This is the sixtieth anniversary of the landmark book, Profiles in Courage winning the Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Although the book was published under the purported authorship of the then Senator John F. Kennedy, most of the work was actually written by Kennedy’s speechwriter, Theodore Sorenson. As Lyndon Johnson once said, JFK had more profile than courage.
Nevertheless, the book established the standard of political courage: the willingness to defy the opinions of party,
special interests, power brokers, and constituents in order to do what is right. It described the careers of eight
Senators who met this definition.
We in New Jersey this year are fortunate to be represented in the United States House of Representatives by a member whose actions in opposition to the demagogic, authoritarian, and ill-founded policies of the Trump administration constitute the very epitome of courage. I speak of Frank LoBiondo, Republican from Vineland, representing New Jersey’s Second Congressional District, consisting of all of Salem, Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties, and portions of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Ocean Counties.
Frank has been an upfront and outspoken opponent of the destructive Trump administration policies on health care
and the environment. He has been unflinching and unyielding in the face of White House pressures to obtain his
support for measures contrary to his principles.
On health care, LoBiondo’s first priority has been coverage access and affordability not only for his constituents but for all New Jerseyans. No efforts at intimidation from Steve Bannon will cause Frank to break faith with the citizenry of the Garden State.
Perhaps even more remarkable, however, is the LoBiondo resistance to the war on science waged by President Trump and his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Frank fully understands two ramifications of this war: 1) Its destructive impact on the environment; and 2) its danger to a sound American quality of life, which entails both a healthy environment and a growing economy.
Towards this end, on March 15, LoBiondo introduced a resolution calling on lawmakers to accept that climate
change is real and that it poses a serious threat to the nation. The resolution emphasized the need to preserve the
economy and the environment and “base our policy decisions in science and quantifiable facts on the ground.”
In a statement in support of the resolution, Congressman LoBiondo said the following, “From the devastation of
Superstorm Sandy to being surrounded by rising sea waters on three sides, South Jersey is keenly aware of the
precarious environment for which we live. While at times at odds with some of my colleagues, I have long worked to
protect the natural treasures of our region and nation for future generations. It is far past time we moved beyond the
debate from if our climate is changing—it is—to identifying and promoting solutions to mitigate potentially
I have known Frank LoBiondo for twenty-five years. I worked closely with him during my tenure as a Senior Policy
Advisor on the Assembly Republican Staff in 1992-1993 and as Region 2 EPA Administrator during the second term of President George W. Bush.
Frank LoBiondo is a work horse, not a show horse. He is living proof that one can be a man of supreme ethical and policy principle while most effectively representing his or her constituents.
New Jersey can be most proud of its ultimate Profile in Courage, Frank LoBiondo.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman
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