The Hall Institute will pose a series of questions to NJ’s Congressional candidates regarding their positions on the major issues. Tell us what you feel the top priority for Congress should be in 2011.
Revitalize the economy
End the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Develop an improved immigration policy
Implement the new health care law
Protect the environment
Improve the quality of education
Gary Stein: Opening Statement
The Hall Institute asks for an opening statement in July, 4 full months in advance of the
November elections. I've already answered half a dozen other questionnaires mailed to me
even earlier, making this look more and more like a growth industry. The Hall's approach
though, is kind of neat, it takes place over several weeks, and all the participants get to see
who's real, who's fake and who didn't respond. As a Candidate for Governor last year, I
was a somewhat rowdy participant in another of the Hall Debate's and I'm more than willing
to try and be a provocateur of sorts, again. For example, I'm betting my opponent, the
incumbent Congressman, a guy who's sitting pretty now 16 years after challenging his
opponent in 1994's primary- to take a term limits pledge- and not serve beyond 2006,
doesn't respond to the Hall's invitation, because he's very spoiled now. In 1994, Bill
Gormley, a well known and principled opponent called Frank LoBiondo's Term Limits
challenge, precisely what it was, a stunt. Stunts obviously work too well sometimes. The
only stunt I'm considering, is how to humorously dig at the complacent, dug in incumbent, to
come out and acknowledge his opponent.
As a way of giving the Congressman an extra week to consider joining this debate, (I'm 99%
sure he's MIA,) I will keep my dissembling opening, mercifully short, and use this
opportunity to reprise my closing statement from last years Hall debate, which was very,
very...very brief. I've also included one paragraph I used to summarize a longer answer in
a questionnaire I filled out for the Business and Industry Political Action Committee, due the
same day as this one. If that one seems a little supercilious too- the same way this opening
is heading- I'll mention again, it's because of my expectation that Frank LoBiondo didn't
bother answering that survey either. But more importantly, I get this way because nobody
in the Press, challenges these guys to do right and respond to questionnaires! I finished the
BIPAC questionnaire with this flourish.
"Newfangled immigration reform, gov’t leased electric cars offered to us at $59/month.
Eliminating cash, crippling the underground economy- phasing out the IRS- doing away with
state sales and income taxes, and adding a National value added tax on everything we
purchase. Just several of the many ideas I floated above, and maybe it’s all crazy talk?
Maybe I’m just the kind of gadfly you get behind if you’re 'mad as hell (and can’t take
And as promised, my closing statement in the Hall Institute's Virtual Governor's Debate;
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
“Change,” that’s one trivialized word, ever since our politicians latched onto it last year. But
change isn’t coming anytime soon, and political hacks should be the last ones to brag up the
word. Come next week, are we likely to get a different outcome other then more status
quo, if we elect either Corzine or Christie? No and no. Corzine had his chance already and
didn’t deliver the swift kick in the behind the good old boys in Trenton deserved. This state,
along with California are two peas in a pod, and the citizens of both states are ready to go
nuclear- and I wish there was a leader ready to lead the insurrection. I wish it was Chris
Christie, and I know it’s sure as hell not me. I wasn’t born to lead, but I can think, and I’m
as mad as, or madder than, most thinking New Jersey citizens. I got into this race for other
reasons, better explained elsewhere in this forum; or simply type in any internet search
engine, the words Stein plus immigration reform, driver’s licenses, amnesty,or boycott
But if I was leading the revolution here, I wouldn’t be cowed by the idea of shutting the New
Jersey state government down for a while; and there certainly are endless opportunities to
push the right buttons! It might give the public sector a chance to reflect. Unfortunately it’s
more likely the legislature would call for my impeachment, and union pickets all over Trenton
would scream and curse my name- but we’d know finally, if we the over looked and taken
for granted citizens, are as mad as we say we are?
In the parlance of gangster speak, i.e., “going to the mattresses,” that sounds like a plan
next year- Jon Corzine or Chris Christie ?"
I said in my closing last year I might not be executive type material, but the legislative
position of Congressman is not the same as the executive position of Governor- especially in
this district. Who's Frank LoBiondo ever stood up to when the going gets tough? Sorry,
Congressman, you have a history of backing down when things get too hot to handle. I will
try and explain that charge in the coming weeks, and I thank the Hall Institute for the
opportunity to do so.