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A Simple Voting Test

A simple test on who to vote into Congress.

I was obviously disappointed by the Asbury Park Press’ (APP) Congressional 4th District endorsement of incumbent Chris Smith. It seemed internally inconsistent and contradictory with other endorsements. Apparently, according to the APP, you can be wrong on the national economy as long as you answer constituent phone calls. And you can be for curing individual diseases but not fixing the national healthcare system.

Interestingly APP said that Smith’s constituent service, “by all accounts, is excellent”. Yet per APP’s own 5/8/12 editorial, Smith was missing in action on Lakewood issues and didn’t even return their phone calls. And in their 2008 endorsement of Smith the APP said that he needed to publicly debate his opponents and send more time in New Jersey. He has done neither since. Apparently if you ignore the APP criticisms they are retracted. In prior blogs I have also documented Smith failing in this area. In addition, I am not aware of a single Congressman in the history of the Republic who was accused of poor constituent service.  

In the APP editorial meeting all three candidates agreed that the most important issue facing the nation and the district was the economy. Yet the APP, admitting that Smith’s positions on that issue were “not realistic”, endorsed him none the less.

Similarly, all three candidates agreed that healthcare was also a critical issue. Smith and Marshal were against Obamacare and favored repealing it and I supported it. Passage of Obamacare was one of the reasons APP gave for endorsing both Obama and Pallone for re-election and opposition to Obamacare was one of the reasons that the APP said Marshall was not a “serious option.” Yet they listed neither Smith's opposition nor my support in their analysis.

On abortion, in the APP meeting Smith said, and the APP printed, that he “only agrees with abortion when the mother’s life is in jeopardy or in cases of pregnancy through rape and incest”. Yet in an interview with another publication he admitted that “he sees those abortions (i.e. for rape and incest) as morally wrong as well”. But he agreed to those exceptions in order to get a bill passed with at least some restrictions. In sum, he is only waiting for a chance to remove those exceptions as well.   

I can actually simplify the analysis for the voters.

I have no idea where Governor Romney stands on any issue given all of his various statements and positions over time. But I know exactly where Rep Paul Ryan stands on taxes, seniors, spending, religion, government and other issues. He has a clear voting record, is proud of it, and is happy to discuss it (unlike Rep Smith.) Ryan’s published Plan calls for cutting taxes further (for the wealthy), privatizing social security, voucherizing Medicare, and slashing Medicaid. He is for large increases in defense spending and all our wars. He is comfortable imposing his religious beliefs on others (e.g. Personhood Amendment.) And he is ‘full throated’ in his attack on, and obstruction of, all Presidential initiatives. (Something the APP called ‘dysfunctional’ Washington.)

And Rep Chris Smith is Rep Paul Ryan’s policy blood brother. He has supported (with votes) Ryan’s proposals and is second to no one in calling the President a liar, criminal, etc.

In short, if you are voting for Rep Paul Ryan you should vote for Rep Smith. If not you should vote for Brian Froelich.           

Now, isn’t that simple.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jay Podell November 05, 2012 at 11:35 PM
The APP's endorsement of Smith means nothing. It only confirms what we already know about preferential treatment of an incumbent on the part of the press. Smith has done nothing to stop our district's rising unemployment. He supports Paul Ryan's budget which, if passed, would slash programs across the board that New Jerseyans young and old benefit from -- Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' programs, Pell grants for students -- you name it, it's gone or cut significantly. And say goodbye to FEMA! Come on, who needs em? Chris Smith and other GOP hijackers don't think you do. Frankly, they couldn't care less. So thank you, Asbury Park Press, for calling our attention to a career politician with a dangerous record and a reckless plan for the future... by endorsing the man. Again.
Scott Neuman November 05, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Really thought the APP would recommend Brian or the head of the conservative party Len Marshall.
Irina November 05, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Anything the APP says means nothing. They are a democRATic rag. I plan on voting for most everyone they did not endorse.
SpeakTheTruth November 06, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Rep. Chris Smith, ladies and gentlemen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kMzwXXlbdI
John Hayes November 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Which party has an actual plan to avoid bankrupting our country? It's not this President, whose administration is projecting deficits for the next 75 years. Yes, THEY THEMSELVES are projecting deficits for the next 75 YEARS! SEVENTY FIVE!
Scott Neuman November 13, 2012 at 01:58 AM
John, if we go off the fiscal cliff, you'll start seeing what we owe drop for sure. Brian, the big lie for Congressional Districts three and four is that no one but a GOP'er will win. It's not sour grapes. It's just voter rolls and redistricting. And a shame because it removes the dems and Independents votes from counting as much.
Brian Froelich November 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Scott, I agree that Districts 3 and 4 are very tough. But I also believe in people and- if given the proper support and funds (against the massive incumbent advantages in these areas)- it is possible to win.
Dorian Yates November 13, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Another wanna be politician claiming the people aren’t smart enough to make a choice - he just needs more taxpayer money to set them straight with annoying commercials and lawn signs.
Brian Froelich November 13, 2012 at 04:21 PM
@Dorian, Sorry you are annoyed by the need to provide information about political choices to people. As indicated in my comments above, I have complete confidence in the people's ability to understand and make intelligent choices from that information. But the current system makes getting that information to people a little one sided. Smith was able to out raise and out spend us by more than 6 to 1 and had radio and tv ads and brochure mailings- none of which we had or could afford. So I will assume that it is actually Smith and not I that really annoy you. I wish I had some sympathy for your cynicism.
Dorian Yates November 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
You can blog on the patch for free and people can read what you have to say for free right here. Maybe you should just accept the fact that people will not be interested in voting for you irrespective of how much money you spend? Maybe you should spend your money on cleaning supplies for the people that could use them after the hurricane.
Brian Froelich November 13, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Actually we did blog on the Patch and other places and actually over 100,000 people (i.e. about 1/3 of the voters) did vote for us despite the fact that we spent relatively almost nothing. Have a good day.
Dorian Yates November 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Exactly. You lost. Plain and simple. All that money spent for nothing.
Fatty Mcbutterpants November 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
blame it on bush
Brian Froelich November 13, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I assume you mean all of that Republican money spent for nothing (since that is about what we spent!) .
Peter Koenig November 13, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Interesting you should mention the APP, endorsements and Congressional Districts. I'm in the 6th District: chunks of four different counties, from Plainfield in the north to Asbury Park in the south, coiling like a serpent to ensnare enough Democrats to keep the seat "blue." The 6th isn't even physically contiguous. Check out a map - see how it slithers to avoid Rumson / Fair Haven / Red Bank? Perhaps you should discuss the outrageous gerrymandering with the Democrats in Trenton. Who knows, if Districts were drawn with a modicum of fairness and logic, Asbury Park might actually be in your District of residence. Don't fret about the big money spent on the campaign, or out-of-District encorsements, or not winning. Keep up your productive dialogue.

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