Daily Archives: January 19, 2010
Like so many others, I was disappointed with the outcome of the election last November. While the implications of that day have yet to fully reveal themselves, it is clear to me that this moment demands increased citizen involvement in the public policy process. In short, it’s time to engage.
I’m running for Monmouth County Freeholder because I believe we can do better. Since November, I’ve visited with elected officials, party leaders, and private citizens to hear their ideas and concerns. They share my belief that we can regain our Democratic majority on the Freeholder Board through an energetic grassroots campaign that focuses on stabilizing property taxes, preserving open space, and aggressively pursuing opportunities to bring new businesses – and the jobs that come with them – to Monmouth County.
My decision to pursue the nomination is the first step on a road that I hope will lead to victory come November. I intend to build a campaign of people, not power brokers. A campaign defined not by sound bites, but substantive ideas. And perhaps most importantly, this will not be a campaign defined by one person, but by citizens joined together in the pursuit of a common goal: a green, safe, and affordable Monmouth County.
As I’ve said to those I’ve spoken with in the short time since taking this decision, I have no illusion about the many challenges that lay ahead. Yet the obstacles I face in the coming campaign are nothing compared to those facing Monmouth County and our fifty-three municipalities. Quite literally, we can no longer afford the status quo. Indeed, I firmly believe that the present circumstances requires Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike to set aside petty differences, roll up our sleeves, and work together for the public good.
I am optimistic about the future of Monmouth County and it will be my honor to run alongside Judge John D’Amico in an effort that translates that optimism into real results. In the mean time, I encourage you to keep me on my toes. Let me know what I’m doing right, what you think I can be doing better, and please be sure to visit my web site at www.vincentsolomeno.com.
APP Editorial "Damage control" on reform: Pallone’s Contibutions From Health Care Industry Not Seen As Conflict
Today’s editorial in the Asbury Park Press hits the nail on the head as it pertains to Congressman Frank Pallone and any contibutions he has excepted from the health care industry while helping to write legislation to reform the nations’s health care system.
Strong arguments can be made for the need to regulate campaign contributions to remove the corrupting influence of money. But it would be unwise to use Rep. Frank Pallone’s contributions from the health care industry to bolster the case.
Pallone, D-N.J., received $321,000 in campaign donations from the industry in the 2010 election cycle — more than any other member of the House, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That should come as little surprise given the central role Pallone has played in the House version of the health care bill as chairman of the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Committee chairs, regardless of party affiliation, typically are magnets for campaign cash from industries and interests they oversee.
In Pallone’s case, at least, the money doesn’t seem to have swayed his thinking. The House version of the bill, which has his fingerprints all over it, has been widely opposed by health insurers and other groups with a financial stake in health care reform. With Pallone, the strategy appears to be damage control. As Rutgers political scientist Ross Baker put it, while Pallone “won’t carry their water,” the industry believes its contributions “may reduce the level of hostility.”
There is no shortage of examples of how campaign money corrupts. Pallone’s largess from the health care industry would not appear to be one of them.
From The Hill.com
By Kim Hart –
President Barack Obama has “pushed the button” to send his first-ever tweet during a visit to the D.C. offices for the American Red Cross.
Obama used the relief organization’s page to tweet: tweeted: “President Obama and the First Lady are here visiting our disaster operation center right now.”
The next tweet read, “President Obama pushed the button on the last tweet. It was his first ever tweet!”
It was the first time that the president who made history using social media during the 2008 election had personally used the technology.
While both the White House and the president’s campaign have Twitter accounts (with extensive lists of followers, no less), those accounts are managed and written by staff — something the president has in common with a majority of officials who are on Twitter.
Obama remarked on the occasion, according to several reporters who witnessed the act.
“I just tweeted. The first time I tweeted,” Obama said, noting as well that the Red Cross had raised $21 million through Twitter to send relief to earthquake-stricken Haiti.
House speaker sounds confident of reform passage, even with a big loss for Democrats possibly on the horizon
BY ALEX KOPPELMAN
Given what looks like the impending loss of the party’s Senate supermajority, Democrats have reason to be down in the dumps about healthcare reform. But if that’s the way House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s feeling, she’s not showing it publicly.
“Let’s remove all doubt, we will have healthcare one way or another,” Pelosi said during an event in San Francisco on Monday. “Certainly the dynamic would change depending on what happens in Massachusetts. Just the question about how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”
There is one way to pass the bill, even without 60 votes in the Senate, that’s getting a lot of attention now. But Pelosi probably won’t like it, and neither will a fair amount of her members.
The procedure in question would involve simply having the House vote on the bill that the Senate has already passed. That would mean avoiding yet another cloture vote in the Senate, one Democrats would be likely to lose if their caucus is down to 59 members after the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
House liberals will be upset about this idea, and progressive activists would likely be angry as well, but it may well be the only option left, and Democrats are reportedly leaning towards it. On Monday night, the New York Times reported: “The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, are preparing to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill, which would send the measure directly to President Obama for his signature.”