Dennis Shulman 2008 Campaign for the
New Jersey's 5th Congressional District Campaign
This was the official website for Dennis Shulman, Democrat, who in 2008 was looking to unseat Rep. Scott Garrett in the New Jersey 5. Garrett ultimately defeated Shulman 57 percent to 42 percent, with Green Party candidate Ed Fanning rounding out the field.
Content is from the site's 2008 archived content and other outside sources.
Welcome to Shulman for Congress. I'm a concerned citizen running for office, and I want to hear from you! We in New Jersey's 5th Congressional district need to work together to bring about real change and a return to common sense.
We deserve someone who will work to end the war in Iraq, promote energy independence, and fight corruption and special interests in Washington.
Please sign up below to join our team. We'll work together to build a better New Jersey 5th and a better America.
Dr. Dennis Shulman
Renowned author, educator, and clinical psychologist, Dr. Dennis G. Shulman has dedicated his life to serving all segments of the community. Blind since childhood, he has overcome significant obstacles to earn an Ivy League diploma and rise to the top of his profession — and become an ordained rabbi.
Dr. Shulman is running for Congress in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District because he believes fundamental change is needed in Washington.
“I am running for Congress not as a career politician, but as a concerned citizen,” says Shulman. “I believe that Congress could use more candor and more people with diverse life experiences. We keep sending career politicians to Washington and what do we have to show for it? A big mess. It may very well take a blind man to show Congress the light.”
Dennis has spent his entire life confronting challenges – and surmounting them. Growing up working class and losing his sight at a young age, some predicted that Dennis would never graduate high school. During high school, Dennis worked in a toy factory to help his family pay the bills. However, neither he nor his parents accepted that anything would keep him from achieving the American Dream, and Dennis’ success in high school led to acceptance to college.
He graduated from Brandeis in the class of 1972 Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. That same year Dennis’ volunteer activities on behalf of the developmentally disabled earned him a Special White House Commendation for Outstanding Humanitarian Service and The David Aranow Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Welfare.
Dennis next moved to Harvard University to begin work toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice. Just two years into the program Dennis won a Training Fellowship from the National Institute for Mental Health and married his college sweetheart, medical student Pam Tropper. He also began what has become an extended series of teaching positions, professional publications, postdoctoral studies and speaking engagements.
Graduating from Harvard, Dennis began his career as a clinical psychologist and as an educator, including more than a decade at Fordham. In 1997, Dennis founded the National Training Program in Contemporary Psychoanalysis at The National Institute for the Psychotherapies, which he continues to serve.
In 2003, Dennis was ordained as a Rabbi. That same year he published his book, The Genius of Genesis: A Psychoanalyst and Rabbi Examines the First Book of the Bible. In addition to continuing to treat patients in his psychological practice, Dr. Shulman currently serves as the Associate Rabbi of Chavurah Beth Shalom, a synagogue in Alpine.
Dr. Shulman has lived in New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District for more than 25 years. He has been married to his wife, Pam, an obstetrician, for 33 years. They are proud parents of two adult daughters, Holly and Julie.
The Iraq War - We Need A Rapid And Responsible Withdrawal
I opposed the war in Iraq from its inception as ill-advised, even as I continue to admire greatly the heroism of our troops and appreciate fully their sacrifices.
We need to withdraw our troops rapidly and responsibly. We have lost more than 4,000 brave Americans, and tens of thousands more of our young men and women have suffered serious injuries.
The best estimate of the financial costs of the war is in excess of $3 trillion, money we can ill-afford as our infrastructure crumbles and our economy weakens.
Unlike Scott Garrett, I support the “GI Bill for the 21st Century.” Our heroes returning from Iraq and Afghanistan deserve comprehensive educational benefits – the GI Bill was an enormous success following previous wars, and our current troops deserve no less.
George Bush and Scott Garrett seem to believe we need to stay in Iraq indefinitely. I believe we need to get out.
Each and every day, our men and women risk life and limb to defend our freedoms. Therefore, as a member of Congress, I will never stop fighting to make sure we fulfill our obligations to those who have served our country.
Unlike Scott Garrett, I will consistently support our troops both in word and in deed by voting for the legislation they need and deserve.
Over forty percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage under the military’s TRICARE program; and the tragedy at Walter Reed illustrates the need for major reform in our soldiers’ health care. I will unequivocally stand by legislation like the Funding for Veterans Health Care Act (H.R. 2514) that makes coverage a lifetime right for our men and women. I will also sponsor proposals to increase funding for programs that address PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) among our veterans.
Our troops deserve to return home and enjoy the freedoms that they have sacrificed so much to protect. The 2008 GI Bill overwhelmingly passed Congress, despite Scott Garrett’s opposition, and will greatly improve the educational opportunities available to our veterans. I will consistently support legislation like the GI Bill and the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (H.R. 5740), as well as programs like the Veterans Administration Home Loan Guaranty.
Scott Garrett has refused to treat our veterans with the respect that they have earned. When I’m in Congress, I will work to ensure that our men and women who have given so much to us receive the benefits that they need and deserve.
Being Strong While Being Smart
George W. Bush thrust our nation into an ill-conceived and mismanaged war in Iraq, and yet while Osama bin Laden is still at large, Scott Garrett continues to vote for more of the same. I will work to bring an end to the war in Iraq and to bring our focus back to what our focus always should have been — catching Osama bin Laden and fighting al Qaeda.
Here at home, we must implement all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, especially granting Homeland Security assistance strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities so that the assistance goes to the places that need it the most. We must take sensible steps to effectively secure our borders and protect our ports.
Too Serious for Partisan Strife
America has a moral responsibility to address healthcare seriously. This is an issue so immense that we must resolve it together: Democrats must work together with Republicans to lower the costs of health care for individuals and businesses alike.
In Congress, I will champion children’s health care. The defeat of SCHIP was a shame—SCHIP was not a partisan issue, but a clear-cut values issue.
As a clergyman and a psychologist who works with families, I know something about bringing people together. In Congress, I will gather Republicans and Democrats alike to do something about a healthcare system in crisis. Improving access and lowering prices are two very important pieces to the national health care puzzle.
Medical research is a third essential slice of the pie. It is critical that we make investments in medical research to find cures that will alleviate suffering and help people live healthier and longer lives. As a health care professional and spiritual leader married to a physician, as well as a disabled American, I am a strong supporter of stem cell research.
Energy and the Environment
Increasing Energy Independence and Developing a Cleaner, Greener Economy
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. It is an issue of national security, economic prosperity, and public health. It is imperative that we act. As part of my commitment to the safety and security of our nation, I will push for balanced energy conservation policies that increase our energy independence and create new jobs.
Democrats and Republicans came together this January to pass an energy bill that environmental groups like the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters supported as an incomplete but positive “first step” compromise to BEGIN to address the severity of the challenges we face.
Unfortunately, even that step was too far for Garrett, as the Bergen Record editorialized:
“Republican Rep. Scott Garrett of Wantage, who represents parts of Bergen and Passaic counties, was the lone New Jersey congressman to vote against the bill — one sign that the legislation was well within the mainstream, and that Garrett is not.”
Representative Scott Garrett has also voted to give huge tax breaks and increase taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil making record profits, rather than work to ease consumers’ pain at the pump.
I believe that our efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil do not have to come at the expense of our domestic resources. I, like every New Jersey representative except Scott Garrett, strongly oppose oil drilling off the New Jersey shore.
I commit myself to making the decisions that are best for New Jersey, and I pledge that I will never be so beholden to special interests as to risk despoiling our environment. I support efforts to research and develop cleaner renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass through the use of public-private funding mechanisms that make smart clean energy investments without straining our budgets or raising taxes.
New Jersey is in a strong position to attract environmentally-sound industry and build a green collar workforce. The creation of green jobs will bolster the economy, reduce pollution, and improve the quality of life for all citizens. As one of 23 states committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and one of six states committed to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, New Jersey is taking a leadership role in mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Our members of Congress should be doing the same in Washington, DC.
We all have an opportunity and responsibility to protect our natural resources, preserve open spaces, and be better stewards of our land. I am committed to strengthening the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and forging an environmental legacy with and for all citizens of New Jersey and for generations to come.
Political Office as Public Trust
I am running for office because I believe Congress should operate with conscience. My faith guides me to believe that Members of Congress have a sacred responsibility to serve only the public interest — not the special interests.
In turn, all those given the privilege to serve must be held to high standards of ethical behavior. I promise to abide by the highest practices of transparency, and I pledge to remain a concerned citizen first and foremost. I commit myself to never becoming a career politician who forgets where he came from. I will spend my time in Washington focused on serving the district and upholding our shared highest values.
Protecting Working Families
In Congress I intend to be a strong voice for American workers, their healthcare, their families, and their pensions.
I will strongly support the agenda of working men and women of organized labor.
I am proud to have earned the endorsement of Teamsters Joint Council 73. I believe that if we unite, Garrett can be defeated this November and we can replace an opponent of working families with a strong and consistent pro-labor voice.
- I wholeheartedly support the Employee Free Choice Act – Scott Garrett voted no.
- I firmly oppose all NAFTA style trade deals, including Peru. And my daughter, Holly Shulman, is an SEIU member and press officer for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, so my commitment on this issue is not merely political, but familial.
- And you can count on me to always support Davis-Bacon, while Scott Garrett was the only New Jersey Member of Congress—Republican or Democrat—to call for a suspension of Davis-Bacon (the prevailing wage law) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Davis-Bacon Act must be protected from those who would seek to end it or weaken it by selectively applying it. The U.S. government should be paying prevailing wages and working with unions, not against them.
- I am a huge proponent of rebuilding America’s failing infrastructure – it is an issue of public safety, of economic competitiveness, and, frankly, of common sense.
- Having spent my high school years working in a toy factory, I will also prioritize workplace safety, whereas Scott Garrett is opposed to all government regulations on behalf of workers, children, or others vulnerable to corporate misdeeds.
- And of I course I would always be a vote in favor of increasing the minimum wage – but, somehow, Scott Garrett has found a way to consistently oppose that common sense legislation.
- On Social Security, I believe that our seniors should be able to rest their faith in a system put in place by FDR, not a system run by and for Wall Street.
- Finally, I support seriously addressing the nation’s healthcare crisis, and I remain astonished that Scott Garrett has voted to uphold each SCHIP veto by the President.
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