(WEST ORANGE, OCTOBER 20) - Schundler for Governor campaign manager Bill Pascoe today issued the following statement regarding Jim McGreevey’s lack of commitment to New Jersey veterans:
“What has Jim McGreevey got against New Jersey’s veterans? You’d think that a guy who reminds voters at every opportunity that he’s the son of a Marine drill sergeant would at the very least have enough respect to show up when veterans invite him. But not Jim McGreevey, not last night. The New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars (NJVFW) held their gubernatorial forum in Manville last night so that New Jersey veterans could hear directly from the gubernatorial candidates where they stand on issues important to them -- and Jim McGreevey was a no-show.
“Perhaps Jim chose not to attend last night’s forum because he didn’t want to answer questions about his troubling record on veterans’ issues. Perhaps Jim didn’t want to defend his refusal to support pending ‘A Vet is a Vet’ legislation (A-3755), which would expand property tax benefits to over 100,000 veteran homeowners in New Jersey. Perhaps Jim didn’t want to explain why, as a state legislator, he voted against the FY’95 State budget, which appropriated $ 13.8 million to help expand the Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park -- a facility that is located within his former legislative district. Or perhaps Jim didn’t want to explain why, at this very moment, the City of Woodbridge is using zoning tactics to stall the sale of a VFW home in Iselin.
“Bret Schundler supports passage of ‘A Vet is a Vet’ legislation; he has promised to increase funding for transitional housing for homeless veterans; and he has pledged to lobby the Bush administration for the establishment of a veterans’ hospital in South Jersey -- which is critically important, since many South Jersey veterans now have to travel to Pennsylvania or Delaware to receive medical treatment.
“At a time when the men and women of the United State armed forces are fighting a war overseas against terrorism, we are reminded of the tremendous sacrifices that veterans have made for their country throughout history. New Jersey veterans have every right to expect that candidates for public office will make the extra effort to meet with them, listen to their concerns, answers their questions head-on, and tell veterans where they stand on the issues.
“Bret Schundler attended last night’s VFW forum because he is a leader who respects the men and women who served our nation in times of crisis. Jim McGreevey was a no-show -- a career politician who refuses to defend his record on veterans’ issues. If New Jersey's veterans want their next governor to go AWOL on the issues important to them, they just met their new best friend -- Jim McGreevey.”