The New Jersey Sierra Club led several groups on Monday in a Morristown rally to protest what they described as Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen's (R-11th Dist.) "Columbus Day Sale" of vital health and environmental protections to special interests.
"You name it, he's been on the wrong side," said Jeff Tittel, director of the state Sierra Club chapter.
He said the Harding congressman, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, "has sold out the people of this district to every corporate polluter and special interest."
Tittel was joined at Morristown town hall by about two dozen members of BlueWave New Jersey, Environment New Jersey, Clean Water Action and NJ 11th for Change.
Among other things, the groups blasted Frelinghuysen for supporting President Trump's cuts to the federal Environmental Protection Agency and rollback of Waters of the United States regulations, and for opposing EPA regulations of greenhouse gases.
They also accused him of failing to support funding to clean up federal Superfund sites in New Jersey, of refusing to support universal background checks for gun purchases and of not holding any town hall meetings since 2013.
They also noted the 12-term representative was one of only two New Jersey congressmen to support the first Obamacare repeal, which they contended would have enriched the wealthy while stripping millions of health coverage.
Frelinghuysen campaign spokesman Mike DuHaime dismissed the charges as "just a laundry list of gripes from the professional left from outside the district that get paid to protest public servants."
"And what's worse, but not surprising, is they're wrong again," DuHaime said. "Rodney Frelinghuysen restored EPA funding and restored funding to clean up Superfund sites. And Rodney has protected Medicare and Medicaid for New Jersey residents during his entire time in Congress. These attacks on Rodney would be laughable if they weren't so offensively off base."
"It's scary times we live in," Mayor Tim Dougherty told the protesters, who moved out of the rain into the town hall lobby for the noontime rally.
"We can't effect change unless people like you are committed…It takes a large group effort to make change."