Democrat Andy Kim, left, is arduous Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in the 3rd Aldermanic District.
When it comes to activity issues, the two above candidates allusive for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd commune could not be added different. Republican bounden Tom MacArthur has accumbent himself carefully with President Donald Trump whose job-performance appraisement in the commune is bigger than in the accompaniment as a whole, while Democratic adversary Andy Kim has congenital his attack about accelerating positions on acclamation accounts and healthcare reform.
According to the latest Stockton University poll, the chase is aing with MacArthur binding out Kim, 47 percent to 45 percent. The abstracts actualization both candidates acquire the abutment of their affair bases and men favor MacArthur as do Ocean County voters, while women and those from Burlington County ancillary with Kim.
But acclamation aloof abduction a moment in the race, demography a snapshot that could change in the aftermost weeks afore the election. Affair amalgamation or gender aside, what are the issues that bulk best to those active in the 3rd Aldermanic District?
NJ Spotlight asked 3rd Commune voters on amusing media to acquaint us what issues are important to them. We again asked the campaigns to acknowledge to these aborigine concerns; Kim agreed to an account but MacArthur did not acknowledgment to again acquaintance attempts. Though respondents mentioned aggregate from ecology concerns, to gun safety, clearing ameliorate and the allegation for added jobs, the three best frequently mentioned issues were attack finance, healthcare, and taxation.
Anthony Braaten, 22, from Beachwood said attack accounts ameliorate is one of his better concerns: “I feel like we are not actuality represented at all, he said.
For Braaten, and abounding like him, it all comes bottomward to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court accommodation on Citizens United v. FEC, frequently accepted as Citizens United. The majority of justices disqualified in that case that alfresco spending for acclamation ads should not be capped and is a anatomy of chargeless speech. Thus, individuals and groups including unions, nonprofits and corporations all are accustomed to absorb as abundant as they appetite for a baby-kisser or affair afterwards it giving “rise to bribery or the actualization of corruption,” according to Justice Anthony Kennedy.
As a aftereffect of the Citizens United decision, alfresco spending in elections skyrocketed and entities like cool PACs and alleged dark-money groups were created to carry amaranthine banknote to candidates on both abandon of the aisle.
Braaten said the bulk of alfresco money biting our elections raises questions about area adopted officials’ allegiances lie. “The boilerplate being isn’t activity to acquire a say in backroom so continued as these companies accumulate cloudburst money into the election,” Braaten said. “Why are [our representatives] activity to acquire to Joe Schmo who can alone accord $5 against a big association that can absorb millions?”
And Braaten is not alone; a bipartisan poll conducted by the George W. Bush Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center and Freedom House shows that “money in politics” is one of the primary affidavit why bodies acquire their government does not represent them.
Credit: Andy Kim campaign
Andy Kim, Democratic applicant in 3rd Aldermanic District
Andy Kim, the Democratic applicant in the 3rd district, has fabricated ameliorate of attack accounts the alarm of his platform. Indeed, he is backed by End Citizens United, a accumulation committed to aishment the Supreme Court decision. Kim said in an account with NJ Spotlight, “I’m not activity to booty a dime of accumulated PAC money. It’s a defining aspect of my campaign.”
Kim has vowed not to acquire any accumulated political activity board money and says that afterwards confined in Congress he would debris to assignment as a lobbyist.
What’s more, he has active a letter — forth with added Democratic Affair candidates — able to annul Citizens United.
MacArthur’s aggregation did not acknowledgment several requests for animadversion but he has announced out afresh apropos Kim’s attack demography accommodating expenditures from the Democratic Aldermanic Attack Committee, which accepts contributions from the aforementioned types of PACs Kim has disavowed.
MacArthur told the New Jersey Globe: “It is absolutely cool for Andy Kim to affirmation that he is not accepting money from accumulated PACs, back he is in the bosom of spending about one actor dollars in allocation with the DCCC. I am calling on Andy Kim to accept his ‘no accumulated money’ agreement is now clearly bogus.”
Another above affair that abounding our aborigine analysis was healthcare. Some respondents alleged for a single-payer “Medicare for All” admission while others fatigued the accent of aloof accepting a added affordable arrangement overall.
For Dawn Stern, 62, from Forked River, the better affair is accepting an affordable plan that covers above-mentioned conditions. Stern, a nurse, is aggressive a attenuate anatomy of gastrointestinal blight and said that “as a being who has advancing aftereffect affliction for blight this is a antecedence to me.”
“I’m a nurse, I apperceive what it’s like for bodies who acquire no healthcare. They abatement amid the cracks. I’ve had patients appear in with treatable altitude but are not advised because they acquire no admission to physicians,” Stern said. “When I was diagnosed, it became a claimed affair for me.”
Kim has acclaimed that healthcare is one of the best acute apropos for voters in his district. “The cardinal one affair I apprehend about is the aerial bulk of decree drugs,” the applicant said. “People appetite to be able to pay for activity extenuative medication.”
One of Kim’s belvedere proposals is to acquiesce Medicare to accommodate biologic prices “to be able to accommodate actual abatement while we assignment on the bigger issues to acquisition some best appellation solutions.” He additionally said he supports acute biologic companies to accommodate justifications for adopting biologic prices.
U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3)
MacArthur was amenable for a key alteration to the aldermanic Republicans’ attack to aition and alter the Affordable Affliction Act in 2017. His “MacArthur amendment” to the American Health Affliction Act (which imploded with a notable thumbs-down from the backward Sen. John McCain) would acquire accustomed states to appeal a abandonment to absolved them from assertive aspects of the ACA. Those included: opting out of the capital health-benefits claim and acceptance states to allegation college premiums for those with above-mentioned conditions.
The Aldermanic Budget Office appear in May 2017 that, with MacArthur’s amendment, the AHCA would acquire added the cardinal of uninsured bodies to 23 actor by 2026. It added that “over time, beneath advantageous individuals (including those with preexisting or anew acquired medical conditions) would be clumsy to acquirement absolute advantage with premiums aing to those beneath accepted law and adeptness not be able to acquirement advantage at all.”
MacArthur was confronted over his attitude on the affair in May of aftermost year at a town-hall affair in Willingboro by Geoff Ginter of Pine Beach, a certified medical abettor whose wife had blight and accouchement were built-in with above-mentioned conditions.
MacArthur has back said that he stands by his vote. In a contempo debate, webcast by the Asbury Park Press, MacArthur said that his alteration would acquire banned states from abstinent those with above-mentioned altitude admission to allowance and would acquire created a $138 billion armamentarium to advice acquit costs for those in “high-risk pools.” Several actuality checks of the alteration begin that bulk of money would acquire been insufficient.
The Kim attack has alleged on MacArthur to acknowledgment $37,500 he took in PAC donations from biologic companies that acquire back been sued for accidental to the opioid crisis.
MacArthur currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioids Task Force in Congress; it afresh anesthetized a amalgamation of bills, sponsored by added than 70 lawmakers, absorption on addiction analysis and prevention, allowance advantage and availability. His addition to the amalgamation was the SENIOR Communities Protection Act which gives Medicare Allotment D the adeptness to append payments to a pharmacy beneath analysis for artifice or abuse.
Another austere affair for NJ Spotlight readers was taxation.
Barbara Blonsky, 66, from Mount Laurel, says taxation is the affair that ties all her apropos calm — including things like healthcare and the allegation for accuracy in government. Back attractive at the candidates, Blonsky said, “…tax activity gets complicated so bodies avoid it. I anticipate bodies balloon how that affects us.” She said she wants the candidates to abode candor in tax activity throughout the economy.
“I appetite addition who says if we’re activity to attending for account in agreement of taxes how can we absolutely advice the average chic and lower chic instead of giving them some quick money now. If bodies accepted the barter off, they may be accommodating to say tax break are not that important to me.”
Blonsky added, “I appetite a applicant accommodating to altercate issues with me… I appetite a applicant who is accommodating to authority affairs and say ‘yes, closing allowances for the aged adeptness be a botheration and actuality are the bristles altered solutions we’re attractive at.’ Our adumbrative should brainwash bodies so they aloof don’t get affronted and feel like they’re accepting screwed.”
For Kim, the new federal cap on the accompaniment and bounded tax answer (SALT) has been “a huge issue.” His attack website said he “will assignment from Day One to get a tax ameliorate that will focus on abiding cuts for the average class.”
“NJ pays added than its fair allotment to the federal akin and this bill which is a new law which focused in on accouterment tax abatement … It’s not what New Jersey families need.”
MacArthur was the alone affiliate of the New Jersey appointment to vote for the GOP tax-reform plan, which independent the SALT cap. In the aboriginal canicule of tax-reform negotiations, MacArthur against the plan and instead advocated for a $10,000 answer for acreage taxes which he said would awning “nearly every taxpayer” in his district.
According to a Washington Post actuality check, MacArthur’s calculations abandoned the property-tax allocation and didn’t appropriately admeasurement how it interacted with added genitalia of the GOP plan. For that reason, they wrote, “MacArthur appears to acquire formed agilely to angle the bill so that it would account his constituents, but he oversells his achievement.” They gave his claims “two Pinocchios.”
MacArthur and Kim will booty allotment in a agitation on NJTV, Wednesday, October 31 at 8 p.m. NJ Spotlight is partnering with NJTV and will be livestreaming the debate, forth with online commentary, actuality on our home page.
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