Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Garrett: Pro-life. Unless you are an uninsured child

How sad it is to be represented by a Republican who consistently votes against his community's interests.

Final Vote Results for Roll Call 906 - Representative Scott Garrett voted against the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act which would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). In other words, hhe voted against insuring another four million kids who lack health insurance because their parents simply don't make enough money to pay for it.

New Jersey has a greater percentage of uninsured now than just five years ago. This bill would have provided health insurance for close to 200,000 of them (down from the larger number in the original Democratic version of the bill). But even that increase was too much for Garrett, who toed the GOP party line that effective government programs must not be allowed to grow, for fear that people might start to believe that government can actually help them.

Of course, the term "pro-life" that Garrett proudly wears only applies to before one is born and when they are about to die. Once they are here in this world - whether they need Hurricane Relief (which Garrett voted against), or health insurance that they can't afford - suddenly Garrett isn't so "pro-life" anymore.

What a terrible, terrible vote. It's not the childrens' fault that their parents are poor. And the amount of money at stake is remarkably low in the grand scheme of things -- compared to tax cuts for the richest Americans or a couple of months in Iraq for example.

Will no one rid of this representative who votes against our interests?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Remember this vote? Does Garrett love dogfighting?

Back in March, there was a vote on a bill titled Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which prohibited dogfighting, among other "animal fighting".

While only 39 total Reps. voted against this bill (as opposed to 268 who voted for the bill), our own Scott Garrett was one of the 39.

Additionally, New Jersey's fifth district has the sixth largest number of Humane Society members out of the entire 435 districts, yet Garrett once again goes against the wishes of his constituents.

A recent OpEd in the Bergen Record states the following:

This anti-crime legislation was backed by animal welfare groups, the poultry industry and more than 400 law enforcement agencies. It was approved by 368 of Garrett's House colleagues -- 215 Democrats and 153 Republicans -- before passing the Senate unanimously and being signed into law by President Bush in May.

Garrett, however, apparently preferred to give dog fighters and cock fighters a free pass, rather than strengthen the federal government's enforcement of laws to combat animal fighting. Never mind that dog fighting and cock fighting are both the equivalent of felony offenses in New Jersey. Never mind that the illegal transport of birds for cock fighting has been linked to deadly diseases such as bird flu and exotic Newcastle, threatening public health and the poultry industry.

Animal fighting not only fosters unspeakable cruelty to animals, but also spawns other criminal activity, such as narcotics traffic, illegal gambling, public corruption and violence toward people. When animal fighters can earn tens of thousands of dollars wagering on a single fight, a slap on the wrist is considered just a cost of doing business.
Makes you wonder what Garrett is thinking. Or if he is thinking at all.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Garrett loves hate crimes but hates education and the Jersey delegation

Once again, Scott Garrett had a week in Congress that is as impressively arrogant and out of touch with reality as it is baffling in its draconian nature.

There were a number of bills this week that Garrett was (once again) on the wrong side of, but there are three pieces of legislation that stand out to the point that they could not be ignored.

For starters, there was the much-discussed Federal Hate Crimes Bill that expanded the original hate crimes law to include offenses based on sexual orientation, gender or disability in addition to the previously covered offenses of national origin, religion and race. The bill passed by a vote of 237-180 but Scott Garrett thinks that it is ok for hate crimes if they target sexual orientation, gender or disability. Only one other NJ republican Congressman voted against this bill. What a nice understanding compassionate conservative.

The second bill, one whose goal was to renew and improve the Federal Head Start Program, as well as raise teaching standards was approved by an oerwhelming vote of 365-48. Garrett was the ONLY MEMBER of the New Jersey congressional delegation to vote against this bill

Once again, Garrett stood completely alone amongst the New Jersey Congressional delegation with an amendment he proposed that would reduce the proposed growth in funding for the National Science Foundation from 7 percent to 6.5 percent. There were no cosponsors to the amendment, and it was defeated 126-292. I'll reiterate that NOBODY ELSE FROM NJ voted with Garrett on this amendment

It is one thing to be out of step with the mainstream. It is another to be out of step with reality. It is even yet another to be out of step with your own party. And it is EVEN ANOTHER thing to be out of step with the entire delegation from your own state

Sadly, this is one thing that Scott Garrett qualifies as "all of the above"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Guess who voted against the Voting Rights Act

Hat tip to jmelli at Blue Jersey, who originally posted this at Blue Jersey

Warren Hills High School students asked Congressman Scott Garrett why he voted against the Voting Rights Act (h/t Fretz):

"I'm looking out for the American citizens who were born here legally."
Ouch. If that kind of ignorance were spoken by my Congressman, I might question the value of my naturalization certificate. But no, it was from the only Congressman north of the Mason-Dixon line to oppose the Voting Rights Act. What an embarrassment to New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Garrett Against Federal Aid to Education

If Radical Republican Scott Garrett had his way, education would be privatized, available to those who can afford it.

Scott Garrett believes that the federal government has no role in education, that we should eliminate the Department of Education, that we should let states deal with education, and that public schools are not required by the Constitution.

Don't believe me, check it out yourself.

Let's give Scott Garrett an F and take away his tuition in Congress.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Out of the Mainstream - even in his own party

Front paged at Blue Jersey

It is one thing to be out of step with what the American people want - whether it be on Iraq, on government spending, on having close ties to convicted republican felon Jack Abramoff or many other areas where Scott Garrett seems to excel.

But when it comes to Garrett's House votes, even to members of his own party, Garrett is far outside of the mainstream.

This past week (ending March 9), there were three major votes in the House. And our "esteemed" Representative was on the wrong side of all three. All three votes passed - Garrett voted against all three.

But that only tells part of the story.

Addressing Global Warming: The House voted 269-150 in favor of HR 202, which provided funding for energy independence and an advisory panel on global warming. Over 40 other Republican House Members voted for the measure, including EVERY OTHER NJ REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE.

Reclaimed Water and Sewage Overflow Grants: These were even more egregious, as these bills passed by 368-59 and 367-58 votes, respectively. The Reclaimed Water vote (HR 700) authorized $125 million in grants (the same cost of approximately one hour spent in Iraq) for developing alternate water sources for homes, farms and industries. Once again, Garrett was the ONLY NJ REPRESENTATIVE to vote against this bill.

The Sewage Overflow Grants bill (HR 569) authorized $1.8 billion (less than a week's worth of costs in Iraq) over five years to upgrade city sewerage systems. And once again, Garrett stands along among NJ republicans in voting against this bill.

Scott Garrett is not only out of touch with the American public and his own district, he is dangerously out of step with his own party.

Not just his own party, but his vote was out of step with every other NJ House representative.

It is time for him to go.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dick Support

And I want to thank all of you for coming, first and foremost, to give our support to a great member of Congress, Scott Garrett. I'm proud to stand with you and I bring good wishes to all of you from the President, George W. Bush.
When future generations look back on our time, they will know that we met our moment with courage and clear thinking. And they'll know that America became a better nation -- stronger, more prosperous, and more secure -- under the leadership of President George W. Bush. (Applause.)

We'll continue making progress for the American people -- and it's vital that we have strong partners like Scott Garrett in the Congress of the United States.

-Dick Cheney, June 30, 2006 (at $1000 a plate)

Yep. Making lots of progress....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Garrett- CEO Pay A.O.K.

House debates shareholder role in executive pay

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers clashed today on whether shareholders should have a louder voice in approving executive pay, while a top regulator scolded companies for failing to deliver the clear-cut pay disclosures now expected by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

OK. So something needs to be done about executive pay disclosure. Not about the amount, mind you, about the fact that compensation isn't adequately reported to shareholders.

The SEC action "makes it easier to go forward," said Frank, who has argued that shareholders have the right -- and the wisdom -- to have a say in what's appropriate pay for their executives.

"To have a say." We're not talking about putting a cap on CEO pay here. (That's an argument for another time.) All that's being said is that shareholders have a right to know. If a representative put their constituents first, this would be a no-brainer.

But Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) worried that the proposal could pave the way for more intrusive government involvement in corporate pay decisions.

He compared Frank's proposal to "the camel's nose under the tent -- and I just wonder where we might go next."

So let me see if I understand. Tax cuts for the Paris Hilton crowd- great. Secret pay deals for CEOs- perfect. Tax cuts to Big Oil- awesome. Katrina aid- hell no. Clean water- nope.

Yup. Ernie's really got his finger on the pulse of NJ5. Seriously, folks. This guy's got to go.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

An oldie but goodie...

This is from last year's "Hannity Freedom Concert" (Sorry. Writing that made me vomit in my mouth a bit.) :
Scott Garrett gives a hearty thanks to Craig Schelske for all of his support.

So who is Craig Schelske, you ask?

Well, according to "Dancing With the Stars" participant and his (soon to be?) ex-wife, Sara Evans, he's the guy who:

  • Keeps over 100 obscene pictures of himself on his computers

  • Keeps several photographs of himself having sex with other women

  • Solicited various types of sexual activity over the internet through Craigslist

  • Frequently threatened and verbally abused her

  • Watched "pornographic material" in front of one of their young children

  • Would not let a "Dancing with the Stars" costume designer into their home because he is a "sodomite"

  • Said that one of their young children "broke out in hives because he saw the costume designer who is a 'sodomite'"

  • "Refused to let (their) children go to a performance to hear their mother sing The Star Spangled Banner"

I guess it doesn't count if they raise money for you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Democrat in 2008

I supported Paul Aronsohn in 2006. And I am a big fan of his. He is smart, he is energetic, and he demonstrated his tenacity in a campaign that was dogged by a lack of attention by the national party committees.

Paul is thinking about running again in 2008. I've discussed this with him and I think it's a good idea.

But I will not endorse a particular candidate in the Democratic primary until the various candidates prove themselves worthy of support. We should not blindly support any one candidate, and Governor Corzine and Chairman Cryan should be wary of throwing their support behind a candidate this early in the race.

I hope Paul runs. But there should be a vigorous Democratic primary that will encourage the candidates to hone their policy positions and become better candidates to face Garrett in 2008.

The one thing I will say here and now, I will not support any candidate who negatively attacks another Democrat in the race. So for those Democrats out there that think it's a smart idea to get nasty, forget it. Let's stay focused on the real opponent, extremist Scott Garrett.

I invite all the Democratic candidates to lay out their reasons for running here on Retire Garrett. And I hope our site can host a live Democratic primary debate, live blogged for every candidate to see free of charge.

So come one, come all, our minds are open.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The DCCC is targeting Republican Seats in NJ - Garrett's one of them

I saw this over on Blue Jersey as reported in The Hill ( The DCCC is targeting some Republican held seats, among them is Garrett's seat.

In the state’s 5th district, Republican Rep. Scott Garrett should, by all traditional measures, be in significant trouble heading into 2008.

Garrett won last year with 55 percent of the vote, and a consultant familiar with the district said he has continued to be successful largely because of historically Republican Bergen County, part of which Garrett represents.

The problem, or problems, for Garrett lie in a county GOP that was once consolidated and strong, but in recent years has fallen into near-total disarray — the Rothenberg Report recently noted the party’s county headquarters was padlocked earlier this year because of failure to pay rent.

The phones at the county headquarters are apparently disconnected; repeated calls to the number listed on its website were met with an operator’s message.

That “collapse,” as the consultant put it, could lead to a primary challenge for Garrett, opening the door to an early-funded Democrat riding the strength of a county Democratic Party that has grown in influence.

This is good news.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Garrett strikes again...

Holy hypocrite, Batman!

North Jersey Republicans said balancing the budget, which Bush and the Democrats have said is a goal, requires hard choices. Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, said the president's budget represents "a positive step" toward that goal, and warned against Democrats' raising taxes to afford more spending.

"Every family in America must set priorities and make difficult decisions when putting together a household budget, and the federal government should be no different," said Garrett, a member of the House Budget Committee. "I hope that my friends on the other side of the aisle will remember that ... every dollar that goes into the federal budget is a dollar that comes out of a family budget."

With all due respect, Mr. Garrett, hard choices? How dare you? How dare you preach fiscal discipline to us? Have I missed your outrage during your years in office, when you and your Republican colleagues spent like drunken sailors? Did I miss you speaking out against Bush's failure to veto a single spending bill? (His first veto, as you know, was against stem cell research.) Did I miss your press conference when you spoke out against waste and corruption in Iraq? War profiteering? No-bid contracts? Tax breaks for big oil?

It seems to me that a fiscal conservative would understand that all of that money would have gone a long way.

I guess it doesn't matter. No one in NJ5 is paying attention, right?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Garrett to NJ College Students: DROP DEAD

An extra $260 may help with college costs

Tens of thousands of North Jersey college students would get more financial aid this fall from a sweeping $463.5 billion spending bill approved Wednesday by the House.

The bill, which faces quick action in the Senate, provides the first increase in four years to the maximum Pell Grant, a program for needy college students.


"It really makes a big difference," said Steven M. Rose, president of Passaic County Community College. "Many of our students are making maybe $10,000 a year. A lot are working for minimum wage. If you have to pay $500 for books, you have to work a lot of hours to earn that."

Nearly half the students at the Passaic college get Pell Grants, while 1 in 5 attending Bergen Community College gets them. Among the state colleges, New Jersey City University has the highest proportion of students receiving Pell Grants, almost 1 in 3.

Wow. Talk about a no-brainer, huh?

Voting against it were Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-Harding, and Scott Garrett, R-Wantage.

I guess it doesn't matter. No one in the 5th district is paying attention, right?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Introducing Garrett Watch

Interesting and certainly timely to see this post asking for bloggers to help take down Scott Garrett as I have been thinking of a few ways to do this, and what is needed.

There really are two main thought processes here - the first is what I will call "Garrett Watch" which is to take stock of and follow his votes, actions and other things that can be used against him. This would consist of documentation (like the "Retire Garrett" site but maybe more along the lines of "dumpmike"), as well as a long term effort to get OpEds, LTE's, calls to radio shows, etc. in order to spread the word of Garrett's more extreme of his already extreme votes and views.

The other is more of a "data collection/analysis" approach, which I will explain more below:

For starters, there needs to be a broken down understanding of this district. There are (I believe) four counties represented and they are pretty different in terms of demographics and priorities. We need a more targeted approach, at least for each county.

Data MUST be available that would give voting breakdowns by county, age, income, etc. as well as other types of information that would be helpful (unrelated to voting).

We have more than a few months to compile this as well as figure out what data is good for us - (e.g., clubs, political contributions, etc.) and once we have it, we can update it accordingly.

This would be immensely valuable to any campaign and there is no reason why, with what we have here, we can't do this.

Hell, since I was going to do it anyway, I'll take the lead or coordinate it.

Back to the first part - there was already a vote in the House (HR 6), which had a few parts to it.

It should be noted that Garrett voted AGAINST the "pay as you go" for earmarks - so this should be positioned as him being against control of the budget, for pork barrel spending and someone who is a "borrow and spender". Let's start branding him appropriately.

The other noteworthy vote was in favor of an amendment which failed that dealt with granting the minority party more rights and reforms. Sounds good on the surface, until you realize that the Democrats tried on numerous occasions to get a "Minority Bill of Rights" passed in prior Congresses but the republicans WOULDN'T EVEN LET IT COME TO THE FLOOR.

Paint Garrett a hypocrite and an obstructionist here.


You see where I am going with this. There is no reason that NJ-5 should have Garrett as it's representative. There is more than enough ammo to take him down in 2008. Add to that his ties to Abramoff and his solid status as a rubber stamp for Bush's failed occupation of Iraq and we are off to a real good start.

I will keep this up with respect to his voting record as I see things, but please -- if anyone wants to post something on this, or sees something and wants to pass it along -- do not hesitate to contact me.


Garrett must go. Let's make sure it happens.