Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Politics is Local - Except When it Isn't

Tip O'Neill
A former Speaker of the House, the late Tip O’Neill, has been quoted as saying, “All politics is local.” And in a sense he is right. For example, this past winter, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arguably took more flak for botching the state’s snow removal than he did in weakening labor unions.

But in another sense, O’Neill was wrong. In today’s world, to get elected to a state legislature or to Congress requires candidates (especially challengers) to cast a wide net for support, in terms of both money and volunteer effort.

In 2008, I supported Ed Potosnak in his attempt to unseat a former moderate Republican-turned-teabagger in a congressional district that’s an hour’s drive from my house. Once a week during Ed's campaign, I drove to his headquarters to make phone calls, and I also contributed money to his campaign. Ed is running again in 2012, and I look forward to helping him get elected this time.

Here in New Jersey, our entire state legislature is up for election every two years – in odd-numbered years. In 2011, I am concentrating my support on a legislative candidate in another district that’s about an hour’s drive from where I live.

Like Potosnak, Marie Corfield is a school teacher. Marie is running for the New Jersey General Assembly. She’s a fierce advocate for public education, the middle class, and equal rights. You can learn more about Marie by visiting her web site and viewing her appearances on national, as well as local, television interview programs.

There are many followers of this blog who don’t live in Marie’s district, or even in New Jersey. But you can send a message to the Koch Brothers, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and others of their ilk by supporting Marie’s campaign. Whether you contribute five dollars or a hundred, you are voting with your wallet to save the middle class and the American Dream. Please click on this link and send that important message.

When Speaker O’Neill died in 1994, President Bill Clinton remarked, "Tip O'Neill was the nation's most prominent, powerful and loyal champion of working people." Marie Corfield has shown that she is deserving of similar accolades, but she needs our help to make it happen.

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