-- Zimmer Criticizes Senator Lautenberg Support of $25 Billion Bailout for Automakers --

Lawrenceville, NJ - The Zimmer for Senate campaign today criticized Senator Frank Lautenberg for his support of a $25 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of Detroit's auto industry. 

On Saturday, the U.S. Senate passed a spending bill that guarantees up to $25 billion in low-interest loans for Detroit's auto industry to retool old factories.  With this loan guarantee, Senator Lautenberg is using taxpayer dollars for corporate welfare.  (Senate Vote 208 on HR 2638, September 27, 2008)

Zimmer for Senate Communications Director Kristen Hainen issued the following statement: 

"Senator Lautenberg believes that if you throw enough money at a problem you will fix it.  That is why he supported rewarding the Big Three automakers in Detroit for their bad business judgment with a taxpayer funded bailout.  These companies are in their present state because they failed to develop fuel-efficient cars and because they successfully convinced Congress not to raise fuel efficiency standards for decades.

"For too long Senator Lautenberg has failed to effectively address the interests of New Jersey families.  New Jersey families are facing an energy crisis, an affordability crisis and a financial crisis.  Yet Senator Lautenberg is sending billions to bail out the Big Three automakers in Detroit rather than take care of New Jersey's needs. 

"Now more than ever, we need fiscally responsible elected officials who know when to say ‘no' and know how to get our economy back on track.  It's time for a change.

"As the next Senator from New Jersey, Dick Zimmer will bring about true fiscal responsibility to Washington and make the interests of New Jersey his top priority."

Lawrenceville, NJ -   U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer released the following statement in response to Senator Frank Lautenberg's most recent failure to be an effective advocate for New Jersey taxpayers:

"Despite his inability to get more than 61 cents back to New Jersey for every dollar we send to Washington, Senator Frank Lautenberg has been bragging all year about the specific earmarks he has gotten for New Jersey.

"Now we learn that most of this highly vaunted pork is not coming to our state after all, because Senator Lautenberg and his fellow Senate appropriators are going home without finishing their work.  Having failed to pass a single appropriations bill (including the transportation appropriations bill sponsored by Senator Lautenberg), Congress voted this weekend to fund the entire federal government through a continuing resolution that does not contain earmarks for most departments.  The appropriation bills (including Senator Lautenberg's) that were not incorporated into the continuing resolution will die at the end of the year and the appropriations process will have to start from scratch when Congress reconvenes in January.

"Considering that Senator Lautenberg has sent out a blizzard of self-congratulatory press releases touting his illusory earmarks, I suggest that the Senator now issue another release telling the New Jersey's voters the truth about his failure to do his job.

"It's time for a change.  As your U.S. Senator I will fight to restore fiscal responsibility to our state and nation. I'm not promising to play the pork-barrel game better; I want to shut it down so that we keep more of our tax dollars in our own pockets to begin with." 

Below is the list of earmarks Senator Lautenberg bragged about via press releases that will not be funded in fiscal year 2009:

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Bill - $12,099,000.

  • The national Interregional Project-4 (IR-4) - $11,368,000. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • Rutgers University receives funding and participates in the IR-4 program, which provides pest management solutions for growers of high value specialty crops. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $251,000 to the New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts for conservation technical assistance. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $480,000 to Rutgers University for cranberry/blueberry disease and breeding assistance. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill - $86,503,000.

  • $75,000,000 to NJ Transit for the Trans-Hudson Midtown Corridor tunnel. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,104,000 to NJ Transit for the second segment of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $3,000,000 to the NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) for I-295/76/42 Direct Connection in Camden County. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $2,000,000 to NJ Transit for Bloomfield Intermodal Improvements. NOTCOMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $500,000 for Stevens Institute of Technology for the Hudson Waterfront Walkway. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,000,000 for the redesign of College Avenue in New Brunswick. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,000,000 for the Lakewood Township Multi Modal Facility. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,000,000 to Salem County for Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,000,000 to 180 Turning Lives Around in Monmouth County for the construction of a new domestic violence shelter. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $200,000 for Cathedral Soup Kitchen in Camden to construct a new facility. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $300,000 for the YMCA of Eastern Union County to renovate its social service facility. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $400,000 for Hudson County for the redevelopment of Koppers Coke Brownfield Site. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY

Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill - $171,866,000.

  • $10,000,000 for flood control in Bound Brook. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $4,000,000 for development at Minish Park in Newark. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $1,000,000 for the installation of solar panels at the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $500,000 to the NJ Department of Agriculture for an alternative energy project. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $500,000 for the city of Trenton for a renewable energy study. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $300,000 for solar power generation at the Cherry Hill Town Hall. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $11,700,000 for beach replenishment in Long Beach Island. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $3,250,000 for beach replenishment in Ocean City. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $3,000,000 for beach replenishment in Avalon. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $2,000,000 for beach replenishment from Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $85,000,000 for New York and New Jersey harbor deepening. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY

Financial Services Appropriations Bill - $720,000. 

  • $375,000 to Essex County for a small business development program. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $100,000 to the Latin American Economic Development Association in Camden for an entrepreneurial development training program. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY
  • $245,000 for a small business incubator in Lakewood. NOT COMING TO NEW JERSEY


-- NJ Newspapers Fed-Up With Senator Lautenberg Ducking Debates --

Lawrenceville, NJ - U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer has been challenging Senator Frank Lautenberg to debate since the primary.   Today, the Press of Atlantic City and the Asbury Park Press expressed their frustration with Senator Lautenberg's refusal to debate and called on him to come out of hiding.  On Saturday, the Courier Post ran a similar editorial.

Zimmer issued the following statement:

"These newspapers agree with what I have been saying for months:  Senator Frank Lautenberg has been ducking debates and dodging public appearances since this campaign began.  New Jersey voters deserve better from their U.S. Senator.  They deserve to hear Senator Lautenberg's unscripted explanation as to why he deserves another six years in office." 

The Press of Atlantic City editorial entitled, "Lautenberg and debates/Here we go again?" today called on Senator Lautenberg to debate and tell New Jersey voters where he stands on the important issues.

"...So please, senator: No reruns of last year's primary. You do not - should not - get an easy coast back into office. You are not entitled to be the state's senator, one of only two people to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.  New Jersey voters deserve a vigorous debate on the issues - from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout to health care to the Iraq War. They deserve to see Lautenberg cite and defend his record in the Senate, which stretches back to 1983. They deserve to hear him and see him in a setting that's not contrived by his campaign staff. They need to see candidates side by side to assess them properly. To do less is to thwart the democratic process....

Some voters are worried that Lautenberg, at 84, is too old to seek another six-year term. And some observers say that Lautenberg's campaign is playing it safe by minimizing the chances he will make a gaffe that might fuel that concern.

Frankly, we think invisibility is more likely to add to any such concerns. Lautenberg should agree to some debates - sooner, not later. ("Lautenberg and debates/Here we go again?." The Press of Atlantic City. 25 September 2008)

To view entire editorial entitled, "Lautenberg and debates/Here we go again?," click here.

 The Asbury Park Press editorial entitled, "Come Out of Hiding" today challenged on Senator Lautenberg to come out of hiding. 

"...Lautenberg's handlers have railed against the GOP leadership for suggesting the senator is ducking debates because of his age.... If those charges are untrue, Lautenberg should have no hesitation engaging Zimmer in high-profile debates.

Given the state of the nation, it's imperative that Lautenberg emerge from the shadows to share a public stage with Zimmer. Voters should insist on it. Both America and New Jersey are ailing right now. We can't afford to risk the health of democracy, too."  ("Come Out of Hiding." Asbury Park Press. 25 September 2008)

To view entire editorial entitled, "Come Out of Hiding," click here.

On Saturday, September 20th, the Courier Post had this to say about Frank Lautenberg's refusal to debate: 

"Ever since he won the Republican Senate primary in June, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer has made offers and accepted invitations to publicly debate Lautenberg. Lautenberg's camp seemingly has no answer. Now it's less than two months before Election Day and no debates have been announced.

Lautenberg, the man who, when he was first running for the Senate in 1982 wanted to debate his older Republican opponent "morning, noon and night," now doesn't seem to want New Jerseyans to have many chances to compare him to his opponent. He did this same thing in the spring when U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews was challenging him in the primary.

If Lautenberg wanted New Jerseyans to know where he stands on the issues, he would have already agreed to at least half a dozen debates. That he hasn't agreed to any shows he's content to use a cowardly tactic employed too often by candidates ahead in the polls in "safe" races. It's a shame for voters who should remember this silence on Election Day." ("Jeers: To U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who again is looking to get re-elected by staying silent. Courier Post. 20 September 2008)



- Pork for NJ That Fails to Address NJ Priorities -

Lawrenceville, NJ - U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer's "Waste of the Week" campaign this week highlights an earmark initiated by Senator Frank Lautenberg to fund renovations for the Scottish Rite Theatre in Collingswood, NJ.     

Senator Lautenberg slipped the $200,000 earmark into the conference report on the 2008 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. 

Only seven companies are allowed to provide catering at the Scottish Rite Theatre.  Four of them are based in Pennsylvania, not New Jersey.

Not only that, but the Scottish Rite Theatre continues to charge a number of significant fees for the public to utilize the facility.  These fees include: $500 for lighting, $600 minimum fee for security and a $2 per seat "restoration fee."

Zimmer issued the following statement:

"Considering that New Jersey gets back only 61 cents for every tax dollar we send to Washington, it's inexcusable for Sen. Lautenberg to direct part of our meager share to politically motivated and marginally useful projects instead of the urgent needs confronting our state and our overtaxed citizens.  

"New Jersey taxpayers deserve a Senator who will not squander their tax dollars.  As your Senator, I will make the concerns and the interests of New Jersey taxpayers my top priority." 

Zimmer's "Waste of the Week" campaign is designed to highlight Senator Frank Lautenberg's record of supporting wasteful spending and pork-barrel politics at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers.  Previous Wastes of the Week were the $300 billion Farm Bill, the $389 million Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, a $225,000 pamphlet on beaver damage, various Monuments to Me spending projects, the Teapot Museum in North Carolina, the Joplin, Missouri interchange and Amtrak's Sunset Limited. 


Waste of the Week, #1: THE FARM BILL

Waste of the Week, #2: BRIDGE TO NOWHERE


Waste of the Week, #4: MONUMENTS TO ME

Waste of the Week, #5: N.C. TEAPOT MUSEUM 

Waste of the Week, #6: JOPLIN, MO INTERCHANGE

Waste of the Week, #7: SUNSET LIMITED

--Senator Lautenberg Remains Silent--

Lawrenceville, NJ - The Press of Atlantic City today ran an editorial entitled, "The Wall Street Mess/No Golden Parachutes," which endorsed Zimmer's position on limiting compensation packages for executives at financial firms bailed out by the taxpayers.

"...And yes, we know this is America - the land of the free market, where everyone is entitled to whatever they can grab. But as Zimmer said this week in a meeting with Press editors, "Once you reach for the hand of the federal government, the rules have changed."... ("The Wall Street Mess/No Golden Parachutes." The Press of Atlantic City. 24 September 2008)

To view entire editorial entitled, "The Wall Street Mess/No Golden Parachutes," click here.

The editorial was in response to a one-hour interview of Zimmer by the Press's editorial board, largely devoted to an in-depth discussion of Zimmer's views on the current financial crisis.

To date, Senator Frank Lautenberg's only public statement on the financial crisis has been a two-paragraph press release issued on September 15 that consisted mainly of partisan attacks on George Bush and John McCain.