I attended the Jeff Van Drew Event at Rowan University on October 4th because, with so few public appearances by our Congressional Representative, I wanted to hear what he had to say.
He opened by telling the audience holding a political office is about two things – 1) public service and 2) bipartisanship.
He then spent almost 45-minutes patting himself on the back about individual constituents he had helped. While it’s important to help individuals, it is much more important to pass meaningful legislation to help the masses.
He told the audience about a girl battling cancer. She was having trouble getting an important cancer treatment covered by her insurance. His contribution was calling the insurance company and threatening to protest outside their office. Strange! The insurance company caved and paid for the girl’s treatment.
He told the audience about another constituent suffering from cancer who paid out of pocket for a diagnostic test. When the insurance company refused to reimburse him for the test, Van Drew called the insurance company and “tuned them up”. Strange! The insurance company once again caved and reimbursed the man.
While these 2 examples are nice, they only helped two people. Legislation that regulates the insurance industry could help many people. Legislators should legislate.
After “tooting his own horn” for a while, he turned his attention to Bipartisanship.
He spoke about how, as a state senator, he got a county college approved for Cape May County. However, the “history” of Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) never mentions anything about Jeff Van Drew having played any part in its creation.
He also talked about his efforts to save the Vineland Developmental Center. This DOES appear to be a true bipartisan effort spearheaded by Jeff Van Drew. Credit where credit is due!
He rambled on about a few other bipartisan legislative efforts he participated in while a state senator. I began to notice a pattern. While Jeff Van Drew was a Democrat, he was more inclined to work in a bipartisan way. Since going to the US Congress and becoming a Republican, he seems to have lost that bipartisan spirit. He now votes the straight party line. The most bipartisan thing he could claim about his time In Congress is that he sometimes sits with democrats on the floor of the House!
Since he had no other bipartisan initiatives to talk about, he turned to some controversial votes. He tried to justify his “NO” vote on impeachment and his “NO” vote on the January 6th Commission. He said Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine were not impeachable. I guess he’s OK with the President of the United States strong arming the vulnerable leader of another country to get dirt on a political opponent. Regarding the January 6th Commission, he said he doesn’t support it because Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t let his good friend Jim Jordan on the committee. He also said the January 6th Commission was invalid because it wasn’t investigating Antifa or the violence that sometimes followed last year’s BLM protests after George Floyd’s murder. He seemed confused about what happened on January 6th. It had nothing to do with Antifa or BLM. It had everything to do with Trump’s big LIE.
He told the audience he did not vote to increase the debt ceiling or the Continuing Resolution to keep government open. I guess he’s OK with the US government shutting down, not paying Veterans, not sending out Social Security checks, and defaulting on its Debt. Amazing!
When asked why he switched parties, he said he didn’t leave the Democratic party – the Democratic party left him. When asked to identify one thing he knows now that he wishes he knew when he started his political career, he responded “I wish I knew I was more fit to be a Republican”.
I’m glad I attended this event. It provided affirmation that Jeff Van Drew must go. I am more determined than ever to become the Congressional Representative for NJs 2nd District. We need better and I will bring it!