address, we can send you a letter explaining the Congressman's position.

Me: Well, actually, I have a few questions I'd like to ask over the phone, just to make sure they're answered and there are quite a few of them, so I'd like to make sure they get through.

Garrett Intern: Well you can go to our website, "" and send us the questions through there (I'm not kidding, the intern actually said "http://").

Me: Well, I'd actually just like to ask them now, to make sure you guys get them. So, I was wondering if you could just write these questions down. Would the congressman have voted for the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution? Would he have supported the Supreme Court majority in the following cases, Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Loving v. Virginia in 1967, Dred Scott v. Sanford in 1857, and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896? And would the Congressman have voted for the Voting Rights Act in 1965 or the Civil Rights Act in 1964? If you could just get answers to all of these questions, that would be great.

Garrett Intern: What is your name and address, sir?

Me: (I gave my address, but I'm not gonna give it out here.)

Garrett Intern: We'll be responding to you as soon as possible, sir. Have a nice day.

Me: Thanks.
I'll be waiting for a reply, and I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is It Dred Scott Garrett?

Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican (Ernie) Scott Garrett just voted against the Voting Rights Act, one of 33 members out of 435, all conservative Republicans. He is the only member of the New Jersey delegation to vote against a bill that has protected the rights of millions of Americans to vote for four decades. In fact, Garrett is the ONLY MEMBER OF CONGRESS NORTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE TO VOTE AGAINST IT. All of the Republicans in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania voted for it except Scott Garrett. Garrett should run for Congress in Alabama, not New Jersey.

Does Scott Garrett truly yearn for the days of Jim Crow? This vote raises some questions. Would Scott Garrett have voted against the Voting Rights Act in 1965? How about the Civil Rights Act in 1964?

Does Scott Garrett support the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments that end slavery, secure equal justice, and guarantee the right to vote? Would Scott Garrett support Brown v. Board of Education, or is segregation a good idea? Would he support Loving v. Virginia, or should a loving couple of mixed race be prevented from tying the knot?

Are Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson some of Garrett's favorite Supreme Court decisions? Are Bull Connor and George Wallace and Strom Thurmond and Orval Faubus some of Garrett's idols?

Dred Scott Garrett is stuck in the 18th century. We need a 21st Century Representative who believes in what Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson fought for --equal rights under the law!

Contribute to and volunteer for Paul Aronsohn. Paul wouldn't hesitate to support equal rights, and we shouldn't hesitate to back him.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Paul Aronsohn Looking Better Every Day

Apparently, the punditocracy in NJ is waking up to the fact that the 5th district is a really competitive race:
In addition, Linda Stender and Paul Aronsohn are showing signs of being competitive against incumbent Republicans Mike Ferguson and Scott Garrett in the 7th and 5th districts respectively; a Democratic victory in either race would certainly help the party's quest to gain a majority in the House.
Contribute and volunteer for Paul Aronsohn.

This Plane's About to Crash

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Scott Garrett Raises Flood Insurance Rates After Floods in His District

Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett (wow, this name is becoming long) is just asking for retirement. Does he want to get booted out of office? His latest antic is disgraceful, and I'm surprised the New Jersey news media has not picked up on this disgusting and uncaring affront to the constituents of the 5th District.

After Warren county flooded a couple of weeks ago, 1,300 people were displaced in Garrett's district, and he belatedly said he would ask President Bush to declare a disaster area. Meanwhile, Garrett raised money with his buddy, Extremist Dick Cheney (aka Darth Vader), and then went to go see the damage. I wrote about this two weeks ago, warning that Scott Garrett's uncaring vote against aid for Hurricane Katrina victimes was a precursor to his lack of compassion for his own constituents. I thought I was exaggerating. But Scott Garrett did the unexpected.

Scott Garrett proposed an amendment to the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2006 that would increase flood insurance rates for homeowners:
An amendment to a law approved last week by the U.S. House of Representatives would impose much higher rates for federal flood insurance on anyone buying an older house in an area subject to flooding.
According to FEMA, rates would double in the near-term and triple in the long-term. The House voted on this bill on June 27th, days after the flooding hit Western New Jersey. Garrett offered no amendment to change the law even after he was aware of the damage done to his constituency. He voted for the bill. And furthermore, he defended his reactionary amendment:
"Homeowners know how vulnerable their property is when they purchase it, so Congress is updating the law," said Garrett, a fiscal conservative. He argued that when the subsidies were approved in 1968, few home buyers knew where flood zones were. "My amendment simply recognizes this new reality."
Garrett's bill's "new reality" doesn't "recognize" the fact that homeowners who just had their homes destroyed may decide to move to new homes in their towns. Unfortunately, their insurance rates will be double what they were from their old house. But to hell with people! And I thought Garrett was against taxing people more. Flood insurance is run by the federal government and these increased rates amount to essentially higher taxes on homeowners.

But that's ok! Garrett has voted for pay raises for himself four times in a row! So at least we know where our higher insurance rates are going!

Scott Garrett is sick! The formulation in his head must be "constituents hurting, must make them hurt more!"

We've got to give him the boot.

Contribute and volunteer for Paul Aronsohn. Also write a letter to the editor in your area about this, we need to make people aware of Garrett's sinister moves. Here are the letter to the editor pages at the Bergen Record. For those of you in Warren, make sure this gets into the local papers out there, people need to know!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Soctt Garrett's Extremist Foreign Policy

I'm a Jewish American. I have a lot of family in Israel and my cousin is the Secretary-General of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. But some of Israel's aggressive policies have done great harm to Israeli long-term security and have hampered efforts toward peace.

There is a vicious cycle in the Middle East; Israelis want security, Palestinians want a homeland. Unfortunately, Israel's efforts to achieve security have led to an occupation that leave many Palestinians poor and costs many Palestinian lives as collateral damage. And Palestinians' efforts to secure a homeland have led to insecurity for the Israeli people who are innocently killed by sick terrorists who have no respect for life. The situation is dire and it is not getting any better as the Israeli offensive into Gaza these past few weeks have shown.

But Yitzhak Rabin was right. Israeli security and peace can be achieved simultaneously by returning land to Palestinians so they can create their own state. I believe it will take international peacekeepers to maintain the peace in the Middle East, but until they do, the United States has an obligation to both Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace.

Extremist Radical Republican Scott Garrett doesn't take this view. Garrett believes that the current situation is fine, and that Palestinians do not deserve a homeland:
Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Member of the Homeland Security Caucus, said, “You cannot engage in the peace process by giving up land for peace -- it will never work.”
Unfortunately, Scott Garrett's deference to the status quo won't work either and will lead to more bloodshed on both sides.

Scott Garrett's view of foreign policy is driven by right-wing neoconservatives that have an ideological agenda that will hurt the United States and cause total war in the Middle East and elsewhere. Scott Garrett's votes on a number of foreign policy issues demonstrate an extremist philosophy that will endanger American national security.

Paul Aronsohn worked at the US Delegation to the United Nations for eight years in the Clinton Administration. He has sensible and smart ideas about national security issues. He has been very critical of the war in Iraq from the outset. We need to get rid of extremists like Scott Garrett.

Contribute and volunteer to Paul Aronsohn.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Scott Garrett Votes to Keep Addicts on Drugs

President Bush said in his state of the Union that America is addicted to oil. Scott Garrett, going against the entire NJ delegation of five Republicans and six Democrats (with one vacancy), voted to open up offshore drilling to oil companies in the United States:
The House voted yesterday to end a quarter-century offshore drilling ban and allow energy companies to tap natural gas and oil beneath waters from New England to Alaska. The only member of the New Jersey delegation to vote with the majority was Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.)
If there is a spill from an offshore drilling rig off the coast of the Jersey shore, our beaches would be irreparably damaged, closing beaches even if there's not a government shutdown. The potential for human accidents is enormous. Beyond that, Garrett signaled with this vote that he has no intention of moving our nation off of our oil addiction by investing in clean, alternative, and renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, ethanol, and other sources.

Scott Garrett is bought off by the oil and gas industry. He's received $8,500 from the oil and gas industry this election cycle. We need someone who will represent New Jersey, not oil drilling companies in Texas.

Contribute and volunteer to Paul Aronsohn. I'm also interviewing Paul on Friday. Write some questions in the comments for me to ask him.

Garrett Supports Totalitarianism

Ernie, our favorite Extremist Rubber Stamp Radical Republican, stood shoulder to shoulder with Dick Cheney on Friday as Cheney blasted the New York Times and their courageous work to expose the abuses of power in which this Imperial President has engaged. The New York Times has now exposed the illegal domestic wiretapping program and the illegal and warrantless domestic financial tracking program.

Scott Garrett's support for these programs is not only dangerous, reckless, and extreme, but he has relinquished his Constitutional responsibility to check the abuses of the executive branch and provide oversight for executive activites. Further, he has broken his oath that he took upon becoming a Congressman when he vowed to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

When we get jobs, we sign contracts agreeing to uphold the main duties and responsibilities of our employment. Scott Garrett has broken his contract, and it's time to send Ernie home.

Contribute and volunteer for Paul Aronsohn. Write me some questions in the comments so I can ask Paul when I interview him on Friday.

Cheney and Garrett in Lockstep

Dick Cheney was one of the most extreme Republicans in Congress during the 1980's, when he represented Wyoming in the U.S. House. It seems that Garrett wants to follow in his footsteps:

We trust that Scott Garrett showed up on time.

Vice President Dick Cheney was the speaker Friday at a $1,000 per plate fundraising for Garrett at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Recall that when Cheney came to Newark to raise money for the U.S. Senate campaign of Thomas H. Kean Jr. earlier this year, Kean showed up late. He said he was caught in traffic, but many thought Kean wanted to avoid being photographed with Cheney, whose approval rating in New Jersey is about 30 percent.

Garrett, whose congressional district includes Warren and parts of Sussex counties, is probably the most conservative congressman from New Jersey. That puts him in the same corner -- philosophically -- as Cheney.

Garrett doesn't want to run away from his extremist mentor Dick Cheney. New Jersey doesn't want another Dick Cheney in the House of Representatives. We need to boot Ernie out.

and volunteer to Paul Aronsohn. By the way, I am interviewing Paul on Friday, so put your questions in the comments section so that Paul can hear about the concerns of the netroots.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Update and Full Disclosure

I'm sorry I haven't updated the blog in the last couple of days, but I've been traveling constantly and the holiday weekend has eaten up my time.

But Friday I will be interviewing Democratic Congressional Nominee Paul Aronsohn about his views on policy, politics, the netroots, and his race for Congress. I want all of you to assist me in preparing for the interview. So if you all could submit questions for me to ask Paul, I would appreciate that. I will make sure that half my questions come from all of you.

Also, in full disclosure, I am not in any way affiliated with the Paul Aronsohn campaign. While I communicate with them in a journalistic manner and remain a committed supporter of Aronsohn, this blog is not the mouthpiece of the Aronsohn campaign and I am writing my own views with no hesitation.

Also, my permanent residence is in the 5th district and I have lived in the 5th district since I was born and I am registered to vote in the 5th. However, I am a college student and I go to school in Washington, DC at Georgetown University. I do not want to be accused of being an outsider from the District. I have volunteered on the Anne Sumers and Anne Wolfe campaigns and I am a committed Northern New Jerseyan.

Please write some sample interview questions in the comments. Thanks guys and I will be back on track tomorrow with blogging. Happy Independence Day, America, 230 and still going!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Scott Garrett (Ernie) Couldn't Be More Careless

Extremist Radical Republican Ernie Scott Garrett has done it again. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a group called Women of the Storm (WOS) organized and grew to 130 supporters from New Orleans whose mission it was to bring Members of Congress to view the devastation first hand. The first Members of Congress to visit New Orleans through this group were none other than UnRepresentative Scott Garrett (R-Christian Coalition) and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). According to Becky Currence, a founder of the group, said:
When we had the first visitors as a result of our trip to D.C.: Representatives Scott Garrett (N.J.) and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) came together. By the time they left New Orleans, they were convinced of the great needs of our state.
On their site, Women of the Storm have this quote from UnRepresentative Scott Garrett:
You have to see the massive sclae of the devastation and get a greater perspective of the enormity of it. I definitely have a lot more confidence that the people in this community are trying to do this the right way. I feel good about it.
Scott Garrett issued a press release on September 2nd, 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, saying:
The thoughts and prayers of my family and I are with those along the Gulf Coast recovering from Hurricane Katrina. It is comforting to know that Americans from across the country will be joining together in assisting the victims of the hurricane. It is this sprit of caring by individual citizens that helps keep America so resilient and strong. We in congress have already begun the process of passing an emergency relief package to bring needed money and resources to the victims of this disaster. I join with the President in calling for all citizens to help out, in whatever way they can, and encourage everyone to conserve our energy resources during this difficult time.
And yet, Scott Garrett voted against Katrina aid. All other New Jersey and Northeastern Congressmen vote for it. Eleven vote against it, including Ernie.

Scott Garrett says one thing, but does another. Can anyone say flip-flop? Can anyone say extremist? Can anyone say careless? I wonder if Garrett would vote for aid for his own kids if they were the victims of a Hurricane.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Caring About Constituents Is Tough, I Know

Extremist Radical Republican Scott Garrett is so out of touch with the people of the 5th District that he wouldn't even survey the damage left by floods in Warren County last weekend until after he had raised big money with Dick Cheney :
U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett paid a visit Friday to flood-weary Warren County to take a firsthand look at the damage left by the latest of three floods in less than two years. Garrett -- whose congressional district includes Warren County -- said he spoke to Vice President Dick Cheney during his $1,000-per-plate New York City fundraiser earlier in the day.
Apparently, raising campaign cash is more important to Garrett than helping his constituents who are suffering after floods destroyed homes and flooded properties.

This shouldn't surprise. After all, Garrett was one of eleven Congressmen out of 435 who voted against aid to Katrina victims in the Gulf. Why should we expect any other taxpayers in the country to foot the bill for our disaster relief when our Congressmen gave the finger to those in need before. Garrett has given Northern New Jersey a bad name.

But Garrett has been nonchalant about the flooding, saying he "plans to contact President George W. Bush" about the flooding. "Plans to contact" him? Are you kidding me? Governor Corzine declared a state of emergency days ago and contacted the President as well to declare a federal disaster area, and Scott Garrett is just waking up now to the idea that the President should know about the trouble of the District. We need leadership in Washington, not someone who's asleep at the wheel.

But it doesn't stop there. According to the article, Garrett's just gotten his sea legs when it come to representing our district:
Garrett said he learned a lot about the federal aid system during the past two floods and now knows how to get things moving a little quicker.
He's learned a lot? Where was he the last two floods? I'm glad he's learned about the system, maybe he can get FEMA to get off their butts and do something about it! But wait, Extremist Scott Garrett is so stingy that there's a catch for flood victims in Northern New Jersey:
Garrett said the first step in the process is finding out if the damage assessments meet the minimum requirements to trigger FEMA financial assistance.
Do they meet the minimum requirements?! 700 homes were damaged and 1,300 residents were displaced by the floods. If 1,300 people being displaced by floods doesn't qualify for relief, I don't know what does. But I guess that's what you get when you elect someone who has a visceral distaste for any government that helps people who fall through the cracks.

Scott Garrett has failed his District. It's time we gave him an F and had him expelled.

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