Politics

Primary Primer: What students should know for upcoming House of Representatives elections

By Caroline O’Brien
Contributor

Registered voters in six New Jersey Congressional districts will elect their party’s candidate for the November federal congressional midterm election Tuesday, June 5.

United States House Representatives serve two-year terms and are up for reelection every even year. Twelve New Jersey candidates will serve in the U.S. House, one from each congressional district.

U.S. House representative in District 11 since 1995, Rodney Frelinghuysen, announced he will not be seeking re-election in the district which encompasses County College of Morris and most of the rest of Morris County. This will guarantee change for New Jersey’s 11th district.

Neighboring districts with primaries in June include District 5 which includes most of Sussex, Warren, Bergen, and Passaic Counties where incumbent Josh Gottheimer hopes to represent the Democratic Party again. Also, incumbent republican Leonard Lance is seeking re-election in District 7 which encompasses most of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, parts of Mercer County, and some Morris County municipalities including Mount Olive, Chester Township and Borough, Washington Township, Long Hill, and Chatham.

Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic candidate seeking election for District 11, is displeased with current policy makers.

“After promising not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Rodney Frelinghuysen broke his word and voted with Donald Trump to end protections for preexisting conditions, let insurance companies charge individuals over 50 five times more than others, and to strip away health care from nearly 30,000 district residents,” her website says. “Rodney Frelinghuysen got in line and voted for Donald Trump’s tax plan that eliminates state and local tax deductions. This is a $4,000 tax increase for most families in our district. He sided with Donald Trump to defund planned parenthood, cut education funding, and has the worst environmental record of any member of the New Jersey delegation.”

Mark Washburne, a CCM history professor and Democratic candidate for District 11, said congress should do a better job of holding President Donald Trump accountable.

“In drafting the 1787 United States Constitution, our Founding Fathers anticipated that we would have a rogue President from time to time as they had experience dealing with rogue kings,” Washburne said. “They purposely established a three-branch government with checks and balances. The drafters of the Constitution assigned Congress the task of being the check on a rogue President … The current Congressman from New Jersey’s 11th District refuses to fulfill his Constitutional duties by speaking out and being a check on this rogue President.”

Tamara Harris, a Democrat seeking election, said she is confident in her adversity to current legislation. She  believes planning for the resiliency of our state and our nation will spur growth. Harris advocates research and development of green technology as means to provide new jobs and tax revenues.  She supports universal Pre-School to give more children across the country a fair opportunity to succeed. According to her campaign website, the GOP’s current budget plan would remove $2.4 billion in grants for teacher training and $1.2 billion in funding for summer and afterschool programs. Students need support from teachers who prepare them for their future beyond the classroom. Students need more options to graduate without debt and relieve existing debt. Undergraduate and graduate students need options for work while in school, including programs such as Federal Work-Study program. Harris will work to make higher education more affordable and accessible in NJ11’s college rich district. She believes in retaining functioning parts of the Affordable Care Act and fixing the parts that need improvement. She supports universal background checks on all gun purchases and banning assault weapons and prohibiting technology that increases a weapon’s rate of fire and destructive capabilities. She is Pro Choice, and pro-education for our teens as they begin to make life choices that can affect their physical and sexual health and economic viability. Harris also believes immigration system is broken, and needs to be fixed, replacing it with a safer and more accountable system that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants. Harris also supports continued investment in our roads, bridges, and tunnels, to ensure the safety of residents.

“Republicans in Congress recently passed a slew of tax cuts for the ultra-rich and big corporations that will burden New Jersey’s middle class and working families with higher taxes,” Harris said on her website. “The Republicans in Congress who vote for this tax-plan are sacrificing the middle class and creating extreme disparities in wealth that will impact economic mobility for generation to come. My advocacy for students, singles, families, and seniors requires me to stand firm against these Republican tax giveaways.”

Allison Heslin, a Democratic candidate seeking election, knows  collecting sufficient information is a critical first step to policy reform.  According to her website, Heslin advocates investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and reducing energy consumption through energy efficient technology while also creating jobs. In addition, she promotes modernizing waste management practices to divert organic waste into composting facilities to prevent a full 18 percent of methane emissions. Management and protection of our forests and oceans is crucial to support their natural role of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, while also supporting wildlife and biodiversity. She considers the Hudson River tunnel is a critical piece of regional and national infrastructure, which needs an immediate guarantee of federal funding contributions.  Heslin supports a tax system in which wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, in order to adequately fund public services without overburdening middle income earners. Heslins campaign also address’ different forms of institutional violence in order to create a more just society.

“Only half of undocumented migrants in the U.S. crossed the border illegally, the other half arrive legally through official points of entry and overstay their entry period,” Heslin said on her campaign website. “Additionally, of those apprehended by Border Patrol in 2016, less than half were from Mexico. The national focus on reducing undocumented populations by targeting Mexican migrants through increased border security does not match the reality of contemporary migration, and policy proposals based on this misrepresentation of migration will not address their stated purpose.”

Mitchell Cobert, a Democratic candidate, advocates funding by the federal government for the Gateway Tunnel Project, according to his campaign website. He plans to develop a fair immigration system protecting our national security and bipartisan solutions that benefit all and put immigrants, particularly Dreamers, on a path to citizenship. ​He believes in drug abuse preventions and cure over prisons and jails. Will work to ban offshore drilling and fracking and support transition to clean, solar, tidal and wind energy.  Cobert will fight any attempts to privatize Social Security and work to expand benefits for all recipients. He will also work to advance equal rights and opportunities of all persons with disabilities to help them fully realize their potential as contributing members of society.

Mikie Sherrill,  a Democratic candidate, calls climate change an economic and national security issue that affects all of us.  According to her website, she is a Naval Academy graduate, navy pilot, former federal prosecutor, and is ready to fight back against Trump. Sherrill supports access to affordable, quality education, healthcare, and will never support cuts to social security and Medicare. She believes the federal government should have no say on when, how, or with whom women decide to start a family. She also supports policy to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists.

As a Democrat seeking election, Washburne has relied only on voluntary sharing through social media and has declined all monetary donations for the primary election. If elected to Congress, Washburne said he will speak out and hold President Trump accountable for his often dangerous, unethical, and illegal behavior.  Washburne supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act to ensure more people are covered. According to his website, Washburne considers a landmark study in 1993 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that bringing a gun into the home puts everyone at much greater risk. The National Rifle Association pushed Congress in 1995 to stop the C.D.C. from spending taxpayer money on research that advocated gun control. Congress passed the Dickey Amendment in 1996 and cut funding that effectively ended the C.D.C.’s study of gun violence as a public health issue. Washburne supports rescinding the Dickey Amendment and allowing the C.D.C. to be able to study firearm violence in the U.S. He also supports universal background checks before purchasing a firearm and gun  control measures to remove weapons meant for war off American streets.

According to his campaign website, Patrick Allocco, a Republican candidate, decided to take up the political torch that Rodney Frelinghuysen is putting down. He believes votes matter and District 11 deserves a fast and easy way of conveying thoughts on every bill presented to congress.

Peter de Neufville is a republican candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 11th Congressional District of New Jersey and, according to New Jersey Globe, wants to improve gun background check standards and combat national debt.

Antony Ghee, an investment banker and Army Reserve major, announced he is seeking election a day after Assemblyman Anthony Bucco announced he would not run for Congress.  His campaign website accepts contributions except from corporations. He has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, with honors, from Virginia Union and my Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. In addition, he received a Masters of Law from Georgetown University School of Law, specializing in Securities & Financial Regulation. He is currently employed as a director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Global Wealth & Investment Management Chief Investment Office in New York City.

Martin Hewitt  is running as a Republican in order to serve all the people of District 11.  According to his website, Hewitt decided to run as a moderate Republican because, while he feels both parties have a strong heritage, it is the Republican Party that has lost its way. He is running as a moderate Republican after listening to many of the constituents who believe that Congressman Frelinghuysen no longer represents their best interests. He believes in freedom of speech and that all people have certain rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Hewitt advocates healthcare as a right for all people. He also believes the government should not dictate who to love or who to marry.

Jay Webber is a republican member of the New Jersey General Assembly, representing District 26. Webber was elected to the chamber in 2007 and was re-elected to a new term in 2017. His campaign website states Webber is leading the effort on transparency to put all of New Jersey’s taxpayer receipts and expenditures online for taxpayers to see. Webber is also leading the way in an innovative bipartisan effort to emphasize prevention and early treatment of chronic disease for public employees, which will improve the quality of outcomes for the employees and save money for taxpayers. Webber is an advocate for expanding educational opportunities for kids stuck in our lowest-performing schools, by giving them a chance to go to a school of their choice. As for higher education, he has proposed innovative ways to make college more affordable to students and their families, by allowing them to finance their educations in ways that will minimize student loan debt.

Polls are open June 5 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  If a New Jersey voter does not provide valid identification at the time of registration, he or she must show identification at the polling place, student IDs accepted.  Early voting permits residents to cast ballots in person at a polling place prior to an election. To vote absentee, an application may be submitted in person to county election officials until 3 p.m. June 4, or if sent by mail, it must be received by election officials no later than May 29.

Students concerned about gender, racial pay gaps may impact their future

By Caroline O’Brien
Contributor

While recent research showing lower earned wages, on average, for minority groups, some County College of Morris students feeling concerned about their careers after graduation.

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that about 18 percent of women say they have faced gender discrimination at work, including 12 percent who say they have earned less than a man performing the same job because of their gender. In comparison, only one in 10 men say they have faced gender-based workplace discrimination, with three percent saying their gender has been a factor in earning lower wages.

Pew research also explains that a majority of these gaps can be credited to differences in education, labor force experience, occupation or industry, and other measurable factors. This difference may also be due to differences in behavior among genders, such as risk aversion or negotiation. The remaining gaps are often attributed to discrimination.

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center article, “Racial, gender wage gaps persist in U.S. despite some progress,” between full-time and part-time workers, black Americans in 2015 earned 75 percent as much as whites in median hourly earnings, and women earned 83 percent as much as men.

Pew research shows that Black and Hispanic men have made no progress in narrowing this wage gap since 1980 earning the same 73 percent share of white men’s hourly earnings as they did in 2015.  Hispanic men alone earned 69 percent of white men’s earnings in 2015 compared with 71 percent in 1980.

Among women across all races and ethnicities, progress has been made in narrowing wage gaps since 1980, but hourly earnings are still less than those of white men and men in their own racial or ethnic group.  The hourly earnings of Asian and white women, on average, are higher than those of black and Hispanic women and men.

White and Asian college-educated women earn roughly 80 percent the hourly wages of white college-educated men while black and Hispanic women with a college degree earn only about 70 percent of the hourly wages of similarly educated white men.

Approximately 27 percent of women say their gender has made it harder for them to succeed in life, compared with 7 percent of men. Men are also more likely than women to say their gender has made it easier to succeed.

“I imagine my pay will be impacted by my gender,” said Elly Stitt, a nursing major and president of the Gender Club. “Emergency medicine doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to trans women. That being said, I would extend my expectation that my pay will be impacted by my gender into the future.”

Alexa Holman, an early childhood education major at CCM, said she is concerned gender may impact her future income.

“I don’t feel like it’s a race problem as much as much as gender inequality; women get paid less,” Holman said. “I can’t do anything about that.”

O’Donovan Coke, a business administration major, expressed concern about racial wage gaps.

“There are wage gaps between colors and between sexes,” Coke said. “White males are proven to make more money than black males; black women are proven to make the least amount of money when compared to others. It sucks, we sit there and try to say we’ll make it better. It’s 2018, and things are starting to change. We just have to keep trying to work and see what we can do to fix it. It starts locally; it’s politics.”

Some students at CCM plan to utilize entities on campus to respond to this issue. Stitt said the Gender Club may organize a panel within the club to address the issue of gender pay gaps.

Dr. Karen Danna, a sociology professor at CCM, suggested holding companies publicly accountable to publish wages and justify variations in pay may also help to close these gaps.

“If in fact, a company has to publish the wages that they pay, for example, their male or female or employees of different colors with similar educational background, are they going to look the same, or are they going to look widely different?” Danna said. “Then, they have to justify those different variations. Why did, in fact, you offer this woman with this amount of education and this amount of experience X amount of dollars and then this person with a different social identity and the same amount of experience and similar education was offered Y dollars, and they would have to justify that. So making something publicly accountable probably is going to shift the practice.”

Gubernatorial powers dictate future

Election primer: what CCM Students Need to Know

BY CAROLINE O’BRIEN
Contributor

Registered New Jersey voters will elect a new governor, 40 state senators, 80 state gen- eral assembly members, and 40 county freeholders during the statewide election Tuesday, Nov. 7.

As incumbent Gov. Chris Christie has reached his term limits, voters will have the chance to elect his replacement in a race between the Democrat- ic candidate Phil Murphy and the Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

County College of Morris is in New Jersey’s 25th Legislative District; the candidates on the ballot include Anthony Bucco Sr. and Lisa Bhimani for Senate; Michael P. Carroll, Anthony M. Bucco Jr., Thomas Moran, and Richard Corcoran for General Assembly; and Heather Darling and Rozella Clyde for Freehold- er.

All politics begin at the local level; the elected candidates will represent communities through- out New Jersey for the next two to four years. These representatives will decide on laws and budgets that will directly affect New Jersey communities. For ac- curate representation, residents may vote for the candidates with values and ideas similar to their own.

Mark Washburne, an associate professor of history and political science at CCM, said that the results of the gubernatorial election will give the public an idea of the state’s general senti- ments toward state politics as well as federal.

“Pundits will be viewing the outcome of the two governors’ contests as an early test on the success of the Trump Adminis- tration and, in New Jersey, on the popularity of the Christie Ad- ministration, as Gov. Christie’s Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, is the Republican candidate,” Wash- burne said in an email.

Amanda Clark, a business major at CCM and a registered Republican, said she probably won’t vote in the gubernatorial election.

John Aliotta attends CCM for video game design, and he said he will probably register to vote and participate in the elec- tion.

Gubernatorial candidates

Guadagno is the Republican candidate for governor running with Carlos Rendo as her lieu- tenant governor. Guadagno has been lieutenant governor of New Jersey since 2010. According to her of cial campaign website, she plans to take politics out of transportation funding and pri- oritize projects based on need, congestion relief, safety and economic development. Gua- dagno plans to negotiate a fair

deal to ensure secure retirement for thousands of public work- ers, cut property tax by capping school taxes at 5 percent per annual household income, ex- pand school choices, and reform school funding.

Murphy is the Democratic candidate running with Sheila Oliver as his lieutenant governor. According to the candidate’s’ of- cial website, Murphy has spent his career learning how econo- mies grow and has many plans for New Jersey, including invest- ments in infrastructure to create new jobs and stronger, equal- ized wages; create public banks for small business investments; make college more affordable; fund women’s health programs; change ineffective tax breaks that only bene t large corpora- tions; property tax relief that starts with fully funding public schools; and reform New Jer- sey’s criminal justice system, in- cluding legalization of marijuana to bring in new revenues.

Seth Kaper-Dale is a Green Party progressive running with Lisa Durden as his lieutenant governor. According to his cam- paign website, Kaper-Dale plans to create new income tax brackets to increase contribution from millionaires, decrease property tax, lower college costs, save state pensions, and allow single- payer Medicare to save money. He plans to open public banks to extend credit toward clean water, transportation infrastructure, and low-interest student loans. He promotes sanctuary cities, equal pay, minimum wage of $15 per hour and fully funding public education with increased child care and after-school programs. Kaper-Dale also promotes renewable energy, plans to halt fossil fuel pipeline expansion and confront polluters harming poor communities. He plans to reform the criminal justice system by legalizing marijuana, eliminating racial disparity, ending mandatory sentencing minimums upon incarceration, providing the imprisoned with decent labor wages, and giving the imprisoned the right to vote.

Peter J. Rohrman is a Libertarian candidate running with Karrese Laguerre as his lieutenant governor. Rohrman’s campaign website explains that his “Fiscal Democracy” plan will eliminate property tax, gas tax, sales tax, vehicle registration fees, and limit income tax to 10 percent, allowing individuals to choose the government programs their tax payments will fund. He advocates voucher programs to allow municipalities to cut their educational costs in half while improving education and giving parents a choice of where their child attends school. Rohrman plans to legalize marijuana with- out need of government permits or additional taxes, and anticipates the use of executive power to reduce the drinking, smoking,

and gambling ages to 18.
Gina Genovese is an independent candidate for governor running with Darel Stroud as her lieutenant governor. According to her website, Genovese plans to reduce property taxes by 15 percent, review pension management fees and seek better op- tions, build on our educational and business partnerships to stimulate growth, build new af- fordable housing units by 2022, and protect the environment.

Matthew Riccardi of the Constitution Party pledges to maintain the highest ethical standards. His main goal is to restore trust and integrity to the gover- nor’s of ce. According to his website, he promises to conduct a thorough review of every department under the authority of the governor and audit the state government starting with the Executive Branch. Those who abuse funds will be expelled from their positions and judicial proceedings. He will also veto any legislation that increases state spending or debt.

Vincent Ross of the We the People Party will be running with April A. Johnson as his lieutenant governor. He aspires to represent the working people of New Jersey.

Senatorial candidates

Lisa Bhimani is the Demo- cratic candidate for senator, running a joint campaign with Democratic general assembly candidates Richard Corcoran and Thomas Moran. Their of- cial website focuses on issues such as women’s continued struggle against discrimination and resistance to equal pay for equal work. They also plan to take steps to make gun owner- ship safer, and continue to ght for affordable, universal health care for all residents.

Anthony Bucco Sr., the Re- publican incumbent, was elected to the chamber in 1997. Bucco is running for re-election in a joint campaign with Anthony M. Bucco Jr. and Michael P Carroll. Bucco Sr. has been involved with the New Jersey Labor Commit- tee, Joint Budget and Oversight Committee and the Budget and Appropriations committee.

General Assembly candidates

Anthony M. Bucco Jr. a Re- publican candidate from Boon- ton, was elected to the Chamber in 2009. Since then, he has served on the Committee of Commerce and Economic Development and the Budget Committee.

Michael Patrick Carroll, Re- publican incumbent from Mor- ris Plains, was elected to the Chamber in 1995. He earned his Bachelor of arts in history and political science from Johns Hopkins University and his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law. Since 1995 he has served on ve committees including Judiciary, Law and Public Safety; State and Local Government; Joint Committee on Housing; and the Affordability Committee. He also has experience as an adjunct professor at the County College of Morris.

Thomas Moran, a Demo- cratic candidate from Randolph, earned his Master’s Degrees from Columbia University and Montclair State University. He believes economic growth must be coupled with conserving re- sources and safeguarding the environment. He believes that the best way to make lives better is to grow the economy by developing a skilled workforce through elementary, secondary, and university education.

Richard Corcoran, a Democratic candidate from Boonton, is a certified public accountant, holding additional accreditation in business valuation. He notices that the state needs elected officials who understand the duciary responsibility, not only for today’s residents, but for the future residents as well.

County Freeholder candidates

Heather Darling, is the Republican candidate for freeholder and a self-proclaimed “conservative businesswoman.” She has volunteered with the Morris County Housing Partnership and the County College of Morris Women’s Center. According to her campaign website, Darling would like to see programs at County College of Morris and Morris County School of Technology that provide a viable la- bor force for both small and large business in Morris County.

Dr. Rozella Clyde is the Democratic candidate for free- holder. She is a dedicated leader who spent over 40 years as a social studies teacher. Accord- ing to her website, she plans to sustain the economy through fair labor policies, affordable housing, safe havens for refugees and

immigrants, placing emphasis on locally owned businesses, and creating job fairs at high schools and CCM.

Public questions

Voters will also be responsible for answering yes or no on two public questions. The first question grants bonds for public libraries; voting “yes” on this question supports authorizing the state to issue $125 million in bonds to provide grants to public libraries. The state librarian would develop the eligibility criteria for libraries to receive grants covering 50 percent of the cost of projects. The other 50 percent would be provided by a library’s local government and private donors. A “no” vote op- poses the authorization of said bonds.

Public Question Two is a motion to dedicate revenue from environmental damage lawsuits to environmental projects. To vote “yes” supports the use of state revenue from legal settlements related to natural resource damages in cases of environmental contamination toward repairing, restoring, replacing, and protecting natural resources and paying the costs of pursuing said settlements. Voting “no” indicates opposition to this amendment and allows the current revenue from these lawsuits to continue to be used for any state purpose; a large portion of this revenue has already been used to balance the state budget.

Residents have the ability to direct the government through elected of officials. With many controversial policies arising, participation in elections is increasingly important. Registering to vote is quick and easy when you visit this link: http://www.state. nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/ voter-regis-forms/68-voter-reg- istration-english.pdf.

Opinion: President Trump: The First 100 Days

BY EMILY ELIZABETH BETZ
Contributor

On January 20, 2017 Donald Trump will swear in as the 45th president of the United States of America and begin the crucial period know as “the first 100 days.”

Trump’s win has come as a shock to many, as the polls showed Hillary with a fair lead heading into the election. Not only did the country get Trump, but they got a Republican House and Senate, giving the president-elect an assumed sympathetic Legislature for at least two years if not four.

There has been some fear at the news of a Trump presidency, coming off almost apocalyptic, with protests breaking out all across the country, Californians even going as far as petitioning to secede from the United States. We have to wonder what a Trump presidency is going to be like. Well, if it is anything like his plan for the first one-hundred days, people have reason to worry.

In Trump’s plan for his first 100 days he lists out some very big changes he has planned for America. This includes lifting oil and fossil fuel restrictions, canceling any future payments to the U.N for the Paris Agreement.

The agreements which took effect a few weeks ago will help dozens of countries including the United States cut back greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in the next twenty-years. He also stated that he will be pushing through with the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

These policies send a strong message about his stance on global warming and clean energy, even more so with the possible appointment of Myron Ebell as administrator, who once said talking about global warming was a waste of time and “the vast majority of scientists think [global warming] is silly”.

Trump ran his campaign on immigration reform, deportation and building a wall. So it comes as no surprise that those things are listed as top priorities on his plan. He plans on beginning deporting illegal immigrants, canceling federal funding to sanctuary cities (cities that protect illegal immigrants), creating laws that would put jail sentences on immigrants caught entering the United States illegally multiple times, and suspending any and all immigration from “terror prone” regions. In interviews this has been specified specifically as a possible ban on Muslims entering the United States.

In health care Trump plans to abolish Obamacare which has lead to some concern over birth control, now free under Obama’s health care policy. And if there was any comfort in the fact that Obama’s administration ruled to protect Planned Parenthood’s funding, Trump has stated that he will turn over every executive order Obama has made that he views as unconstitutional. And when asked what his plans were for Roe v. Wade, the case decided in the supreme court to legalize abortion nationally, he said he would pick Supreme Court Justices who were pro-life.

And during his term in office that could be as many as four. Trump in an interview with 60 Minutes said the state’s should be able to decide abortion laws, and that women who wished to get abortions may have to “go to another state”, however in presidential debate’s he went as far as to say there should be “some sort of punishment” for women who get abortions. Vice president-elect Mike Pence has also taken a strong stance on repealing abortion laws.

The people have spoken, or at least the electoral college has, and President Donald Trump will be sworn into office in just a short 55 days. As of right now that presidency looks like one of racism, sexism, and ignorance over proven scientific fact. A Trump administration seems to be attempting to time travel back to the 1950’s where everything was great and prosperous—for white-anglo-saxon-men. From breaking the Paris agreement, banning muslim immigrants, deporting millions of people, canceling healthcare for millions, to attempting to reverse Roe v. Wade. It seems that maybe Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan should have been “Make America Polluted, Suppressed and White Again”.

Clinton losing County College of Morris clout

BY MOHAMMED RAHMATULLAH
Contributor

PHOTO CREDIT FACEBOOK

With the New Jersey primaries coming up in June and less than half the primary contests left ahead, the County College of Morris students are beginning to cement their political leanings for this election cycle. Having remained largely undecided, many students are now beginning to watch the race closely to help shape their decisions. While many students are wrestling with indecision, one sentiment seems to be echoed among them: a growing sense of disillusionment toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I thought before that I was going with Hillary but a couple things came up that I saw recently,” said Helen Burke, a human services student, “I’m questioning my [support].”

Largely disregarded due to being one of the last primaries held, the New Jersey primary is often considered to be irrelevant to the outcome of the race. However, this year the New Jersey primary could have a larger impact. Having raised $42 million in donations in February and $44 million in donations in March, Sen. Bernie Sanders has expressed his intention to continue his campaign despite suffering heavy losses during the March 15 contests. With such a divisive and heated race, it is conceivable that both candidates will press on until June, granting the New Jersey primaries a greater significance than in recent years.

Shaken by recent statements made by the Clinton campaign, Burke said that she wants to see a candidate who will tackle the growing issue of poverty. Recent statewide funding cuts trouble Burke, who is a social worker and has seen the impact of conservative policies first-hand. As a registered Democrat, Burke said that she will “absolutely” be voting in the New Jersey primaries.

“From what I’ve read, Hillary is very reflective; copy-cat like,” said Jason Driesse, a communication student and ex-Republican who has become an Independent voter. “She’s trying to win people over…by saying what they want to hear.”

Citing recent accusations that Clinton is mimicking the rhetoric used by the Sanders campaign, Driesse said he does not trust Clinton’s promises and that he’s “not a fan” of Hillary.

“The one thing that I do like is that she already has experience,” said Alejandro Garavito, a biology student and registered Republican. Stating his interest in Republican candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, Garavito intends to vote in the New Jersey Republican primary.

Garavito said he was concerned about Clinton’s mixed and occasionally contradictory stances on issues.

“She’s very on and off,” said Garavito.

Trump vs. Cruz: is there a lesser of two evils?

BY SANDRA RIANO
Senior Opinion Editor

With Donald Trump dominating media coverage, the extremities of the platforms of other Republican candidates are less obvious. While Trump is leading both in polls and in asinine comments, opponent Ted Cruz may actually be even more extreme in his ideologies.

Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, junior Senator from Texas, prides himself on his evangelical views, his desire to abolish the separation of church and state and his work towards restricting abortions and closing women’s health clinics in his state.

Ted Cruz also apparently doesn’t care about war crime convictions when in office because his approach to dealing with terrorism will be simply to “carpet bag” them or bomb them with no regards for civilian casualties which is considered a war crime by the terms of the Geneva Conventions.

Cruz is most widely known for his 2013 filibuster against the Affordable Care Act in which he spoke for 21 hours in which he read tweets and “Green Eggs and Ham” on the floor of the U.S Senate. Now running for the office of president, Cruz still stands by his actions that led to the third longest government shutdown in history and plans to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office while providing no coverage plans to the millions who will lose their health insurance. How will President Cruz change the country for the better if he has a history of putting his beliefs before the needs of others?

Cruz, a Canadian immigrant born to Cuban-American parents, plans to deport all 12 million undocumented immigrants that currently live in the U.S. While Trump has this same idea, Cruz has revealed that he has a plan to actually do it. He will use U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a task force to go knocking on doors to arrest immigrants. This includes immigrants that have lived here for the majority of their lives and some who have children who may have been born here, making them legal citizens. He also wants to track immigrants, according to his website, in the same manner as “Amazon and Fedex can track packages”.

After severing millions of families through deportation Ted Cruz also plans to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and the Departments of Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Education and has provided no clarification for how the tasks done by those departments will get fulfilled.

The Republican Party is leaving much to be desired this election cycle and with Trump so far into the race, many Republicans are jumping onto the “Never Trump” bandwagon a little late. The effort to stop Trump may benefit Cruz but we have to ask ourselves who is really going to be the lesser of two evils in this situation: a Tea Party, radical Senator who knows how to manipulate the government or an entertainer who will say anything and appeal to anyone to get what he wants. While Trump craves attention and latches onto the week’s topic of conversation at least he sticks to his guns like when he was booed during a debate for opposing the Iraq War. Cruz on the other hand is deeply committed to his Tea Party ideology and is not well liked at all in Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, moderate Republicans like John Kasich who are generally nice, sensible people are being left behind as the radical demagogues and bullies sweep up delegates across the country. What we are witnessing is a primary election that is not based on legitimate policy and experience but is based instead on fear mongering and playing to the crudest prejudices that still exist in many Americans.