Where do they stand? Activists survey 11th District congressional candidates

Special election is today, Oct. 16, for NJ senator


From NJ 11th for Change:


Among Contenders for Frelinghuysen’s Seat, Democrats Signal Change of Direction; Republicans Largely Silent

MONTCLAIR, NJ — With primaries just over five weeks away, grassroots group NJ 11th for Change asked candidates for the congressional seat soon to be vacated by Rodney Frelinghuysen how they would have voted on six pieces of legislation Frelinghuysen supported.

Issues included taxes, gun safety, health care, clean water, infrastructure, and women’s health.

NJ 11th for Change logoThree of the four Republican candidates surveyed — Antony Ghee, Martin Hewitt and Jay Webber — failed to respond to the survey. All five Democratic contenders for the District 11 seat — Mitchell Cobert, Tamara Harris, Alison Heslin, Mikie Sherrill and Mark Washburne — said they would have voted “No” on each of the Frelinghuysen “Yes” votes.

A fourth Republican, Patrick Allocco, answered that he intends to seek constituent input on every piece of legislation and will vote with the majority of respondents. (NJ 11th for Change was unable to identify contact information for candidate Peter deNeufville’s campaign in time for survey completion.)

NJ 11th for Change survey April 2018

Paid for by NJ 11th for Change  and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contact us at: NJ 11th for Change P.O. Box 43120 Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

The following are the pieces of legislation presented to the candidates, referenced in the chart above, for which Frelinghuysen cast a “yes” vote:

  • L1 — H.R. 38 (Concealed Carry Reciprocity; 2017–18): Allows people from states with little or no safety/background requirements to carry a concealed weapon in New Jersey without a New Jersey license.
  • L2 — H.R. 1628 (Repeal ACA/Replace with AHCA, 2017–18): Removed more than 30,000 New Jerseyans and more than 20 million people nationwide from access to affordable care, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • L3 — H.J. Res. 38 (2017–18): Nullified the Stream Protection Rule, which prevented some corporate dumping in surface streams.
  • L4 — Frelinghuysen Amendment to H.R. 2354 (2011–12): Diverted more than $1 billion previously promised to New Jersey transportation and rail service upgrades to projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
  • L5 — H. Con. Res. 71 (2017–18): Budget resolution that cleared the way for approval of the Trump tax plan and its elimination of state and local tax deductions, which negatively affects more than half of NJ 11’s residents and is projected to drop home values by 10 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics.
  • L6 — H.J. Res. 43 (2017–18): Removed protections preventing federal funds from being taken away from providers of basic women’s healthcare if they provide abortions, although federal law already prohibits using federal funds for abortions.

“These votes were of great concern to constituents across the district who have been asking Frelinghuysen in vain for solutions for health care, gun safety, infrastructure, the environment, taxes, and women’s health,” said Elizabeth Juviler, NJ 11th for Change political director.

“As the primaries approach, voters need to understand where the candidates stand on these issues, and how they differ — or don’t — from the incumbent.”

NJ 11th for Change plans to share the survey results with residents in an ongoing effort to promote strong voter engagement in the 2018 primary and general elections. The group will also release the survey results on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“We’re disappointed that most of the Republican candidates did not respond to our survey request, especially given the District’s frustration with our current Representative’s largely non-responsive record, even refusing to hold a Town Hall,” said Saily Avelenda, executive director of NJ 11th for Change.

“Democracy thrives on an exchange of ideas, not ducking the hard questions. This is not the ‘change’ we are looking for, and we hope all candidates will welcome and respond to questions from constituents going forward.”

About NJ 11th for Change

NJ 11th for Change, Inc. is a grassroots, unaffiliated organization dedicated to advocating for all citizens of the 11th Congressional District. The organization promotes political transparency by monitoring the positions and voting record of its congressional representative, currently Rodney Frelinghuysen; by fostering productive citizen-to-representative communication; and by demanding public accountability.

The philosophy of NJ 11th for Change is rooted in the belief that decency and fairness is the public’s right, and it’s committed to advancing common-sense policies that are in the best interests of all. To learn more, visit http://www.nj11thforChange.org or http://www.facebook.com/NJ11thForChange


Editor’s note: The opinions expressed above are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.

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  1. L1 is not about gun safety, (stop the drama) its about preventing folks who legal carry of firearms from being arrested in states that choose to infringe on national 2nd amendment rights of their states citizens by inserting sates rights against their citizens to carry. Should states restrict drivers from Delaware from driving in New Jersey because they have less requirements to pass a driving test in Delaware? If Delaware has a higher death rate from auto crashes from both accidental crashes and those on purpose (i.e. people using vehicles as a weapon of death) should they be prevented from driving in NJ? People kill and wound people not objects. People that legally carry in their home states are far safer to have in your state than illegal criminals that will still carry in your state regardless of any laws against it. So why punish a legal carry permit holder for entering your state who is either trained to any standard (go back to the Delaware Drivers License example above). Focus on the criminal carry and purchase of guns by criminals not guys like me who can help save a life, maybe my own, maybe yours. Fear uncertainty and doubt is not a good option for a civil society (FUD).