NO SURPRISE, I AM A CANDIDATE!
Date: Sat, Dec 17, 2011 10:45 am
To Derek, Buzz or John F....or Rob Sparr. I never know which way I'll be received at the paper. This is a Press Release that started out as a short "letter to the editor" and morphed into announcement that I'll run for U.S. House of Representatives again as a Democrat in N.J's 2nd Congressional district.
My blood got boiling as I sat there typing and thought about our Congressman and the .... Troop Surge deception. SO SORRY. However the Press of AC decides to handle this is fine by me, "we" got lots of time yet. My cell is 609-703-1741 if Mr. Harper would like to call for .... any details. I posted nearly the same announcement on his fb wall last night. I'm an open book; draft announcements and all. thanks
December 15th, 2011 marked the end of our active involvement in Iraq. It pains me to say this but it's been 10 costly yrs of wasted blood and treasure since the full of himself Vice President, kept from George W. Bush and the nation, a dirty little fact; that a tiny minority, Sunnis, ruled over a country that is 90% Shites and Kurds. Sadam was a Sunni. The President's first Secretary of State, Colin Powell, understood the ramifications. He said famously, "if you break it, you own it." My snarky comment about Bush-Cheney notwithstanding, the neo-conservatives either concealed the fact that Iraq was a seething cauldron, or they downplayed it in their consultations with the commander in chief. I firmly believe that. The bloody war is over now, maybe. We're out of there, sort of (there's that new Iraq embassy of ours in Bagdad, larger then all the other American embassies in the world, put together).
But no bah humbug here. No matter what your politics, this being Christmas, it's appropriate to sincerely thank our troops and those families of loved ones who served or died in Iraq and still serve in Afghanistan. The rest of us can probably move on with our lives as if Iraq never happened.
Iraq wasn't supposed to be like Vietnam. We'll see. I'm betting it won't be so bad after we're gone. Either way, our troops performed magnificently and did everything asked of them. Hooray for them.
end of "letter to the editor" which i will not be sending. Press release con't
(con't) But wait just a minute, the story of our excursion into Iraq isn't finished. Election time comes around, and it's time for incumbents to explain past positions on the war. For starters, tough decisions about possible future deployments elsewhere loom large. Or, what's the proper size of our military going forward? It's all interconnected and our Incumbent is no dummy.
In February of 2007, when all appeared lost in Iraq, it was a sure bet that there'd be hell to pay in 2008 for Republicans who supported George Bush. Could that be why Congressman Frank LoBiondo stated on the floor of the House of Representatives that he did "not support the President's latest strategy" i.e.Troop Surge? He missed the troop surge vote due to a death in the family, as reported in the Press of Atlantic City on March 7, 2007, this way, " U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, missed the vote to attend his father-in-law's funeral, but in an earlier speech on the floor of the House he said he opposed Bush's escalation plan."
By 2008 everyone had amnesia about LoBiondo, or didn't know about the Surge position because he never voted, or didn't care because the Surge worked. In 2010 when this Democrat was Frank LoBiondo's unfunded, unknown, little whippersnapper of an opponent, I asked the Congressman to stop pretending like he supported the February 2007 Troop Surge strategy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, General David Petraous and G.W. Bush. That's what challengers are supposed to do, be aggressive. And note to Mr. LoBiondo: Getting behind the team after the fact, is not the same as going on record for the Surge when it counted.
(I get so angry Mr. Congressman, I might run against you again.)
I've heard the contorted explanations, but the voters never have. Mr. LoBiondo, or his campaign, promised to set the record straight in an article in the Press of Atlantic City on October 9th, 2010 . That article read, "A spokesman for LoBiondo’s campaign said the congressman will address Stein’s accusation in the coming month" It's now the end of 2011, the war is over and I'm still waiting for the Congressman to set the record straight publicly. I live in the district, I'm a constituent, I'm waiting. Dave Kurkowski, Mr. LoBiondo's 2008 opponent also might wonder what the Congressman's true position is/was. Actually, Dave Kurkowski was misled in 2008 so he doesn't even know he's deserved an apology. And the voters were misled too. What's worse about the Congressman's perfidy is the fact that 2008 was not a bad year to be running as a Democrat and Kurkowski might have been robbed.
Perhaps the very staked out "Surge" position of Frank LoBiondo in 2007 might not matter to some in this district who think a vote for LoBiondo is more about receiving goodies from Washington, or who- might not care about clarity, or who- dismiss the fancy footwork by a Congressman as just another pol doing his thing. But I once voted for this man 6 times, and knowing what I now know about him, I'm deeply offended. We give this man every benefit of the doubt, and heap all kinds of praise on him, and this how he rewards us! He scorns his opponents among other things.
Today I'm announcing I'm a candidate again for Congress. I submit this to the Press of Atlantic City to do with it as they will. That's how we roll, I'm never sure how I'll be received. Yes, I'm in and ready to re-double my efforts at beating Congressman LoBiondo in 2012. One way or the other, I trust some part of this announcement will make it into print. I'm available to speak to whoever is covering the campaign this year. I wasn't prepared to announce today, but upon further reflection, I am. With this news about the war coming to an end right before Christmas, I'm unfortunately back again blabbering about the Congressman and Iraq at a bad time perhaps. I am sorry.
But I can (and will) end on a positive note. We'll wish for good things next year, like a substantive debate on whether we should repeal Obama care? I say no, let's not. I think we should keep it. If I'd had my druthers, we'd go one one step further and we'd eliminate health insurance companies and enact Single Payer Universal Government Run Health Care. I actually have a great way to pay for it. I'd be thrilled to be asked in detail by the media how that's possible, and why one person out of 435 serving in the House will change a few minds of my brothers and sisters in Congress ... if I'm elected. The local, but especially, the national Democratic party hacks won't have anything to do with me, but I deserve a fighting chance at being Congressman LoBiondo's opponent once again in the fall of 2012. The media really matters to me, that's my only hope. I look forward to speaking to reporters many times before the primary vote and talk about Health Care reform, the economy and to be honest, a little bit about my long battle to get the Congressman to go on the record, accurately, about the Surge. Gary Stein 609-703-1741
Mr. Stein, at VFW, Mullica Twp, Nov. 2009. Voting for
himself for Governor.(Repbulican Independent candidate
2011 Assembly (Democrat)
2012 Congress Democrat
2010(Democratic Candidate for Congress, indoors
w/ Lobiondo and Boyce
left to right; stein, frank lobiondo and Boyce