SCOTCH PLAINS – State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) is fighting Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) right now, but he’s also fighting President George W. Bush, that presence Stender keeps injecting into the debate.
Fielding a question about poverty and striving to contrast his position with that of Bush, Lance says he would have voted to fund the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Bush exercised his veto power over the program.
Then Stender blasts Lance over his position on the minimum wage. He voted against raising the minimum wage. Moreover, not enough labor strength behind Lance, says the assemblywoman. Unions built bargaining leverage for workers. Lance not sufficiently strong with unions, she argues.
Lance is making the bipartisan argument. Solve social security next year. He’s the man to do it. Proven record of bipartisanship.
"Unless we solve it next year, it will be more difficult to solve in later years," says Lance.
Stender says, "We have to make sure people understand we are not going to privatize social security."
In his closing statement, Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) makes the case that he’s a moderate. A $10 trillion debt is the transcendent issue of the time. He quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex).
"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice," said King.
And Codey: if there were more legislators like Lance, the state would be in better shape, says Lance.
Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) reminds the audience that Lance voted for President George W. Bush.