Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why The Jewish Community Is Responsible For The Assisted Suicide Bill Passing The NJ Assembly

אֵיכָה הָיְתָה לְזוֹנָה קִרְיָה נֶאֱמָנָה מְלֵאֲתִי מִשְׁפָּט צֶדֶק יָלִין בָּהּ וְעַתָּה מְרַצְּחִים
How has she become a harlot, a faithful city; full of justice, in which righteousness would lodge, but now murderers. (Yishaya 1-21)
Letter from Rav Moshe Soloveichik on Massachusetts vote for assisted "suicide" in 2012

As we previously reported the Assisted Suicide bill passed the Assembly by only 1 vote.  Unfortunately only 4 people representing significantly Jewish areas voted against that bill (both assembly-members from Lakewood, the Yamuka wearing Gary Schaer, and Nancy Pinkin from Edison/Highland Park) there was an additional member (Annette Quijano) who didn't vote (which legally has the same as value as voting no).  ALL THE OTHER REPRESENTATIVES OF JEWISH AREAS VOTED FOR THE MURDER BILL. 

First of all If the United Orthodox Jewish Community would have proven record of voting based upon the Torah many of these elected officials would not even have been in the assembly.  Furthermore if politicians knew that we would have voted against them because of this bill it would have been a risky move that would have prevented all but the strongest ideologues from voting for this bill.  Furthermore there was no organizational (Agudah/OU) effort in fighting this bill, NOT A JEWISH MEDIA OUTLET PUBLICIZED THE INFORMATION THAT THERE WOULD BE A VOTE ON THURSDAY URGING PEOPLE TO CALL THERE LEGISLATORS.  In fact the Agudah lobbyist Avi Schnall (who opened up the Agudah convention a few hours after the bill passed) ran a particularly week attempt to fight this even by agudah poor historical standards (read the link) Clearly more concerned with the Agudah Convention then shfichas damim.  
The vote took place at around 3:00 PM
This tweet took place at 2:46 PM

There was no move by the Jewish establishment to contact even influential members of the community (rabbis/A$kanim) to contact their legislators telling them to vote against the bill.  It's clear that if Rabbi Meir Stern Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic would have called Marlene Caride and strongly told her to vote against this bill, this bill would have had a more than 75% chance of her changing her vote and thus failing. (remember this bill passed by 1 vote)

To also give credit where credit is due (despite his other some of his other flaws)
“In terms of my personally held religious beliefs, there are issues of assisted "suicide", which is contrary to the religious principles that I adhere to,” said Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer, D-Passaic, who is Jewish. “I’m supportive of hospice, I’m supportive of affording people pain medication.  “To actually promote and assist as a state in suicide is, again, antithetical to my core belief system.”

Here's the vote count from the Assisted Suicide bill.  

yellow means someone that voted the wrong way, who has a sizable enough Orthodox population that the politician in question is forced to listen to us, and if need be, we may be able to knock out depending on the district!
Green means that we have a decent size presence there that we can be influential at the edges
blue means didn't vote for the bill and has at least a decent size Orthodox (however many communities like Deal and Morristown are not the real cause of a proper vote rather the non Jewish population in this areas are)

here were the sponsors of the bill
Burzichelli, John J. as Primary Sponsor
Eustace, Timothy J. as Primary Sponsor 
(represents Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Paramus)
Cryan, Joseph as Co-Sponsor (represents Elizabeth)

McKeon, John F. as Co-Sponsor (represents Livingston, Maplewood, West Orange)
Jasey, Mila M. as Co-Sponsor (represents Livingston, Maplewood, West Orange)

Wilson, Gilbert L. as Co-Sponsor

Session Voting:
Asm.  11/13/2014  -  3RDG FINAL PASSAGE   -  Yes {41}  No {31}  Not Voting {8}  Abstains {0}  -  Roll Call

Andrzejczak, Bob - YesAngelini, Mary Pat - Not VotingAuth, Robert - No
Benson, Daniel R. - YesBramnick, Jon M. - NoBrown, Chris A. - No
Brown, Christopher J. - NoBucco, Anthony M. - NoBurzichelli, John J. - Yes
Caputo, Ralph R. - Not VotingCaride, Marlene - YesCarroll, Michael Patrick - No
Casagrande, Caroline - NoCiattarelli, Jack M. - YesClifton, Robert D. - No
Conaway, Herb, Jr. - Not VotingCoughlin, Craig J. - NoCryan, Joseph - Yes
Dancer, Ronald S. - NoDanielsen, Joe - YesDeAngelo, Wayne P. - Yes
DeCroce, BettyLou - NoDiMaio, John - NoDiegnan, Patrick J., Jr. - Yes
Egan, Joseph V. - NoEustace, Timothy J. - YesFiocchi, Samuel L. - No
Fuentes, Angel - YesGarcia, Carmelo G. - YesGiblin, Thomas P. - No
Gove, DiAnne C. - NoGreen, Jerry - YesGreenwald, Louis D. - Yes
Gusciora, Reed - YesHandlin, Amy H. - NoJasey, Mila M. - Yes
Jimenez, Angelica M. - YesJohnson, Gordon M. - YesKean, Sean T. - No
Lagana, Joseph A. - YesLampitt, Pamela R. - YesMainor, Charles - Yes
Mazzeo, Vincent - YesMcGuckin, Gregory P. - NoMcHose, Alison Littell - Not Voting
McKeon, John F. - YesMoriarty, Paul D. - YesMosquera, Gabriela M. - Yes
Mukherji, Raj - YesMunoz, Nancy F. - NoO'Donnell, Jason - Yes
O'Scanlon, Declan J., Jr. - YesOliver, Sheila Y. - NoPeterson, Erik - No
Pinkin, Nancy J. - NoPintor Marin, Eliana - YesPrieto, Vincent - Yes
Quijano, Annette - Not VotingRible, David P. - NoRiley, Celeste M. - Yes
Rodriguez-Gregg, Maria - YesRumana, Scott T. - NoRumpf, Brian E. - Not Voting
Russo, David C. - NoSchaer, Gary S. - NoSchepisi, Holly - Yes
Simon, Donna M. - NoSingleton, Troy - YesSpace, Parker - No
Spencer, L. Grace - YesStender, Linda - YesSumter, Shavonda E. - Yes
Tucker, Cleopatra G. - Not VotingVainieri Huttle, Valerie - YesWatson Coleman, Bonnie - Not Voting
Webber, Jay - NoWilson, Gilbert L. - YesWimberly, Benjie E. - Yes
Wisniewski, John S. - YesWolfe, David W. - No

Look and see how we failed miserably (remember only 1 more vote not voting yes would have stopped this bill)

Cherry Hill
both assembly members voted the wrong way

One assembly member voted the right way and the other didn't vote

Highland Park, Edison
One assembly member voted the right way and the other voted the wrong way

One assembly member voted the wrong way and the other didn't vote

both assembly members voted the right way

Livingston, Maplewood, West Orange
both assembly members voted the wrong way

both assembly members voted the right way

Union City
both assembly members voted the wrong way

both assembly members voted the right way

One assembly member voted the right way and the other voted the wrong way

Englewood, Teaneck, Tenafly
both assembly members voted the wrong way

Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Paramus
both assembly members voted the wrong way

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