May 25, 2016
EDITORIAL: Frelinghuysen an easy choice in the 11th District
Two-and-a-half months ago, at New Jersey Future’s Redevelopment Conference in New Brunswick, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean asked an audience of transportation and environmental experts which member of Congress – both Democrats and Republicans included – would be the most important to re-elect in November.
There was no argument: The answer was Rodney Frelinghuysen, the powerful chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee who is in line to become the House Appropriations chair – and one of the most powerful lawmakers in Congress – if Republicans retain control of the House for a few more years.
Frelinghuysen’s low-key leadership style – exemplified by his little-noticed addition of $500 million to the 2016 omnibus defense spending bill to expand intelligence-gathering capability throughout the world – earned him laudatory editorials from some of the state’s newspapers.
But it was the way Frelinghuysen, whose 11th District includes the Caldwells, Fairfield, Essex Fells and Roseland, steered the $550 million superstorm Sandy aid bill through a reluctant Tea Party-dominated House – and his defiance of efforts by conservative Republicans to strip Legal Aid protection for the poor from the bill – that showed that the former Vietnam veteran can exert a steely clout on a national level when needed.
Regardless of who wins the presidency in November, Frelinghuysen’s influence will be critical in assuring funding for the Amtrak-NJ Transit Gateway rail tunnel project and for other programs of importance to New Jersey.
Despite being a reliable conservative vote on virtually every issue for the past several terms, Frelinghuysen once again faces token right-wing opposition in his 11th District Republican primary. We urge all registered Republicans and Republican-leaning unaffiliated voters in the district who care about the future of our state – and our nation – to make sure they get to the polls and vote for the most important New Jerseyan in either party to reelect to Congress.
Vote for Frelinghuysen.