This has been a truly historic national election which was distinguished by a level of engagement by the electorate not seen in modern times. While I did not win, I did receive more votes than any other New Jersey Republican Senate candidate in history and I was one of the relatively few Republican Senate candidates throughout the country with a better statewide percentage margin against my opponent than John McCain had against Barack Obama.
I want to thank all of you who made phone calls, stuffed envelopes, walked door-to-door and put up signs. I want to also thank all of you who contributed financially.
Since April I've campaigned in every corner of New Jersey. I love this state. But I remain dismayed that New Jersey faces an epic crisis of affordability. I ran for the Senate because it is unacceptable that we export tens of billions of tax dollars to the other 49 states and we receive only 61 cents for every tax dollar we send to Washington, making us dead last in our rate of return.
The goal of New Jersey's political leadership should not simply be getting more money back from Washington so we can have more of our own boondoggles and Bridges to Nowhere. The goal must be a leaner, more thoughtful, less expensive federal government.
Our children can no longer afford to raise families in New Jersey. Our parents can no longer afford to live out their days in New Jersey. I've done my best throughout this campaign to focus on the issues that matter most not just to me, but to the people of my state.
Throughout my political life, I fought for the same causes I supported during this campaign: sensible spending, smaller government, political reform and putting trust in American ingenuity, not in government.
I hope that with this election comes more restraint and responsibility. I hope the change we all want includes a change from the free spending, wasteful days of the past.
Momentous policy decisions will be made in the next few years - decisions that we need to get right for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. Though I will not be a Senator, I intend to work in every way possible to make sure our future will be brighter--and I know you will too.
Thank you again. It has been a privilege to be your candidate.
Dick Zimmer was born in Newark, NJ and grew up in Hillside, Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. His father was a mailman and his mother sold encyclopedias.
He won a full academic scholarship to Yale, from which he graduated with high honors in political science. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Yale Law Journal.
Dick Zimmer began his legal career as an associate at the nationally known firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
He then became a general attorney for Johnson & Johnson at its corporate headquarters in New Jersey and served as a member of the board of directors for a number of Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries.
Zimmer was a member of the New Jersey State legislature for nine years. As chairman of the State Government Committee, he was an effective advocate of open government and Initiative and Referendum. As a member of the Senate Revenue, Finance and Appropriations Committee, he vigorously opposed higher taxes and spending. He was the prime Assembly sponsor of New Jersey’s original farmland preservation law and the prime sponsor of legislation creating the state’s radon detection and remediation program, considered a model for the nation.
In 1990, Dick Zimmer was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served three terms, representing New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. Zimmer was ranked three times the most fiscally conservative member of the entire Congress by the National Taxpayers Union and every year he served in Congress he was named a “Taxpayer Hero” by Citizens Against Government Waste. He fought for legislation to use unspent money from lawmakers’ office budgets to reduce the Federal deficit and led by example, returning hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own office account during his six years in Congress.
Dick Zimmer was author of the federal Megan’s Law, which requires that parents be notified when a convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood, and the “No Frills Prisons” law, which banned luxury items like cable TV, microwaves, weight-lifting equipment and video games from federal prisons.
After leaving Congress, Zimmer joined the Princeton, N.J. office of an international law firm, where he successfully represented New Jersey’s non-profit nursing homes in averting significant reductions in Medicaid funding and obtained state approval for continuing care retirement communities to provide home health care services. He secured funding of a program for the safe disposal of dredged materials by using them to seal abandoned Pennsylvania coal mines.
For the last seven years, Zimmer has been practicing law at the firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. As a member of the firm’s Public Policy Practices Group, he counseled clients whose interest were affected by government. On behalf of the family members of the military men killed in the Beirut Marine barracks bombing, Zimmer successfully lobbied to enact legislation enabling victims of terrorism to recover damages from terrorist states.
Dick Zimmer taught graduate students as a Lecturer in Public and International Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.
He and his wife Marfy Goodspeed have lived on a small farm in Delaware Township for more than 31 years. They have two sons: Carl, who is a science writer, and Benjamin, who writes about language and is a web producer for VisualThesaurus.com. They have two granddaughters and a grandson.
Dick Zimmer on Cutting Taxes and Government Spending…
As a U.S. Senator Dick Zimmer will fight for the same fiscally conservative principles he has championed his entire career. When Dick Zimmer first ran for Congress, he pledged to vote against any broad-based tax increase. He kept that promise. Zimmer believes that the federal government can and should balance its budget, and should do so by cutting spending rather then raising taxes. He believes that you should keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
While others talk about fiscal responsibility and cutting spending, Zimmer has an unmatched record of fighting on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers. Zimmer was instrumental in persuading the House to phase out the obsolete wool and mohair subsidy, saving taxpayers more than $500 million over five years. He worked hard to protect taxpayer money from being spent on wasteful government programs and pork barrel projects. Zimmer supported $700 billion in specific spending cuts, which would have balanced the budget.
Zimmer played a significant role in drafting the tax-relief package that passed the House in 1995, which cut taxes $353 billion over seven years. This package included a $500-per-child tax credit and an expanded individual retirement account savings plan. He was a principal architect of the package’s 50-percent capital gains tax cut, which was based on a bill Zimmer co-sponsored in the previous Congress.
Zimmer has led by example and practiced fiscally responsible policies in his congressional office. He returned a portion of his office budget to the U.S. Treasury every year – totaling more that $600,000 for the six years he served. And, because of a bill sponsored by Zimmer and signed into law, all unspent portions of members’ office funds starting in 1996 are now applied to deficit reduction.
Dick Zimmer a Recognized Leader on Fiscal Responsibility
- The National Taxpayers Union three times named Zimmer the most fiscally conservative member of the entire Congress based on the net savings of legislation he sponsored.
- Citizens Against Government Waste designated Zimmer a “Taxpayer Hero” every year he served in Congress except the two years he was named a “Taxpayer Superhero”.
- The anti-deficit Concord Coalition honored Dick as a deficit hawk and placed him on its “House Honor Roll,” rating him in the top 10 percent of Congress.
- Zimmer never failed to receive the Golden Bulldog Award from the Watchdogs of the Treasury for his votes in Congress.
Dick Zimmer on the Economy…
Dick Zimmer understands that New Jerseyans are having a hard time making ends meet and that our exceptionally high tax burden is driving jobs out of our state. He believes that allowing federal tax cuts to expire will stifle our economic recovery by penalizing people who save, invest and take risks to create jobs.
He supports expanding markets around the world for our goods and services and reducing the burdens of taxation, regulation and litigation on small businesses.
Dick Zimmer on Immigration…
Zimmer believes that America’s immigration policy should be based on what is best for America. An essential part of being a sovereign nation is the ability to protect its own borders. Zimmer believes in order to protect our nation from out-of-control illegal immigration, we must build a physical fence on our border and augment it with state-of-the-art detection systems. To reduce the economic incentives for illegal immigration, he supports tamper-proof employee identification and strict employer sanctions. Zimmer opposes amnesty for those who broke our laws to come to this country. It is wrong to reward those who have cut in line while punishing others trying to immigrate legally. America was built on legal immigration and we need to ensure that the law is being enforced.
Dick Zimmer on Homeland Security…
Just because the U.S homeland hasn’t been attacked by terrorists since 9/11 does not mean that we are immune from an future attacks. We witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center from here in New Jersey. We know first-hand the homeland security threats we face in the modern age of terrorism and must seek out those who wish to do us harm and destroy them.
Congress has wrongly used politics to distribute Homeland Security funding. This must stop. When elected to the Senate, Zimmer will fight to ensure that Homeland Security funds are sent to the areas such as New Jersey with the highest threat from terrorism.
Dick Zimmer on Iraq…
Our troops in Iraq are doing an exceptional job. They have dramatically reduced the level of violence and give the Iraqis the opportunity to create a stable democratic state. We need to extricate our combat troops as quickly as possible, using a tough and pragmatic strategy to avoid creating regional chaos and a failed state that would become a haven for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
Zimmer believes that the Iraqi government must spend its increased oil revenues on its own national security, reducing the current burden on U.S. taxpayers. We must allow our military leaders to assess the situation and develop plans to withdraw our troops in a responsible manner. Zimmer believes that setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal without regard to the military and political realities would be a terrible disservice to both our courageous troops and to the Iraqi people.
Dick Zimmer on Veterans Issues…
Dick Zimmer has a long record of fighting for America’s veterans. He strongly believes that government has a commitment to care for those who risked their lives to serve their country, and his record reflects this belief. While he has fought to streamline the federal government, he has consistently opposed any cuts that would hurt veterans’ benefits and programs.
Zimmer fought to protect Veterans Affairs funding. He voted to restore $206.1 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs that had been rescinded as part of the Clinton “Peace Dividend”. He supported legislation ensuring that veterans’ benefits, as well as patient health and safety services of the Veterans Health Administration, would not be adversely affected by budget battles between Congress and the President.
Over the years, he voted in favor of numerous bills supporting veterans’ medical, housing, and employment benefits. He also co-sponsored a number of bills aimed at resolving unanswered questions concerning missing American military personnel from the Vietnam and Korean wars, including legislation establishing a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
Zimmer promises to all of those who currently serve in our armed forces and to those who have served in the past that he will continue to fight for them when he is in the Senate.
Dick Zimmer Fighting for Safer Neighborhoods…
One of Dick Zimmer’s signature achievements is the federal “Megan’s Law.” Named for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old New Jersey girl murdered by a sexual predator, the law ensures that neighbors are notified of the presence of sexual offenders in their communities.
He wrote and won passage of “no frills prisons” legislation to make sure prisoners are not provided with perks and luxuries at taxpayer expense. The legislation eliminated perks such as in-cell cable television, R-rated movies and martial arts training.
As a Senator Zimmer will continue to fight to protect the safety of New Jersey families.
Dick Zimmer on Health Care…
Dick Zimmer believes that health care should be accessible and affordable for all Americans without imposing unwarranted government controls, damaging the principle of patient choice, or sacrificing America’s quality of medical care, which is the best in the world.
Zimmer has consistently opposed the creation of a government-run national health care system, warning that this would result in higher taxes, the erosion of patient choice, and a decline in quality of service.
Zimmer supported legislation to help reduce health care costs and ensure better access to health care through a variety of measures, including litigation and insurance reforms, portability provisions, paperwork reduction measures, tax incentives, and the elimination of preexisting health exclusions.
When elected to the Senate, Zimmer will fight to build on the reforms he has advocated and continue the fight to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable medical care.
Dick Zimmer on Education…
Dick Zimmer knows the importance of education. A product of New Jersey public schools, he won a full academic scholarship to Yale, from which he graduated with high honors in political science. He then went on to graduate from Yale Law School, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Yale Law Journal.
Zimmer believes the future of America depends on how well our children are educated and believes that every child should have access to a quality education. Local communities should have the principal responsibility of running public schools, with the federal government identifying education methods that work and helping parents hold their school districts accountable by providing reliable measures of performance.
Dick Zimmer on Energy…
Zimmer believes that to address our growing energy problems we must urgently promote energycasino efficiency and energy conservation. He is in favor of increasing fuel mileage standards on cars and SUVs. Zimmer supports streamlining the regulatory process to allow more nuclear power facilities to come on line and increased energy exploration and production on public lands, consistent with public safety and environmental protection.