Here is Tod Theise's statement on why he is running:
I'm running for Congress in the 5th Congressional District because I believe Scott Garrett is out of touch with the values we share. While I harbor no personal animosity toward Scott, I am often left scratching my head at the votes he casts and the priorities he pursues.
Our nation's economic collapse thoroughly exposed Scott Garrett's disconnect with the working familes he was elected to represent. Even in the face of Wall Street's unbridled fleecing of the American economy, Scott continues to serve as the apologist-in-chief for Big Finance.
He continues to push the same discredited agenda of reckless deregulation that drove our economy off a cliff. He continues to advocate for privatizing social security. He even voted against extending unemployment benefits for families suffering through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression while advocating for millionaire Wall Street execs to get lucrative bonuses because, according to Scott, they "earned" them.
If you're looking for a logical reason for Scott's servitude to Wall Street, you need only look at the sources that fund his campaign. His campaign finance reports read like a who's who of corporate lobbyists and entities that directly benefit from his lock-step votes. Moreover, Scott sits on the United States House Committee on Financial Services (or House Banking Committee), which oversees the entire financial services industry, including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries. The Committee also oversees the work of the Federal Reserve, the United States Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other financial services regulators (see sourcewatch.org). How can anyone objectively regulate Big Finance when their political lifeblood flows from these very sources?
For Scott Garrett the golden rule is "Wall Street plays and Main Street pays."
Aside from national issues like financial reform, New Jersey faces a particular challenge that has plagued us for decades. New Jersey gets only 61 cents back on every federal tax dollar we send to Washington. For decades we have ranked dead last out of all 50 states in this regard. Given our current financial crisis and the brutal budget cuts we are enduring, we can't go on paying the freight for other states -- some of whom get back as much as twice what they pay in federal taxes. It's about time someone took the gloves off in Congress and fought for New Jersey taxpayers.
My FAIR SHARE TAX ACT will require that any state receiving less than 75 cents back on each federal tax dollar be refunded the difference between their return and the 75 cent baseline. In new Jersey's case, taxpayers would be refunded the difference between our pathetic 61 cents and the 75 cent baseline, which comes to 14 cents.
That 14 cent per tax dollar refund represents $9.8 billion that would come back to New Jersey. Can you imagine what an impact these funds would have on preserving our quality of life? I've outlined the plan in full detail (including a funding mechanism that won't cause other states to oppose the bill) in the "Tax Fairness" section. I will go to Washington and do something no on else has had the guts to do -- get back our fair share!
I look forward to meeting my friends and neighbors during the campaign and listening to your concerns.
To find out more, go to Tod's website.