NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg Dies at 89

Monday, June 03, 2013

NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg died this morning at the age of 89. The Senate's longest-serving member -- and last remaining WWII veteran -- reportedly died of complications from pneumonia. Chris Christie will appoint a replacement for the Democratic representative. Brigid Harrison of Montclair State and Congressman Bill Pascrell discuss Lautenberg's life and political legacy. Post your eulogies to Frank Lautenberg below, and discuss who you think Chris Christie should appoint to replace him.


Brigid Harrison and Bill Pascrell

Comments [17]

Roger Cram

I think Governor Christy should appoint former Senator Bill Bradley for this short term, interium Senate position.

Jun. 03 2013 05:19 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

Wouldn't be fair for Christie to violate the will of the electorate and appoint a republican. Gotta go with the front runner - Booker, that is.

Jun. 03 2013 03:37 PM

@ John from NYC

"Why is it so horrible that a Republican Governor might appoint a Republican Senator?"

If the GOP would 'man up' and actually let legislation and nominations come to the floor for an up or down vote, having one more probably GOP vote might matter on some close ones...But since they don't it probably doesn't matter very much who Chris appoints. The appointee won't get to do much aside from agree to filibuster.

Jun. 03 2013 11:57 AM

He consistently voted for the interests of the people, not fat cat tax dodging special interests: e.g., he was pro-choice, pro-environment, anti-NAFTA, for the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, and stem cell research. He will be greatly missed.

Jun. 03 2013 11:38 AM
John from NYC

Why is it so horrible that a Republican Governor might appoint a Republican Senator?

When was the last time we had such a conversation when the Governor was a Democrat??

Jun. 03 2013 11:32 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Amen RUCB...

Jun. 03 2013 11:27 AM

Senator Lautenberg pushed to have the drinking age raised?? I did not know (or more likely had forgetten) that.

Raising the drinking age to 21, while salutary at dropping the carnage caused by drunk teens behind the wheel, has also guaranteed that the first drink that an American has is probably an illegal drink. Not good for the rule of law...

I would prefer to have the drinking age - at restaurants and bars but not package good stores - lowered to 18. At the very least, our teens should be given the choice - drink at 18 *or* drive but not both.

It is time to either respect the age of majority at 18 or raise it to 21 with voting rights being granted earlier. I don't see how else to be consistent.

Jun. 03 2013 11:20 AM
Larry from Nyack

20 Years ago I was asked by a New City, NY friend to lead an evening "minyan" service for his deceased father at his brother's home in New Jersey. The brothers were lawyers in North Jersey and I was surprised that Sen. Lautenberg came to the service. As a lay "leader" I struggle when leading such a service, but I'll always remember the Senator who had the grace to thank me for the "nice service" I led.
Having made his fortune as a founder of the Computer Service firm ADP, he could have retired to a comfortable lifestyle. Instead he opted for public service and represented the liberal pro-people, pro-environment positions that Gov. Christie seems to abhor.

Jun. 03 2013 11:14 AM

Sounds like his best days were back in the 80s
Did he do anything this century??

Jun. 03 2013 11:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Sorry that the senator died but it's scary how people allow themselves to be ruled by career politicians who only leave office via a pine box.

The fact that a train station was named after him whilst he was alive was disappointing.

Jun. 03 2013 11:03 AM
Sherril from Morris

I met Senator Lautenberg twice. The first time was in 1985, at the ceremony at which my husband, Haim, became a United States citizen, and Lautenberg was the official at the ceremony. I have a picture of him shaking Haim's hand. The second time was at a rally in D.C. for Soviet Jewry. I wrote him many letters, mainly thanking him for his votes. I can't believe it. I feel so sad. Senator Lautenberg served NJ and our country well. I could always depend on him to vote for the things that were fair and just. RIP Senator Lautenberg.

Jun. 03 2013 10:54 AM

Christie should appoint one of the two senior statesmen of the NJ Republican Party: Thomas Kean or Christine Todd Whitman. Since Christie's unlikely to have much support from the right wing in his national ambitions, if he has any, he would be best off appealing to moderate, independent Republicans.

Jun. 03 2013 10:51 AM

whats with this senator for life business?
voters should be ashamed

Jun. 03 2013 10:51 AM
Maryann from Nutley

Sen. Lautenberg fought for all people. He truly was a public servant. A sad day for all.

Jun. 03 2013 10:44 AM

who will be the new face of modernizing train infrastructure and fighting for the tunnel?

Jun. 03 2013 10:30 AM
Kat from Astoria

Man of several contradictions. Lautenberg ran against Millicent Fenwick and attacked her not on policy, but her age, saying she was too old and out of touch. How funny he wouldn't give up the seat at almost over 20 years older than-thinking he deserved our tax dollars for his needy lifestyle. A hypocrite and one who stood in the way of progress on the Port Authority rail project under the Hudson. Rest in Peace but glad he's gone.

Jun. 03 2013 10:20 AM
Northern NJ Mom

Christie will appoint a Republican. He will do this so he can redeem himself with the national Republicans for his future plans. No way will he appoint Corey Booker--give Corey a better stage to steal attention from the Governor--Christie is not that stupid.

Jun. 03 2013 10:15 AM

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