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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Congressman Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, NJ-02

Yesterday the GOP House of Representatives crafted a razor-thin victory that will shape all of our lives for decades. I wasn't alone in decrying the lack of attention this measure got. Ihlin at dailyKos had a diary up lamenting how so little attention was paid to this vote, which basically served to ram Republican budget priorities down the throats of every American for years to come. This was a bill for the folks who've been seeking to brand "entitlements" as a code word for government hand outs that people don't deserve.

Social Security and Medicare aren't hand outs. They represent YOUR money. You paid in. Everybody does. In fact, every penny the government spends is your money. Branding government dollars as undeserved "entitlements" sure is a convenient way to bash senior citizens, the disabled and the poor; it's also a great way to reward the wealthy friends of the GOP. (If you make less than $200,000 and vote GOP, you are voting against your own economic interests.) The only way to stop this BS is to defeat a few of the Congressional Republicans who keep this convenient "lie" going.

Let me tell you something, yesterday's vote was an important vote for Frank LoBiondo, the Congressman representing New Jersey's 2nd District. Frank LoBiondo was the tie-breaking vote:

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) gave Blunt the margin he needed, breaking a 214-214 tie. The final tally was 216-214, with all of the Democrats who voted and 13 Republicans voting no.

Think the citizens Frank LoBiondo represents will be happy with his sell-out to Grover Norquist logic?

Not really. Try this exchange recently reported by a citizen from LoBiondo's district:

....I got to ask about where the money was coming from that would pay for the Medicare drug plan. And I asked how LoBiondo could just have voted to cut Medicare funding by some $12 billion. The question was never answered as LoBiondo's aide rushed over and yanked the microphone out of my hands, and declared that this was not the place to ask that kind of question.

Or try this local reporting how Congressman LoBiondo actually apologizes for the Medicare Drug Plan he voted for:

Frank Dolson on Monday attended his fourth information session about the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. The Millville resident still left confused and frustrated.

"I feel competent that I can understand the different plans," Dolson said, shaking his head. "But I come out of these meetings with more confusion and less answers."

More than 100 senior citizens filled City Hall council chambers on Monday to attend an information session organized by Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-Ventnor.

"The plans are confusing and I deeply apologize," LoBiondo told the crowd. "I'm going to continue to do what I can to alleviate some of the confusion and get some answers."

Congressman LoBiondo, apologies are nice, but maybe you shouldn't have voted for this plan...or become the deciding vote in gutting Medicare yesterday. Maybe, if the Democrats get our act together, the DCCC will list an opponent for you in New Jersey's second. Politics1 lists three challengers: Robin Weinstein, Jeff Van Drew, and Jim Whelan. Filing deadline is April 10th, 2006. This is a race we need to keep our eyes on.

Certainly Congressman LoBiondo's links to the Abramoff Scandal and New Jersey's increasing trend towards electing Democrats should make this race one to watch. On top of that, he's broken his term limit promise too. Congressman LoBiondo's tie-breaking vote yesterday should make all of us pay attention.

For more New Jersey politics, Democrat-style, try Blue Jersey and definitely visit the local blog dedicated to New Jersey's Second District: Second Thoughts.


  • He is also breaking his term limits promise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:32 PM  

  • Exactly right.

    Here's an article explaining just that.

    All the more reason to rally against him.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 3:58 PM  

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