Sunday, May 19, 2013

Have New Jersey Democrats Finally Found The Right Man To Defeat Bank Shill Extremist Scott Garrett?


As we saw last night, Scott Garrett is a Wall Street shill and one of the most extremist Republicans left in the Northeast. Unlike New Jersey's mainstream conservative Republican delegation to Congress-- Frank LoBiondo, Chris Smith, Jon Runyan, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen-- Garrett is a hard core right-wing ideologue who's voting record is more in tune with radical teabaggers from the Old Confederacy than with anyone from New Jersey. Romney beat Obama in NJ-05-- a district that follows New Jersey's entire northern border from Hackensack and Paramus up through Mahwah, Vernon Township, over to the Delaware Water Gap and down to Washington Township-- 51-49%. Over 70% of the voters live in Bergen County, a New York suburb, and the head of the Democratic Party there, Lou Stellato, has been trying to find a strong opponent for the hated Garrett.

Stellato went to Andrew Maguire, 73, who holds a doctorate from Harvard and is widely considered a foreign policy affairs expert. And... he represented the district in Congress between 1975 and 1981. A highly effective progressive, everything he championed in Congress is anathema to Scott Garrett's reactionary stance. Let me go to the Wikipedia description of what Maguire worked on in Congress:
• Health and mental health policy, including occupational safety and health and expanded health programs for children and youth

• Environmental policy, including the Clean Air Act and control of toxic waste; and authored what became known as the Maguire Amendments to the National Cancer Act

• Energy policy, including supply and pricing of fossil fuels, nuclear, solar and other energy resources; and energy conservation including auto mileage efficiency standards and renewable resources initiatives

• Foreign policy issues including arms control, democracy initiatives, and trade

• Banking and securities laws and regulation

• Congressional ethics reform

• Increasing citizen participation in his congressional district by holding regular issue forums focused on a wide range of public policy concerns
In endorsing him for reelection, Ralph Nader bluntly stated he was "one of the most effective freshmen through hard work, a probing, innovative mind, and a fine sense of public interest. On subjects such as energy, medical devices, and air pollution legislation, he has been a bulwark against special interests. His office has developed a senior citizens information kit and other 'how-to's' for people in dealing with bureaucracies such as the medicare agencies." Several years later, Nader was no less impressed, describing him as "Smart, hard-working, personable, he has a sterling voting record on consumer, environmental, governmental reform, tax justice and energy issues. His office is known for its sensitive constituent service. He spends much time with his district’s economic and health problems."

Ultimately it was Big Oil pumping a fortune into the district that defeated Maguire in 1980. Maguire has filed to run again next year. Can he win? The re-districting has made it more purple than red and if Maguire can run an effective campaign and find the resources to compete with the Wall Street banksters backing Garrett-- a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee-- he has a good shot. In march he spoke at the Sussex County Democratic Committee nominating convention.
"I'm seriously considering doing so again," Maguire told the crowd. "Here in Northern New Jersey, Scott Garrett is the problem."

Maguire said he felt Garrett does not work in a bipartisan way to solve problems, and described him as "invisible and aloof." He said Garrett works against: out of work Americans, equal pay and work for women, education, and environmental stewardship.

"Now is the time to end the pretense, the negativism, that undercuts our families, and our national future," Maguire said.

Among his accolades, Maguire said while in Congress he introduced flood legislation, wrote the Clean Air Act, created amendments to the National Cancer Act, and launched the first congressional ethics investigation.

"I will not be a 'no' congressman like Scott Garrett," said Maguire. "It's much easier to do the work, than say, 'no.' We must say 'no' to Scott Garrett, and 'yes,' to the truth."
Remember, Maguire served while Richard Nolan represented Duluth, Minnesota in Congress. Last year, Nolan, 69, came back with a bang and defeated Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack. Since returning to Congress Nolan has amassed one of the fiercest progressive voting records of any freshman. His ProgressivePunch crucial vote score is 91.3, a score bettered only by 6 freshmen-- Mark Pocan (D-WI), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA). Scott Garrett's score for the same time period (the 113th Congress) is a shocking 4.35, identical to far right crackpots Steve King (IA), Buck McKeon (CA), Pete Sessions (TX), Lynn Westmoreland (GA) and Joe "You Lie" Wilson (SC).

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