News

PCDO Endorsement Meeting and Local Candidates' Night

Join the PCDO in endorsing our local candidates on Sunday, March 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson
Center.

Candidates are invited to address the membership and answer questions.

Fine Print: In order to vote, PCDO membership
dues must be paid by March 4.

Candidates for Princeton Township
Committee or Borough Council who wish to
appear at the March 18 PCDO General Membership
Endorsement meeting on March 18
must make their request at least 1 week
in advance by notifying
Jenny Crumiller, PCDO President - click
here
or call 924-2545.

Interested candidates should also notify
their Democratic Municipal Committee Chairs:

Dan Preston, Princeton Township -- click
here
or call 252-0011. The Township
Democratic Party Committee, which is the
official arm of the Democratic Party, will
also hold an endorsement vote.  This
vote will take place on the night following
the PCDO endorsement meeting.

Andrew Koontz, Princeton Borough -- click
here
or call 252-0264.  The Borough
Democratic Party Committee endorsement is determined by the PCDO. The Borough Committee does not take a separate vote or hold a separate endorsement meeting.

Candidate petitions for candidates wishing
to appear on the ballot in the Primary
Election are due on Monday, April 9.  Petitions
are available from the offices of the Clerks at the
Municipal Buildings of the Borough and
Township.

The
Primary Election is on June 5th.

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Public Financing Pilot Project for 2007 Legislative Elections Approved

The state legislature approved on March 15 a second "Clean Elections Pilot Project" for the 2007 elections. The measure now goes to Gov. Jon Corzine, who is expected to sign it. The latest bill expands to three (from the two covered in 2005) yet-to-be-determined competitive districts featuring Assembly and Senate campaigns. The districts must be selected by April 9. Candidates in the selected districts can be certified as "clean elections" candidates by each raising up to $10,000 in seed money, with all donations coming from individuals in amounts of $500 or less. Candidates would then be required to collect donations of $10. Once they collect 400 of these donations, candidates would receive $50,000 in state aid for campaign expenditures. Collecting 800 donations would qualify them for a full $100,000 in state clean elections funds. Moreover, the bill allows "clean elections" candidates to obtain extra state funding if their opponents do not participate in the program, or if their opponents get money from third parties or other campaigns. (Check out NJ.Com http://www.nj.com/starledger/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-6/117402374924... for more information.) Passage of the law came so late in the process that proposals to expand coverage to primary elections--when races in many districts are actually decided--became moot. However, it does represent a step in the right direction. Whether anything would pass hung very much in the balance until the final vote. Our own Sen. Shirley Turner was a persistent and key force in getting the law approved, and we should congratulate her for this. Russ Weiss Co-chair PCDO Government Ethics Committee
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PCDO 2007 Executive board election

At the PCDO annual meeting on January 21st, 2007 the following members were elected or re-elected to the PCDO Executive Board for 2007:

  • President- Jenny Crumiller
  • Vice President, Borough- Peter Wolanin
  • Vice President, Township- Jim Floyd, Sr.
  • Corresponding Secretary- Kevin Wilkes
  • Treasurer- Kim Pimley
  • Assistant Treasurer- Adam Bierman
  • Recording Secretary- Peter Lindenfeld
  • Corresponding Secretary- Kevin Wilkes
  • Township At-Large-
    • Toshi Abe
    • José Alcantara
    • Alyce Bush
    • David Cohen
    • Beth Healey
    • Sue Nemeth
    • Ginger Lennon
  • Borough At-Large-
    • Victoria Airgood
    • Jo Butler
    • Laurie Harmon
    • Anne Waldron Neumann
    • Paul Sigmund
    • Sheldon Sturges
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PCDO adopts Democratic Message

The Identity and Message Committee of the PCDO proposed the following message to be adopted by the PCDO. It was approved on February 25, 2007

The message has three parts: a preamble, ten short points which bring together some of the most important issues that this country faces, and a reprise of the same points, with some elaboration.

We would like to see it widely distributed, both to engender discussion, and as a campaign document, both within the PCDO and elsewhere. We offer it to any campaign or others for their use as they see fit. We welcome comments -- please use the comment form below to add your comment.

February 2007

 

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY MESSAGE: A CHALLENGE TO AMERICA.

We need all people to be healthy and educated, and to lead productive lives,

and all children and elders to be cared for.

We need a free press, our votes and voices to be heard,

and honest and knowledgeable officials.

We need to work with others in the world,

to have a healthy economy,

to take care of our planet’s environment,

and to reduce the widespread violence.

The Democratic Party is the party that cares about people.

We elect governments to take care of what we cannot do as individuals.

People are our greatest resource.

We draw people together to solve the urgent problems

of our communities, our country, and the world.

As citizens we must step up and take on the challenge.

These are our guiding principles:

1. The Iraq War – We must terminate an occupation which costs lives and injuries, and which continues to be sold to us with false pretenses. We support a speedy withdrawal of our forces and help for the Iraqis as they rebuild their country.

2. National Security – Our recent military actions have made us less safe. The threats from international terrorism and from rogue states require a new era of alliances, based on mutual respect and diplomacy. Our national security has to be based on a national and global plan for the prevention of man-made and natural disasters and recovery from them when they occur.

3. International Relations - Strong international alliances are the cornerstone of our foreign policy. America must work with others to eliminate violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. A stable peace in the Middle East can be achieved through negotiation, not through military action. Our strength must again rest on our moral authority.

4. Health Care - Adequate health care is a fundamental right of all Americans. The current system places unfair burdens on too many Americans, including employers, health care providers, and the uninsured. A public program patterned after the successes of Medicare is needed to cover all Americans.

5. The Economy – We must reverse the current disparity between the extremely wealthy and all other Americans, and address the challenges of entrenched structural poverty. There must be equal access for all to opportunities in education and employment. Among the steps that we advocate are an increased minimum wage, a tax system that asks more, rather than less, from those at the highest income level, a reasonable estate tax, setting new priorities toward a balanced budget, and a reduction of the national debt and its burden on our children and grandchildren.

6. Education - America’s ability to compete in the world economy depends on an educated citizenry. We must provide incentives for more and better education, especially in science, mathematics, literacy, and languages.

7. Energy and Environment - We must protect America’s extraordinary natural resources, promote conservation, and invest in technologies that reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels. We must continue to strive for cleaner air and cleaner water, and to protect our National Parks and wilderness areas. Climate change and global warming as a result of carbon dioxide and other emissions is a major threat to our planet. It is also an opportunity for national and international collaboration.

8. Social Security - The Social Security system must continue to meet its unconditional promise to deliver benefits.

9. Immigration - Immigration policies must recognize the essential role in our economy of Americans born elsewhere. Our borders must be secure, but legal immigration and access to citizenship must be provided to those who lead productive lives in the U.S.

10. Open and Ethical Government – The constitution, the bill of rights, and the civil rights laws must be protected and enforced. Elected officials must be answerable to the people whom they represent, and held to the highest standards of honesty. Each vote must be recorded accurately, and be subject to verification. We cannot allow the right to vote and access to the polls to be limited.

On the Iraq war

The withdrawal of our troops will enable the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country’s future. The presence of foreign troops only exacerbates the country’s internal conflicts. American and other lives are too precious to be wasted in a war without end. We must have a clear exit strategy, independent of any undefined and unattainable `victory’. We also ask for strict oversight of American funds appropriated for use in Iraq and elsewhere by private companies.

On National Security

We take great pride in our military defense force. We must not allow its strength to be eroded. War must remain the last weapon when our security is gravely threatened after all other measures have failed.

We need also to strengthen our police systems, and to establish a national plan for action by first responders and police in national emergencies.

Whether or not this is our aim, we have allowed the perception to grow that we are waging a war on Islam, and this has led to an unfortunate decrease in our security. It is imperative that we reverse this trend.

The greatest weapons that we have are our principles and our integrity. We can only lead by being the best that we can be.

On International Relations

Our military strength is a fundamental protection for our country. Its might has caused us to rely on it strongly, but we must not neglect the power of negotiation. We cannot be the police for the whole world, but our strength gives us the opportunity to be `honest brokers’ for peace.

On Health Care

The U.S. Health Care System is in crisis. One in six Americans has no medical insurance. Many citizens must choose between paying for medical care and basic necessities. Average spending for health care per person in the U.S. tops that of other developed countries, yet indices of public health in this country, such as life expectancy and infant mortality lag inexcusably. The fraction of resources spent on administration is much smaller for Medicare than in private insurance. We advocate the creation of a system of Medicare for all, financed by a trust fund like that for Social Security.

On the Economy

The U.S. economy has displayed a remarkable increase in worker productivity within the last decade, yet wages of workers and middle class incomes have remained stagnant or declined. The tax laws, as well as other practices, have allowed the rich to become richer, have left a greater fraction of the population to struggle just to stay at the same economic level, and made it more difficult for families with low resources to raise their standard of living. We support laws and regulations that reverse this trend and that protect workers as well as investors.

On Education

 

In the past the U. S. was a leader in science education, but it has now fallen far behind. The achievements of our students in quantitative and general literacy are inadequate. They must be raised if we are to regain our leadership in innovation and technology. We must attract more of our best students to the teaching profession, and invest more in our educational system. Student loans at low interest should be provided directly by the government.

On Energy and the Environment

Conservation of our energy resources is the simplest and cheapest way to decrease our reliance on imported oil and other fuels. In addition we must invest more in the development of renewable energy sources. We now know that global warming is a major threat to our civilization. We support measures to reverse the increase in carbon dioxide and other emissions that give rise to this effect. We must also conserve our other natural resources, including clean air and water, and protect the land that we hold in common for the good of future generations.

On Social Security

We oppose the privatization of the Social Security system, and the use of the Social Security Trust Fund to finance the national deficit. We favor the abolition of the cap on earnings subject to social security deduction, which unfairly exempts high income earners from our common social obligations.

On Immigration

Raising the minimum wage will encourage American citizens to take on jobs now performed by illegal immigrants. At the same time we can put pressure on governments and companies abroad to improve education and working conditions, and to raise the standards of workers in their countries.

On Open and Ethical Government

A Democratic administration will minimize the use of secrecy in its relation with the general public. Civil liberties must be constantly protected, and civil rights laws vigorously enforced. We believe in a free and open press, and will see to it that the Internet remains equally accessible to all. We support the Geneva Convention which stipulates the rights of war prisoners, and oppose the use of torture or inhuman treatment to anyone in U.S. custody.

A fundamental tenet of our democracy is our right to vote and to have that vote counted. Our voting system must include verification, accountability and accuracy.

 

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Oversized Trucks on State Routes 206 and 27

A message from Bill Hearon:

The NJ DOT’s Proposed Repeal and New Rules (PRN 2006-407) would designate Route 206 and Route 27 as part of New Jersey truck access network, allowing large trucks (102-inch wide) and double trailers to travel on these roads through Montgomery, Princeton Township and Borough, and Lawrence.

It is important that all members of the greater Princeton community have their voices heard on the impact that increases in the size of trucks passing through our community will be.

Click on "Read More" to for a list of links which will allow you to reach documents that you can use to keep informed about issues surrounding the use of wide body trucks on Route 27 and State Road/Route 206, and to act as an example for letters that you can use to reach out to our elected and appointed officials.

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Democrats Consider Proposal for Independent Ethics Panel

How's that for quick results! We'd urged support for the Democratic leadership to set up a an independent ethics watchdog (see below) and today's New York Times ("House Democrats Planning New Intelligence Oversight" (12/15, p. A36) reports that "Democrats with Republican cooperation, would form a task force to study ways the House could establish an independent entity to enforce House ethics rules." The task force is supposed to deliver its report on March 15. Personally, I'm sending an email to Nancy Pelosi to congratulate her on this initiative.

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An article in The New York Times reports that "House Democrats are seriously exploring the creation of an independent ethics arm" (12/13, p. A23). Most good government groups have long advocated the formation of an outside ethics watchdog panel to enforce Congressional rules. Currently, in the House this is generally the responsibility of its Ethics Committee. Unfortunately, it has proven to be a toothless watchdog, either dormant a lot of the time or, when it actually convenes, almost invariably extremely lenient when considering alleged transgressions by its fellow House members.

Congressman Rush Holt is currently studying the proposal and considering the issue. If you'd like to send him an email to urge him to support a bipartisan ethics panel click here.

Russ Weiss
Co-chair PCDO Government Ethics Committee

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