The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

November 2006

Special Dossier: Decision 5767
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Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District.
Special Dossier: Decision 5767

Voter's Guide: 
New Jersey's 5th Congressional District

Scott Garrett vs. Paul Aronsohn.

-- Jeff Hauser

The race in New Jersey's 5th congressional district features 2-term Republican incumbent Scott Garrett running against Democratic challenger Paul Aronsohn. Garrett served as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1990-2002 before being elected to Congress. Aronsohn also has a distinguished history in both the business and political worlds. In addition to working for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Aronsohn also served in the Clinton Administration, the U.S. Department of State, and as an aid to three U.S. Ambassadors to the U.N. during the Clinton era. [Note: Aronsohn is Jewish candidate.]

The race is receiving a significant amount of national attention not only because of its importance in the 2006 midterm elections, but also because of some controversial legislative decisions made recently by current representative Scott Garrett. For one, Rep. Garrett was one of only 11 representatives who voted against a bill pledging aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Rep. Garrett was the only representative from a northern state, and one of only 33 representatives overall, to vote against the Voting Rights Act of 2006, a reaffirmation of the landmark 1965 legislation that ensures the freedom of all eligible Americans to participate equally in the electoral process.

Garrett is among the most conservative House members on issues of reproductive rights and stem cell research. He has voted for legislation undermining the separation of church and state. Aronsohn is an advocate of stem cell research and reproductive rights and had pledged to protect the separation of church and state.

Here's how the candidates stand on issues of importance to the Jewish community:

  Paul Aronsohn (D)
Scott Garrett  (R. Incumbent) Scott Garrett
  • Strong supporter of Israel.
  • Policy Statement: "We should also work to strengthen and protect key international relationships, particularly with countries like Israel with whom we share such close strategic, political, economic and cultural ties."
  • Furthermore, Aronsohn fully recognizes Israel's right to defend itself militarily against hostile organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Reproductive Freedom
  • Pro-Choice: Aronsohn will "work to protect women?s reproductive rights."
  • Throughout his duration in Congress, Rep. Garrett has continually voted to undermine the reproductive freedom of American women.
  • In fact, Rep. Garrett has voted with the National Right to Life Committee 100% of the time on abortion legislation since his election to Congress.
Stem Cell Research
  • Supports stem-cell research and legislation like H.R. 810, which sought to repeal federal restrictions on stem-cell research.
  • Full position paper on stem-cell research.
  • Rep. Garrett supports stem-cell research.
  • Rep. Garrett voted in favor of H.R. 810 (vetoed by Pres. Bush).


Separation of Church and State
  • Aronsohn opposes federal legislation granting funds to religious institutions that engage in employment discrimination of any kind.
  • Aronsohn also opposes the displaying of religious icons on public property or in government buildings.
  • Finally, Aronsohn opposes both organized prayer sessions in public schools, as well as the teaching of either creationism or "intelligent design" in public schools.
  • Rep. Garrett voted (H.R. 27 amdt. 14) to allow federally-funded faith-based groups to practice religious discrimination in their hiring practices.
  • Rep. Garrett also voted in favor of H.R. 2799 amdt. 296, which supported the placement of a statue of the Ten Commandments in an Alabama courtroom.
  • In addition, Rep. Garrett voted against H.R. 2863 amdt. 328, which condemned reports of proselytizing and religious discrimination coming from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
  • Finally, Rep. Garrett urged New Jersey school boards to teach "intelligent design" in New Jersey public schools.


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