Fire and replace the “absentee congressman” and anti-women, anti-LGBT Republican Chris Smith! Democratic candidate Josh Welle deserves the privilege of serving New Jersey’s fourth congressional district instead. The district’s voters should vote for him, and Americans throughout the country should donate to his campaign.
(“Absentee congressman”: by the way, that’s Welle’s words for the record, not mine.).
Welle is not afraid to condemn President Donald Trump for his treasonous, criminal, unethical, behavior.
At the U.S.- Russia Summit Press Conference in Helsinki Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire asked President Trump: “would you denounce what happened in 2016 [i.e., the Russian interference in the election] and would you warn [Russian president Vladimir Putin] to never do it again?”
Trump would not denounce it, would not warn Putin never to do it again, and in fact said that Putin’s denials were “strong and powerful” while the U.S. intelligence community’s findings were not “strong and powerful.”
Trump also said he didn’t “see any reason why” Russia would interfere in our elections. (The fact that we have been sanctioning them for things like violating international law when they annexed Crimea, et cetera, seems to escape the consciousness of the president)
In response to Trump’s open treason and groveling before Putin, Welle said:
“As a post-9/11 veteran and an everyday citizen, I was appalled by the President’s actions in the press conference with Russian President Putin in Helsinki. For a sitting U.S. President to side with an authoritarian Russian leader while undermining the integrity of America’s intelligence community is a threat to national security and an insult to the men and women who serve and protect this country.”
“In choosing to support Putin over our NATO allies, Trump failed in his duties as Commander-in-Chief and reinforces to the American electorate that he lacks the diplomatic skills necessary to lead during times of great uncertainty.”
In contrast, Representative Chris Smith refused to criticize the president in the least. (Anyone who is dogmatically uncritical in the name of being “a team player” for their political party proves they lack basic ethical standards and the intellectual capacity necessary for the kind of judgement a lawmaker should have).
Smith did not utter a single word acknowledging President Trump’s deference to Putin (or his sycophancy towards him) nor did he demonstrate an awareness of Trump’s blatantly obvious undermining of U.S. intelligence. In fact, Chris Smith acted as if President Trump was not even at the summit, saying:
“Today’s summit broached crucial issues affecting human rights in many countries, election meddling, the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, and terrorism, among other serious concerns.”
“Today, President Trump stated the obvious—we know that Russia meddled in the election. He said further that he has ‘full faith and support’ in the conclusion reached by the intelligence agencies in their investigation. This clarification is welcomed and, frankly, expected.”
Smith says this despite the president’s numerous walk-backs calling the entire Russia investigation “a witch-hunt” and “a hoax.” Smith has no comment on that, proving he is either incompetent or unethical.
But there is more at stake than a treasonous president doing the bidding of an anti-Democratic Russian President and flouting the law. The preservation of basic civil rights are under constant attack so long as Chris Smith remains in congress.
Thankfully, Josh Welle won’t have it.
Welle believes women should not be slaves to theocrats and fetuses- he believes women have the right to choose if they want an abortion or not. Welle says: “A woman should be able to make her own healthcare choices” and that he “Support[s] women’s reproductive rights and their access to safe and affordable care including contraception, preventive care and funding for Planned Parenthood.”
Chris Smith does not believe that. He believes that rape victims should not be allowed to have abortions.
Consider Smith’s attempt to actually change the legal definition of rape as part of his Pro-Choice agenda.
As Mother Jones reported back in 2011:
“For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.)”
Chris Smith took issue to that and introduced legislation that would redefine “rape” and thereby limit the number of rape victims who can receive government funded abortions.
Mother Jones reported:
“types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes.”
Mother Jones added: “As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.”
Chris Smith’s attacks on reproductive rights spans decades, with relentless attempts to pass a constitutional amendment banning abortion.
Chris Smith has also spent his career trying to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.
He also infamously denigrated the LGBT community when he said “I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights.” It’s clear that Chris Smith is divisive- that he thinks the 14th amendment of the constitution, which declares all Americans equal under the law- is null and void. Smith wants utterly unconstitutional control our sex lives.
Welle, on the other hand, supports LGBT rights. He says “No American should be treated differently because of who they love. I support full federal equality for LGBT Americans because gay rights are human rights.”
A number of Smith’s constituents are disgusted by his bigoted policies and rhetoric but Smith doesn’t have the nerve to listen to their appeals to change his mind.
He hasn’t granted his constituents a town hall in a quarter of a century. He is terrified of facing their criticism. He doesn’t even have the courage to face his opponent, Welle, in a debate. He doesn’t even live in the state he is supposed to “represent.” As is widely reported, he lives in Virginia, not New Jersey.
Chris Smith is an absolute coward, afraid of the outrage his decades of bigotry have incited.
Josh Welle, a Veteran who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq has proven he does have courage.
Residents of New Jersey’s fourth congressional district deserve a Representative who is not afraid to condemn the president’s treasonous, criminal, unethical behavior, not afraid to face the people he wants to serve, and not afraid to stand up for them, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. And if Americans throughout the country donate to this campaign it will also help in the Democratic effort to reclaim the House of Representatives.