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This is an awesome ad from Congressman Rush Holt (D. NJ-12) who is running for U.S. Senate:

Saving in the Social Security system is not rocket science, according to Rush Holt, the only rocket scientist in the race to fill an empty U.S. Senate seat.

The formula is simple, the congressman says in a new web ad released by his campaign on Thursday: "Make the wealthy pay their fair share. End of story."

It is the latest in a series of web ads released by the Holt campaign in recent weeks. Like previous ads, it comes in a 1-minute long version and a 15-second shorter spot and shows Holt standing in a laboratory classroom-like setting in front of a whiteboard, addressing the camera directly. - New Providence-Berkeley Heights Patch, 7/19/13

This is a great ad I have to say.  Holt is one of 26 co-sponsors of the House version of the Protecting & Preserving Social Security Act authored by Congressman Ted Deutch (D. FL-21) and Senator Mark Begich (D. AK), the original author:

Holt still trails Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) in the primary but his name is starting to resonate with New Jersey Democrats:

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt participates in a candidate forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at the Hampton Diner in Newton, as he runs for the U.S. Senate. The form was put on by Sussex County Democrats. (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt – an underdog in the Democratic contest for U.S. Senate – won a “straw poll” tonight among Democrats in a deeply Republican corner of New Jersey.

Holt (D-12th Dist.) won the informal, non-binding contest conducted at the end of a candidates’ forum hosted by the Sussex County Democrats. He received 34 votes while Newark Mayor Cory Booker got 19 votes. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) got 12 votes and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) received nine votes.

The four candidates are running to succeed the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg in an Aug. 13 special primary. The winner will run in the special general election on Oct. 16. - The Star-Ledger, 7/17/13

Holt and Oliver attended the forum at the time while Booker was at a campaign event in Camden and Pallone was on his way back from Washington after casting votes.  Both Booker and Pallone sent surrogates.  Holt took the time to differentiate himself from Booker:
“I should admit something up front. I’ve never run into a burning building and I don’t have a million Twitter followers,” he said. “For some people I’m well-known for having beat Watson in Jeopardy! For others it’s the bumper sticker you see around the state that says my congressman is a rocket scientist.”

But Holt said he would like to be known as a teacher, scientist and a “committed progressive.”

“And, I think it must be said, to carry on Frank Lautenberg’s fight. He was a fighter. I’m determined to carry on that fight, for children’s health, for gun safety – for all of the things that we worked on.” - Star-Ledger, 7/17/13

I really like both Holt and Pallone more over Booker.  Holt has a big hill to climb in securing the party's nominee but he's worth watching in this primary.  If you would like to get involved with Holt's campaign or donate, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This man is one of my favorite progressive (4+ / 0-)


    It's neck-and-neck between Holt and Warren.

    We need to support his Senate bid big-time here.

    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:51:54 AM PDT

    •  What's truly appalling? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nick Lento, ichibon

      Pete Peterson, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Paul Ryan and every other pseudo economist in the world have been trying to sell the "We have to cut SS to save it" mantra, and they have been doing it for the last four years.

      And in all of this time, this seems to be about the first real case I have seen of any Democrat actually promoting uncapping Social Security taxation so the rich pay a fair share.  In all of the discussions about sequestration and debt and budget cuts, this idea has just been everyone, including Democratic leadership and the President.

      Holt sums this up in ways everyone can understand.  Let us hope his message opens the debate on this simple, fair and progressive step to save Social Security, avoid benefit cuts and later retirement ages and give all Americans a more secure retirement.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:55:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I plan on voting for him (3+ / 0-)

    pity that booker has so much more name recognization ...

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:06:02 AM PDT

  •  Told my sister to vote for him (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick Lento, ichibon

    My sister lives in Jersey, and I told her as soon as I know Holt was running that she should vote for him, and I believe she plans to.

    He would make such a better senator than Booker, who is a garden variety neoliberal who will likely end up being somewhat of a hawk, too.  Holt, on the other hand, is a civil liberties champion and committed progressive.

    Jason Farago's piece in the Guardian from a month or so ago was totally on the mark about Booker:  Like Christie, he's gained his popularity by being a showman who knows how to work the media.

    •  LEFT, Rep Holt is a "Third Way" (DLC/Neoliberal) (0+ / 0-)

      Democrat according to "OnTheIssues."

      And BTW, you get no argument out of me about Booker.  I would never vote for him.

      It is important that folks look at Rep Holt realistically, though.

      BTW, I do appreciate Holt's stance on a couple of civil liberties issues.

      Please see below.

      Holt shows up on a 2006 DLC Membership Roster at Democratic Underground.


      Rush Holt on Principles & Values

      Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

      Holt adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

      As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.

      We believe:

      • that government’s proper role in the New Economy is to equip working Americans with new tools for economic success and security.

      • in expanding trade and investment because we must be a party of economic progress, not economic reaction.

      • that fiscal discipline is fundamental to sustained economic growth as well as responsible government.

      • that a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.

      • the Democratic Party’s mission is to expand opportunity, not government.

      • that education must be America’s great equalizer, and we will not abandon our public schools or tolerate their failure.

      • that all Americans must have access to health insurance.

      • in preventing crime and punishing criminals.

      in a new social compact that requires and rewards work in exchange for public assistance and that ensures that no family with a full-time worker will live in poverty.

      that public policies should reinforce marriage, promote family, demand parental responsibility.

      in enhancing the role that civic entrepreneurs, voluntary groups, and religious institutions play in tackling America’s social ills.

      • in strengthening environmental protection by giving communities the flexibility to tackle new challenges that cannot be solved with top-down mandates
      • government must combat discrimination on the basis of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation; defend civil liberties; and stay out of our private lives

      • that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

      • in progressive internationalism -- the bold exercise of US leadership to foster peace, prosperity, and democracy.

      • that the US must maintain a strong, technologically superior defense to protect our interests and values.

      Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC0 on Aug 1, 2000.

      Sounds pretty conservative to me.  ;-)

      Just "food for thought."


      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:58:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Holt's voting record (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Strangely, Holt is in both the New Democrat Coalition and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  So is Jared Polis.  I don't understand that for either.  However, Holt has a progressive voting record.

        The DW Nominate scoring system ranks him as the 55th most liberal Democrat in the last Congress--right around Philly's Bob Brady and Rochester's Louise Slaughter.

        Progressive Punch has him as the 43rd most progressive in the House:

        Ranking/scoring systems as such aren't perfect, but they are good for ballpark estimates.   And Holt has opposed chained CPI and any other cuts to Social Security and supports raising the cap---clearly not a DLC/Third Way position.

        Here he is defending the public option back in 2009 as well:

        •  That's good. I haven't studied his actual voting (1+ / 0-)

          record.  I hope that he is sincere regarding his stance on Social Security.

          I would be rather uneasy about a lawmaker joining two "opposing" caucuses.  Hopefully, he will remain true to the Progressive Caucus.

          He did stand with Russ Feingold on a couple of issues  which I thought were very important.

          The only reason I brought up his DLC ties, was my concern that he might vote to implement the Chained CPI.

          Of course, it is not uncommon for some of the DLCers (and even Blue Dogs) to co-sponsor a "progressive" bill prior to an election cycle.

          I remember several very conservative "western" Dems, who were facing tight elections, did the same thing months before an election (regarding the "public option," which they have previously vehemently opposed).

          Of course, a year later, it was revealed that the White House had taken it off-the-table well before some of these conservatives signed onto the "bogus" bill.  

          Anyway, I shall follow Rep Holt's vote on this issue.  And I truly hope that he won't disappoint his constituency with his vote.  Including your Sister.  ;-)

          I know that I feel compelled to put out any info that I'm privy to regarding candidate's "corporatist leanings," shall we say.  

          Especially regarding the Senate candidates.  

          In this day and age of "austerity measures," Senatorial races are now  everybody's business--since the "Grand Bargain" will likely be front and center again, soon.

          Thanks for the links and info.


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:14:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We had a canvasser stop by earlier today. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick Lento, ichibon

    Canvassing for Booker. I told him we were backing Holt, and he didn't try to change my mind. I guess if the Holt yard sign I requested over a week ago had arrived, it would have been obvious.

  •  I don't agree with Russ Holt on SocSec (0+ / 0-)

    I favor raising the cap, but eliminating it would violate every fundamental principle of SocSec as FDR structured it. I wrote a diary about it and you can find it here.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:51:17 AM PDT

    •  He doesn't advocate removal. (0+ / 0-)

      From that ad, it appears he advocates changing the cap to a percentage of income, rather than a strict dollar cap.

      The 99% pay 6% toward SS, let the 1% do the same.

      •  DaddyB - taxing all income at 6% (0+ / 0-)

        is removing the cap.

        It wouldn't be fair at all unless we allow SocSec benefits to rise in ratio to the increased contributions by high income earners.

        Read my diary for a much more in depth discussion.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:26:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't need to worry, I suspect. Please see my (0+ / 0-)

      comment above.

      And remember, some of the co-sponsors of this bill are conservatives (Begich self-describes as a fiscal conservative on C-Span.)  

      I'm a former Alaska resident.  And I can assure everyone that he is not a liberal, by any stretch of the imagination.  ;-)

      So, I'd take this proposed bill with a grain of salt.  After all, the co-sponsors are "safe" in signing onto this bill, since it will likely never see the light of day.

      [As a matter of fact, as far as I can tell, the status of this bill has not changed since it was introduced last year.  Certainly, if it has, I can't find it.]  

      And, of course, Social Security and Medicare cuts are included in the Administration's most recent budget (2014).


      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Removing The Cap Would More Than... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anet99, ichibon

    ...keep Social Security solvent....and the tax should apply to all income.   In my view it would eventually result in lowering the retirement age while increasing the payouts.  This is especially likely after the baby boomers are all dead.

    There's more to life than just becoming filthy rich at the expense of 99% of the population.

    Democracy and freedom are not compatible with a society which consists of the extremely rich and the desperately poor.

    Greed is not good.......not in the long run.


  •  Rush Holt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, BeninSC

    My God he spoke the unspoken. For that, he's got my vote. Why can't more politicians just come right out and say it. The "cap" for S.S. is about $180K. Anything over that is not taxed accordingly or proportionately. Why? Ask your congressional representative. Then, listen to their excuse. Then vote.

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