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From Extraordinary Leaders Come Extraordinary Measures

Bookmark and Share     In a few days a dramatic motion picture that could shape politics in one state will be coming to a theatre near you. I have not seen it yet, so it would be premature to declare it to be a cinematic tour de force but I do know it will be inspirational. I also know that it may finally launch the rise of a political force to reckon with from New Jersey.

 The movie, “Extraordinary Measures”, stars Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser and it is based on the very real plight of John and Aileen Crowley who raced time and battled against all odds.

 John and Aileen were handed their greatest challenge when their children, Megan and Patrick were both born with a fatal neuromuscular disorder called Pompe disease.

Determined to change the deadly fate that doctors predicted, John and Aileen sought the care and treatment that could keep Patrick and Megan alive. But the disorder was so rare that few if any pharmaceutical entities attempted to develop effective treatments  for Pompe.  The disease was so rare that it lacked any widespread study. With so relatively few inflicted with Pompe, there was little if any profit motive for either the medical, scientific or pharmaceutical fields to devote much time, manpower and resources to it. Such a rare disease received barely even a fraction of the attention that more common health problems such as cancer receive.

The unimaginable situation that the Crowleys were dealt, compelled them to settle in Princeton, New Jersey so that they could be nearest to where some of the only doctors who had any experience in Pompe disease were located. But even in the hands of the most experienced experts of the disorder, John and Aileen were consistently forced to face the bleak diagnosis originally prescribed to their children.

Determined, John subsequently took up employment with Bristol-Meyers Squibb in the hope of fostering efforts to expedite a cure or treatment for the disease that was killing little Patrick and Megan.

After two years, with little progress and many roadblocks, he left Bristol-Meyers to break through the barriers and embark on a new venture to increase the pace of research into Pompe and the development of a cure. It was a race against time that was slowly taking the lives of his children.

Crowley joined forces with dedicated professionals and became the CEO of a biotech company called Novazyme. Eventually Novazyme merged with the world’s largest biotech company, Genzyme Corp., and soon after that the combined efforts of the two, brought about by John Crowley, expedited the creation of an enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease that is keeping the Crowley kids alive today.

Getting to that point was not easy and there were a great many trials and tribulations, but John Crowley, his wife, and the team he assembled, never gave up. The story is the stuff that books are written about. And before the movie was made about it, a book about the Crowley’s was written by a Pulitzer prize winning author.  It is called “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – And Bucked the Medical Establishment – In a Quest to Save His Children (ISBN 978-0060734398).

The experience now keeps Crowley hard at work as President and CEO of Cranbury, New Jersey based, Amicus Therapeutics. He believes that increased awareness about rare diseases, in general, is of great importance.

According to Crowley:

“There are 7000 rare diseases that collectively affect over 30 million people. That is more than everyone who suffers from all cancers and AIDS combined. So taken together these diseases are not rare at all – in fact they are remarkably prevalent. While the symptoms and severity of these rare diseases may vary, there are commonalities with regards to a framework of development for novel therapies that can and should be applied to all these disorders.”

Unfortunately, success stories like that of the Crowley family are far and few between. The uniqueness of their plight is one reason why it is so worthy of telling. The extraordinary measures that John Crowley and his wife took and the extraordinary feat of overcoming almost insurmountable odds to achieve a miracle of survival can only be accomplished by extraordinary people. Admittedl, few can be more motivated than a parent fighting for their children’s survival, but few have the faith, innovation and leadership required to make the impossible possible. Such qualities are what true leaders are made of. The type of leaders our nation needs more of. Leader’s who understand that personal freedom, can do more than people shackled by government burdens and blocked by government bureaucracies.

Perhaps that is why John Crowley is a Republican. He is not someone who will allow his fate to be written for him. He is determined to write his own. He is not someone content with being restricted by government but happier to get government out of the way.

It is also perhaps why, in the last few election cycles, John Crowley has been seen as a possible candidate for elected office in New Jersey. In 2008, there were some who hoped that Crowley would seek the US Senate seat currently occupied by the long serving, lackluster Frank Lautenberg.  Crowley failed to enter the race.

Later that year and in the early part of 2009, there was some speculation that John Crowley might run for Governor of New Jersey. Crowley declined to enter that race too.

I am one of those who held out hope for his candidacy.

Crowley is not a typical politician. He is a doer. His children’s lives are a testimony to that fact. He is not a go-along-to-get-a-long type. He is a man who gets what needs to be done, done. The type of person New Jersey and our nation needs in government, and his record is one of accomplishment, education and dedication.

Before his children were born, John was schooled for three semesters at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated with degrees in foreign service from Georgetown University and went on to obtain his J.D from Notre Dame Law School before working as a litigation associate in the health care industry. He subsequently furthered his education and received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. From there he went on to work for a San Francisco based management consulting firm.

Now, at 42, in addition to being a proud parent of three, devoted husband, as well as President and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, Crowley is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He is also not shy about his political beliefs. As part of a political action committee called “Building the New Majority”, John assists a grassroots network that helps launch the candidacies of good Republicans on the local, county and statewide levels.

 Whether or not John Crowley will himself ever be one of those candidates is still a question mark. What the future holds is anybody’s guess. At least anybody who is not John Crowley. I have a feeling he knows what he intends to do.

Despite the recent election of a Republican Governor, New Jersey has few figures who are in any great position to win a statewide office in a state that leans so heavily to the left. But John Crowley would be one the few people who could be a strong candidate and who also has experience with uphill battles. The opportunity for statewide office will not come until 2012 when Democrat Senator Bob Menendez will be up for reelection. For that seat, there has recently been some speculation about financial journalist and anchorman Lou Dobbs running for the against Menendez, but if I had my druthers, the next Republican nominee for US Senate would be John Crowley.

Aside from knowing how to run a successful business that saves lives and aside from his having a track record of accomplishment that few can match, few candidates for elected office have a major motion picture made about them. That kind of introduction to the public can not be matched by any 30 second campaign commercial that airs during Desperate Housewives, when you get up to relieve yourself.

So I am looking forward to catching Extraordinary Measures   when it comes out on January 22nd .

Aside from promising to be one of those entertaining, feel good flicks, I look forward to seeing what I believe will be the launch of a new political rising star.

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JUST HOW MUCH DO POLITICIANS RESPECT THEIR CONSTITUENTS?

Bookmark and Share    Recently a doctor in New Jersey wrote his two senators and made it known that he opposed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He made it clear that he hoped for them to vote against the bill as it stood.

Well one of them, Frank Lautenberg, has yet to respond and in the case of Lautenberg everyday that goes by without a response creates an increasing risk for there never to be a response. At 85, Lautenberg has little time left and his pace has slowed down quite a bit and is not getting any faster these days.

However New Jersey’s junior senator, Robert Menendez, did send a reply to the good doctor’s correspondence.

menendezHe wrote:

 Dr. Harris;

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for education priorities in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this important issue.

…….Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of more assistance.

I invite you to visit my website (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn of other important issues to New Jersey.

Robert Menendez
United States Senate

Wasn’t that nice? After letting the Senator know that he opposed the ARRA, Senator Menendez thanked Dr. Harris for supporting him.

Now there are two things to note here. Dr. Harris never acknowledged any support for the Senator. He simply asked the Senator to properly represent his views and vote against the bill and not only did Senator Menendez ignore that fact in his reply, in the end, he did exactly the opposite of what Dr. Harris hoped for and voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That does not warrant support. If anything it is reason for opposition to the Senator.

And then, of course, there is Senator Menendez’s totally, out of the blue, reference to Dr. Harris’ support for so-called “education priorities” in the bill.

Dr. Harris made no mention of such support. He never once mentioned education in his letter. But as you can see, Senator Menendez articulated his appreciation for it.

The incident shows us a few things.

First, few elected officials actually read through all of their mail. There is quite a lot of it so that should not to be held against them. So long as they have a hard working, attentive staff with a well run office and efficient constituency caseworkers.

Obviously Senator Menendez doesn’t.

Senator Menendez apparently has an overpaid staff stuffed with patronage positions that provide little more than lip service to those who he represents. The staffer who sent the wrong boilerplate response to Dr. Harris obviously does not care and that does not instill a great deal of confidence in the people Senator Menendez represents.

A good staff is a sign of a good legislator. A good staff not only properly communicates to the people, they properly communicate the needs and desires of the people to the legislator that they work for.

Granted, this is just one letter but it is symbolic. It is a symbol of just how detached the political class is from the people they represent.

Many of them almost feel that the politics they deal with is none of the people’s business. They feel that the people do not know any better and that the people would be better off if they just left things up to them.

Nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the video I submit for your review in this post.

In it, one of Washington, D.C.’s most powerful and corrupt politicians, Charlie Rangel, actually tells a fellow New Yorker from Brooklyn to “mind his G-Damn business” when he asks the Congressman to explain how he expects to get away with some of his shenanigans like driving a taxpayer subsidized Cadillac around for personal use, refusing to pay taxes on rent properties that he owns, and abuses the use of four rent controlled apartments below market rates all while writing the very tax code that he exempts himself from.

Now I am originally from Brooklyn and let me tell you, take away our baseball bats and other weaponry and you still will not be treated kindly by us after giving the response that Rangel did.

What Rangel seems to have forgotten is that as a public servant, his business is our business. It is especially our business, like it or not, when he is breaking and skirting the very laws that he is instrumental in writing and forcing us to live by while he doesn’t.Turnout Primary

These two examples may seem insignificant but they say a lot.

These examples are just more proof of the prevailing bad attitude that our political leaders posses. It demonstrates that many are out of touch with us and that they truly lack any connection to the fact that they are no better than us and that they are not immune from the legislation they create.

Of course it would help if we, the people, held our elected officials accountable when elections rolled around but that rarely happens. After all Charlie Rangel has been reelected to his Harlem congressional district 19 times. That’s 38 years.

Frank Lautenberg, who didn’t even bother to respond to Dr. Harris’ letter, has been reelected to the United States Senate five times.

And Senator Menendez was originally appointed to his senate seat. He subsequently won election to his seat after little more than a year of incumbency. His relative newness is what probably accounts for his at least pretending to care what the people think, even though his reply to Dr. Harris totally ignored the point he wanted addressed.

In the end, I guess it comes down to the fact that we get what we deserve. I mean if we want our elected officials to be held accountable, should we not hold ourselves accountable for the choices that we make when we vote for these elected officials?

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punchline-politics2

It’s tough being a politician. Half your reputation is ruined by lies; the other half is ruined by the truth!

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COLEMAN vs. FRANKEN and LIBERALS vs. LOGIC

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So Minnesota is the only state in the union to be without two U.S. Senators at this point in time.

At least relatively.

There is always New Jersey and West Virginia. They have Frank Lautenberg and Robert Byrd respectively.

Those two are brain dead and since their fragile minds and bodies are barely warm, their senate seats are hardly hot and you could argue that New Jersey and West Virginia have only person serving them in the United States Senate.

But as for actually having an elected person serving them, in Minnesota, nearly three months after Election Day, one of their senate seats is still in doubt and goes without a certified winner.

Incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman was originally declared the winner but after weeks of a tedious recount, his opponent, comedian and devout liberal Al Franken found many more votes for himself and disqualified many of Coleman’s votes. This brought Franken up to a lead of little more than nearly 225 votes.

Senator Norm Coleman

Senator Norm Coleman

Many of these Franken votes were found days after the election and some of them were even counted twice. In one case involving a heavily democratic precinct, 100 votes were found. They were all for Al Franken and they were all cast on November 3rd.

The election was held on November 4th.

But who cares. I mean they were all for Franken so why not just assume that they were legitimate votes.

Oddly, during this recount process, while some votes were being counted twice for Franken, other votes were not being counted even once for Coleman.

It is one of the reasons why the election is currently in the courts as we read this.

Attorneys for Senator Norm Coleman are trying to insure that over 4,000 absentee ballots are allowed to be included in the vote tally. For innocuous reasons these ballots were not including in subsequent counts.

One blind man who signed his name on the wrong line appeared in court and swore to the fact that he did sign the ballot and that he voted for Norm Coleman.  He also asked that his vote be counted.

The attorney’s for Coleman are also arguing the fact that the recount process must accept one set of standards for the entire state.

Al Franken

Al Franken

The current election results in the Coleman versus Franken race were arrived at by using less stringent standards in heavily Democratic districts and applying higher standards in Republican districts. Such a random application of standards allows the same absentee ballot that had a signature in the wrong place to be counted for Franken but not for Coleman.

It is a similar argument that was debated during the presidential election crisis of 2000.

There, Al Gore wanted different rules applied to ballots counted in heavily Democratic Counties than were used in heavily Republican counties. But they even went a step further. The Gore people only wanted the ballots in the heavily Democratic districts recounted. They started to freak out when recounts in Republican counties were giving George W. Bush an even larger plurality than he originally had. So they said ,oh now, hold on, we only want the votes in heavily democatic counties like Dade counted.  Despite liberal attempts to make double standards legal, we all know how it ended and since then, every single independent recount conducted has shown Bush to have won Florida.

So if you want to use facts, who really tried to steal that election?

But back to Minnesota. Here, although there is less attention being given to the criminal liberal conduct, the same thing is happening here that happened in Florida eight years ago.

Liberal logic is hoping that the courts will rule that double standards are a good thing and that they can pick and choose which votes can count and which votes can’t count based on where thay vote came from or who the vote was for.

Its like counting votes the same way ACORN registers voters.  Republican ballots or registrations get thrown out.

But as usual, liberals are crying out for fairness and equality but what is fair and what is equal?

Is it fair to say that what disqualifies one vote in the north does not disqualify the same type of vote in the south?

Is it fair to say that Republicans must be held to a higher standard than Democrats?

No, it is not, but today’s Democrats are liberals and liberal logic is hypocritical.

So the case goes on and Minnesota continues to join West Virginia and New Jersey as the only states in the nation with only one senator representing them in the United States Senate.

Attention Pictures, Images and Photos

attention Pictures, Images and Photos

attention Pictures, Images and Photos

For those of you who do not find the liberal recount tactics acceptable and who want to see  Senator Norm Coleman  continue his work in the  United States Senate,  please take a moment to make a donation to his campaign.

George Soros

George Soros

The court battle that the liberals are fighting is quite costly and being heavily funded by billionaire, liberal lion George Soros.

 So any amount of financial support you can spare would go along way in fighting back and allowing Norm Coleman to continue to stand up for what is right.

To make a donation  click here to go to  http://www.colemanforsenate.com/splash

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punchline-politics

A woman married three times walked into a bridal shop one day …

… and told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding.

“Of course, madam,” replied the sales clerk, “exactly what type and color dress are you looking for?”

The bride to be said: “A long frilly white dress with a veil.”

The sales clerk hesitated a bit, then said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time – for those who are a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean? Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice?”

Well,” replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk’s directness, “I can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate. Believe it or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first-time bride.

You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding, he died as we were checking into our hotel.

My second husband and I got into such a terrible fight in the limo on our way to our honeymoon that we had that wedding annulled immediately and never spoke to each other again.”

What about your third husband?” asked the sales clerk.

That one was a Democrat,” said the woman, “and every night for four years, he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be, but nothing ever happened.”

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.

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Help Shape New Jersey’s Republican Comeback In Jersey. Draft Senator Jennifer Beck for Lieutenant Governor.

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LAUTENBERG’S GOTTA GO! DICK ZIMMER FOR U.S. SENATE

New Jersey Candidate For U.S. Senate, Dick Zimmer

New Jersey Candidate For U.S. Senate, Dick Zimmer

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.

The Empty, 600 Million Dollar, Frank R. Lautemberg Train Terminal In Secaucus

The More Than $600 Million Dollar, Empty, Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Terminal in Secaucus

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.

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Presidential Summit

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.

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FRANK RALEIGH LAUTENBERG AND NEW JERSEY…PERFECT TOGETHER?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was quite active in New York politics. He served on many a presidential campaigns and was the campaign voice for several local and statewide officials in New York. He has long since retired and moved away but during this conversation I mentioned Frank Lautenberg’s name and he said “Lautenberg, is he still around?” I chuckled and explained that you wouldn’t know it but he is still there. I really had no obvious evidence to point to his existence but I assured him that Frank was still there and that he was running to stay there.

After that conversation, I got to thinking , why did Frank Lautenberg run again? I mean back in 1982 Lautenberg ran for the United States Senate and he started off as a major force. During his first term he was the impetus behind the raising of the legal drinking age to 21 in all states by linking federal funding for their highways to their raising the legal age. He also revolutionized the airline industry by successfully authoring legislation that eliminated smoking on planes. But since then his, legislative activism and personal leadership has waned, In 2001, after 3 terms in office, he fittingly retired, only to come out of retirement to replace Senator Bob Torricelli on the ballot in his doomed re-election effort. Although state and party laws deny anyone the ability to replace a nomination within days of an election, the New Jersey Supreme court decided that laws do not matter and allowed Torricelli , who was under investigation for criminal conduct, to be taken off the ballot and replaced by someone who had a better chance to win the election. That person was Lautenberg.

Lautenberg didiwon that election, but what did Lautenberg’s return from retirement bring us? Aside from proving that the law did not matter and that he was above it, his six years since then have produced little, very little.

Oh Frank is a reliable liberal vote in Washington. He was counted on to support opposition to the efforts to combat terrorism. He was counted on to vote for any and every tax hike that came out of the collective congressional agenda. But aside from being a reliable vote for the liberal agenda, Frank did little for New Jersey and he did even less when it came to bringing any new energy for new ideas or directions. It seemed that Frank’s only major accomplishments were achieved back in the early 80’s when his once fresh voice led the way to sensible reforms that in some cases saved lives.

Credit must be given when and where credit is due and so, Lautenberg’s two landmark initiatives are to his credit. But after 24 years of legislating in the federal government on behalf of New Jersey, where is the credit that he once deserved to be re-elected for today. Since his 1982 -1988 stint, there is little merit that warrants electing Lautenberg to any of the terms since then.

The only level of increased activity that Lautenberg has demonstrated exists within his staff. It is a staff that has one of the largest numbers and highest payrolls in the senate. His chief of staff earns one of the highest salaries offered on Capitol Hill to any other colleague with the same title and responsibilities. As Lautenberg’s Chief of Staff, Daniel Katz has earned $81,183.59 just between October 2007 and March of 2008. Compared to others this is no measly sum of money. Yet, I do not begrudge Daniel Katz the money. He earns it.

He must work hard to control and motivate the other 52 staffers that account for Lautenberg’s senate activity. Daniel Katz must also work twice hard to make his inactive Senator appear busy and productive. It is a job that cannot be done alone. That is why Lautenberg’s staff includes 12 legislative assistants, aides and directors, who between October of last year and March of this year have been paid a combined total of three and a quarter hundred thousand dollars or to be exact $324,786.75.

Oddly enough along with having state directors and deputy state directors Frank also has a South Jersey Director and two Deputy South Jersey Directors and an assistant to the South Jersey Director. Now we all know that that New Jersey is famous for it’s extraordinarily large size. At 7,418 square miles it ranks as the 46th largest state in the nation. But these South Jersey, patronage, posts reflect less of a legislative need than a political need. Congressman Rob Andrews who challenged Frank for the democrat nomination is from South Jersey and most of the rumblings to replace Lautenberg come out of South Jersey.

These South Jersey directors have earned a combined $58,437.42 during the five months between October ‘07 and March ‘08. Add to this another $99,579.61 which has been paid to state and deputy state directors during the same time period.

The rest of Lautenberg’s staff consists of a rarely used speech writer along with an executive director, press secretaries, schedulers, constituent service directors, specialists, handlers and assistants, legal counselors, legislative directors, assistants and specialists. It also includes a legislative correspondent, director of correspondence, systems administrator, special project coordinators and numerous staff assistants.

In total, Lautenberg’ 53 staffers, and five month, nearly one and a half million dollar payroll ($1,437497.80), must work hard to make a sitting Senator who has little initiative to point to, look active and productive.

Everyday, leading up to his race for the nomination against Andrews, Lautenberg’s staff has produced countless press releases staking a position on an issue. In fact his staff has been responsible for the Herculean task of trying to demonstrate Frank Lautenberg as a constructive part of government in the face of his lack of real initiatives.

Let’s face it. Since Lautenberg’s first term 27 years ago, he has nothing to show for it. His latest claim is that he insured that the federal Homeland Security money provided to New Jersey is doled out on the basis of need. Accept for a press release, Frank did not correct the problem that existed in this area. Republican state legislators brought up a lawsuit against the state after revealing that Homeland security money was being given out only to districts that had Democrat lawmakers representing them. The Corzine administration was allocating money meant to shore up security in our state based on politics, not need. Frank Lautenberg’s press releases did not change this immoral activity, the threatened lawsuit brought about by Republicans did. But I guess if you have little effort or action of your own to point to, your staff must take every opportunity to make their boss look good.

Making Frank look good is a hard job though. In his days since 1982, Frank bitterly clings to his only major accomplishments, raising the drinking age and prohibiting smoking on airplanes.

His subsequent representation of New Jersey since then has not produced much else. In fact due to the democrats representing us in the U.S. Senate, New Jersey continues to be one of the lowest ranked states in terms of our return on the tax dollars that we send to Washington. Together, Lautenberg and Menendez have been unable to get much bang for our buck and through it all they maintain their liberal mantra that helps to continue the crisis of affordability that exists in New Jersey.

Perhaps the greatest shame in all this is not, the lack of initiative or leadership that an 84 year old man has in Washington, DC. but rather that the state of New Jersey does not have the ability to produce a citizen that can provide leadership in D.C.

Republican nominee Dick Zimmer is a worthy candidate. He has a good, proven twelve year record serving in congress as a representative from New Jersey. He has commendable views on policies pertaining to energy and the economy. His views on foreign policy are more attuned to the times and better suited for the times than the liberal, tea with terrorists approach that Lautenberg liberals take. But in New Jersey, none of this matters. The Republican party of this state has yet to get it’s act together and put forth an agenda that offers a clear difference from today’s ruling class liberals.

Even Dick Zimmer, as capable as he is, can not wage a decent campaign against Lautenberg.  The state G.O.P. has been unable to raise sufficient funds for our candidates. Current fund raising records show that Dick Zimmer has raised a few hundred thousand dollars, while the aging, millionaire, founder of one of the nations largest payroll companies, Frank Lautenberg, has a couple of million for his campaign.

It is also a shame that New Jersey operates under such a shroud of hypocrisy. The hypocrisy of a candidate who first took office in 1982 by attacking his opponent, Millicent Fenwick, for her age which at the time was in her low 70’s. The hypocrisy of a man who came out of retirement and was resurrected by breaking laws that switched his name in place of a candidate that was losing. The hypocrisy of a man who is elected to office to do things for New Jersey but has actually accomplished little for New Jersey in over two decades.

It is all a shame but it is a shame that New Jersey deserves. We deserve what we get and in Frank Lautenberg what we get is an aging fat cat, devoid of ideas and drive and propped up by an over million and a half dollar staff that is occupied by patronage posts that are charged with making Lautenberg look productive.

There is one thing New Jersey will accomplish when it keeps Lautenberg on the job for us. It will break a record and make Lautenberg the longest serving United States Senator in New Jersey’s history. That s something but it doesn’t mean much when it comes to the benefits we have gotten out of that long service, or should I say lack of benefit.

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