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Thursday, May 24, 2018

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As we all know, election day is coming up. We are aware that we will be electing our next governor; however, many of us don’t always pay attention to the local state races. While I can almost guarantee that your vote for governor may not make a difference, in many assembly districts even a few votes can have a huge impact. Four years ago, Timothy Eustace, who is probably the biggest progressive in the assembly, won his election by only 56 votes. While Timothy Eustace’s entire voting record is beyond terrible, two particular bills he sponsored promote our specific ire.

The first of these bills is one he sponsored regarding assisted suicide (2451). While this bill would be terrible regardless of the specifics of the bill, this particular bill would horrify us even if we supported the concept of assisted suicide. The sponsor of this bill assures us that there are safeguards in place and there is no possibility of something going wrong, which in this case would mean an innocent life has been snuffed out unintentionally. Since these safeguards are contingent on the premise that two witnesses are verifying that the entire process is legitimate and being done willingly, we would assume that this would be the place where the strongest safeguards were in place. However, a closer look shows that this is the section with the most flagrant lack of safeguards in the entire bill.

Some of the lowlights of the witnesses section of the bill include:

One of the witnesses can be completely biased, thus the two witnesses are, in fact, one “non-biased” witness and one potentially biased witness.

There is no minimum age for the witnesses.

An ex-wife/husband, live-in boy/girlfriend, life insurance beneficiary and agent from the patient’s medical insurance company are all considered unbiased witnesses.

The bill’s sponsor claims that our care will not get worse due to this bill, and he cites this part of the bill: “Nothing in this bill shall be construed to ‘lower the applicable standard of care to be provided by a healthcare professional who participates’”; however, what he neglects to inform us is that the medical insurance companies do not have a similar provision. Thus, the bill specifically allows medical insurance companies to worsen their coverage if this bill passes.

The second terrible Eustace bill (3613) is a bill that basically declares war against other states which pass freedom of religion bills. Eustace wants New Jersey to boycott states that allow caterers to refuse to cater weddings that they feel are a sin, or don’t allow men into women’s bathrooms, forgetting freedom of religion, or the rights of states to decide their own law. Besides the fact that these policies are the proper course of action and you couldn’t find any society that would do differently until a few years ago, freedom of religion is literally the first right in the country’s first amendment and the top point mentioned in our state’s constitution. By sponsoring a bill banning travel to states that allow these things, he is actually treating states like South Dakota as though it were an enemy of the state of New Jersey. This flies in the face of the words the United States. When New Jersey, through Assemblyman Eustace, tries to use imperialistic methods to impose its will on other states for supporting women and freedom of religion, it flies in the face of all America holds dear.

When faced with these facts we must vote for Christopher Wolf, the only option.

Avraham Sharaby

Lakewood, NJ