Why I'm Proud that Frank Lautenberg is my US Senator

It's been a while since I've posted here at MyDD, largely because I've been trying to steer clear of the Presidential race. I'm writing here tonight about a different topic instead, but one that means a great deal to me nonetheless. It's the reelection campaign of my US Senator, Frank Lautenberg, and I want to tell you why he deserves your support in what is appearing to be a strong primary challenge in June.

I first became active in New Jersey Democratic politics at the age of 13, in the fall of 2001. By roughly a year later, towards the end of September 2002, I was fully engaged in both online and offline campaign efforts (posting with regularity at MyDD.com and working for my local Congressional campaign). One of the races I was watching was the U.S. Senate race involving Democratic incumbent Bob Torricelli and a Republican with a checkbook and little else, Doug Forrester. I got home in time from school on September 30th to watch as the corruption-plagued Torricelli announced his withdrawal from an increasingly doomed reelection bid. The question that quickly emerged was as to who would replace Torricelli as the Democratic Party's nominee; with the Senate hanging in the balance that November, holding Torricelli's seat was essential.

It was at this point that I first learned about Frank Lautenberg.

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NJ-39: Bergen Record calls out Cardinale, GOP cohorts

By Stephen Yellin


"Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, hates poor people. Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan hates immigrants. And state Sen. Gerry Cardinale, R-Demarest, loves bankers."
Alfred Doblin began his Friday political column in the Bergen Record with those words. Doblin is an equal-opportunity critic of politics, who calls out politicians on both sides of the New Jersey aisle for corruption. As you may know, Garrett was one of just three Congressional Republicans in New Jersey to vote against the S-CHIP override. Lonegan is an anti-immigrant crusader who was recently caught employing illegal immigrants. So it's good to see that Doblin is "playing fair" and telling the truth about Gerry Cardinale and his Republican cohorts - that they are hypocritical ideologues.

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NJ-39:Note to Gerry Cardinale: Senators in Glass Houses...

By Stephen Yellin

From the way Republican State Senator Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale (the leading obstructionist in New Jersey's legislature) talks about ethics, you'd think he was a spotless, blameless white knight of New Jersey politics. After all, he chaired the Ethics Committee in Trenton when the Republicans ruled the roost, and is on record as saying "I can't be bought with a trip". Furthermore, Cardinale has ceaselessly railed against New Jersey's Democratic Party, blaming Governor Corzine, State Senate President Codey, Speaker Roberts and numerous government officials for New Jersey's problems. The real "problem", though is with hypocrites like Gerry Cardinale, who will say and do anything for a vote - or a free vacation. As the old saying goes, "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones", and this axiom is true for Cardinale.

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The NJ-39 Series: When it comes to ethics, Cardinale is "Gerry" -atric

In my last article on New Jersey's 39th Legislative District, I discussed how Republican State Senator Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale has become entangled in the "culture of corruption" (to borrow a national term) that plagues New Jersey. To recap, in 2000 Cardinale introduced four pieces of legislation to improve profits for the banking industry; over the next two months, he received nearly $6,000 in vacation money from the same industries he was proposing to streamline. Coincidence? I don't think so, Gerry. Luckily, Democrat Joe Ariyan, his opponent has been taking it to Gerry on the stump and in their debates. You can learn more about him at Voice for the 39th - Ariyan, Fletcher and Manna

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The NJ-39 series: Cardinale caught red-handed on ethics

I suppose one could call this a "breaking" news story, but in a way it's not: the story goes back several years, and revolves around a Republican State Senator in New Jersey who's been around for 28 years - Gerald Cardinale. "Gerry" (as he's more commonly known) is an out-of-touch conservative obstructionist in a progressive state, and he's in the fight of his life this November against Democratic challenger Joe Ariyan (Here's his website) . But Cardinale's fight just got a bit tougher, as he's now being accused of violating the state's legislative ethics laws. Which, in fact he has repeatedly done over the years, to his advantage and to the disadvantage of his constituents.

Read on to see what I mean...

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The NJ-39 Series: Cardinale = Silence for Public Meetings

By Stephen Yellin

On his new campaign website, Republican State Senator Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale explains in a video clip why he's established the site: "So that you can know the truth about my record." I'll be happy to take Mr. Cardinale up on his offer, as I have been doing for the last month, and bit by bit reveal to you, the reader his extraordinarily extreme record in 28 years as a New Jersey legislator. For example, Cardinale talks a good game when it comes to government transparency, but did you know that he prefers cutting off newspaper advertisements of public meetings? I didn't either at first. But if you get to know the real Gerry Cardinale as I have, you'll understand as well as I do why he needs to be defeated on November 6th.

Read on if you want to know the dirty details...

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NJ-39 Series: Cardinale the Stem-Cell Obstructionist

By Stephen Yellin

Just yesterday I wrote about New Jersey's upcoming referendum on Stem-Cell research, and why the proposal is an excellent one for New Jersey both economically and as a step in a progressive direction for the state. But while the voters of New Jersey will have their say on November 6th on the issue, they'll also have their say on 40 legislative districts across the Garden State. One of the most competitive ones that will be decided is one I have covered extensively before - New Jersey's 39th Legislative district, located in Bergen County. And one of the biggest opposition leaders in Trenton to the Stem-Cell referendum is Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale, the GOP's State Senator in NJ-39. Think Mitch McConnell as a purely New Jersey-style legislator, and you've got Cardinale. And like Mitch McConnell, Gerry Cardinale must be defeated.

Click here to learn more about his opponent

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Stem Cell referendum in New Jersey offers hope for many

By Stephen Yellin

In my last diary (on New Jersey's 39th legislative district), I briefly discussed how New Jersey has the potential to be what Wisconsin was under "Fighting Bob" LaFollette 100 years ago - a progressive laboratory for the United States. To do this will require in part the election of more Democratic and progressive leaders to serve in both the state legislature in Trenton and on the county and municipal levels. However, there is another factor apart from elections that can make a state truly progressive: the support of the public for a progressive vision for their state and country. LaFollette introduced the concept of the initiative, the referendum and the recall to Wisconsin, and some states still follow that legacy. Now, New Jersey's Democratic leaders are trying to make New Jersey a progressive bastion as well - through a ballot referendum this November on Stem Cell Research.

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The NJ-39 Series: Show Some Love to Dispel Some Hate

Hello all,

Up until now, I haven't made any financial pleas for New Jersey's 39th Legislative District. This is because I feel as if "getting the word out" about the district, its out-of-touch Republican incumbents (Gerry Cardinale, John Rooney and Charlotte Vandervalk) and the Democrats taking them on (Joe Ariyan, Esther Fletcher and Carl Manna) was more important. In fact, it still is, because turning NJ-39 blue - with your help - will not only be a tremendous victory for New Jersey and its Democratic Party, but will serve as a textbook example of how to turn the suburbs and exurbs of America Democratic as well. We Democrats in New Jersey are working hard to turn State Senator Cardinale and his Assembly running mates out of office - and now we need your help.

http://www.voicefor39.com

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The NJ-39 Series: meet Joe Ariyan, Democrat for State Senate

-  By Stephen Yellin

In my last two articles on New Jersey's 39th Legislative District, I discussed why the Republican incumbent, Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale was too extreme to represent a rapidly changing district (towards the left, I might add), and why it's time to fire him. Today, I want to introduce you all to his Democratic opponent, and why he should be hired to serve in the New Jersey State Senate. His name is Joe Ariyan, and he'll be an excellent State Senator for New Jersey. His life and credentials will tell you why.

My previous articles on the subject:
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/11/1235 59/993
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/17/1342 8/9971
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/18/8373 5/5033

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