Category Archives: Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Lautenberg Praises Decision to Allow Public to See Fallen Soldiers Returning Home

Press Release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As a longtime advocate for allowing the public to honor America’s fallen soldiers return home from combat, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D – NJ) today praised the decision to allow media coverage of the arrivals. The decision comes after a February 9th letter from Sen. Lautenberg to President Barack Obama urging him to overturn a misguided Bush Administration policy that prohibited caskets from being viewed.

“Every flag-draped coffin represents a family that will never again share a moment with their spouse, child or sibling,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “We should honor – not hide – flag-draped coffins. They are a symbol of the respect, honor and dignity that our fallen heroes deserve.”

Sen. Lautenberg has long taken an active role in giving our fallen troops the honor and respect they deserve when returning from overseas action:

On June 21st, 2004, Sen. Lautenberg brought an amendment (Amdt no. 2191 to S.2400) for a vote on the Senate floor. Sen. Lautenberg’s amendment would have instructed the Department of Defense to work out a new protocol so that the media can respectfully cover the return to the U.S. of the heroes who have died abroad, while preserving the privacy of families.

Sen. Lautenberg authored an op-ed in the Huffington Post about flag draped coffins in August 2008.

Following internal conversations with the Obama administration on the policy prohibiting media access to the arrival of flag-draped military caskets from overseas, Sen. Lautenberg sent a letter on February 9, 2009 to the President expressing his concern for the policy and urging the new administration to revise the current policy and put in place a new protocol (the Senator’s letter is attached).

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush issued an executive order prohibiting media coverage of caskets returning to Dover, Delaware, the main arrival base for fallen soldiers. Although the executive order remained in place throughout the 1990s, the Clinton Administration did not enforce it, allowing photos of caskets periodically at Dover and consistently at Andrews Air Force Base. When sailors were killed on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen in 2000, President Clinton approved the distribution of photos of homecoming caskets arriving to Dover.

However, the open access policy changed in 2003 as the U.S. invasion of Iraq began with this Department of Defense directive making clear that no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein, Germany, airbase or Dover base will be open to the public. As a result, the American public was denied the opportunity to grieve and honor the sacrifice of more than 4,000 service men and women who died over the past five years.

Sen. Lautenberg has spoken three times on the issue, in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

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Filed under Andrews Air Force Base, Department of Defense, fallen soldiers, flag-draped coffin, invasion of Iraq, President Obama, press release, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, The Huffington Post

>Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $1 Million To Expand Health Education In New Jersey

>Press Release

Award Will Fund 5-Year Program for Middle-School Students On Importance of Healthy Eating and Exercise

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that Montclair State University received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund a five-year program to educate middle school students about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

“By teaching our children to eat right and exercise, we can help them avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “This award will go a long way to protecting future generations by helping them build a healthy future.”

“Educating our children on the importance of healthy eating allows them to live longer, more productive lives and even helps our economy through decreased health care costs,” said Senator Menendez. “The abundance of fast food and junk food options coupled with video games and television that cut into exercise into have exacerbated this issue. This timely funding will help New Jersey students better understand how they can develop into healthy, life changing habits.”

Run at Montclair State University, the project will ensure that students understand the benefits of diet and exercise, and study how healthy eating and physical activity improves students’ abilities in the sciences, and increases their interest in public health and science careers.

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Filed under fast food, healthy eating and exercise, heathcare grant, junk food, Montclair State University, New Jersey, press release, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Lautenberg, Menendez Announce More Than $1 Million To Expand Health Education In New Jersey

Press Release

Award Will Fund 5-Year Program for Middle-School Students On Importance of Healthy Eating and Exercise

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that Montclair State University received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund a five-year program to educate middle school students about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

“By teaching our children to eat right and exercise, we can help them avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “This award will go a long way to protecting future generations by helping them build a healthy future.”

“Educating our children on the importance of healthy eating allows them to live longer, more productive lives and even helps our economy through decreased health care costs,” said Senator Menendez. “The abundance of fast food and junk food options coupled with video games and television that cut into exercise into have exacerbated this issue. This timely funding will help New Jersey students better understand how they can develop into healthy, life changing habits.”

Run at Montclair State University, the project will ensure that students understand the benefits of diet and exercise, and study how healthy eating and physical activity improves students’ abilities in the sciences, and increases their interest in public health and science careers.

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Filed under fast food, healthy eating and exercise, heathcare grant, junk food, Montclair State University, New Jersey, press release, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

>Voter Turnout In Middletown Hit 77%

>The best way to gage the impact of an election is to look at the voter turnout rate. In Middletown the turnout rate hit a record high 77%, approx. 32,475 voters came to the polls and this number does not count the provisional ballads that where cast. 

As of October 8th, 2008 there where 42,227 registered voters in Middletown.
10,337 Democrats
10,778 Republicans
21,112  Independents
This record turnout in Middletown is undoubtedly what swung the election, with the Independent votes largely voting Republican this year. 
Barack Obama lost Monmouth County by 3.87%, 
Frank Lautenberg lost Monmouth County by 6.36%
Each lost Middletown by similar margins which no doubt contributed to the Democratic loss on the local ticket of Walsh and Grenafege.   

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, Independent voters, Jim Grenafege, Middletown, Monmouth County, Patricia Walsh, Republicans, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, voter turnout

Voter Turnout In Middletown Hit 77%

The best way to gage the impact of an election is to look at the voter turnout rate. In Middletown the turnout rate hit a record high 77%, approx. 32,475 voters came to the polls and this number does not count the provisional ballads that where cast. 

As of October 8th, 2008 there where 42,227 registered voters in Middletown.
10,337 Democrats
10,778 Republicans
21,112  Independents
This record turnout in Middletown is undoubtedly what swung the election, with the Independent votes largely voting Republican this year. 
Barack Obama lost Monmouth County by 3.87%, 
Frank Lautenberg lost Monmouth County by 6.36%
Each lost Middletown by similar margins which no doubt contributed to the Democratic loss on the local ticket of Walsh and Grenafege.   

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, Independent voters, Jim Grenafege, Middletown, Monmouth County, Patricia Walsh, Republicans, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, voter turnout

>Obama Win Bitter-Sweet for Dems In Middletown

>History was made last night, Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama, an African -American was elected President of the United States. This victory however is bitter-sweet for Democrats in Middletown.

While Obama was being declared the winner of the New Jersey presidential election, winning the State by 15% overall, his numbers and those of Frank Lautenberg in Monmouth County and Middletown were horrendous.

Obama lost Monmouth County by 12,000 votes while Lautenberg lost by over 18,000 votes. Both lost Middletown by similar margins which proved to be a drag on the local ticket of Pat Walsh and Jim Grenafege.

Presidential election years never bode well for Democrats in Middletown it seems, and while I was retrieving poll numbers from my district, it immediately became apparent that this year, unfortunately, would be no different.

Al Gore and John Kerry both lost in Monmouth County and Middletown by similar margins in 2000 and 2004 respectively, as Obama did and as a result the local Middletown tickets lost big as well.

Pat Walsh and Jim Grenafege ran a good, clean and above board campaign that focused on the issues that have effected Middletown like the 16% increase in property taxes over the last 3 years, the lack of transparency down at Town Hall and the cover up of the ground contamination at the Arts Center and Town Hall, that has already cost the Township $100,000 to date. 

I am proud of their efforts during this campaign, both are valuable and concerned citizens of Middletown that will not be going away any time soon. I am privliaged to have known and worked with both of them during this campaign. 

The Republicans on the other hand ran a negative, win at all costs campaign, slinging mud and making slanderous accusations against their opponents.

As mayor Scharfenberger said himself, at this past Monday night’s Committee meeting when confronted by Democratic Committeemen Short and Brynes about the negative, win at all cost tactics. He said that the “Costs where to high” to play by the rules.

I would have expected nothing less from this sorry excuse that we have to call Mayor. 


While Democrats may have lost in Middletown this year they have gone on and won nationally. 
Next year in a non-presidential year, Democrats in Middletown will be looking to re-elected Patrick Short to the committee and make no mistake, if you think that this year was ugly locally, next year will be worse by far. 

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, election results, Jim Grenafege, John McCain, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Monmouth County, Patricia Walsh, Patrick Short, Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Obama Win Bitter-Sweet for Dems In Middletown

History was made last night, Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama, an African -American was elected President of the United States. This victory however is bitter-sweet for Democrats in Middletown.

While Obama was being declared the winner of the New Jersey presidential election, winning the State by 15% overall, his numbers and those of Frank Lautenberg in Monmouth County and Middletown were horrendous.

Obama lost Monmouth County by 12,000 votes while Lautenberg lost by over 18,000 votes. Both lost Middletown by similar margins which proved to be a drag on the local ticket of Pat Walsh and Jim Grenafege.

Presidential election years never bode well for Democrats in Middletown it seems, and while I was retrieving poll numbers from my district, it immediately became apparent that this year, unfortunately, would be no different.

Al Gore and John Kerry both lost in Monmouth County and Middletown by similar margins in 2000 and 2004 respectively, as Obama did and as a result the local Middletown tickets lost big as well.

Pat Walsh and Jim Grenafege ran a good, clean and above board campaign that focused on the issues that have effected Middletown like the 16% increase in property taxes over the last 3 years, the lack of transparency down at Town Hall and the cover up of the ground contamination at the Arts Center and Town Hall, that has already cost the Township $100,000 to date. 

I am proud of their efforts during this campaign, both are valuable and concerned citizens of Middletown that will not be going away any time soon. I am privliaged to have known and worked with both of them during this campaign. 

The Republicans on the other hand ran a negative, win at all costs campaign, slinging mud and making slanderous accusations against their opponents.

As mayor Scharfenberger said himself, at this past Monday night’s Committee meeting when confronted by Democratic Committeemen Short and Brynes about the negative, win at all cost tactics. He said that the “Costs where to high” to play by the rules.

I would have expected nothing less from this sorry excuse that we have to call Mayor. 


While Democrats may have lost in Middletown this year they have gone on and won nationally. 
Next year in a non-presidential year, Democrats in Middletown will be looking to re-elected Patrick Short to the committee and make no mistake, if you think that this year was ugly locally, next year will be worse by far. 

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, election results, Jim Grenafege, John McCain, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Monmouth County, Patricia Walsh, Patrick Short, Sen. Frank Lautenberg