Warren Fundraiser and Barney Frank Help Relaunch Congressional Bid

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Democrat Ed Potosnak seeks to unseat U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance from New Jersey's 7th Dist. seat in 2012.

By John Patten

Ed Potosnak, Roberta Krumholz, Rep. Barney Frank
Ed Potosnak, Roberta Krumholz, Rep. Barney Frank


About 75 supporters of Ed Potosnak, running for the Democratic nomination in 2012 for the U.S. House Seventh District seat held by Leonard Lance, gathered for a fundraiser in Warren, Saturday night.


The main draw for the event was U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, of Massacheusetts, who came to the Glenview Drive home of Arnold and Roberta Krumholz after meeting with U.S. Rep. Rush Holt in Princeton earlier in the day.

Speaking to the group, Frank said he was happy to help support Potosnak because "he's a bright guy and has a great grasp of policies."

Referring to Potosnak's bid for Lance's seat last year, when he lost by about 30,000 votes out of 175,000 cast, Frank added that Potosnak did better than many other, better-known candidates did.

"He did quite well in a difficult year for Democrats," Frank said.

Potosnak is a resident of North Plainfield, and is among New Jersey's first openly gay candidates for Congress. His biography includes stints as a high school chemistry teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, and as owner of  a home repair business.

He was twice tapped for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, a program enabling teachers to work with members of Congress and other Washington officials on education policy.

Not surprisingly, the event included opportunities for Frank and Potosnak to decry positions taken by Rep. Lance and Congressional Republicans.

Frank noted the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, which overturned limits to campaign and election spending by corporate, union and other groups under the McCain-Feingold law, and said consequently, there is an "unrestricted flow of right-wing money."

"All you can do if you're appalled by it is to give to give to those of us fighting it," Frank said.

Frank took issue with Lance's positions on the lack of oversight on financial institutions and spectulation in energy production; and Lance's support for proposed changes to Medicare, which Frank said would end Medicare for people under 55 but not Medicare taxes.

"Let me be clear—I'm not singling out Leonard Lance," Frank said. "At this point, there is no singling out. There is no difference between Leonard Lance and (Minnesota Congresswoman and presidential hopeful) Michelle Bachmann."

On a lighter note, Frank said that when the HBO movie version of "Too Big to Fail," by Andrew Ross Sorkin, was being filmed, he had been told someone from the TV series "Taxi" would be portraying him.

"I was afraid it would be Danny DeVito, but it was guy named Dan Hedaya," Rep. Frank said.

Among the attendees was Montgomery High School sophomore Lakshya Bommireddy, who accompanied former Montgomery Mayor Louise Wilson. She was anxious to meet Frank, and said she thought the event was interesting although she hasn't been too focused on politics.

Another Montgomery resident at the fundraiser was attorney Michael Fedun, who said he believes Potosnak belongs in Congress.

"I have a law firm and we have a sizable gay and lesbian clientele, " Fedun said. "I think it's important (for them) to have representation in Congress."

Roberta Krumholz, acting as hostess for the evening, introduced Potosnak saying she was "thrilled" to have Potosnak and Frank at her home. She said she had hosted an event for Assemblywoman Linda Stender when she ran against Lance in 2008, but has otherwise not been too active in politics.

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