The “New” Congressman Lance at the JCC in Scotch Plains
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 • 5:20pm
Our current representatives to congress come before us for re-election with the lowest ever approval rating – 10%. Yet we keep returning these back-benchers to Congress to throw sand in the gears. Discontent with congressional deadlock makes some districts ripe for change.
In the NJ - 7th Congressional District, for example, incumbent Leonard Lance, is being challenged by the Deputy Speaker of the NJ Assembly Upendra Chivukula. The contrast is clear. Mr. Lance is a third generation career politician. Mr. Chivukula is a first-generation American, an engineer with Bell Labs, with ten years of local and state public service.
Mr. Lance, since 2008, has ceaselessly bombarded mailboxes with flyers detailing his vehement, proud and principled “no” vote to every proposal of the Democratic Party.
But in this Election Year, with public disapproval for the congressional deadlock and with a strong challenge from Mr. Chivukula, we have a new Representative Lance. This one is pragmatic, bipartisan and moderate; this one even claims support for some Democratic proposals (Oct 4, 2012 email). This Lance, in short, badly wants to retain his office and was in full voice at Sunday’s debate at the JCC in Scotch Plains.
He reminds us of his vote for “cap and trade,” not mentioning that he no longer supports it. No mention of his vote to strip the EPA of the power to regulate carbon emissions. He routinely recalls his bipartisan Trenton days to distract us from his uncompromising embrace of the draconian “no tax” pledge of his party to “resolve” the deficit crisis. This self-proclaimed “pro-Medicare moderate” voted for the Ryan Budget Bill, which dismantles Medicare along with draconian funding cuts for popular services for the vulnerable. His health care plan – and that of the Republican leadership -- includes de-funding Planned Parenthood health services for women, based on the false contention that the federal funding provides abortion services. This is throwing the baby out with the bath, caring more about imposing his values than caring for women’s health.
Is any of this duplicity in NJ-7th interest? I think not.
We can send a strong message on obstructionism to the congress by replacing Leonard Lance with the Democratic candidate, Upendra Chivukula.