No signs of any rapture in New Jersey this morning yet. In fact, at 11am (PT; 2pm in NJ) Ed Potosnak -- the Blue America-endorsed candidate for the Congressional seat currently being held by health-care hypocrite Leonard Lance -- will be talking to us live from north-central Jersey. Ed will be joining us in the comments section (below) to accept the Blue America 2012 endorsement, live-blogging about his campaign and how New Jersey voters are reacting to the right-wing jihad against the middle class, seniors and the whole social compact. Meanwhile, contributions for Ed's campaign are gratefully being accepted at our Blue America page.
We endorsed Ed last September for the 2010 race against Lance primarily because of his emphasis on education policy and its role in innovation and moving the country forward. Ed himself is a chemistry teacher and small business owner and several years ago he was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.
"In my first year as an Einstein Fellow I helped craft legislation to improve science and mathematics education. This bill was introduced by then-Senator Obama; it passed, and is being implemented. In the second year of my fellowship I worked on legislation to ensure every student has access to a high quality education, establishing a 9-11 like commission to address the urgent crisis in our schools. This also passed and the Equity Commission is currently underway... There is so much more to do and I am running for Congress to once again get the job done."
The incumbent he's running against is a garden variety career politician whose decades in office has been more about self-service than public service-- something you may have noticed if you were tuned into the fracas between Lance and Blue America over his health-care hypocrisy, which led to this ad:
Ed performed extremely well in a devastating year for Democrats. Not one Democratic challenger unseated a Republican incumbent but, with a feisty yet under-funded grassroots campaign, Ed managed to hold his own against the red tidal wave. This year looks far more promising nationally -- especially in NJ's 7th, where Obama beat McCain 51-48% in 2008 and will probably do a lot better next year against Bachmann or Palin or Romney or Gingrich or Pawlenty or whichever sociopath they come up with on the right.
"The issues we care about today are as important as they were this past November," he told us, "creating jobs, growing the economy, improving education, promoting innovation, and protecting the American dream... Things need to get done in Washington. The GOP has done nothing to address jobs and the economy... According to Congress' Joint Economic Committee if the Ryan plan to turn Medicare into an inadequate voucher program, for which Congressman Lance voted, were to be signed into law, seniors across America would face bleak economic prospects.
"But with the exception of Florida, there is no state more disastrously impacted than right here in New Jersey. Congressman Lance has seen these numbers and well knows that by 2022, out-of-pocket expenses for the typical 65-year-old enrollee in New Jersey would jump from $6,832.43 to $13,892.47, the second biggest increase in America ($7,060.03). I'll fight against that ever being enacted every day I'm in office."
An openly gay candidate, Ed takes equality and social justice very seriously. "We need better representation in Washington to ensure that America's policies are fair and just for all. The future of America depends on the education we provide today and we need to act with urgency to improve our schools and foster innovation. We must ensure that every single child in America is prepared to help our nation overcome the challenges of the modern world, innovate, and lead the global economy."
If you'd like to help Ed's campaign, you can do so at the Blue America ActBlue page