NJ-04: 700 Volunteers Are Making NJ-04 a Late Breaker!

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

I want to share with you how excited I am about the incredible effort people are putting forth this weekend to bring the change we need to Washington, DC. In NJ-04 we've got over 700 volunteers talking to voters, handing out literature, making phone calls, and working as hard as we can to win this election.

We're within striking range, so I'm asking you to please contribute through my ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact our Field Director at pete_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. I also encourage you to take a look at our website.

More after the jump.

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NJ-04: Listen to New Zeitz ad on Smith's Virginia Residency

Today, the Zeitz for Congress campaign unveiled a new radio advertisement titled "Eight Nights." The ad draws attention to Chris Smith's failure to live in New Jersey, having spent only eight nights in the state during 2007, and the recent revelation that Smith received nearly $80,000 in tuition breaks reserved only for official Virginia residents.

You can listen to the ad here.

"After twenty-eight years in Congress, Chris Smith has become a creature of Washington. The voters I speak with are shocked and outraged when they learn Chris Smith refuses to live in New Jersey and does not pay our high property taxes. For many of them, learning Smith receives in-state tuition discounts in Virginia is the final straw," said Josh Zeitz. "It's not too much to ask that our representative in Congress actually lives in New Jersey."

Key Facts:

   * Chris Smith spent only eight days in 2007. [PolitickerNJ 4/28/08]
    * Chris Smith is the only member of the New Jersey delegation to not own a home in New Jersey. [PolitickerNJ 4/28/08] He's saved nearly $60,000 in property taxes by living in Virginia.
    * Chris Smith receives in-state tuition benefits reserved only for official Virginia residents. [Politico 10/20/08]

Josh needs your help to defeat Chris Smith. Please consider volunteering as well as contributing to the campaign. To put it bluntly, the more money we can raise the more play this ad gets on the radio, and the more undecided voters we can reach. We also need volunteers to help get out the vote. To volunteer contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com.

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NJ-04: Zeitz Campaign Challenges Smith Voter Registration

The Zeitz for Congress campaign today requested that the Mercer County Superintendent of Elections investigate Chris Smith's voter registration, and revoke it if she discovers fraud.

The Facts:

1) Smith filed for, and received, in-state tuition rates for his children attending Virginia public colleges.

  1. In Virginia, dependent students are assigned the residency of their parents for determining tuition rates.
  2. Virginia code requires the parents to have "abandoned any previous domicile," in New Jersey in order to receive the $80,000 tuition breaks.
  3. Chris Smith claims he was legally entitled to these benefits reserved for Virginians, but won't produce the documentation to confirm his claim.

More after the jump.

                                                           

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NJ(!)-04-Chris Smith pays IN STATE tuition at U.Va.

This story at Politico is truly amazing. Josh Zeitz's opponent, long-time incumbent (and 'pro-life' House caucus chair) Chris Smith, is paying in state tuition for his child enrolled at the University of Virginia. Smith is, in theory, representing the people of the Fourth District of New Jersey.

As if we didn't already know that Chris Smith was out of touch with his New Jersey constituents. We learned not long ago that, in the last eight years, he has spent maybe two dozen nights a year in his home district (which is not in, say, Alaska, but only a reasonable two hours-plus by train from Washington, DC). He is basically a full-time resident of the great state (no disrespect meant here) of Virginia.

More after the jump.

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NJ-04: Josh Zeitz on Chris Smith's Two Decades of Debate Dodging

Cross posted at Blue Jersey.

Dear Rep. Smith:

It's been over a month since I first invited you to join me in a series of public debates or forums so that we can provide the voters in New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District an opportunity to weigh their electoral options.  

Over the past six weeks my campaign has placed phone calls to your office and issued public statements inviting you to debate.  As a show of good will, I also sent a personal letter to your attention, along with a copy of Allen Guelzo's fine new book on the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.  Disappointingly, we have received no response from you or your staff.

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NJ-04: Bush-McCain-Smith Iraq Policy Hurts New Jersey

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

Congressman Frank Pallone and I hosted a conference call earlier today to discuss what the war in Iraq has cost New Jersey and why New Jersey can't afford another four years of the failed Bush policies in Iraq that Chris Smith and John McCain want to continue. To see exactly what the war in Iraq has cost New Jersey, go to National Priorities.org.

On the call I emphasized the following:

· I support a responsible end to the war in Iraq so that we can invest in America's urgent domestic priorities like renewable energy, and break our addiction to foreign oil as well as lower gas and electricity costs.

· Chris Smith and John McCain have supported George Bush every step of the way on Iraq, from believing faulty intelligence, to believing we would be greeted as liberators, to believing the war will pay for itself with Iraqi oil.

· Each month, the United States spends $10 billion a month in Iraq - money which could be used to address domestic priorities like ensuring affordable health care, rebuilding our infrastructure or hiring more teachers or public safety officers.

· Incredibly, Iraq is right now holding onto $79 billion in excess oil revenues. We're spending $10 billion a month to rebuild Iraq instead of using that money to create jobs here in America.

· The citizens of the 4th Congressional district have paid $2.2 billion for the war effort. That money could have been used to provide every home in the 4th Congressional District with Renewable Electricity, with enough money left over to help provide affordable health coverage for our residents.

That $2.2 billion could:

· Provide 203,137 People with Health Care for One Year

· Power 3,096,562 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year

· Hire 37,775 Public Safety Officers for One Year

· Provide 724,756 Children with Health Care for One Year

· Provide 28,856 Port Container Inspectors for One Year

· We can't keep doing what we're doing. We need change at all levels of government.

· Chris Smith and John McCain have no plan to bring our troops home.

· We need to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress to bring our troops home and invest in our country's future.

The campaign is entering a critical phase and I need your support. You can contribute at my ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about what I stand for.

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NJ-04: Smith Rejected Equal Work for Equal Pay-Lilly Ledbetter

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

Chris Smith likes to say that he's an independent voice who doesn't vote along party lines. Smith also claims to be pro-worker, pro-union, and pro-woman. Well, here's one vote that demonstrates that he is none of those things.

Smith, along with 99% of House Republicans, voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. The bill passed the House 225-199, as virtually all Democrats voted in favor of it, but it was filibustered by George Bush and Chris Smith's allies in the Senate. [HR 2831, Vote #768, 7/31/07] Smith, Christopher (NJ/R) N

Lilly Ledbetter suffered wage and gender discrimination at her job but could not sue because the existing law is outdated and poorly written. The Lilly Ledbetter Act that Chris Smith voted against would ensure that workers who face wage discrimination, the majority of whom are women, are able to protect their right to equal work for equal pay. It is a travesty that women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn on the job. Equal pay for equal work is not only an issue of fundamental fairness, it's an absolute necessity if we want to reward hard work and encourage personal responsibility. Apparently, Chris Smith doesn't share those American values.

"In this time of exploding prices for gas and basic necessities, job losses, and the collapse in the value of our homes, it is unconscionable to think that our government would favor corporations who knowingly discriminate against women or any employee by paying some workers less than others for doing the same work. Yet that is exactly what Chris Smith did with this vote." said Josh Zeitz campaign manager Steve D'Amico.

The campaign is entering a critical phase and we need your support. You can contribute at Josh's ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

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NJ-04: Zeitz upgraded by DCCC-"Race to Watch"

See also at Blue Jersey .

On Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced that Josh Zeitz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Jersey's 4th Congressional District, was added to their targeted Races to Watch list. It's alphabetical, so you'll have to scroll to the bottom to see Josh. :)

The targeting demonstrates that the DCCC believes this race is competitive and worth investment. Demographic shifts have created the unique conditions for beating 28 year incumbent Chris Smith. Democrats now enjoy a voter registration edge in the 4th District and consistently win the district at the Presidential, Gubernatorial and Senate levels. With boosted turnout and registration expected from urban areas like Trenton, Zeitz is poised for one of the biggest upsets of the cycle.

"We're excited to have the DCCC engaged in the race," said Zeitz campaign manager Steve D'Amico. "With our economy struggling and a representative like Chris Smith, who is more interested in introducing legislation to abolishing common, everyday birth control than he is in helping middle-class families, voters in the 4th District are realizing it's time for change."

The campaign has produced a video outlining Smith's attempt to criminalize birth control, and you can view it by clicking below.

In late September, we hope to unleash a massive wave of direct mail and paid media targeted at swing voters in the district.  We have almost raised enough money to begin that effort, but we remain a bit shy of our target. Please contribute what you are able at Josh's ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.

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NJ-04 BOMBSHELL: Smith's Segregationism & Homophobia EXPOSED

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

Today, a bombshell article in The New Republic (TNR) exposed what many of us thought to be true?that Chris Smith's misguided priorities go far deeper than his twenty-two attempts to ban the common, everyday birth control pill.

Thanks to new investigative reporting by TNR's James Kirchick, we now know that Chris Smith is a founding member of the radical right.  A reporter at TNR, Kirchick is the author of a highly-regarded article on Ron Paul's ties to segregationists; that article changed the national narrative on Paul earlier this year.

Kirchick's new article reveals that Chris Smith has longstanding ties to religious-right hate groups; that he sat on the board of advisers of a pro-racial segregation organization in the 1980s; that he authored legislation that would bar gays and lesbians from working openly as nurses, doctors, first responders, federal employees or federal contractors; and that he played a role in a vicious disinformation campaign about HIV/AIDS that demonized gays and lesbians as "serial killers." The article also reveals that Smith concealed campaign contributions from at least two hard-line, pro-segregation groups.

The New Republic only scratched surface of Smith's bigotry. Following up on TNR's reporting, this morning, the Zeitz campaign discovered Chris Smith not only worked with segregationists; he voted with them. In 1981, Chris Smith voted to restore non-profit status to segregated private schools [HR 4121, 7/30/81] that were created as a mechanism for white Southerners to avoid the full implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

The Zeitz for Congress campaign also obtained a copy of Chris Smith's early college writings. In an article dated 1973, Smith accused gays and lesbians of being in league with "the Anti-Christ":

In Smith's words:

"We can live in harmony with His [God's] spiritual laws and be like the man, as Christ said, who built on an undestructable [sic] rock, or we can live in disharmony with the Anti-Christ; the devil, not the laughable, fiery and character with horns, but the evil one often spoken of by Jesus and he like the man who built his life on sand which eroded and eventually fell. God wants us happy; His laws are for our welfare, our protection, not Sin!"

Chris Smith's bigotry goes beyond his early career. In the 1990s, Smith introduced legislation that would force any company or public entity that receives federal funds to fire openly gay employees. The legislation would deny gays and lesbians the right to work as teachers, doctors, nurses, first responders, federal contractors, or state and federal workers.  It might even deny basic rights like student loans to gay college students.

What we've learned today:

Chris Smith is a founding member of the Religious Right, having sat on the advisory board of the Christian Voice. The Christian Voice strongly supported racially segregated private schools in the South and worked closely with Jerry Falwell.

Chris Smith voted to support segregation by allowing all-white private schools (which were created after forced-desegregation) to remain segregated.  

Chris Smith failed to abide by FEC rules and report contributions from openly racist, misogynistic, and homophobic groups on the radical right.  

Chris Smith introduced legislation in the 1990s to mandate that the government (or any recipients of federal funds, like local school district, fire departments, police departments and federal contractors) fire any openly gay employees. Openly gay individuals would have been barred from any receipt of federal funds such as school loans, food stamps or unemployment benefits.  

"Chris Smith is an extremist," said Steven D'Amico, Zeitz for Congress campaign manager.  "There is nothing moderate about racial segregation.  There is nothing moderate about denying jobs and education to millions of gay Americans. There is nothing moderate about taking away the right to use common, everyday birth control. These are unacceptable positions that are out of step with basic human decency."

I'm asking you to do a couple of things here. Please make a contribution. Also, if you're in or near the district, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com to volunteer.

We can win this race, and we need to do it in order to show New Jersey and the country that this kind of extremism is immoral and unacceptable, and voters will hold such extremists accountable.

Thanks so much.

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NJ-04 Video: Smith Votes to Criminalize 'The Pill'

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

I'm Josh Zeitz, the Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey's Fourth District. I want to talk to you about my strong support for reproductive rights, but first I want to tell you about the person I'm running against. My opponent, Chris Smith, is the leader of the anti-choice caucus in the House of Representatives.

Chris Smith has introduced legislation to criminalize the common, everyday birth control pill and IUD on twenty-two separate occasions. He wants to put millions of American women in jail for using the pill. We have to say no to this kind of extremism.

My campaign has produced a video outlining Smith's attempt to criminalize birth control, and you can view it by clicking below.

I believe that access to basic birth control and family planning services is a fundamental right. By refusing to provide contraception and age appropriate sex education, Chris Smith's policies increase the number of unintended pregnancies.

By providing women with a full range of information and health care options, we can help them make informed decisions about their lives and bodies. Together we can continue to provide women the right to choose.

I know how important reproductive rights are to all of you, and I want to thank you for taking time to learn more about this crucial Congressional race.

If you are able, please make a contribution at my ActBlue page.

If you'd like to volunteer, please contact steve_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit the campaign at www.joshzeitz.com to learn more about what I believe.

Sincerely,

Josh Zeitz

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