Blog - NJ7 Citizens for Change

On Healthcare, Lance Remains Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Should I laugh or cry when I see that Leonard Lance received the 2018 Champion of Health Care Innovation Award?  Both. Who knows what he thinks about healthcare? He is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  The last thing he wants is to be asked for a cogent response on the issue.  So ask him. The man who recorded 64 votes against the Affordable Care Act, when faced with the realities of office, and the voice of his constituents, could not in the end vote for the cockamamie piece of repeal legislation his party tried to foist on the electorate. The American people expect our government to do more to ensure that the basic health needs of all citizens are taken care of, through expansion of Medicaid or Medicare, or some form of single-payer solution. Do you think Lance did not study the exit polls in the recent Pennsylvania election, which showed the issue is high on the minds of voters? The issue is most apparent in the votes for the expansion of Medicaid, offered under the ACA. The garlic-and-crucifix response of the right has been to roll as many logs as possible into this path towards healthcare access.  Most recently, Virginia, where even a Republican-controlled legislature had to bend to the will of the people, became the 33rd  State to expand Medicaid, and there are indications that more states will follow suit. Meanwhile, the Insurance Apocalypse has not arrived. Not for lack of trying, through Congressional elimination of the individual mandate and their waving the prospect of short-term, thin coverage designed to siphon off the healthy from the pool of the insured to the detriment of those with pre-existing conditions. Those attempts to destabilize the market have not yet worked, in part thanks to the acts of individual governors, such as our own Phil Murphy, to reintroduce the individual mandate at the state level. But this dragon is not slain yet.  Tea Party Republicans, goaded by their base, are stoking the fire in the belly of the beast to try one last time in June to incinerate the ACA, a prospect that must make Leonard Lance, a reluctant dragon slayer if ever there was one, tremble for his fate. Because we will #RememberinNovember #NJ07
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Democrats Poised to Win the Congressional District 7th Seat

Democrats are now poised to win the Congressional District 7th seat against Leonard Lance. Primary results are in, and the winner Tom Malinowski will prepare to campaign against our true opponent, Leonard Lance. Go team Malinowski! Congratulations to Tom and his campaign. Flip the House 2018 ! We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge a few brave patriots who also stepped forward to bring change in 2018. The primary candidates- Peter Jacobs, Goutam Jois, Lisa Mandelblatt, Scott Salmon and Linda Weber, all fought an outstanding race. We are inspired by their courage, hard work and efforts. We salute you and fully expect to see you leading in the future! As always, NJ7 Citizens for Change will work to shine a spotlight on Lance’s record with the goal of victory in November! Unity begins today! We must all now have laser focus on Flipping the House! Make no mistake, the GOP will fight hard in this race and we will have to be prepared to respond. That means we must continue to produce targeted counter-messaging that tells the truth about Leonard Lance’s Far-Right agenda, out-of-touch voting record and lack of leadership. Our ad campaign goals include demographically-targeted social media boosting of videos; articles; print advertising; and radio ads. To help us fund our next professional ad campaign,  Please Donate Now! Join us in our path to victory in November!
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Lance Falsely Claims to be an Eisenhower Republican

Eisenhower Republicans Are Extinct and Leonard Lance Would Like to Keep it That Way. In a recent interview with Fox News, Congressman Lance was asked if he is a "Trump Republican.” “No. I'm an Eisenhower Republican," he said, hoping that a misty mantle of remembered 50’s prosperity would cloak reality. Who were those Eisenhower Republicans? The Eisenhower Republican Platform of 1956 summarizes the accomplishments of the previous four years, and the promises made for the future.  Back then, Republicans raised the minimum wage and promised to “extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable.” The official Republican position today is that minimum wage issues are best handled at the state and local level—which local efforts are then obstructed by said party.  Back then, the Republican Party boasted that “the protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers.” Yet when the Senate voted in bipartisan fashion in 2014 to move forward with a bill that would restart federal unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, the House voted it down, and Lance’s spokesperson said that “the congressman believes the Senate bill is unworkable.” The New Jersey unemployment rate stood at 7.1% at the time. Back then, the Republican Party  was proud that under Eisenhower, “unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 million,” and declared that “the protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.”  The Republican Party since then has constantly and consistently whittled away at the rights and protections of unionized workers, to the profound disadvantage of middle class America.   Back then, the Republican Party platform stated that “Republican action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years.”  Now we have a Department of Education, headed by Betsy DeVos, who demonstrably knows shockingly little about the U.S. education system.  The truth is, Eisenhower Republicans are as dead as dodos and Leonard Lance has no kinship to this extinct species. Congressman Lance supports Donald Trump 88% of the time. And we will #RememberinNovember. #NJ07
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Lance Remains Silent as Trump Attacks Our Intelligence Agencies

Leonard Lance, will not speak out against the unconstitutional behavior of President Trump! Why? President Trump, has consistently belittled a blatant attempt to interfere in our political process, an attempt confirmed by all of our major intelligence agencies, and by a bipartisan Senate committee. One of the charges of both the Mueller investigation and the probes run out of Congress has been to determine the full truth about the Russian effort, yet the President continues to claim that the entire issue is a hoax, designed to undermine the legitimacy of his election (that illegitimacy is not so far-fetched, says James Clapper). But if there is evidence that a presidential campaign is being courted or manipulated by agents of a foreign power, it can't simply be ignored. Trump now claims that the FBI put a “spy” in his campaign at the behest of Barack Obama’s White House as part of an effort to undercut his candidacy by alleging collusion with the Russians. In a brazen abuse of power, Trump is applying presidential pressure on the Justice Department regarding an investigation into his own campaign. The Justice Department is supposed to act independently and without political influence.  Its function is not to pursue investigations that serve the President personally and politically.   Adam Schiff got it right: “Trump’s claim of an embedded “spy” is nonsense. His “demand” that the DOJ investigate something they know to be untrue is an abuse of power, and an effort to distract from his growing legal problems.” The first action of any autocrat seeking to subvert the political process is to turn the judicial system into a political tool to be used against opponents, rather than to serve the people and protect the constitution. That is an authority Putin and his fellow autocrats would claim. Those who stand up to Vladimir Putin risk arrest and imprisonment. We will not allow a descent on the slippery slope towards unfreedom, as Timothy Snyder put it. We can start here, in NJ07, by demanding that our Congressman condemn the President’s use of the DOJ to pursue his political goals.  We will #RememberinNovember #NJ07  
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NJ7 Candidates on Net Neutrality

NJ Primaries are June 5! Mark your calendars and plan to vote! The following is a collection of public statements and voting records on net neutrality by each of the major candidates for NJ's 7th Congressional District. Please refer to candidate websites and social media accounts for additional information and to interact with candidates.   Lindsay Brown Peter Jacob Goutam Jois Leonard Lance Tom Malinowski Supports FCC Net Neutrality YES YES YES NO YES  
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NJ7 Congressional Candidates on Healthcare

NJ Primaries are June 5! Mark your calendars and plan to vote! The following is a collection of public statements and voting records on healthcare by each of the major candidates for NJ's 7th Congressional District. Please refer to candidate websites and social media accounts for additional information and to interact with candidates.   Lindsay Brown Peter Jacob Goutam Jois Leonard Lance Tom Malinowski Supports ACA (Obamacare) YES* YES* YES NO YES Supports Single Payer YES YES N/A NO N/A Supports Women’s Health YES YES YES NO YES Supports Medicare for ALL YES YES N/A NO YES Supports CHIP N/A YES* YES YES YES Believes Healthcare is a right YES YES YES NO YES * Prefers Medicare for All - Single Payer N/A - Not Addressed
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The Supreme Court and the Eroding American Dream

  Leonard Lance belongs to a professional trade union.  The reason members of his legal profession are at the top of international salary rankings is that “the American Bar Association operates a state-approved cartel.” All of our professions practice a sophisticated form of collective bargaining, using restrictive licensing done in the name of the public good, in order to drive up compensation.     But collective action taken by employees becomes anti-competitive and violates the norms of the free market.  You can be sure the Koch brothers raised a glass in Wichita, when they read Neil Gorsuch’s majority decision he just wrote for the Supreme Court, allowing employers to deprive their workers of their right to sue collectively.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rightly attacked the majority verdict for “substitut[ing] its preferred economic policies for those chosen by the people’s representatives.” No doubt Mitch McConnell will be further rewarded for stonewalling President Obama, and allowing President Trump to appoint Neil Gorsuch.  His appointment is sure to bring more good news for the right, such as the case in which the Court is expected to prohibit public sector unions from charging non-members who benefit from collective bargaining.  This will weaken the power of public unions by creating new challenges in organizing strategy, political activity and political donation, and bargaining for workers. The Court has already ruled against class action suits brought by consumers.  It is all part-and-parcel of a Court that increasingly is seen as “too conservative” and favors the rights of big business over the rights of workers and consumers.  Donald Trump, for all his populist huffing and puffing, heads a government whose only interest is self-preservation for the donor class and ossification of the very class mobility that underpins the American Dream.  The courts are being stuffed with like-minded jurists who will preserve this reactionary legacy long after Trump is gone.  We have to stop this NOW, first by turning out in force for the Democratic primary in June, and then by voting massively in September to ensure the House and Senate are flipped.  That will give democrats the voting power it needs to put the brakes on this plutocratic administration.   #RememberinNovember #NJ07
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NJ7 Congressional Candidates On Gun Safety

NJ Primaries are June 5! Mark your calendars and plan to vote! The following is a collection of public statements and voting records on gun safety by each of the major candidates for NJ's 7th Congressional District. Please refer to candidate websites and social media accounts for additional information and to interact with candidates.   Lindsay Brown Peter Jacob Goutam Jois Leonard Lance Tom Malinowski Has gun safety position on website No Yes No Hidden Yes Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate No Yes Yes No Yes Supported by NRA No No No Yes No Attended student-organized town-hall on gun safety Yes Yes Yes No Yes  
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NJ7 Citizens Will Pay at the Gas Pump as Lance Watches

  Congressman Leonard Lance was never a fan of the Iran nuclear agreement. In July 2015, he inveighed against it. “Tough sanctions brought the Iranian leaders to the table, kept them there and will hold them accountable.  Removing sanctions without lasting results achieves nothing.” What, then, must he think of President Trump’s casual and offhand de-sanctioning of Chinese cell phone manufacturer ZTE?  “Too many jobs in China lost”, he tweeted.  This after the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American firms from selling to ZTE for seven years because of sanction-busting trade with BOTH North Korea AND Iran. Trump’s move to rescue ZTE from the brink of extinction comes just as the U.S. has reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, and is threatening European companies that continue to trade there. This volte face by President Trump, typical of his erratic style of governance, is no trivial matter. Lawmakers in the President’s own party have expressed deep concerns.  As an avid proponent of “tough sanctions” against Iran, why has Congressman Lance remained silent on the issue? Is he afraid to poke this can of worms? President Trump’s facile explanation for his decision is unlikely to bear much relationship to the truth, based on past performance.  There are several more credible explanations. But perhaps the most concerning is the temporal connection to Chinese state-owned company’s decision to invest massively (half a billion dollars) in a theme park development in Indonesia that also features a Trump hotel and condos.  Any connection would indicate that foreign policy goals have been suborned to profiteering.  There is a strong case to be made that this is a serious breach of the “emoluments clause”, the constitutional provision banning presidents from accepting gifts or other payments from foreign governments, a case made by the former ethics officers of both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. As is usually the case when the ethics of the President are called into question, our Congressman has withdrawn into his shell. Meanwhile, you are paying the price at the gas pump for a decision made for questionable ethical and political reasons.  Happy motoring!   #RememberinNovember. #NJ07
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Lance and the GOP's Congress Target New Jersey

Congress Has it in for New Jersey Let’s face it, Donald Trump and his friends in Congress have it in for the State of New Jersey and the other blue states.  Let’s start with tax legislation.  We have higher state income taxes and larger mortgages.  Capping deductibility of both was a deliberate finger in the eye for Democratic states. And we give at the office!  The average NJ tax payer sends $2,659 more to Washington in taxes than he/she gets back in federal spending, more than any other state.  As good American citizens, we know that we should help out states that aren’t faring as well as we are.  But education accounts for more than half the state and local work force; protective services like police and fire departments account for much of the rest. So how come we get penalized for looking after our schools and our protective services while red states like Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia are rewarded for cutting education and services to the bone? Then there is infrastructure. The #1 infrastructure project in the nation is the Gateway Project, which is vital for the entire Northeast Corridor region that runs from Boston to D.C.  To hear Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C.--whose state received $1.41 for every dollar paid in federal taxes in 2015, compared to our 74 cents-- describe the Gateway Project as “pork” is unacceptable, while Trump opposes funding because he wants to stick it to Chuck Schumer.  What a way to run a railroad! And the ill-fated and ill-thought out attempts to repeal Obamacare would have involved a political redistribution of funds from mostly Democratic-controlled states to mostly Republican ones.  Around 900,000 New Jersey residents, including those covered under Medicaid expansion, could have lost their health coverage. It is no use Leonard Lance bleating that he cast his vote against these measures.  We are not idiots; we know he was allowed to cast a vote against because Paul Ryan had the votes he needed. The only solution is to turn the House upside down if we want New Jersey to get the recognition it needs.  And we can start in New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District.   #RememberinNovember #NJ07
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