Category Archives: US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Senator Menendez Hails Launch of New Health Care Website

Are you still confused about the new health care legislation? If you think back to last summer we were hearing from those that vehemently opposed health care reform to the extant that they would show up at town hall meetings just to disrupt it and prevent our Congressmen from explaining what it contained.

Now that it has passed many still do not understand what it means to them. Senator Menendez has informed us that there is a website that you can go to for answers to your questions or just find out what it is all about.
The following is from Senator Menendez’s E-Newsletter:

At the heart of health insurance reform law is the idea that families who for too long have paid too much for inadequate health insurance deserve set of new rights, based on common sense principles. One of those common sense ideas is that families should not have to navigate a confusing and unorganized health insurance system to understand all of the insurance options and rights available to them, they deserve to be able to find out about all of their options and rights in one, easy-to-navigate place.

For that reason, today marks an important milestone in the enactment of the Health Insurance Reform Law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled, an innovative new on-line tool, created under the Health Insurance Reform Law, that connects families with new state-specific information and resources, helping them take control of their health insurance situation and gain access to quality, affordable coverage. This website has been setup to answer all of your questions about the law and how it impacts your family. In addition it is the first website to provide consumers with local public and private health coverage options tailored specifically for their needs in a single, easy-to-use tool. As a proud supporter of this legislation I am thrilled to see that such an easy to use website has been developed to help educate New Jerseyans on this new law and their local health care options.

For additional information about the Health Insurance Reform Law I encourage you to visit my website and click here. I have set up this page up to be clearinghouse of information on the law so please continue to check it regularly as I will be posting new information to this page as it becomes available.

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Filed under Department of Health and Human Services, health care reform,, New Jersey, Newsletter, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

NJ Senators, Congressmen Call on Administration to Reverse Decision to Drill Along East Coast

In letter to President Obama, Menendez, Lautenberg, Pallone and Holt cite Gulf oil spill as most recent evidence of risk to shorelines

WASHINGTON – Today, New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators and two of the state’s Members of Congress called on the Obama administration to reverse its announced plans to open up the East Coast of the United States to oil drilling. In a letter to President Obama, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg and Reps. Frank Pallone (NJ-6) and Rush Holt (NJ-12) said the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is only the latest example of the real risk drilling poses to coastal communities and the economies they support. Under the administration’s plan, drilling along the coast of Virginia could occur within 100 miles of the Jersey Shore and, eventually, drilling along the coast of Delaware could occur within 10 miles of New Jersey.

“In the wake of the tragic accident, loss of life, and pollution in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, we are even more steadfastly opposed to any offshore drilling that could imperil the environment or economy of coastal New Jersey,” wrote the Members of Congress. “While we appreciate the White House’s announcement that no additional offshore drilling will be authorized until a full investigation of the accident is complete, we urge you to go further and reverse your decision on proposed new offshore oil and gas drilling for the outer continental shelf.

“The spill, and the conduct of companies like BP, raises serious concerns about expanding drilling to areas like the Atlantic seaboard. This catastrophe demonstrates exactly why no new drilling should proceed in any U.S. waters, and certainly not in the Atlantic. This incident exposes the many deficiencies in worker safety, blow out avoidance technology, and oil spill clean-up plans for operations in the outer continental shelf. We simply are not prepared to make our pristine Jersey shoreline the next test case for the oil companies’ experiment in how to maximize profits and minimize regulations.”

Read the PDF of the letter to President Obama >>> Here

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Filed under Atlantic seaboard, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Rush Holt, Gulf of Mexico, Off shore oil drilling, President Obama, US. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Corzine’09 Announces Campaign Chairs For CORZINE ’09 CAMPAIGN, VICTORY 2009, AND "YES WE CAN 2.0"

The following press release was issued earlier today by the Corzine’09 campaign, to announce campaign chairs for Corzine ’09, Victory 2009, and “Yes We can 2.0”:

TRENTON–The Corzine ’09 campaign today announced its campaign chairs and co-chairs in an event at the Trenton Marriott.

Governor Jon S. Corzine and Lieutenant Governor candidate, Senator Loretta Weinberg, announced that the Campaign Chair for Corzine ’09 is Congressman Frank Pallone. The Honorary Chairs are Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Frank Lautenberg. The co-chairs for Corzine ’09 are Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman.

“This year’s election is not about me and it is not about my opponents, it is about New Jersey,” said Corzine. “I could not be more proud of the leadership we have joining us as we stand for re-election and we try and get Democrats across this great state elected in November,” said Corzine. “Our first in the nation economic recovery and assistance program put New Jersey in position to navigate the global economic recession and be able to take advantage when it turns around, and we are starting to see signs of the recovery every day. Most recently, we saw the creation of 13,000 private sector positions last month. We were able to do this while remaining focused on protecting education funding and expanding healthcare access for people across the state. We have a lot more work to do but, with our partners in Washington and all across New Jersey, we are fighting for a better future.”

“I have always been proud of our governor and all that we have accomplished, but I have never been more so than today,” said Weinberg. “I am proud to stand with our governor and fight to make sure New Jersey continues to have strong leadership for the next four years. Jon Corzine has been working to keep New Jersey working, and we are seeing the impact with the creation of 13,000 private sector jobs last month. We have a lot more work to do, but we have the governor in place to get it done. Chris Christie has never created a job, and he has no plan to start now.”

Campaign Co- Chair Frank Pallone, Honorary Chairs Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez highlighted the high stakes of election, emphasizing they would do everything they could to get Governor Corzine re-elected:

“This is more than a campaign for Jon Corzine, this is a campaign for New Jersey. We literally can’t afford to revert to the policies and practices of the Bush era that caused so much damage to the economy and inflicted so much harm to working people,” said Pallone. “We need to continue to work together with President Obama, Governor Corzine and Congress to rescue New Jersey from the meltdown of the national economy and to lay the foundation for economic growth for the years ahead. It is the Democrats who possess shared priorities with the people of New Jersey on a wide array of issues beyond the economy, including education, the environment and the needs of children. It is Jon Corzine who possesses the experience, the ability and the record of success to get the job done right in the days and the years ahead.”

“I am honored to serve as a co-chair of Governor Corzine’s campaign,” said Lautenberg. “Governor Corzine is my partner and the leader of our state, and I will do all I can to make sure he continues in that role. By acting quickly and decisively, Governor Corzine has positioned our state to rebound quickly when the global economic recession ends. We share the same values of a brighter future for our children and future generations by improving education, protecting our environment, and making sure the most vulnerable in our society have a chance at the American Dream.”

“This election is critical for the future of our state,” said Menendez. “Governor Corzine has exhibited tremendous leadership in getting New Jersey’s fiscal situation on track so we can best take advantage when the global economic recession turns around. We have already begun to see private sector job growth in the past couple of months as a result of the programs put in place by the Governor, in coordination with President Obama’s economic recovery legislation. Switching course now would have a devastating impact on New Jersey residents. Chris Christie has never created a job, and he has no plan to create any now.”

Corzine and Weinberg went on to announce Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer as the Chair of the Mayor’s Council, along with co-chairs Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, East Orange Robert Bowser, and Assemblyman John Burzichelli. Essex County Executive Joseph DiVencenzo was also named Chair of the County Elected officials.

“Governor Corzine has been a partner with Trenton and a leader for this state,” said Palmer. “The Governor has a shared commitment to making our children’s future bright, and a vision to accomplish it by keeping our streets safe. This election is about making sure we continue to have a leader with vision in the Governor’s office for the next four years, and not someone with the same warmed over George W. Bush ideas practicing the same Republican insider tactics”

Today’s announcement also saw the introduction of the Victory ‘09 leadership team. Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts were named Co-Chairs, while Senator Barbara Buono and Newark Mayor Cory Booker were named Honorary Co-Chairs. Co-Chairs announced today are Congressman John Adler, Congressman Rush Holt, Congressman Donald Payne, Congressman William Pascrell, Congressman Albio Sires, Congressman Robert Andrews, Senator Teresa Ruiz, Senator James Whelan, and Freeholder Tahesha Way.

“I’m proud to help lead the Democratic campaign to elect individuals from the local level on up to the state level who are dedicated to strengthening our education and healthcare systems, helping businesses thrive, and making government more efficient and accountable,” said Codey. “No one has been more committed to these values than Governor Corzine. His leadership and vision have helped position our state to rebound from this recession and thrive. Now that we finally have a partner in the White House who is equally committed to helping our state, it’s more important than ever that we continue to elect officials who will work together to protect New Jersey values.”

“It is an honor to be named to this position and I look forward to continuing to do everything I can to help the Governor get re-elected,” said Roberts. “Governor Corzine’s first in the nation economic recovery plan is working, and thanks to the strong partnership between Governor Corzine and the Democratic Legislature, New Jersey is primed to lead the pack as the economy rebounds.”

“Yes We Can 2.0,” a Democratic organization aimed at reaching out to new Obama voters, also announced its leadership team, including Dr. Randall Pinkett as Chair. Co-Chairs named today include Congressman Steve Rothman, Senator Dana Redd, Assemblyman Upendra Chivakula and Paterson Mayor Jose Torres.

“I am excited to be a part of this campaign and the ‘Yes We Can 2.0’ program because we need a leader like Jon Corzine who is willing to stand up for New Jersey’s families, even when the choices aren’t always popular or easy,” said Pinkett. “We have a partner in President Obama who gave our country hope for a brighter future and I have no doubt that Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg are the right team to work with the White House in leading New Jersey to renewed prosperity.”

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Filed under Campaign Chairs, Congressman Frank Pallone, Corzine'09, Gov. Jon Corzine, Randall Pinkett, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Upendra Chivakula, US. Sen. Robert Menendez, Victory 2009, Yes We Can 2.0

Democrats Pounce After Christie’s Misstep

By DAVID M. HALBFINGER – The New York Times

Democratic BlackBerrys up and down the East Coast started buzzing at 12:18 a.m. on Tuesday with news out of New Jersey: The Republican candidate for governor, Christopher J. Christie, had lent $46,000 to a subordinate and failed to disclose it as required by law.

For Democrats, who have watched, despairingly, as he galloped ahead of the incumbent, Gov. Jon S. Corzine, in the polls, it was a rare stumble by Mr. Christie, a former federal prosecutor running on a platform of ethics reform.

They were gleeful, and determined to strike. Into the wee hours and over the next few days, Mr. Corzine’s aides strategized with White House aides and other Democratic operatives about how to make it a national story, suggested loaded questions for bloggers and reporters to ask Mr. Christie, enlisted the state party to file a complaint with elections officials, and sent young staff members out to dog Mr. Christie’s events with signs spelling “$46,000.”

It is unclear what the misstep will mean for Mr. Christie, who quickly and profusely apologized. But the gaffe marked a pivotal moment, with both sides battling not only over the issue, but also about what this expensive, marquee governor’s race will be fought over.

Republicans, who cheered in July when a federal investigation resulted in corruption charges against dozens of local officials, believing they underscored Mr. Christie’s strengths, are now calling for him to focus on more conventional issues like property taxes, jobs and education.

Democrats, seeing a chance to turn a referendum on an unpopular incumbent into a referendum on a challenger with some holes in his armor, want to talk about nothing else.

“There’s a lot more optimism around Jon Corzine’s candidacy now,” said David Plouffe, President Obama’s campaign manager, who cut his political teeth in New Jersey. “When the real economic questions are put in front of voters, and now you’ve got questions about Christie’s character and ethics, there’s a pathway that’s a little wider. It’s still a tough fight and a little uphill, but there’s a pathway.”

New Jersey is enjoying outsize attention the year after a presidential election because it is one of only two statewide contests in the nation; the other is in Virginia. And New Jersey is still considered far more friendly to Democrats than Virginia is; the party holds a 650,000-vote registration edge, and a Republican has not won statewide in 12 years.

Still, what were once considered Mr. Corzine’s political assets now look a lot like baggage. He is a former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs precisely at the high-water mark of revulsion against Wall Street. He is a proponent of expensive health care and prekindergarten programs at a time of growing nervousness about soaring deficits and ambitious spending plans.

Those who have lived through past New Jersey campaigns believe the contest will ultimately be decided on pocketbook issues. Mr. Christie, who spent seven years as a United States attorney, has compiled a withering indictment of the governor: higher taxes, unemployment higher than in New York or Pennsylvania, a business climate rated among the nation’s worst, an exodus of college students and corporations. Mr. Corzine said things would have gotten far worse had he not been in charge. But that is harder to prove, polls show that most voters do not buy it, and Republicans believe many people have run out of patience with the governor.

“There is such Democrat fatigue in this state,” said Kevin O’Toole, the Republican chairman in Essex County, which includes Newark. “Obama’s right, it’s time for a change.”

Worse still, for Democrats, Mr. Corzine has struggled mightily to excite the party’s base. Blacks and Hispanics have openly flirted with Mr. Christie over issues like school vouchers. Environmental advocates have already deserted Mr. Corzine. The Corzine campaign is aggressively lobbying gay men and lesbians to stick with the governor.

Mr. Corzine’s aides had been saying for months that they only needed to fight Mr. Christie to a draw on the subject of corruption, because they believe if the campaign is about the issues, they will win, given the Democrats’ registration advantage. But despite the campaign’s costly barrage of television commercials accusing Mr. Christie of cronyism, his disapproval rating is still only about half the governor’s.

That is why they began to grow excited this month, with the news that Karl Rove had spoken with Mr. Christie, as early as 2006 or 2007, about Mr. Christie’s interest in the governor’s office. The Hatch Act bars federal prosecutors from even testing the waters for a candidacy, and by Saturday, Mr. Corzine, speaking to liberal bloggers in Pittsburgh, was calling Mr. Christie a “lawbreaker.”

Some Democrats felt it was a stretch. But then, last Tuesday, another break: Mr. Christie came forward to acknowledge he had given a top aide in the prosecutor’s office a second mortgage to help her out of a financial jam, but failed to report it on his ethics filings and tax returns.

Full of outrage when announcing indictments, Mr. Christie was subdued but frank in owning and apologizing for his mistake. But he had to contend with questions about why his lapse — he had failed to report $420 in interest income on his taxes — would not have been worth prosecuting.

From Washington to Trenton to the governor’s adopted hometown, Hoboken, Mr. Corzine’s allies grabbed hold of the story as if it were a defibrillator.

Aides to Senator Robert Menendez put calls in to reporters pressing the attack. Representative Frank Pallone Jr. accused the United States attorney’s office — where the woman who received the loan from Mr. Christie is now second in command — of playing politics. The Corzine campaign filed a lawsuit seeking records of Mr. Christie’s communications with his old office.

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under Chris Christie, Congressman Frank Pallone, David Plouffe, Gov. Jon Corzine, Karl Rove, Monmouth County, President Obama, The New York Times, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Middletown Finally Applies For Menendez Energy Grant $$

During the first week of May, I posted two columns concerning letters written by local Middletown GOP supports and hacks that attempted to give credit to Mayor Pam BrightBill and Deputy Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger for having enough foresight to apply for and secure funds from an energy grant before any such energy grant program was announced federal authorities.

My posts,  Middletown GOP, Once Again Taking Credit Where None Is Due and Middletown GOP – Liars, Lairs Pants on Fire: Update On Energy Grant, went into great detail about how the Energy Efficiency Block Grant program was set up by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and then funded through President Obama’s economic stimulus package. 

The posts contain must listen to audio clips that prove the Mayor and Deputy Mayor had no idea about the grants and were just as surprised as anyone to hear of the townships good fortune.
As an update to those earlier posts I feel it necessary to point out as further proof that the Middletown GOP takes credit where none is due, by bringing to everyone attention that the township has just this week, gotten around to passing a resolution that would officially apply for the grant money, more than a month after first being told about it.   

Below is the resolution, that was voted on this past Monday, to apply for the $610,800 that was made available in March by Sen. Menendez. This goes to show that the GOP letter writers either are out of touch with what is happening in our town or they flat out lie to take credit for something they had nothing to do with. In either case, they are just showing the public that they are incapable as leaders, unless they are trying to lead the public off a cliff:

Resolution No. 09-160

WHEREAS, the US Department of Energy has announced that $610,800 in grant funds have
been made available to the Township of Middletown under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which has been provided with funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; and

WHEREAS, the EECBG Program, authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the EnergyIndependence and Security Act of 2007 and signed into Public Law (PL 110-140) on December 19, 2007, will provide funds to the Township to develop and implement projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions; and.

WHEREAS, the EECBG Program will assist the Township to develop, promote, implement,
and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects and programs designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce total energy use, improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors; and create and retain jobs; and

WHEREAS, the application deadline for accessing $610,800 in grant funds from the EECBG
Program has been set by the US Department of Energy as June 25, 2009.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of
Middletown, in the County of Monmouth, New Jersey that the Mayor and other authorized
appropriate and responsible Township officials including but not limited to the Administrator, the Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Planning and Community Development are authorized to submit an application to the US Department of Energy for grant funds under the EECBG Program, including all execution of all understandings, assurances and certifications contained therein, and to act as the authorized representatives of the Township of Middletown, and to provide such additional information as may be required.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Jason A. Greenspan, PP, AICP, Director of Planning and
Community Development is hereby designated as the authority responsible for applying for and receiving funding from the EECBG Program on behalf of the Township of Middletown, and is hereby authorized and directed to execute such assurances, certifications and other documentation as may be required in the EECBG Program application by the US Department of Energy.

The bottom line is is simple, Middletown residents need to be very leery of about what the see and hear from their GOP majority and it’s supporters because if you read it in print or happen to see their lips moving, they are probably lying. 

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Filed under Economic Stimulus Package, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Pamela Brightbill, President Obama, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Twittering on Memorial Day: Messages from Menendez and Pallone

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Frank Pallone took the time today to send the following Memorial Day messages out to their constituents via Twitter.

Each chose to use their 140 keystrokes to honor the sacrifices of our armed services men and women differently, Menendez with a message of thanks and Pallone with a quote from 

Shakespeare, each appropriate and poignant.  :

Senator MenendezMemorial Day, a day of reflection, remembrance and thanks. Thanks to those who have served and are serving, so that we might enjoy freedom.

Congressman Pallone“Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.” Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, Memorial Day, Twitter, US. Sen. Robert Menendez

Middletown GOP – Liars, Lairs Pants on Fire: Update On Energy Grant

On Monday I posted about how the Middletown Republicans were once again trying to take credit for something that they did not do. I went into great detail and even posted an audio clip to explained how the Middletown GOP were taking credit for others work 

A short while before the Bayshore Neighborhood Meeting, which took place on March 26th, Township Administrator Tony Mercantante, received a phone call from a local reporter asking him what intentions the township had for the $610,000 windfall that Middletown was in line to receive from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program (a program created by Democratic U.S Senator Robert Menendez) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or more commonly know as President Obama’s stimulus package, to be used for township projects that would promote energy efficiency, such as the townships Green Initiatives.   
Mercantante was taken by surprise because he had no idea that the township even applied for such a grant. When he announced the townships good fortune to attendants of the meeting, Mayor Pam and Deputy Gerry were very quick to take credit for their proactive attempts to secure the grant.
Letters from local GOPer’s started to appear in publications praising the mayor and her underlings for a job well done. The problem with this however was that none of it was true.
The township never applied for the grant in advance because the program essentially did not exist until $3.2 billion was made available through the president’s stimulus package that was signed in February.     
To further prove what I am saying, all one needs to do is listen to this new audio clip from Monday nights Township Committee workshop meetingto her Township Administrator Tony Mercantante, says that the grant was only made available to the township and that the township still needs to a lot of work to apply for it or it would be lost.

 In conclusion allow me to say, Mercantante presented the next step in the energy grant from Washington to the committee at its workshop meeting on Monday night, which makes it very clear that the township or anyone associated with  the township never applied for the funds because Mercantante clearly  says that the next step is to submit the application.

This solidifies the fact that the GOP was caught in an outright lie and they should be held to it. There is no excuse for misleading the public. It is plainly clear that the Middletown GOP can not handle the basic needs of the people by taking credit for something that is clearly not true.

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Filed under Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, Middeltown Township, Middletown Republicans, Tony Mercantante, Township Administrator, US. Sen. Robert Menendez