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The Two Chris Smiths

There are two Rep Chris Smiths (NJ 4th District) much like there are two Mitt Romneys.

There appears to be two US Representative Chris Smiths (NJ 4th District) much like there are two Mitt Romneys. There is the responsive and the non-responsive Chris Smith and there is the privately extreme and the publicly moderate Mitt Romney.

In a letter last week a writer, apparently a Republican, wrote about Chris Smith responding to her request while she was visiting the Republican Headquarters. From that incident she extrapolated that he had a world of wonderful characteristics. Other people (and the press) have made similar extrapolations based on Smith’s involvement in a few high profile cases (e.g. the Goldman matter.)        

Of course then there is the non-responsive Chris Smith. Obviously, as a Democratic candidate, I have heard hundreds of stories from unhappy constituents about Smith’s lack of responsiveness to their issues and communications. But there are many more public examples. You can go online to Youtube and find a video of people visiting his office after having been frustrated with his complete lack of responsiveness to their inquiries.  An obvious and very public example was Smith’s feigned ignorance about the biggest publication in his district writing stories about the biggest problem (education) in the biggest town (Lakewood) in his district.

He then further claimed that he didn’t get the phone calls from the publication about the story. Similarly there was a story last week in another publication about their great difficulty in contacting and arranging an interview with Rep Smith which, after it had finally been arranged, he then no-showed for. And, despite being publicly criticized in previous campaigns for not participating in any public forums or debates, he has no-showed for all of the town hall meetings that he has been invited to so far in this campaign. Apparently responding to the public or media generally is not one of his wonderful characteristics.

On other issues two Smiths also appear.  Rep Smith publicly proclaims his interest in overall human rights, not just abortion. But a look at the specifics of his words and actions seem to belie that protestation. In the 1980s Smith (and Rep Dick Cheney) voted against a Congressional resolution to free Nelson Mandela from prison. In the 1990s he voted against the Women’s Equal Rights amendment specifically because of its effect on abortion. In the 2000s Kenya spent extensive efforts and several years revising their 1969 Constitution to include freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, a permanent human rights commission, and other important safeguards.

The Constitution was approved by 70% of the people and the process was almost unanimously acclaimed as a model for the rest of the world. Yet Rep Smith accused President Obama and his administration of criminal activity for supporting that process since the Constitution contained a woman’s right to abortion in the case of rape, incest, or health. Most recently he has been very public about China human rights. But his principle and very specific concern has been the Chinese abortion policy. Most of his other rights activities revolve around this same abortion issue. 

Similarly Gov Romney expresses public affection for all people and private disdain for many. He has publicly espoused his support for, and the importance of, education and privately said he intends to eliminate the entire US Department of Education. His different positions on topics as varied as the Blunt Amendment (contraception) and gun control leave people scratching their heads. On some issues Romney has had so many different positions you wonder if he is a victim of multiple personality disorder.  Even his home based Salt Lake City Tribune said there was too many Mitts and endorsed President Obama.  

Smith’s public relations issues might not be so bad if they didn’t come at the cost of even worse public policy. He opposed Obamacare, voted for the Ryan Plan (privatizing Social Security, voucherizing Medicare, and devastating Medicaid), supported still more tax cuts for the wealthy, and made the Norquist pledge never to raise those taxes. Since those are similar to the Bush era polices that he supported (and that got us into this great recession) perhaps that is the one area where he has, unfortunately, been singularly consistent.

In any event, we certainly have at least one too many Rep Chris Smiths.      

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Da Poppa October 25, 2012 at 03:25 PM
NJarHead - what's worse is that these things are easily checked with a quick google search. I read that, and his "constitutional right to abortion" comment and I was insulted. Lies by a politician, GOP or Dem, is insulting. True fact checking, not the biased fact checking done by the main stream media, is easily done by anyone with an Internet connection and a web browser. Demagoguery is the tool of a person trying to deflect attention from their faults, and that's what Mr. Forelich and Obama are doing.
NJarhead October 25, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Couldn't agree more Poppa. I'll add that when you're telling a story and leave out key facts, it's the same as lying.
Spooner October 25, 2012 at 03:32 PM
...I know your going to tell me he's the one running for Congress. . .but I'm curious...what is your solution in dealing with the growing deficit. . .Do you propose bringing the budget down to 20% of GDP like Romney/ Ryan argue...necessitating; it is estimated, a $9T cut in the budget over 10 years. Now that's easy to say here in print. . .but what is the real macroeconomic impact to millions of people. You and they don't talk about those points. Medicare and SSI are called entitlements because they are insurance programs...just like if a loved one passed away and they had life insurance, or if you got into car accident, you would be entitled to collect on that life insurance...and in the case of the auto accident, entitled to have your medical builds paid by your insurance company under PIP protection. So as much as you complain about those entitlements. . .there insurance contracts. . .that the government made and signed. . .that they have to comply with!
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Spooner can you ever be serious? You start out with the raw facts and they emotionally tie a what if personal situation to it......we have a spending crisis, we have a debt crisis, we have a jobs crisis so yes something has to get cut.......the spending in 2008 was $2.8 trillion and today its $3.8 trillion. Let's start by going back to 2008 levels.......what do you propose to lop off $1 trillion a year before we even talk about the $16 TRILLION DONKEY in the room. Brian is running for office....he needs to answer the questions.....same for Smith. Stop the soundbites. Stop the games. Cuts are required. You and I both know it.
Spooner October 25, 2012 at 03:46 PM
...yeah well I remember his debate with Kyrillos, and he never confronted Menendez about the deficit and his record. I thought he did poorly in not having a grasp of the facts and issues beholding to the office. Menendez ran rings around him confronting him with his record in the Senate. . .and all your saw Kyrillos do was hold out his tongue and say nothing. . .He's a candidate that's out of his league.
Spooner October 25, 2012 at 03:49 PM
...you still haven't answered mt question. . .What do you propose. . .I mean we all know what the problem. . .give me your solution!
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Spend at 2008 levels according also to Obama's budget projections, revenues will be $2.9 T in 2013 Budget would be balanced based on my assumption of 08 spending and Obama's assumption of 2013 revenues
Steve October 25, 2012 at 04:05 PM
@Spooner "[Kyrillos'] a candidate that's out of his league" Sounds eerily similar to this Froelich character. At least Kyrillos has political experience. (Not saying he is ideal)
Steve October 25, 2012 at 04:07 PM
@NJarhead sounds like it
Brian Froelich October 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
@ NJarhead & Da Poppa I hate to waste my time on people who waste my time but I don’t like being incorrectly called a liar. First, if you actually read what I said, I was talking about the new Kenya constitution (not the US Constitution!) containing the right to abortion. That is what Smith objected to. Second, there was also a Women’s ERA bill introduced in the House in the 1990s (that failed by 6 votes). You can look it up! Please no more nonsense.
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Do you disagree with the facts I have stated below? According to Obama's 2012 budget which is on the government website and sadly not passed by the Democrats including Menendez in the Senate, Medicare spending for 2012 equals $478 Billon. Medicaid spending equals $255 Billion. That's $733 Billion in spending. Medicare taxes collected equal $226 Billion. That leaves a shortfall for these 2 programs just for 2012 of $500+ Billion. Since we know we have a budget deficit - over $1 Trillion or so, we borrow this money and the debt grows increasing our interest expense and adding more burden to our children and grandchildren. Do you support borrowing money to pay for Medicare and Medicaid?
Steve October 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Bill No.? Looking through the LoC website its hard to find one that made it out of committee.
Guinness15 October 25, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Froelich and Smith are in the positions they are in because they have a deep-seated interest in seeing their community thrive. Yes, their approaches are quite different, but I feel I must give credit and respect where it is due (regardless of which party I happen to like). Residents of D4 deserve transparency and attentiveness, and Froelich has posted here numerous times to make his stances clear and hear concerns from actual constituents. I respect that. Those of you who have taken this opportunity to devote entire days of your lives to making Froelich repeat himself are beyond childish. Political TROLLING at its worst! Some of the posts here, excluding one exceptional story, indicate the same thing I have come to find with Smith -- despite his "record" of constituent service, he is incredibly difficult to get in touch with. So now Smith and Froelich are fighting for my vote. Smith has ignored me. Froelich has made it a point to stick his neck out and give me an opportunity to voice my concerns. TROLLS like you ruin this opportunity. Stick to your talking points and keep bending your facts. Nobody cares. Saturate every article you find with whatever garbage you feel inclined to spew. Sounds like fun, really. The rest of us in D4 might actually get something productive done one of these days. Unemployment is APPALLING and our congressman has been MIA. Period. Mr. Froelich is here trying to make his community a better place. Why are you here?
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I'm here because I want answers. You can name call all you want. Answer the questions. I know you won't because like Obama, Menendez you are liars about the debt, deficits and cutting spending. keep at it....that's why you are losing!! Do you disagree with the facts I have stated below? According to Obama's 2012 budget which is on the government website and sadly not passed by the Democrats including Menendez in the Senate, Medicare spending for 2012 equals $478 Billon. Medicaid spending equals $255 Billion. That's $733 Billion in spending. Medicare taxes collected equal $226 Billion. That leaves a shortfall for these 2 programs just for 2012 of $500+ Billion. Since we know we have a budget deficit - over $1 Trillion or so, we borrow this money and the debt grows increasing our interest expense and adding more burden to our children and grandchildren. Do you support borrowing money to pay for Medicare and Medicaid? Hey Troll - answer or go away!!!!
Mills Lane October 25, 2012 at 07:15 PM
This is how we can fix it. Make insurance illegal. It does nothing but make a few pencil pushers and doctors very wealthy. Let everyone pay for their own medical services. If you cannot afford it you can suffer and or die. It is what happened before all of this managed care nonsense. There are too many people in the world anyway. It will have the added advantage of bringing down unemployment, creating more housing and lowering welfare since urban people with aids and GSWs will be the first to go.
George Clark October 25, 2012 at 07:20 PM
menendez, where do you suppose we'd get the money for Mitts war spending, tax cuts etc.. etc..? you don't care about the deficit for if you did you/d demand hard number facts from ryan and or mitt as to where their money to cut deficit would come from? they don't have a clue and not one sain person can do their foggy hidden math and make it decrease the budget one cent. stop lying about caring about the deficit and say you want these two lying idiots in office.
NJarhead October 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
You're a genius.
NJarhead October 25, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I can see where you might think I was calling you a liar. The truth is, I was not. In any event, I'd love to get an answer from you to my question above: "do you think 9/11 was an 'inside job'?"
Mills Lane October 25, 2012 at 07:27 PM
We can get rid of the deficit by stopping all medicaid, medicare and social security for any person born today moving forward and refunding all premiums collected with interest to anyone under 30. Also end welfare and any spending on "aid" to foreign nations and institutions like the imf and un. Boom. Done.
Guinness15 October 25, 2012 at 07:28 PM
You've copy and pasted the same message on here 5 times. Congrats. Does the GOP pay you to press Ctrl + V or do you do it out of the kindness of your heart? The budget deficit is a problem, yes. But it's a problem Congress will have to solve TOGETHER. How does Chris Smith approach the problem? He pledged his allegiance to Grover Norquist. Not to his constituents or the American people, but to a millionaire lobbyist bent on pushing his own agenda through Congress. Froelich is a moderate (his word not mine) and backs the bi-partisan backed Simpson-Bowles plan. One of these candidates wants a solution, and even has one in mind. The other wants... to do whatever Grover Norquist tells him.
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Now you want to focus on the issues?? Obama is the liar. Remember the debt is bad, unpatriotic, i will cut it in half...blah blah blah...... He added $7 TRILLION and proposes adding another $8 trillion Answer me this. Did Obama lie about the debt being irresponsible? Come on, you can say it......we all know!!!
Guinness15 October 25, 2012 at 07:47 PM
New Jersey House Republicans have pledged allegiance to Grover Norquist - NJ.com: http://blog.nj.com/ledgerletters/2011/07/new_jersey_house_republicans_h.html
Spooner October 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
---you'd been giving us the mantra for a while now. . .still waiting for your suggestions as to solving the budget deficit problem without getting hog tied in litigation over contract. . .
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I answered you hours ago but you might have missed it....here it is again 11:55 am on Thursday, October 25, 2012 Spend at 2008 levels according also to Obama's budget projections, revenues will be $2.9 T in 2013 Budget would be balanced based on my assumption of 08 spending and Obama's assumption of 2013 revenues What contracts? Did Obama care about bond and stock contracts when he gave GM to the union?
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Still afraid to answer the question I see. It's very simple why are you or Brian so scared of it. Look everyone candidates running for office are afraid to answer a simple question. Why would you ever vote for them? Maybe you want to answer it. Good for Chris Smith and Grover......spending is the problem!!!! Let's take a small math test shall we. If Medicare has $260 Billion in dollars and spends $730 Billion in dollars, how many dollars does Medicare have left?
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Good. NJ is overtaxed. Does this include property taxes. Who out there wants higher property taxes because of pensions and healthcare payments to unions?? Let's eliminate the pensions in NJ and provide $3 billion in tax relief to the towns, counties and state. http://www.njtanews.blogspot.com/2012/09/sign-pledge-for-fairer-pension-system.html
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 09:03 PM
What and expect people to take personal responsibility? Are you MAD???
George Clark October 25, 2012 at 09:08 PM
menendez, you silly shill. you answer nothing and hide behind people's name you claim to dislike. Don't you know advertisement is a form of flattery and by putting that handle on yourself you actually are looking totally stupid advertising for them? Go on and tell us how ryan and romneys economic plan would reduce deficit by one sent? let's save money by stopping aid to Israel that doesnt need it. At least the other countries need it for some reason or other. Israel sends it back to congress through the lobbyist pac of theirs. kick backs through corrupt souls in the name of God? nice.
Menendez & Corzine Perfect Together October 25, 2012 at 09:18 PM
yep just like Obama blame someone or something else. Never take responsibility. You are the shill with your crazy comments, no basic facts or knowledge of budgets, economics or finances. I bet you still think Corzine wasn't a filthy rich, liberal spender who is as corrupt as they come. He was Mr. Goldman Sachs. He screwed up NJ and then like Obama lied about the events the caused MF Global to go bankrupt. Is that your idea of a good man and leader? Joe Biden thinks Corzine is the go to man!!! We cannot afford anyone that thinks Corzine is worth anything. Do you want to take a stab at answering the question. I now know Brian is afraid to even though by supporting BS he knows the answer is he will cut Medicare AND borrow more money to pay what's left. Did Obama lie when in 2008 he attacked the debt? Did he just say that to get elected and attack Bush....he was right by the way so why did he add $7 trillion to the debt. Are you anti-Israel like Obama too?
NJarhead October 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM
I guess not. But the silence leads me to believe that you do support the conspiracy theory.

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