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I write this as a realist. I think its very close to a near certainty that Cory Booker will become the next Senator from New Jersey, or at the absolute least will be the next Democratic nominee for the seat. I am not against Mr. Booker and there are many likable things about him. Regardless of what you think about some of his views or connections; the Senate needs diversity, and I’m not just talking about demographics.
The Senate could use someone from a more urban area and someone whose single office they held was in a city like Newark. It would be a different viewpoint in the Senate and that’s always a good thing. I truly hope that, if elected, Mr. Booker will be a leading voice on raising the minimum wage or talking about poverty.
Frank Pallone is also a good candidate and looks maybe the most likely to topple Booker if you looked strictly at fundraising and poll numbers. He’s a well-connected guy and is a skilled legislator. At the very least, I hope this campaign opened some people’s eyes to Mr. Pallone and becomes a more respected politician.
Sheila Oliver, and I’ve given her some flak this campaign would also be a welcome voice in the Senate. The Senate could use more women and if memory serves correctly there has only been one female African-American Senator and that was Carol Moseley Braun. Since 1900 there have only been six black Senators (including our current President) and the last three have been appointed, not elected. That does need to change.
But as a person who believes in progressive values and someone who adamantly believes that the bluer the state, the bluer the candidate; I have to continue to stress to people that they should vote for Rush Holt.
Sometimes we find ourselves asking, man we could really use another Elizabeth Warren or Jeff Merkley or Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown. Sometimes we, as progressives, wish that we could just find a true, legitimate progressive to fight for our ideals and give voice to us dissatisfied with the way the Senate is.
Rush Holt is that progressive. He’s been serving in the House since 1999 and has won some really hard fought wins in his electoral career. His seat is safely Democratic and if you are fearful of losing his seat in the House, that will not happen. Holt is the type of person that could introduce a lot of good to the Senate and someone who could bring plenty of attention to some issues that he couldn’t do as much in the House (being one out of 430+ as opposed to one out of 100 has its merits).
Do you care about the environment? Rush Holt does, he’d be the only scientist that would be serving as a U.S. Senator and what better person to have debate Jim Inhofe? Holt could be a qualified voice to lash out on the need for a carbon tax and in fact, he already has one proposed. Cory Booker may or may not be a vote we can rely on for the carbon tax but if the legislation is never introduced, it is irrelevant.
What about Social Security which is almost always under attack from the Republican Party and even some “moderate/centrist/New Democrat” Democrats. Well, Rush Holt supports keeping Social Security as it is and it took progressive outrage after an article by Salon for Mr. Booker to re-clarify his statements on the retirement age. You know where Rush Holt stands though from the get-go; there is no need for him to re-clarify his support.
What else do you need to know? How about Rush Holt has sponsored legislation to repeal the Patriot Act. On the Patriot Act, Cory Booker says it would be “a little irresponsible”. How about Rush Holt voted against the invasion of Iraq? In Cory Booker’s defense, he never had the chance to vote against it so do not hold that over his head.
But still, Rush Holt was right on that and has been right on a bevy of other issues. It is true, Cory Booker will be a mainstream Democrat on most issues. But wouldn’t you rather have a progressive Democrat on all issues?
Please New Jersey, consider voting for Rush Holt this next Tuesday. We need him.