Candidate demands answers on voter fraud in foe’s office

A Democratic candidate is demanding answers from her opponent about a high ranking public employee who appears to be engaging in ballot fraud, a third degree crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Progressive Lisa McCormick sent a letter to County Surrogate James LaCorte saying that his appointed Deputy Surrogate is fraudulently registered to vote in Elizabeth while actually residing in Bloomfield.

Democratic voters will cast primary election ballos on June 4 to choose between McCormick and LaCorte, a 20-year incumbent whose father was the last Republican Mayor of Elizabeth.

The letter is available at:

The text of the letter follows.

County Surrogate James LaCorte
Union County Court House
Two Broad Street
Elizabeth NJ 07201

Dear Mr.  LaCorte:

I am writing to ask that you explain what appears to be a criminal act in which the Deputy Surrogate is fraudulently registered to vote in Elizabeth while actually residing in Bloomfield. I am particularly eager to learn if you have been aware of any act of voter fraud prior to the receipt of this letter.

I understand that Deputy Union County Surrogate Sharda Badri is a long time resident of Bloomfield, but she appears to be registered to vote at an address at 338 Chilton Street, in Elizabeth. Under voter registration number 106014029, records at the Union County Board of Elections show that the Deputy Union County Surrogate voted by mail in the 2018 general election, and she voted in person on 11/07/2017, 6/06/2017 & 11/08/2016.

I remind you that NJSA 19:34-1 False registration or transfer; states: “Any person who shall cause or procure his name to be registered in more than one election district, or shall cause or procure his name or that of any other person to be registered, knowing that he or such other person is not entitled to vote in the election district wherein such registry is made at the next election to be held therein, shall be punished for each such offense and shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.”

While 338 Chilton Street, Elizabeth NJ, is owned by a relative of Ms. Badri, she and her children are in fact residents of Essex County and the Union County location is not her actual domicile.

Reliable records show that she owns and lives at a property in Essex County. Public records show that Deputy Surrogate Sharda Badri is the owner of a home at 215 Baldwin St, Bloomfield, NJ, 07003-3819. Her neighbors know her and there is ample evidence that she was and is currently residing in the home, which she purchased in July 2001.

It also appears that the Deputy Surrogate and her children have cast ballots from this bogus address in Union County, even though they are really Essex County residents.

Her son, whose voter registration number is 151264526 and was born on 11/13/1991, and daughter, whose voter registration number is 152230967 and was born on 03/06/1994, are registered voters in Elizabeth despite living in Bloomfield. When her son was arrested in Roselle Park on charges of drug possession, he told police his residence was in Bloomfield.  Her daughter’s Facebook page states that she lives in Bloomfield

Other proofs, such as addresses listed on drivers’ licenses and other documentation would be readily available to prosecutors if they choose to level criminal charges related to these acts but as the elected official who appointed this person to a position of public trust, you certainly owe the voters an explanation about this situation. A defendant convicted of a third degree crime faces a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years and a fine up to $15,000. Recent cases illustrate the seriousness of these crimes.

Andrea Palmucci-McGillicuddy, a former chief investigator of Mercer County elections, was charged with fraudulent voting, interference with elections and other related offenses, after officials learned she resides in Pennsylvania but had voted in New Jersey.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office charged a former municipal court judge with two counts of third-degree voter fraud. Spencer Robbins had improperly used his Amboy Avenue legal office as his address and voted in 22 elections and Democratic primaries in Woodbridge since 1998, even though he maintained a home with his wife in Chatham Township since 1995.

Richard Molina, the mayor of Edinburg, in Hidalgo County, Texas, was arrested on charges that he orchestrated an illegal voting scheme in which he asked residents of nearby towns to change their addresses so that they could cast votes for him.

The federal Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are responsible for enforcing the federal criminal laws that prohibit various forms of election fraud, such as submission of fraudulent ballots or registrations. The state Attorney General’s Corruption and Government Fraud Bureau is actively prosecuting cases involving official misconduct, election fraud and other offenses involving public officials and employees.

I leave it to you to account yourself to the voters, but by releasing this letter the appropriate law enforcement authorities shall be informed on the potential crimes manifested in these allegations.

Robert Reich endorses Lisa McCormick’s ‘Social Security rescue plan’

An economist who served under four presidents has endorsed a plan advocated by New Jersey progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick, who is collecting signatures in support of her concept to put Social Security on a solid financial foundation permanently, even if benefits are increased or the retirement age is lowered.

Economist Robert Reich has endorsed Lisa McCormick’s plan to save Social Security

Robert Reich, secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and one of the most outspoken critics of the Trump administration and its policies and actions, recently spoke to McCormick about her plan to save Social Security and issued an endorsement of her idea.

“As a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, I know that the American standard of living depends on the strength of our social safety nets,” said Reich. “This is why I’m impressed by Lisa McCormick’s proposal to save Social Security and insure long term solvency of the nation’s pension system.”

“While 94 percent of U.S. workers pay Social Security tax on every dollar in their paycheck, the very richest Americans avoid Social Security taxes on most of their money due to the program’s cap on taxable earnings,” said Reich. “To correct this, she recommends that we ‘scrap the cap’ so very wealthy Americans contribute to Social Security at the same tax rate as the rest of us. I completely agree.”

Reich is currently the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He’s written 15 books and created two acclaimed documentaries: Inequality for All, and Saving Capitalism.

“I talked to Robert Reich about my plan to fix Social Security because there are a lot of misconceptions out there,” said McCormick. “While Republicans have been saying Social Security is ‘broke’ or ‘bankrupt’ the simple truth is, there are reserves of nearly $3 trillion sustaining Social Security and if all the money flowing into the system stopped, retirees could still collect full benefits for years to come. Social Security is not out of funding.”

“However, the system does need to be fixed in order to keep it solvent in perpetuity,” said McCormick. “Americans should never fear that this government will be unable to meet its obligations when they are depending on Social Security payments.”

“Americans work hard and pay in to Social Security, so we are counting on it to be there but if our leaders do not act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year,” said McCormick.

“Social Security is funded through deductions to everyone’s paychecks. We pay in while we’re working, and then collect benefits when we retire or become disabled. But not everyone pays equally into the system,” said McCormick. “While 94% of American workers pay Social Security tax on every dollar in their paycheck, most of the earnings of the top 1 percent – and especially the top 0.1 percent – escape most Social Security taxes due to the program’s cap on taxable earnings, which is $132,900 in 2019.”

“In other words, the very richest Americans stop contributing but it does not have to be that way,” said McCormick. “By simply requiring upper-income Americans to pay the same tax rate as middle-class families, Social Security’s benefits could be expanded, and its funding would remain in balance for decades beyond the longest projections.”

“Americans are facing an unprecedented retirement security crisis. Retirement wealth has not grown fast enough to keep pace with an aging population and the growth in inequality has exacerbated existing economic, racial, ethnic and educational disparities,” said McCormick. “Single people and women face particular challenges. All these problems can be fixed by making the very richest members of society pay the same tax rate that ordinary working people pay now.”

McCormick urged citizens who agree that Americans must fix Social Security without cutting benefits or jeopardizing retirees to sign the petition at her website:

McCormick explains how to find trusted financial advice

Older Americans facing difficult decisions toward the end of their lives need all the help they can get, but so do their caregivers.

Money issues are often a concern. Physical and mental-capacity problems may emerge but before death, many people want to get our legal affairs in order as much as possible, according to Lisa McCormick, who is a Democratic candidate for surrogate, the elected county official responsible for assisting residents in the orderly process of settling estates.

Democrat Lisa McCormick

McCormick says you should find professional and trustworthy legal, medical and financial specialists before you are in the throes of a crisis and she offers these five steps to prevent your emotions from clouding your judgment.

“You might, for instance, need professional guidance when suddenly confronted with decisions on life-or-death medical treatment, end-of-life legal matters or estate planning that will affect your heirs for years to come,” McCormick says.

“It’s not always easy, but you can obtain trusted advice and get quality help in the middle of the storm,” says McCormick, who offfered five steps to get the assistance you need, when you need it most.

Ask for referrals from trusted individuals
To find professional help, start by asking friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Experts you know, such as your accountant or banker, can also point you in the direction of, say, an estate-planning attorney or a health care advocate.

“Utilize your current network — personal and professional — to guide you to a person that’s right for you and that can handle your needs,” says McCormick.

Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning and Progress Study found that the majority of Americans (54 percent) believe that the ideal solution combines a human relationship with technology.

When asked about how they prefer to receive financial advice, those 50 and older were, perhaps surprisingly, most likely to opt for “human relationship coupled with technology” (57 percent), compared with 51 percent of millennials (18-34) and 53 percent of Generation Xers (age 35-49).

Always interview multiple experts
Even if you need to move quickly to handle crucial legal or health care matters, resist the temptation to hire the first adviser you meet. Otherwise, you may sorely regret your choice.

“It’s important to interview several advisers,” says McCormick.

Be aware, too, that your emotions may be running high during the crisis and may cloud your judgment.

“The best thing you can do is to take the emotion out of the decision,” McCormick recommends.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your gut instincts. You should. Rather, she says, you should try not to be guided by emotions such as fear and worry.

Look for professionalism, compassion and communication
When interviewing potential advisers, ask questions about the expert’s education, work history, compensation and more.

But perhaps even more important, especially when time is of the essence, home in on the person’s compassion, professional expertise, understanding of your needs, and ability to effectively communicate with you.

It’s that last area — communication — that experts say can be the most crucial determinant of how well you will click with an adviser. “A person who understands you well and communicates properly with you is vital,” says McCormick. “This may be the person you’re entrusting to manage your life savings … or to ensure that your estate plan or end-of-life care is carried out according to your wishes.”

It’s also a good idea to have a family member with you when you conduct interviews. If geography is an issue, a long-distance relative can join via Skype or a phone call.

You can later rehash the interview with that relative, who serves as an extra set of eyes and ears, in case you miss something or get overwhelmed.

In addition, remember to have a conversation about the type of communication you prefer, especially in terms of technology. Do you desire face-to-face meetings exclusively, or would you be comfortable conducting business via email or phone?

And would you consider a so-called robo-adviser, by which you receive financial advice or money management services online, with minimal human intervention?

“As people’s financial and personal lives become busier and more complex, they want expert guidance tailored to their needs and access anywhere at any time,” McCormick said.

Whatever your preferences, make your wishes known to an adviser.

Request and check references
Before hiring anyone, be sure to ask for references from satisfied clients. Kaiser offers this tip: Ask for a recent client and a long-term client who has been with the adviser for five or more years. The reason: You want to know that new clients are happy, as well as those who’ve had a longer time to evaluate an adviser’s performance, communication and responsiveness.

Make your selections while watching out for red flags
Finally, be cautious about anyone who rushes you to quickly sign documents or make payments before you can review paperwork or think things over.

“There may be some urgency of time,” McCormick says. “But there should be no undue pressure to move forward until all your questions have been answered.”

Just as it’s crucial to pick the right adviser, it’s also important to have trusted friends and family members you can count on to see that your wishes are followed.

Legal and medical documents often require you to name people to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated, and you want to be sure they will adhere to your wishes.

For instance, McCormick says, family members might balk at agreeing to a relative’s request for a “Do not resuscitate” medical order.

“Those are very sensitive and difficult decisions to make,” says McCormick. “You need to be confident the individuals named have the ability and fortitude to carry out whatever your wishes are.”

Consumer protection advisors wanted

To be sure that federal regulators hear from a variety of experts with diverse viewpoints, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) set up the Consumer Advisory Board, the Community Bank Advisory Council, the Credit Union Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council. 

These advisory committees provide CFPB with information about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial marketplace.  They also allow CFPB to hear directly from small financial institutions.

CFPB is now accepting applications for membership in all four of our advisory committees and inviting individuals to apply to provide advice as the agency carries out its work. Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • Experts in consumer protection, community development, consumer finance, fair lending, and civil rights
  • Experts in consumer financial products or services, including consumer reporting, debt collections, and debt relief
  • Representatives of banks and credit unions that primarily serve underserved communities
  • Representatives of communities that have been significantly impacted by higher priced mortgage loans
  • Current employees of credit unions and community banks
  • Academics (experienced economists with a strong research and publishing or practitioner background, and a record of involvement in research and public policy, including public or academic service)

How to apply

For more information on how to apply to serve on the Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, Credit Union Advisory Council, or the Academic Research Council, you can:

View the application . Applying online is highly encouraged. Only complete application packets received on or before May 5, 2019, will be given consideration for membership on the advisory committees.

The CFPB provides access to machine-readable application materials to members of the public that are visually impaired. Download our an application 

Lisa McCormick recommends help for financial caregivers

Democrat Lisa McCormcik, the progressive candidate for Union County Surrogate, announced that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans has released four easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers.

Lisa McCormick

The Managing Someone Else’s Money guides are for agents under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees and government-benefit fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and Veterans Affairs fiduciaries).

The guides help those serving as fiduciaries in three ways:

  • They walk them through their duties.
  • They tell them how to watch out for scams and financial exploitation and what to do if their loved one is a victim.
  • They tell them where to go for help.

The guides may be downloaded here:

“The best way we can protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law is by arming people with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions,” said McCormick, who cited this as a primary purpose for creating the CFPB.

“Senator Elizabeth Warren help create the CFPB to provide a single point of accountability for enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace,” said McCormick.

McCormick, who became one of the nine New Jersey Democrats to earn the greatest number of primary election votes when she ran for US Senator last year, is now competing against a 20-year incumbent, who is the son of the last Republican mayor of Elizabeth, for the Democratic nomination on June 4.

McCormick said most paperwork problems encountered by grieving families can be resolved before they start by understanding the rules and procedures for settling an estate.

These federal guides fill a key part of the knowledge gap that contributes to frustration at a time when mourners do not need the aggravation, so a little foresight has big payoffs.

Lisa McCormick response to Sacramento police killing

Democrat Lisa McCormick made this response to the decision not to prosecute Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal, who were pursuing a vandalism suspect on March 18, 2018, when they fired 20 shots at Stephon Clark, killing the a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was in his grandmother’s backyard at the time.

I believe the standard for police use of force must be changed to require more prudence among those charged with protecting and serving society.

Since Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor, police are allowed to use lethal force based on what they ‘believe’ regardless of the actual facts of the case, a right not afforded to ordinary citizens.

Officers aren’t required to use the least amount of force but they should be. Whether their life is actually threatened or if they express an imaginary fear for their life, they can escalate right to the top with deadly force.”

Graham v. Connor excused an officer for using excessive force with a man who was diabetic and suffering from an insulin reaction, depsite the fact that the victim did nothing wrong. The officer had no business interfering with the innocent person while he was seeking to correct a medical problem, but judges ruled it was okay for police to break his foot and inflict other multiple injuries.

I have seen inumerable police brutality cases as well as evidence the government was illegally spying on citizens, that strongly suggest that it is time to reasset the rights enshrined in the Fourth Amendment, which says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This is particularly important in light of the Eighth Amendment, which says “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted” and the Fourteenth Amendment, part of which says, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Nobody is secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, and it is the least to say that cruel and unusual punishment is inflicted when some of our brothers and sisters are deprived of life without due process of law because police are allowed to justify murder with an active imagination.

America must demand justice for all. 

National Medicare for All week of action begins

Thousands of people attended events across the country today to kickstart a massive organizing campaign led by Lisa McCormick and other progressive leaders in concert with National Nurses United and US Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose 2016 presidential campaign made the idea a national priority.

Volunteers in Long Branch plan to pressure New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, whose congressional committee has jurisdiction over health care.

The grassroots movement is ramping up like never before during the Medicare for All Week of Action, Feb. 9-13, as volunteers across the nation host 150 ‘barnstorm’ mass organizing meetings to kickstart canvassing and grassroots lobbying in local communities throughout the country.

“Medicare for All is supported by 70 percent of voters, but Congress will move no closer to passing legislation unless supporters make their voices heard in the fight,” said McCormick.

McCormick ran for US Senate in 2018, in part to make universal health care a reality in the United States but now the nation’s leading advocates are uniting to push for a vote in Congress to move the proposed single-payer system forward.

“We hope local activism in communities across the country will bolster support for progressive advocates pressuring lawmakers on Capitol Hill to push for legislation,” said McCormick, who helped organize some of the events taking place this week in New Jersey. “Every single person in the United States should be eligible for coverage under the Medicare for All. Everybody in, nobody out. Health care is a right, not something you need to ‘qualify’ for.”

The second is scheduled for February 10, at 2:00 PM at the First Congregation Church in Montclair followed by two others on February 13, one at 5:30 PM in the Labor Education Center Auditorium at Rutgers University and the other at 6 PM at The Big Event Cafe, 1536 North Kings Highway, in Cherry Hill.

McCormick said the last one is slated for February 14, at 7:00 PM in the Bridgewater Public Library.

“With Medicare for All, Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. That freedom would mean American workers would no longer have to choose between bargaining for higher wages or better health insurance,” said Sanders. “When people tell us the only thing that we can get is incremental health care change, we will tell them ‘no thanks.’ We’re thinking big and demanding fundamental change on this issue.”

“Nurses have been fighting for decades to win Medicare for All, so we are thrilled to see the movement for real health care reform in America expanding like never before,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, executive director of National Nurses United (NNU). “The barnstorms are about harnessing that momentum and continuing to build it out even further, into every community, conversation by conversation, neighbor by neighbor—until the people’s will for Medicare for All becomes the political will to get it done.”

National Nurses United, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, is the largest registered nurses union in U.S. history, with more than 150,000 members nationwide.

NNU has been fighting for the proposal since the union’s founding in 2009, is asking members and supporters to host Medicare for All “barnstorms” during a National Week of Action from February 9th to 13th.

“To build the mass collective action we know we’ll need to win, we’re asking activists like you across the country to organize a Medicare for All barnstorm in your community,” the group wrote to supporters in its petition asking for volunteers. “At the barnstorm you’d gather with volunteers near you, talk about the plan to win, and begin organizing to knock doors, make phone calls, and more in your community.”

“If nurses are calling out for Medicare for all, and studies show it would save the average American money by using our resources more effectively, then I’m on board,” Reagan said.

National Nurses United says it has 150,000 members and is the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses.

The audience at Sunday’s event will be encouraged to canvass neighborhoods, participate in phone banks and host house parties in an effort to spread public support for single-payer medical insurance, Reagan said.

She said she will be the main speaker but is “more excited to hear from my neighbors and new friends how they feel about helping their families and communities by equalizing the ability for people to easily get their medical needs met.”

She said that “connecting with each other is how we have real change.”

Proponents of a federal Medicare-for-all plan contend it would guarantee comprehensive medical coverage for the general population, reduce patient costs by eliminating insurance premiums, deductibles and co-payments, and relieve employers from having to provide insurance to their workers. Opponents of such a system argue it would increase taxes and government spending, extend patient wait times and depress private-sector competition.

Polling in January by Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 56 percent of Americans favor a Medicare-for-all plan. The same poll found that far larger majorities favored incremental changes, including a Medicare buy-in plan for adults between the ages of 50 and 64.

The Commonwealth Fund reported that the percentage of American adults who are uninsured dropped from 20 percent in 2010, the year the federal Affordable Care Act became law, to 12.4 percent last year. But the 2018 rate was unchanged from 2016.

The Commonwealth Fund also said the rate of underinsured adults – people who have high insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket costs relative to their income – climbed from 23 percent in 2014 to 29 percent last year, with the greatest growth occurring among people with job-related coverage.

Employer-provided insurance “is facing a crisis now that is related to the escalating health care costs and the limited options available to them to manage those costs,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

“Our goal is to once and for all transform America’s broken health care structure into an improved and expanded system known as Medicare for All,” said McCormick. “Medicare for All will cover everybody, cost less than we spend now and deliver better quality because it eliminates not only waste and inefficiency, but the greed that makes consumers choose between ‘your money or your life’ when faced with illness or injuries.”

“Forty percent of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, and yet we pay thousands in premiums and deductibles to the for-profit insurance industry with nothing more than a ‘promise’ of care, and ultimately enrich their executives and shareholders who take home sky-high pay,” said Anna-Marta Visky of the Monmouth County chapter of Our Revolution.

Red Bank Councilwoman Kate Triggiano told volunteers in Long Branch, “I have never believed in Medicare for All more than now,” as she shared strategies for canvassing with activists who attended and encouraged them to enlist their neighbors to support Medicare for All.

According to organizers, the goal of the “Barnstorm” events this week is to demonstrate grassroots support to encourage the New Jersey Congressional delegation to sign onto the House Medicare for All 2019 legislation.

Local grassroots organizations are hosting similar events this week in Montclair, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill and Bridgewater.

McCormick calls for Governor to resign


Lisa McCormick   732-340-1980

Lisa McCormick is calling on Governor Phil Murphy to resign, citing evidence that he ignored an allegation of sexual assault by one member of his campaign team on another.

McCormick said evidence that Murphy ignored an allegation of sexual assault by one member of his campaign team on another is another example that shows the governor is an out-of-touch millionaire who cannot be trusted with power.

She added that Pete Cammarano, Murphy’s chief of staff, was among those aware Albert J. Alvarez tried to rape Katie Brennan in April 2017. Brennan, 31, of Jersey City, told the governor’s chief counsel, Matt Platkin, about the allegation, and the matter was referred to the Chief Ethics Officer of the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General’s Office.

Despite those notices, Alvarez was hired to jobs on the campaign staff, the gubernatorial transition and in state government after the assault, which get a response only after the victim took extreme measures and exposed her own identity. 

McCormick, a progressive Democrat who received 159,998 votes in the June Democratic primary for US Senate, has often been critical of Murphy, who she says “bought his way into elected office using a fortune in Wall Street money.”

Murphy was an executive at Goldman Sachs, a company with a history of punishing women who stand up against sexual abuse and workplace discrimination.

Alvarez resigned as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority, a job the former campaign aide was given after also serving a stint on Murphy’s transition team. 

Brennan, chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency since February, went public with her story in a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday, October 14, 2018.

That article said Brennan spent more than a year trying to get authorities to take action against Alvarez, from going to police to sending an email to Murphy.

Murphy hired Alvarez, who resigned only after public disclosure of the allegations became imminent.

According to an audit conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Inspector General, 10 complaints of harassment were reported at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, while Murphy was ambassador there, but those allegations had “not been addressed effectively.”

After the article was published, Brennan said: “On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.”

“I have pursued every form of justice available,” Brennan said. “But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.”

Brennan said she “decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.”

“It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have,” Brennan said.

Stop gun violence

Lisa has embraced the 10-point policy agenda advanced by student organizers of March for Our Lives, because common sense is the American way. Every day, 96 Americans are killed with guns. The number of Americans injured with firearms dwarfs the number who are killed, although data to measure non-fatal shootings are less reliable. 

1. Fund gun violence research.

We must provide the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) with dedicated funding to research gun violence as a public health issue. Even the original sponsor of the law that limits the CDC’s ability to do this research, former Congressman Jay Dickey, said that it was a mistake. More than 100 medical organizations have called on Congress to restore this funding.

Read more here.

2. Eliminate absurd restrictions on the ATF.

The gun industry has operated with little meaningful oversight for far too long. ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), the federal agency with jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, has been operating with one hand tied behind its back – unable to even digitize records of gun sales – or require gun dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to make sure they aren’t missing any guns. The ATF needs to become a modern agency, one capable of keeping receipts and efficiently regulating this massive industry.

Read more here.

3. Universal background checks.

It is too easy for the wrong people to obtain a firearm. Right now, federal law only requires you to obtain a background check if you purchase a gun from a licensed dealer. We must close the private sale loophole and make sure all sales undergo a background check.

Read more here.

4. High-capacity magazine ban.

High-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds serve only one purpose – to allow someone to shoot as many bullets as possible, in the shortest amount of time. These magazines are used in most mass shootings and need to be banned.

Read more here.

5. Limit firing power on the streets.

Weapons of war have no place in our communities. Our nation requires a comprehensive semi-automatic assault rifle ban that prohibits the future production and sale of these weapons and provides a solution for dealing with those semi-automatic assault rifles that are already owned, such as a buyback program or registration. Limiting high-powered weapons to the military has worked elsewhere to eliminate the opportunity for mass shootings.

Read more here.

6. Funding for intervention programs.

A comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence requires not just new policies, but investment in programs that address the root causes of this violence. Federal, state, and local leaders should invest in evidence-based violence reduction strategies that engage all community stakeholders and have been proven effective.

Read more here.

7. Extreme risk protection orders.

There are few options available to family members concerned about an individual who is experiencing a crisis, poses a risk of harm to self or others, and owns a gun. Extreme risk protection orders provide a crucial lifesaving tool to temporarily remove a gun from a person in crisis.

Read more here.

8. Disarm domestic abusers.

While current law bans some domestic abusers from gun possession, others remain free to buy and possess firearms. A gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. Congress needs to act to close loopholes that allow dating partner abusers, individuals convicted of stalking, and those subject to a temporary restraining order to continue possessing guns, and to make surrender of guns from prohibited abusers mandatory .

Read more here.

9. Gun trafficking.

We know that guns move from states with weak gun laws to states with stronger laws and that illegal gun trafficking facilitates easy access to guns in impacted communities. Yet, there is no federal law specifically targeting gun trafficking, making it more difficult to investigate and prosecute the criminal networks responsible for flooding communities with guns.

Read more here.

10. Safe storage and mandatory theft reporting.

While many  gun owners use responsible storage practices, and estimated 4.6 million children living in homes with unsecured guns, contributing to accidental deaths. There are few laws in place to ensure that guns are stored securely when not in use.

Read more here.

Israel & Palestine

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one of the world’s most difficult and intractable disputes for more than sixty years. Moreover, the failure to resolve that crisis has helped fuel other conflicts in the region.

Lisa McCormick supports a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians’ right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future.

The U.S. must play a leading role in creating a two-state solution, which will require significant compromises from both sides. The two-state solution envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River, with secure, recognized borders and a fair resolution for refugees.

The Palestinians must unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist as a democratic and Jewish state. The Israelis must cease developing settlements on land that will obviously be part of a future workable Palestinian state. As neighbors and allies, Israel and Palestine will ultimately someday anchor Middle East peace.