New Jersey is a state in crisis. A manmade crisis that has created a state that is unaffordable and a government that is inconsequential. For more than 5 years little has come out of its state capital to make much of a difference in the lives of its approximately 8,725,000 people. Yet from its lush green, rolling hills and mountainous peeks in its northwestern corner to its Victorian Painted Ladies along Cape May on its southern seaside corner, New Jerseyans are battered, burdened and brushed aside by a state legislature that is as effective as a sail boat without a sail. From it’s northern mountains to it’s southern shores and all the suburban sprawl in between, New Jersey’s citizens suffer. While most of the nation is realizing a national economic pinch, New Jerseyans are trying to cope with an economic punch.
Rising prices across the nation only compound the rising cost of living in New Jersey. Costs that have been increasing every month since the states liberal led assembly and senate went to work with disgraced former Governor Jim McGreevey and than his successor, former Goldman Sachs financial genius, Governor Jon Corzine. It is a liberal menage-a-tois that has done nothing with our state problems accept make them more expensive.
Ever since Corzine took office, all we have seen in New Jersey are new proposed taxes and rate hikes. Our Governor has proposed everything from ridiculously high, progressive, toll increases on our critical roads, to creating new tolls on roads that have not had a one before. When he first came into office he invented a whole new slew of taxes. One even took advantage of the state’s motto by implementing a tax on any landscaping or planting of shrubbery and flowers. Now that’s one way to keep the garden in “the Garden State”, isn’t it?
Despite the despair of its citizens, state government in New Jersey simply adds to the high cost of living in the state. They have done little to curb the excesses of it’s own governance or of public employee and teachers unions who hold us hostage to their whims, little to improve public transportation, public safety, education, or any quality of life issues that affect us. What they have done is cost us a lot more for a lot less and created one of, if not the most, unfriendly business environments in the nation.
But even though the state of the state is in the midst of malaise, you would never know that there was an election in New Jersey. Its liberal loving legions are undoubtedly voting for Barack Obama to become our next President. It is so definite that neither Obama or McCain have wasted anytime or money in the state since they got their party’s nominations. But even putting the presidential election aside, you would think that there would be some acknowledgment of the fact that we have an election for the United States Senate going on here. Yet, you would never know it.
Even though it is an election for federal, not state office, you would think the people of New Jersey might have an ounce of interest in trying to better the conditions of our state by electing someone who’s representation of us in Washington, DC could help to benefit us here in New Jersey. But such is not the case.
Instead the four term incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg is going to be sworn in to a fifth term in office as one of the two very best New Jerseyans to represent us in Washington, DC. It would actually be a laughable arrangement if it wasn’t so pathetically sad.
For twenty-four years Mr. Lautenberg has represented New Jersey in the federal government by promoting his own self interests. He has not made one iota of difference for the state or the nation since his first term in office.
Over two decades ago Senator Lautenberg spearheaded efforts to eliminate smoking on airplanes. During that same first term he was instrumental in effectively raising the legal age for drinking from 18 years of age to 21, throughout the nation. Lautenberg fought hard for the passage of his legislation that linked federal funding to states for their roads to their raising the legal drinking age. No state wanted to lose out on the federal money available to maintain and build their roads. So this resulted in a uniform legal drinking age throughout the nation and prevented teens from driving across state lines so that they could legally drink in one state and then get behind the wheel to drive back to their home state while intoxicated. The bill may have actually saved lives. It was a responsible and, at the time, a creative measure.
But since that first time in office, Frank Lautenberg has produced nothing. His name has joined many others on various liberal pieces of legislation but the extent of his efforts stopped after allowing a staffer to put his name on the bill.
Lautenberg has not been in the forefront of any legislative initiatives or in the lead in opposition to any legislation. Frank Lautenberg has provided no solutions to our nations problems. For display he has simply offered a press release or sound bite in regards to issues, but little, very little, more than that.
On taxes Frank Lautenberg has never opposed an increase that has been proposed. On the budget, the only thing he has endorsed cutting is spending on our national defenses. He has never once moved to significantly reduce government spending or it’s size.
His spending habits are perhaps best exemplified by his staff. It is one of the three highest paid staffs in the entire US Senate. This is odd when you realize that he is one of the least active members of the senate. Yet his staff is occupied by countless consultants and a number of state directors. Even though New Jersey is a relatively small state, Mr. Lautenberg requires three state directors, including a number of South Jersey directors. These are obviously patronage positions made available to help consolidate Lautenberg’s power. South Jersey is where his greatest challenges to re-election come from. It is where Congressman Bob Andrew comes from and where he challenged Lautenberg for the nomination from.
Even though New Jersey ranks last among all states in the amount of return on the dollar we recieve from Washington, Frank’s staff is one of the highest paid in the federal government and for what? Two press releases a week and his seal of approval for a far left agenda?
The fact is that until this election rolled around one had to take pause and try to recall if Frank Lautenberg was still in the U.S. Senate. The man was scarce and his accomplishment are even more scarce. Now that he is running for re-election he has tried to demonstrate himself as a doer. He most recently proclaimed great pride in what one ad described as his forcing homeland security money to be allocated by need rather than politics. It might be a powerful issue if it were true. First of all, Lautenberg, as well as his senate cohort Bob Menendez, have brought back little money from Washington to New Jersey. In the case of homeland security money, what the state did receive was being allocated by a liberal led state legislature and governor who only gave the money to districts that were represented by Democrats. This pattern finally and only changed after Republican lawmakers took the issue to court. Then and only then was the allocation of homeland security dollars doled out based upon the security needs it was meant for.
The truth is that Frank has little to run on. It is hard to have to go back more than two decades in order to demonstrate ones effectiveness.
Not that it matters. This is New Jersey. Here. where liberals rule, two plus two does not equal four. In fact, here in New Jersey, just adding two plus two together costs you 5 in new taxes and then you must subtract the total of the equation and give that amount to the union whos leader slept with Governor Corzine and negotiated contracts behind closed doors.
So common sense is not something that you find a large quantity of New Jersey. It is something that we have to import from neighboring states and in the Northeast it is hard to find. But it explains why Lautenberg is being rewarded with a fifth term in office. That and the fact that the New Jersey Republican party is so unorganized and out of touch with the ability to tap into the political despair that we are in, all accounts for why one would not know that there was election for the US Senate in Jersey.
Lautenberg is the wealthy owner of ADP, the paycheck service that rakes in millions for producing the checks that many American’s receive for their livings. So he has oodles of dough and even has the financial backing of the Democratic National Committee and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
The Republican nominee does not have Frank’s wealth, nor does he have the great deal of money coming to him from the RNC or Senate Republican Campaign Committees. They’re tapped out.
On top of that Frank Lautenberg even refuses to debate the issues and will not go face to face with his opponent.
All of this makes the fact that there is a race for the United States Senate in New Jersey, a well kept secret, much like Frank Lautenberg’s accomplishments.
But there is a race and it’s one that could truly help to turn the tide of inaction and lack of solutions or innovation in this state. It could come from Dick Zimmer.
Dick Zimmer is a former 3 term Republican congressman. While in office Congressman Zimmer brought about more productive measures in just one of his two year terms than any of Frank Lautenberg’s four, six year terms in office.
While in office Congressman Zimmer fought wasteful government spending. When it came to his own staff budget, unlike Frank Lautenberg who uses every dime given to him to have one of the highest paid federal staffs in government, Zimmer returned money that his staff budget didn’t require, to the federal government. He even tried to pass legislation that required unused portions of staff budgets to be returned to the federal government and applied to deficit reduction.
As a congressman, Dick Zimmer’s fiscal conservatism and legislative initiatives earned him the title of “Taxpayer Hero” by Citizens Against Government Waste each year he was in office.
Zimmer’s zealotry did not stop with economic issues though. He proved himself to be a man of great social conscience and activism. When a toddler in New Jersey was brutally assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender who recently moved into the girls neighborhood, Dick Zimmer made government work for the people and he wrote and fought for passage of the federal legislation known as Megan’s Law which mandated that parents be notified when a convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
Zimmer was also responsible for no frills laws which eliminated luxuries in federal prisons for criminals who were there to be punished instead of comforted.
He did this while also never allowing the United States to roll over in the face of international opposition or belligerent enemies. Zimmer knows that the best America is a strong America, not just militarily but economically as well as educationally.
These are but a few examples of Dick Zimmer’s active participation in government. They exemplify his ability to implement improvements into our lives through a government that he helps to make work for us, not be a burden on us.
Dick Zimmer knows that the purpose of holding elected office is not for the title or ability to hand out patronage to consolidate power. He knows that it is an opportunity to empower the people he represents and a chance to improve lives through legislative action as opposed to putting out press release announcing that he put his name on someone’s legislation.
Frank Lautenberg on the other hand has spent about two decades proving that he knows how to make government work for him. It finances his patronage mill and pays him well to do nothing more than repeat the words of some of his more active and innovative liberal buddies in the Senate.
Perhaps the most accurate description of Frank Lautenberg and his long, lackluster waste of time in the Senate is best exemplified by the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus, New Jersey. Built at a cost of more than 600 million dollars the transportation committee that Lautenberg chaired invested our tax dollars in it because of the dire need to expand and improve public transportation in New Jersey. Here in New Jersey one must drive everywhere. You must even drive long distances to catch a train to somewhere. So this terminal was built in Northern New Jersey where there is a need to help increase public transportation to and from neighboring New York City.
Well the genius of the transportation committee, under Lautenberg’s leadership, allocated the money and after years of construction it was finally finished. It’s a beautifully cavernous, multi leveled facility and it was humbly named after the man who designated the money for it…..Frank R. Lautenberg. Well years later it still stands but it does so empty. With no parking made available anywhere near the facility, it is impossible for commuters to access it and so except for the occasional tourist in world famous Secaucus, New Jersey, no one uses it.
So here we have a useless, hollow monument to Senator Lautenberg that cost a lot but does little. It’s just like it’s namesake. Senator Lautenberg is a useless living fossil who costs taxpayers a lot but does little for them.
It’s time to retire Senator Lautenberg. It was time for his retirement 8 years ago when he did retire only to be brought back to run for the senate when Senator Bob Toricelli was found guilty of accepting gifts and other bribes. When it became obvious that he was not going to win re-election, state democrat leaders illegally took Torricelli off the ballot and replaced his name with Lautenberg’s.
Let’s face it folks, we have gotten all that we can we out of Lautenberg. He was devoid of ideas and enthusiasm after his first term more than 18 years ago. Since than we have been waiting for him to do something worth anyone’s while. How many more terms in office does he need to provide us with something meaningful?
When all of New Jersey’s major daily newspapers, liberally biased newspapers, from the Asbury Park Press to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Gloucester County Times to the Courier Post have endorsed Dick Zimmer, a Republican, you know that there is something wrong and that something is Frank Lautenberg.
With all the problems that are going unaddressed or worsening here in New Jersey, it is time that we shake things up. It’s time for some new thinking and representation in Washington that can help make the federal government work better for us than our state government does.
It’s time for Dick Zimmer.
So this Tuesday, November 4, 2008, regardless of who you cast your presidential vote for, be sure to vote for New Jersey and cast your ballot for Dick Zimmer for US Senate.
Even if his time hasn’t come, we know for sure that Frank Lautenberg’s time has gone.
There was a presidential summit and the presidents of the world were asked to propose topics to discuss about.
The president of the United States said, “I think we’d see about how to stop wars.” Everybody applauded.
The president of Somalia said, “I think we’d see about how to stop hunger.” Everybody applauded.
The president of Costa Rica stood up and said, “I think…” Everybody applauded.