The following is a statement from Lisa McCormick, one of two Democratic primary election candidates for US Senate:
Senator Robert Menendez’s so-called flip flop on the Iran Deal, is infinitely better than the entirely wrong position on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that Bob Hugin and Donald Trump have staked out for themselves.
The whole point is to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. President Barack Obama worked out a treaty with five other nations that accomplishes this act.
While Israel is America’s strongest ally, the current government there has a horrible record on the human rights of Palestinians and it seems eager for war with Iran. We could not be good friends is we lie to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and we are fooling ourselves by opening a tinder box on top of a powder keg by relocating the US embassy. Israel was also wrong to fear the Iran Deal. Americans learned long ago that fear, itself, is a dangerous thing.
Humanity must not act out of fear, or panic, or revenge.
So far, 50 protesters have died from excessive force in Gaza. We have a buffoon in the White House. We have warmongers in Congress. We have principles of peace and standing by them requires real strength, but lashing out with force and trading harsh rhetoric is not the path to justice or calm. It is barbaric insanity that appeals to the lowest reptilian part of the human brain. America’s response to the 2001 terrorist attacks has led us into the longest and perhaps most futile war in our history. It led us to distraction and chaos in Iraq, which unleashed further violence and mayhem.
Bob Hugin would be smart to stay away from condemning flip flops. Trump promised over and over again that he would bring back American jobs that have been outsourced to China. Instead of working to bring back outsourced jobs, he is now pledging to create jobs in China for ZTE, a massive Chinese phone company, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/995680316458262533
President Donald Trump’s administration is confounded by the horrific slaughter of demonstrators protesting at the Gaza Strip, part of the occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. the Gaza deaths were predictable & preventable.
These tough guys ought to step aside and let sane people govern before they get us all killed. That is why I am running for US Senate, despite the long odds and vast disrespect heaped upon me every time the media ignores my campaign or critics make personal comments.
As it says at the top of my Twitter feed, “With all due humility, I am committed to saving our species from itself. Join me because I cannot do that alone.”
Bob Menendez and Bob Hugin continue to offer a path to death and destruction. Mainstream media offers an incredible amount of distraction.
The US should not be supporting Saudi bombing in Yemen. The US should not be inciting war with Iran. The US should not be allowing Russia to dictate our foreign and domestic policy. The US should not be allowing the Pentagon to spend $716 billion, up from $250 billion in 2001. The US should not be spending a trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons.
All I have is a plan for peace, progress and prosperity but I remain confident that hundreds of thousands of voters in New Jersey remain alert and sane. I am counting on them to share my desire for human survival because either of the corporate-owned war advocates named ‘Bob’ would probably get us deeper in trouble.
Democrat Lisa McCormick said she is celebrating Mothers Day with her son on the campaign trail, warning that the severe decline in America’s standard of living that has occured while her opponent has been in Congress is evident in relevant statistics.
Several times the number of new mothers die in the US than in any other rich country. With few exceptions, countries have drastically reduced the number of maternal deaths since the 1990s. In America, that rate has increased.
For every woman who dies at childbirth, an estimated 50 to 100 come close to dying with one a conservative estimate that up to 50,000 or more near-misses per year.
Lisa McCormick condemned the murder of Father Mark Ventura, a 37-year-old priest who was shot dead on Sunday, April 29, by unknown killers after saying Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan, Philippines.
McCormick blames fascist Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the slaying of Ventura and another priest who was gunned down 4 months ago, Father Marcelito Paez.
Paez, 72, was slain in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, also by unidentified gunmen in December 2017.
“A year ago, when President Donald Trump met with Duterte, he should have confronted him over the bloody drug war that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings,” said McCormick. “Instead, Trump praised Duterte for doing an ‘unbelievable job‘ in combating the illicit drug trade, embracing the authoritarian dictator who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings, and invited the Filipino President to visit the White House.”
“Duterte’s abysmal human rights record, authoritarian politics and extrajudicial killings are an affront to the civilized world and the rule of law,” said McCormick.
Duterte boasted about running vigilante death squads that killed 1,700 people during his years as mayor of Davao, the biggest city in the southern Philippines, then denied any links to the vigilantes, when he attracted criticism from human rights groups and the United Nations.
“Duterte pledged to eradicate crime during his presidency by ordering security forces to kill criminals but Father Mark Ventura was not a criminal,” said McCormick. “he was a 37-year-old man, known for opposing mining and helping oppressed indigenous people.”
Duterte promised to end crime by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals and plans to pardon himself for mass murder, as well as police and soldiers accused of abusing human rights.
“I am always amazed by those who boast about law and order and hold themselves unaccountable for crimes against humanity,” McCormick said.
Lisa McCormick is proposing a $5 trillion domestic Marshall Plan to invest in America, create good jobs and transform this nation’s urban communities to rescue those residents who face the greatest disadvantages in our trickle-down society.
“America will become a third-rate power unless we undertake policies to ensure that our neglected population gets the education, housing, health care and job skills they need to help America compete successfully in a global economy,” McCormick said. “The United States spent $2 trillion on defense because we were locked into a wartime mentality in the 10 years leading up to the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Instead of redirecting that money into more productive uses, or military industrial complex kindled a new kind of permanent war against terrorism, assuring fear and panic that would channel money into profits for decades.”
“Once, Americans could complete a course of free public education, which prepared one to get a 40-hour per week job that paid enough to have a really good life & retire at 60,” McCormick said. “That is gone now — as people struggle to make ends meet with two or three jobs — but Americans have the power to take it back by ending the 40-year class war against workers and investing.”
McCormick said Congress should direct the Federal Reserve to fund an urban Marshall Plan that develops our economic infrastructure, renews our cities, and moves people out of poverty and to bring the national debt down to ‘minimal levels.’
There was no peace dividend, after politicians argued that any savings from reduced defense spending will be used to reduce the federal deficit until they invented their insidious war against terrorism.
The Marshall Plan, named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, was a program under which the United States provided more than $12 billion in economic aid to Western European nations between 1947 and 1952 to help them rebuild after the devastation of World War II.
McCormick said that as long ago as 1963, the Urban League, under the leadership of Whitney Young, had called for a domestic version of the Marshall Plan.
“Many urban inner-city areas today are like zones of desolation and despair, racked by chronic unemployment, underemployment, poverty, inadequate health facilities, environmental degradation, poor performing schools, the infestation of drugs, crime, gangs, the illicit economy, fear, police occupation and terror – all feeding a prison-jail industrial complex where Black and Brown people are the primary fodder,” McCormick said. “Life in America’s broken communities can be deadly and destructive of the aspirations of people especially on working class and poor families. It has been devastating among Black and Hispanic Americans.”
Currently there is no acceptable response to our plight by policymakers in Washington. Total neglect of the 21st century. Ultimately we must compel the government to rescue and transform this nation’s cities.
Long advocated by the National Urban League under the leadership of John E. Jacob, the concept of a Domestic Marshall Plan was derived from the massive and unprecedented expenditure of U.S. resources to rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II.
When Europe found itself in physical and economic ruin after World War II, the United States invested the equivalent of $130 billion in today’s dollars, and since 2006, the United States has spent nearly $50 billion rebuilding Afghanistan, while the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2008, infused the nation’s faltering financial institutions with investments of more than $400 billion.
There is only one Democratic candidate challenging Senator Bob Menendez, whose advantages in fundraising, name recognition and establishment support would make most contenders fairly confident, but stupid mistakes could elevate the profile of the contest and ignite a firestorm that illuminates the incumbent’s glaring vulnerabilities.
Progressive Lisa McCormick, who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and came close to winning the 2010 Democratic primary as part of a reform movement in Union County, says she caught the Menendez camp cheating in just that kind of incident.
According to McCormick, Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado refused to hold a random drawing to select ballot position for candidates, so lawyers will go to court Monday to find out why the Democratic woman is not entitled to equal rights and fair play.
“The Hudson County Clerk broke the law by refusing to hold a random drawing because he thought he could get away with cheating to help his friend, US Senator Bob Menendez,” said McCormick. “Senator Menendez is not going to get away with cheating and his friend, Hudson County Clerk Junior Maldonado, should be looking at official misconduct charges.”
McCormick said the law, NJSA 19:23-24, is “crystal clear” about requiring clerks to conduct a random drawing to determine ballot position for primary candidates.
“A government official failing to do his job in order to benefit a friend defines the second degree crime of official misconduct,” said McCormick. “This nonsense explains why I am running. Stunts like this suggest a lot of elected officials should be fired.”
Aaron Fraser, a Democratic congressional candidate challenging Donald Payne Jr., confirmed that he was at the Hudson County Clerk’s office at 3 p.m. on Friday, when the drawing should have been conducted.
McCormick says she is not surprised that Menendez would try to cheat her, despite his $7 million fundraising advantage, superior name recognition and broad support among party bosses and power brokers.
“Senator Menendez has a habit of sleazy behavior, such as cheating, stealing and taking advantage of his high office for personal gain,” said McCormick. “His disregard for human life and the harm that has befalled working families during his 25 years in Congress are manifestly evident.”
“If New Jersey voters want to restore any vestige of integrity that government might hold in the era of Donald Trump, they cannot return to the US Senate someone who is unfit for public office.”
“We can do better, but it is up to voters to select the next US Senator, so I understand I might get a shellacking but if citizens do their job and make democracy work in New Jersey, then they need an alternative to vote for, so I volunteered and put my name on the ballot,” said McCormick.
“While it is slow going, I have gotten a great reception from people eager to pick someone other than the incumbent,” said McCormick. “I support Medicare for All, expanded Social Security, tuition-free college and higher taxes on corporations because middle class Americans are being slaughtered by the wealthy.”
“Once, Americans could complete a course of free public education that prepared one to get a 40-hour per week job that paid enough to have a really good life and retire at 60,” said McCormick “That is gone now, as people struggle to make ends meet with two or three jobs, and that is what Bob Menendez did in Congress for 25 years.”
“It has been documented by journalists and the FBI that Menendez has been serving himself, as he tried to stop a federal investigation after accepting lavish gifts from a wealthy campaign donor,” said McCormick. “Meanwhile people working 60 hours cannot put food on the table and pay rent, half our nation is one paycheck away from disaster and millions still lack health care as a result of his 25 years in Congress.”
Menendez is severely weakened after surviving a two-and-a-half-month bribery and corruption trial, stemming from an indictment handed down during the Obama administration.
He received a low 28 percent approval rating among registered voters, while 35 percent had a negative view and 37 percent expressed no opinion of him after the longtime lawmaker in a poll was compared as a Democrat to a Republican.
Most voters (76%) are aware that Menendez was recently on trial for bribery and misuse of office, which ultimately ended in a mistrial. Just over half (51%) say this situation makes them less likely to vote for Menendez while 42% say it has no impact on their vote. The poll showed 38 percent of Democrats said they were less likely to vote for the senator.
Jonathan Tannen, Ph.D., a Director at Econsult Solutions, Inc (ESI), conducted a study that concluded ballot position effects votes a lot. http://econsultsolutions.com/judicial-elections-2017-philadelphia/
A newly-announced “pause” in federal grants to legal aid organizations around the country will end provision of legal rights information to individuals arrested by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as of April 30.
The Trump administration action would cut off in mid-year a $285,000 United States Department of Justice grant to Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ), leaving unfulfilled America’s promise of “equal justice under law” and posing difficulty for Garden State families.
“The Legal Services Corporation tackles the ‘justice gap’ at its most elementary level,” says Lisa McCormick, who is calling on her primary election rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bob Menendez, to fix the problem or answer to voters.
“I am disappointed in Senator Menendez for failing DACA recipients by voting to end the Trump Shutdown without addressing the end of a program that protected almost a million Dreamers, but pulling out the rug on the sole organization offering detainees in New Jersey information about their legal rights is just too much,” said McCormick. “With barely any notice, people who may face death or worse if they are sent back to tyrannical regimes could go into a complicated process without the right to an attorney.”
Representatives of the lawyers’ organization expressed serious concerns.
“From our experience at least 85% of those attending our legal rights presentations have been NJ residents,” said Raquiba Huq, chief attorney of LSNJ’s Immigration Representation Project.
“Most have at least one family member in the state.”
“In 2017, 2,996 people were detained and placed into removal proceedings in NJ,” Huq said. “Of these, 40% continued in detention, with the remainder released on bond pending their removal proceeding.’
the federal grant enabled 2,051 detainees to get basic information from LSNJ about their legal and procedural rights within a few days of their detention in 2017.
At any given time there are 1,000 to 1,200 people detained under ICE custody at the Elizabeth Detention Center and at county correctional facilities Essex and Hudson.
“Simple explanation of their legal rights is the most basic element of the fundamental fairness – due process – that should be afforded anyone suddenly arrested and incarcerated in the United States,” said Melville D. Miller, Jr., president of LSNJ.
“These arrests and detentions are all taken under the explicit, sole authority of federal law,” said Miller. “To suddenly tear these people from their families, and then without justification or notice abruptly suspend the very program that offers them some level of guidance and hope, is cruel, unwarranted and an affront to American values.”
“We hope that nationally voices of criticism will lead to an early reversal of this decision,” Miller stated. “In the meantime, LSNJ will seek every means within its power to continue this work and provide the information. In humanity and decency, we can do no less.”
Lisa McCormick, one of two Democratic primary election candidates for US Senate, has called on the incumbent, Senator Robert Menendez, to agree on a schedule of six debates to give voters a chance to make a fair comparison of the candidates.
“I have proposed substantive policies to address the problems confronting American and I would be willing to defend my ideas, anywhere and any time,” said McCormick. “The US has 800 military bases around the world and a war budget of about a trillion dollars. We do not buy ourselves safety with the murder of people around the globe and it is imperative that we restrain our exporting of death and destruction.
“The smartest people in the world say we are on the threshold of disaster,” said McCormick, noting that: “The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists this year set the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight as a symbol for humanity’s approach toward self destruction.”
“During the 25 years that Sen. Menendez has been in Congress, the quality of life for working Americans has significantly decline,” said McCormick. “I would say there has never been more lost by America’s middle class than the wealth destroyed or distributed to the super wealthy while he was supposed to be protecting the working families and middle class retirees.”
McCormick says extinction level threats and other dramatic problems left her without any option except to compete for the nomination.
“If we fail to address gun violence, issues of war and peace, climate change or extreme poverty on this planet, then we are inviting our own demise,” said McCormick. “Surely these are issues candidates should talk about. I hope my opponent shows voters enough respect to give them that opportunity.”
Today marks 50 years since an assassin’s bullet claimed the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and it is fitting to not only remember, but commemorate the heroic and patriotic deeds of this great dreamer.
The following is the text of Robert F. Kennedy’s statement, delivered extemporaneously when the senator learned of the tragic slaying of America’s most prominent civil rights leader. Fifty years later, America is a very different place. Too many of our people stopped asking what they can do for their country. Too many of our people gave up on the American Dream. Too many of our people lost patience with the long arc of the universe. Bobby and Martin both died before our nation could fulfill the promise of the better future that they envisioned but now that things have gone so horribly wrong, maybe Americans will be ready to right the ship and redirect our efforts to revive the legacy that these great American martyrs represent.
Bullets claimed their lives in 1968, but in 2018, let’s make sure the spirits of RFK & MLK live within us all.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy
April 4, 1968
I have some very sad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died in the cause of that effort.
In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.
Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.
For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.
My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.
So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that’s true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love — a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.
We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we’ve had difficult times in the past; and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.
But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.
Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.
Democrat Lisa McCormick said she supports legislation that would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, and make cannabis legal for use by adults in the United States and chided incumbent US Senator Robert Menendez for scoring poorly on a congressional scorecard.
“Legalizing marijuana in the United States could save billions by reducing government spending for the ineffectual prohibition enforcement and rampant abuse of the criminal justice system,” said McCormick. “Marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes in a growing majority of states. George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon. Despite the historic and modern benefits of this plant, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. Attorneys from enforcing federal laws against state-legal cannabis enterprises.”
“No American should be jailed for smoking marijuana,” said McCormick. “The so-called ‘war on drugs’ declared by President Richard Nixon has been an unmitigated failure that cost billions of taxpayer dollars and ruined millions of lives instead of addressing a public health issue in a sensible and intelligent way.”
Colorado collected $135 million in taxes and fees during 2015 and advocates estimate the financial benefits of legalization in New Jersey would include $300 million a year in sales tax revenue.
Eight out of ten Americans support the medical use of marijuana, nearly 3 out of 4 Americans would only fine (no jail) recreational smokers and 58% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according polling referenced by McCormick.
“It is time to respect the freedom of adults to make their own choices in balance with everyone’s obligation to refrain from causing harm,” said McCormick.
Gov. Phil Murphy proposed marijuana legalization during his campaign and Evan Nison, executive director of NORML New Jersey, an organization that advocates the legalization of marijuana has said, “This is something that a vast majority of Americans want, and a vast majority of New Jersey residents want.”
McCormick said if she is elected, she would seek to become a cosponsor to The Marijuana Justice Act, which would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
In 1971, Congress approved legislation that would have established a network of nationally funded, locally administered, child care centers that were to provide comprehensive quality education, nutrition, and medical services.
Sponsors viewed the measure as a first step toward universal child care, which would have avoided being cast as a poor person’s program but rather, a service to all Americans made affordable on a sliding scale basis.
If the bill had become law it would have reduced reliance on the welfare system by making it easier for single parents to work and raise children simultaneously with help from a multi-billion dollar national day care service.
President Richard Nixon vetoed the proposal, lumping together the struggle for equal rights between sexes with social equality in general.
Conflating patriarchal society with capitalism in a time of fierce anti-communist fears amid a global competition for power led Nixon to reject a common sense advancement for society that was increasing women’s participation in the workforce by adapting to serve the needs of its people. Remember, this was just a few years after such right wing politicians as Ronald Reagan warned that if the United States enacted Medicare, we would no longer be free.
Today, Americans have moved past the fears that once accompanied poor comprehension of socialism and the benefits of working as a community.
Medicare is now recognized as an indispensable health insurance program for older people instead of the threat to personal liberty Reagan once described.
In fact, Medicare has been so incredibly successful that many Americans want the program expanded to cover everyone! Lisa McCormick strongly supports that idea.
That is why we should revisit the idea of comprehensive child care centers that will unleash the economic prowess of working parents, improve the financial standing of our families and provide the next generation with a head start on learning and healthy development.
While Americans remain proud of the nation’s heritage rooted in rugged individualism, more people recognize an equal measure of interdependence that makes us stronger together than we could ever be on our own. As Abraham Lincoln put it, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves—in their separate, and individual capacities.”
The notion of freedom is weak without the economic means to enjoy our liberty, so Americans must remember that we are all in this together. We have an obligation to one another just as we owe a duty to our country. One’s patriotism cannot be stronger than his or her sense of fraternity. So we are obligated to insure that the equality promised in our founding documents takes on a life through the instruments of justice at our disposal.
It has also been said we do not inherit the Earth from our parents, but instead we borrow it from our children. There is not greater obligation than our society’s protection and support for future generations as they begin their lives and develop into the citizens and leaders they will be.
As early childhood education has vast potential for improving their quality of life, and spending on learning is an investment in both national defense and future prosperity, we can make no more wise choice than to create a system for the protection, care and development of our young.
To that end, America must establish universal child care building upon the comprehensive quality education, nutrition, and medical services envisioned almost 50 years ago.