Torricelli's 'Opportunism'

Robert Torricelli's "Much Progress Since 1955" [Progressive Populist 7/96] is a disingenuous and shabby piece of election year opportunism, if ever there was one. For anyone with more than a passing knowledge of Torricelli's record knows that he is one of the last people who should be writing about or commenting upon progressive politics. He being one of the more retrograde politicians in this state. He is a friend and familiar to the likes of Haiti's FRAPH, Cuban American National Foundation's Jorge Mas Canosa and - despite last year's PR campaign around Jennifer Harbury - in all likelihood, Guatemala's generals.

His record is horrible. We are including a packet of information that should enlighten you about him. Among other things, he has voted for GATT, the fast track provisions of NAFTA, the Crime Bill and, most recently, the end of aid to dependent families. On other issues, such as the single-payer health care, when members of our organization were peacefully (and legally) passing out leaflets on single-payer in front of one of his "town meetings" at a public high school in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a number of years back, he had the police run them off.

He has also co-authored a bill with Newt Gingrich, no less, easing 10-K reporting requirements for corporations, as well as authoring a bill that would have greatly eroded first amendment rights by copyrighting the American flag and making it an infringement of copyright law to have burned or destroyed it.

I can go on, but won't. For further information about his record, our organization, or the independent progressive U.S. senatorial campaign of former Essex County rainbow coordinator Wilburt Kornegay - who faces off against Republicrats Torricelli and Zimmer - please contact New Jersey Independents, PO Box 86, Hackensack, N.J. 07602, telephone 201-487-3748 / 201-883-1531 (fax).

How your publication, which purports to be progressive, can give space to him to spew out his mediocre "say nothing" filth is beyond me. What gives?

Steve Cooper
Chair, New Jersey Independents
PO Box 86
Hackensack NJ 07602

Editor's Note: Torricelli has a mixed record. His 1992 Cuban Democracy Act, which tightened trade restrictions with Cuba, was opposed by many congressional Democrats but he also favored sanctions and intervention in Haiti, according to the Almanac of American Politics 1996. And he supported tough welfare reforms last year but he also has been rated by the National Journal solidly among the liberals on economic and social issues in 1993 and 1994. This distinguishes him from the Republican nominee, Dick Zimmer, who has compiled a solidly conservative record in Congress. The article by Torricelli in the July Progressive Populist, a defense of federal government programs, speaks for itself.

I like Ross

Just want you to know that I am behind Ross 100%. I do not feel like that I am an American any more. I fought for this country and now I am nothing, because big busines is running this country and everyone in it. I can not go along with it I am left out. If Ross has dotted all his I's and crossed all his T's he should have equal time. It's still my air space and if it passes through my property without him in it than let the U.S. goverment pay me for using my air space.

Mike Valliere
email LTHV20A@prodigy.com

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