Up against a GOP on-paper district in the general election and nudged by her opponent, Aimee Belgard, Democratic candidate in CD3, today criticized President Barack Obama’s decision to divert Sandy funds from New Jersey’s hardest-hit areas.
The Obama administration wants to enable other states to compete for millions of dollars set aside for Superstorm Sandy relief.
Running against Republican businessman Tom MacArthur, Belgard said she thinks it’s a bad idea.
“Full recovery from Superstorm Sandy is far from complete,” said the Democrat. “People still haven’t been able to move back into their homes and many are without jobs. The Administration’s decision to allow other states to compete for funds set aside for Superstorm Sandy relief is alarming and incredibly disappointing.
“Congress, the Administration, as well as state and local governments, all need to work together to ensure that the areas destroyed by Superstorm Sandy realize a full recovery. We’re too far away from that to allow other states to compete for, and divert, Sandy funds. The President is simply wrong on this and I urge him to reconsider.”
Belgard issued her statement following some prodding by MacArthur, who last week criticized the Obama Administration for pushing forward with plans to divert nearly $1 billion in monies from the Hurricane Sandy relief package to other parts of the country and away from hard hit areas like Ocean County.
“After considerable effort from a bipartisan coalition of elected officials in our region, Congress passed – and the President signed – a disaster relief package specifically to help victims of Hurricane Sandy recover and rebuild after the storm,” said MacArthur. “Now, while thousands of home and business owners in places like Ocean County are still struggling to get back on their feet, President Obama and HUD are diverting much-needed resources from that aid package to other parts of the country. Frankly, it’s a slap in the face to people who had their lives turned upside down by this storm.”
MacArthur decried Obama’s so-called “National Disaster Resilience Competition” as doubly unfair to New Jersey taxpayers since the state already receives just 60-cents back from Washington for every $1 it sends there, according to an independent analysis.
“New Jerseyans send far more money to Washington than we ever get back, and now in our time of need President Obama is picking our pockets again,” MacArthur said.
“I understand why Freeholder Belgard is afraid to criticize President Obama,” the Republican said. “She doesn’t want to hurt her chances of getting campaign funding from Nancy Pelosi or outside help from liberal Super PAC’s,” said MacArthur Campaign Manager Frank Luna, pointing to Belgard’s willingness to defend Obamacare and refusal to criticize Obama’s failure to inform Congress before freeing five dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. “But if Freeholder Belgard stays silent while $1 billion in Sandy relief is diverted to other parts of the country, it will be heard loud and clear by people in Ocean County.”