Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) agreed 5/7 to a second debate before the 6/3 primary, though Rep. Rob Andrews (D-01) "said that is not enough." Lautenberg's camp announced he has accepted an invitation to debate Andrews on radio station NJ 101.5 FM 5/29. Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello (D) "also has been invited." The debate will feature questions from listeners, and candidates will be able "to question one another." It's "scheduled for the night before the three candidates have agreed to debate" on public TV, the New Jersey Network.
"Andrews has accepted invitations to a dozen debates." Lautenberg spokesperson Julie Roginsky: "Two debates are sufficient." Andrews chair Michael Murphy: "We don't think so." Andrews said that when Lautenberg first ran in '82, his opponent agreed to 5 debates and Lautenberg said that was not enough. Andrews: "We should apply what I'll call the Frank Lautenberg rule. ... I think he should practice what he preaches." Roginsky: "Frank Lautenberg had months to run against (then-Rep.) Millicent Fenwick (R). Rob Andrews got into this race with six weeks to go."
"Lautenberg chastised Andrews" 5/7 for missing votes in Congress while campaigning. In a release, Lautenberg called Andrews a "no-show congressman" who should return 70% of his salary -- or roughly $10.8K -- to make up for the 70% of votes he has missed since entering the race 4/3. Andrews: "On that basis, the senator should probably give his pay back for the past six years." Andrews said he has been in the House "for the priority votes," including passage last week of a "landmark" bill to protect employees from discrimination based on their genetic information (Schwaneberg, Newark Star-Ledger, 5/8).
This article appears in the May 8, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.