Libertarian Lou

Last night was déjà vu for me. I had the pleasure of attending the debate for the NJ 8th District Congressional seat, which pitted the incumbent Congressman, Democrat Bill Pascrell against the challenger, Libertarian Lou Jasikoff.

Two years ago, it was I who sat behind the microphone, as the Republican challenger to Pascrell. I am very disappointed to report that my counterpart, José Sandoval, who is on the ballot as the GOP candidate this year, did not attend this debate (or any of the previous ones), and did not submit a written statement either. I cannot for the life of me ascertain why. As a rule, a challenger will take any and EVERY opportunity to square off and embarrass the incumbent, especially when the record is replete with contradictions, as is most certainly the case with Pascrell.

(note: I cannot link to Pascrell's campaign website, as I did with Sandoval and Jasikoff, as Pascrell does not have one. In fact, last night during the debate he actually bragged about not needing one, and suggested that his congressional website run by the government was sufficient. To me this yet another example of this man's sense of entitlement - he does not seem to see the need to inform voters of why he believes he deserves another term in DC. I would not be surprised if Pascrell were the only one of 435 incumbents who does not use the internet in campaigning.)

But anyway, after the debate, I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Lou Jasikoff - a lifelong Republican who favors Libertarian ideology (like myself). Like many Libertarians that I have met, he possesses strong intellectual capacity and has a solid understanding of American history, as well as the Constitution. Jasikoff is more akin to the "practical" breed of Libertarians, unlike the slash and burn style demonstrated by Austin Lett, who ran against Rodney Frelinghuysen 2 years apparently moved to Utah to run again this year.

I urge everyone to take a look at Lou's campaign website. Here are some key quotes to give you an idea of what he is all about:
"My position has been the same for years, that as a nation we cannot continue to be the world's police force...Everyone of our politicians need to be held accountable for their vote and stop hiding behind the notion they were mislead."

"Both parties are now bought and sold by the special interest groups they now represent. For my part, this campaign will accept no contributions from anyone over $199.00. We will not be influenced by any individual, group, corporation or party. Foolish perhaps, but better to get our message out by taking it to the people than selling one's soul and ideas for a few dollars."

"We cannot have open borders, where illegal immigrants work at low wages for companies that are not paying the same taxes as those who are playing by the rules. It is an unfair disadvantage for legitimate companies, and at the same time drive the wages down for the American worker."
Check back tomorrow for hard-hitting coverage of the 2 Passaic County Freeholder debates.


Anonymous said...

The following commentary of Pat Buchanan in the May 8, 2006 edition of The American Conservative magazine, appropriately titled "Regime Crisis," sums up the current predicament we face so well:

"If you think this Congress is an agonizing disappointment, wait for the new House, where chairmanships will be assumed by Barney Frank, John Conyers, and Henry Waxman, with Ways and Means and tax-writing power going to Charlie Rangel. That should be good for a 1000-point plunge in the Dow."

Watching Pascrell go off on his usual tirades Wednesday night made me cringe at the thought of he and his cronies clogging up the next two years with committee hearings that would serve no purpose other than to give the drive-by-media (as Rush Limbaugh would say) something to salivate over.

Anonymous said...

It is an absolute disgrace that Sandoval received help from the RNC yet can't even show up to debate Bill Pascrell. Are these RNC guys putting up signs on Route 19 and in the Second Ward when certain Paterson politicos get mad or are they trying to knock out a congressman whose own party can't stand him? What a freakin joke!!!

Wake me up from this political nap when the Republicans in NJ get testicular fortitude, including ol waspy boy Tom Kean!

Dino P. Crocetti said...

George, it's a shame that you didn't go up against Sandoval in the Primary. This guy seems to be cut out of the same mold as Jose Arango.A name on the ballot just for the sake of keeping up appearances.

I know that if you were the candidate you would not be wasting an opportunity to be on the Republican line against a vulnerable Menendez led Democratic ticket. It's amazing how despite the fact that Iraq is the number one issue in this race that Menendez simply cannot gain any traction whatsoever.

Who says that nobody cares about ethics!?

Dino P. Crocetti said...

For years the RNC has flat out ignored the northern region of the state. They just sat back for years and did nothing to challenge Bob Menendez and make him spend significant amounts of money on his campaigns.

As a result, Bob Menendez was able to run his campaigns on cruise control and emass more and more power. Republican candidates like Theresa DeLeon in '00, James Geron in '02, Richard Piatkowski in '04 and now John Guarini in '06 have all been cast aside because the RNC didn't see it as worth their while to spend money.

Meanwhile, Democrats are doing in Republican Congressional Districts what the Republicans should've been doing for years. They are spending money on Congressional candidates like Linda Stender and Paul Aronsohn. Why, because they have a chance to win? No, that's not the case at all.

While Scott Garrett and Mike Ferguson will win easily, their margins of victory will probably be a few points less than usual which will help Bob Menendez get more votes out of those districts than he normally would. George, as far as you're concerned, I'm probably preaching to the choir here.

The one race that makes me the most upset this year is in the 9th CD where Vincent Micco has been completely ignored. I felt that ignoring his candidacy was not only a huge mistake, but very disrespectful to him. The least the RNC could've done after he put his life on the line in Iraq to serve his country was give him a fighting chance against Steve Rothman who is an absolute scab of a Congressman. How many people even know who they're voting for when they pull the lever for Rothman? He is such a vulnerable candidate and it annoys me to see him win every two years. Next thing you know, we'll have another Bob Torricelli or Bob Menendez on our hands.

The RNC has made it abundantly clear for years that unless you are a self funded candidate, you're nothing to them and now it may very well come back to haunt them if Bob Menendez gets elected next week.

Shame on my party for thinking that way.

George Ajjan said...

Yes, Dino, you are preaching to the choir. It was a bit frustrating to get so little party support when "taking one for the team" as Vince Micco, Leigh Ann Bellew, and many others know.

While I recognize the financial constraints of funding 200+ challengers, most of whom have a very, very slim slot of winning, I do commend the RNC for giving access to databases and offering the candidate school and NRCC staff resources. That was helpful in getting the campaign off the ground.

The missing link is the fact that our State Party is so clueless. Instead of viewing these ostensibly "hopeless" congressional campaigns as a liability, they should see the young candidates who take the plunge as a "farm team". I am glad I learned the ropes in the way that I did, when the expectations were already set low.

I expect the NJGOP and the county organizations to provide more help. Instead, I had a Republican County Chairman who endorsed my Democrat opponent, publicly! Even today, in an article about Jose Sandoval, former Chairman Mike Mecca said, "When you get a guy who is basically unknown, you don't want to wake a sleeping giant like Bill Pascrell. All Bill is going to do is get the vote out and that's going to hurt your freeholder candidates."

I should add that Paul DiGaetano and Kevin O'Toole both disagree with that approach, based upon the way they treated me and my campaign.

Yesterday there was a discussion on politicsnj about Guy Gregg challenging State Senator Littell. GO FOR IT GUY!!! Why do I say that? Because when I ran, Guy, who is not even from my County or even my District, took the time to give me advice and help me craft a strategy in my campaign. I want to see people like Guy leading the State Party, people who recognize that candidates with energy and principles are the best cure for the NJGOP's ills - not defeatists who would rather concede and cut sweetheart deals of mutual protection.

Anonymous said...

I think that Libertarians, whether in the mold of Lou Jasikoff or Austin Lett, need to be convinced and encouraged to run for office as Republicans for two reasons. (1) It will help to broaden the GOP big tent further and (2) third party and independent candidates rarely if ever win congressional elections because districts are rigged to favor one party or another. If Libertarians (ideology) served as Republicans (political party) in Congress, they would vote with the GOP on the major economic issues (tax policy, free trade, fiscal discipline, limited government) and yet would also be able to join with Democrats on some of the social issues (sexual matters, drug policy). This would allow for clear majorities of votes to keep the federal government out of our wallets and our private lives.