Courier News: Lance now touts programs he voted against

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By: Ed Potosnak

“You lie!” shouted Rep. Wilson while pointing at President Obama during his 2009 health care address to Congress. After the dust settled and apologies were made, it was determined that it was in fact the Republican congressman who was lying: illegal immigrants were not getting government-subsidized health care.

Unfortunately, it is all too common for Americans to distrust our elected officials. And who can blame them? Politicians in Washington continue to fabricate lies to defend the harmful actions they take and their lack of action to address the nation’s critical needs. Meanwhile, our families and businesses face the consequences of policymakers’ actions head-on: high unemployment; soaring costs of gas, healthcare, food and other necessities, fear of losing their jobs; and the prospect of good jobs for their children when they graduate.

The American people operate in reality, while our politicians in D.C. spin words into an abstraction of reality. It is sickening to watch as career politicians distort the truth to gain political advantage. I am tired of the “Washington Doublespeak.” It is time we hold our elected representatives accountable for misleading Americans time and again.

I was struck how my Congressman, Rep. Leonard Lance, paraded around Bound Brook with his Tea Party Mayor Pilato, touting projects funded by legislation both of them opposed. While it’s no longer surprising to see politicians mislead voters, it is striking when they take credit for things they were against. The Army Corps of Engineers deserve credit for the flood control efforts in Bound Brook, and so too do those brave politicians who voted to fund this project and many others across New Jersey and our nation.

Unfortunately, Congressman Lance opposed funding for the flood project on numerous occasions, in both the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act made it possible for the Green Brook Flood Control Project in the Raritan River Basin to move toward completion with over $13 million in funds that Lance voted against.

This is one of the many problems in Washington: politicians who want to have their proverbial cake and eat it, too. They think that if they vote against funding something, they can still take credit when the check arrives. It saddens me to see this, and it is simply wrong.

We need members of Congress who will fight to bring our tax dollars back to our community where they belong. People who will not hide from their record by misleading voters with empty words and false smiles for staged photos when it is convenient for them and their re-election. Members who will advocate for investments to improve the lives of our families and businesses and vote for funding that provides security for their homes from flooding.

Nearly two years after Congressman Wilson’s misguided outburst, President Obama once again addressed a joint session of Congress to address the economy and outline a job creation proposal. And, as expected, with clockwork precision, spin and deception began from career politicians like Lance and Wilson.

In order to change Washington, we need to change the people who represent us in Washington. Career politicians will only bring us more of the same problems. We need real world people with real world experience to represent us in Congress, teachers and small business owners who don’t think or act like them. We can do better, and together we will.

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