Sunday, July 30, 2006
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
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
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
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
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?"
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
Garrett Intern: Congressman Garrett's office!I'll be waiting for a reply, and I'll keep you all posted.
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, "http://garrett.house.gov" 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.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
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
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.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contribute 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
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
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.
Contribute to Paul Aronsohn. Volunteer.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
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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It has always been my objective to be an independent and responsive leader for the Fifth District. While some of my colleagues sometimes get caught up in partisanship and questionable ethics, I keep my eye on the ball; that is, on what is best for the people I represent. It gives me no pause to buck House Leadership or the White House if the direction they want to go is not the right direction for our District.You can run, Garrett, but you can't hide. According to Congressional Quarterly, Garrett has voted the Republican party line 98% of the time for the three years he's been in Congress and he's voted with Bush 87% of the time. Independent leader? George Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, and the rest of the Extremist Radical Republican Congress do not represent the 5th District of New Jersey.
Apparently, neither does Scott Garrett. Let's retire him. Contribute to Paul Aronsohn. Volunteer.