Debate Review: Democrats Vying for the Chance to Lose to Scott Garrett

With the realignment of the Congressional Districts favoring the GOP, veteran Republican Congressman Scott Garrett (CD-5, Wantage) vulnerable, giving the democrats more hope to unseat him than in previous attempts. This brought us to Teaneck, which will be a new part of the District (at least most of it, a small chunk will remain in CD-9) for a debate between prospective candidates wishing to challenge Congressman Garrett, hosted by the left leaning organization Bergen Grassroots. The debate featured Diane Sare who is part of the Lyndon Larouche National Slate and Jason Castle, an Iraqi Veteran who served in the Marine Corps. Castle lives outside the district in Cliffside Park but will be moving to Teaneck in the near future within the borders of CD-5. Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen was slated to attend, but withdrew at the very last minute to a family commitment. Voices around the room indicated that he skipped the debate because he thinks he is going to win. Paul Eisenman, Chairman of Bergen Grassroots emphatically proclaimed during the course of the night that Gussen will not have the support of the organization should he get the nomination. Gussen already has the line in Bergen County.

Castle, A legitimate contender to Gussen: It’s possible

Deputy Mayor Gussen’s absence gave way for more time for the 30 year old former Marine to articulate his thoughts on the issues, including slamming the incumbent for his record, “Scott Garrett not a leader…he is in pocket of the insurance companies, and gets large sums of money to protect those interests.” Castle also attacked the Congressman’s record on Veterans, as Scott Garrett has a 0% record from the Disabled American Veterans. Castle believed that the tax system needed to be “fair and equitable” and called for a repeal of “No Child Left Behind”, a massive overhaul of the American Education System.  Mr. Castle is pro-choice (he says with an “asterisk”, he wants to reduce the number of abortions) and is pro-gay marriage.

Silver Bullets: Must Be Found if Nomination is Secure

With regard to healthcare, Mr. Castle indicated that he is “very much in favor of a single payor system” at the same time saying we should not “scrap what we have” due to the extension granted up to the age of 26 under Obamacare. He proclaimed that there was no “silver bullet” solution on several issues, including this, the repeal of the National Defense Authorization Act, and Glass-Steagall, the latter being a staple amongst the LaRouche crowd.  This prompted one from the crowd to question Mr. Castle on it, to which he responded that “These are not simple issues”; a weak response to the question which will not be impressive to the public at large if he is to persevere in this race.

Sare: Lyndon LaRouche in CD-5

Diane Sare, who is running on the Lyndon LaRouche national slate, came to the fold with a threefold agenda: reinstate Glass-Steagall which among other things would separate commercial banking from investment banking; a deep concern about the United States and Israel going into thermonuclear war with Iran; and the establishment of the North American Water and Power Alliance or NAWPA, which would be a massive construction effort of diverting water sources from Alaska to the continental United States.  Many of Sare’s and consequently, Lyndon LaRouche’s supporters were on hand and had a great influence on the evening’s proceedings, asking questions of or about Glass-Stegall.  Sare, like Castle is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage but has put more of a focus on her threefold agenda.

Sare: Hard to imagine, do we dare?

Diane is the only three of the candidates that have any campaign cash on hand to speak of at the time of this writing, a whopping $793.  Nonetheless there is a following of hers, more like Lyndon LaRouche’s that want to work hard to ensure that she is the nominee and the agenda is furthered.  To see her as the nominee in CD-5 would not be a total shock.

Every congressional election the various districts is mired with “scoring” how each district will turnout this November, even before Districts in the various states are finalized or before primaries have taken place, such as here in New Jersey. None of the Garden State’s 12 Congressional Districts come into play on the RCP “Top 25 House Seats in Play”. Furthermore, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has CD-5 as “Safe R”.  It is not unheard of to win an election with significantly less cash on hand, but with one candidate a no show, one just beginning to develop his ideas, and the third the calling for the resignation of your own party leader (Sare), is it any wonder how the Democrats will win in the 5th Congressional District this November?  Stay tuned.

James Beattie

James Beattie

A concerned, lifelong native of Bergen County, NJ, James participated in his first local campaign during his senior year of high school and has already run for council in his hometown of Bergenfield in 2010. James will be dedicating his energies to covering stories in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey, and is looking forward to learning something new in his writings everyday.

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