BRIGANTINE - Robert Turkavage of this community announced his intention to seek the support of the Democratic Party to be its nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 2nd District of New Jersey.
He made the announcement Dec. 31.
According to a release, "Two weeks ago, after almost a lifetime of affiliation with the Republican Party, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
"A number of events over the past few years made this change unavoidable.
First, the GOP, long regarded as a staunch defender of fiscal responsibility, bears primary responsibility for the $3.1 trillion increase in our national debt since 2017, accomplished largely through tax cuts to even the wealthiest of Americans.
"Second, President Trump, the GOP’s leader, has relentlessly attacked the pillars of our democracy that have served our country well for over 200 years. His attacks on the press, our election process, and the courts have inflicted mistrust and hatred of these institutions on a scale that our adversaries could only hope to inflict. "Third, law enforcement could always count on the GOP as a reliable partner, yet the GOP remained silent as its leader urged non-cooperation with law enforcement investigations, and labeled law enforcement cooperators as “rats”.
"Fourth, the accuracy of reporting by our intelligence agencies has been repeatedly questioned by President Trump while alleged intelligence provided to him by our Russian adversary is routinely accepted at face value.
"Fifth, the law granting amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants signed by a Republican president in 1986, was replaced by a policy of separating children from parents charged with misdemeanor violations of immigration laws.
"The absence of GOP outrage over this policy was an abomination.
"On matters of national security, President Reagan’s GOP forged strong relationships with our allies and confronted our adversaries. Trump’s GOP has gone in the opposite direction.
"First, Trump has repeatedly disparaged our closest allies, the same allies who came to our defense following the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Second, in both Syria and Ukraine, the US has abandoned or inhibited the efforts of allies actively engaged in warfare with our adversaries; allies who sacrificed their lives to prevent terrorists or adversaries from bringing the fight to the US. Lastly, members of the GOP, without exception, defended President Trump as he faced allegations that he conditioned a White House visit and foreign aid to a promise from a foreign nation that they would announce an investigation on the President’s political adversary. Collectively, the above events and others not mentioned here, made me realize that the Republican Party which I proudly admired and supported for many years was no more. As I see it, the Republican Party left me; I did not leave the Republican Party.
"Even though my party affiliation has changed, my positions on the issues have not. National Security has always been, and remains my top concern. To the delight of our adversaries, President Trump’s immigration policy has caused many Americans to view immigration as the preeminent national security threat. I disagree.
"The threats posed by Hypersonic weapons being developed by Russia and China, and the lack of cybersecurity as it pertains to our missile defense systems and our electrical grid pose a far greater risk to our security than immigration lawbreakers. One week ago, the Washington DC publication “The Hill” published an OPED I authored entitled “The less hyped, but More Realistic Threats to our National Security”. This article “connects the dots”, in that it identifies the vulnerabilities in the above systems and provides evidence of adversaries who have sought to exploit these vulnerabilities. This article is a “must” read for any person concerned about national security.
"The issue of undocumented immigrants in the US, however, must be addressed. As with all laws, law enforcement cannot decide for themselves which immigration laws to enforce, and immigrants cannot decide which immigration laws they choose to obey.
"On the other hand, our courts have been solicitous of defendants’ pleas for mercy when there is an acceptance of responsibility by the defendant. With this in mind, on Jan. 7, 2020, I will unveil a two-pronged proposal that will identify an existing legal mechanism by which under certain circumstances, undocumented immigrants will be permitted to obtain legal status in the U.S.
"Secondarily, the proposal will provide a mechanism by which the penalty imposed on the immigrant may be lessened/eliminated should the immigrant assist the government in identifying other criminal activity of which he/she may be aware.
"Now to taxes. In 2017, after studying the long-term effects of the Reagan and Bush tax cuts, I wrote an article in The Hill (“Tax Cuts: Haven’t we been down this road before”) that the Trump tax plan, contrary to Administration claims, would not have a long-term measurable effect on GDP, and would instead “bust out” the debt. Moreover, although a reduction in corporate tax rates was justified, the newly enacted tax law was not accompanied by an offsetting elimination of many corporate tax loopholes.
"Last, but most important, many Americans were, and will continue to be financially harmed by long-term investment decisions (i.e., home purchase) made, based on the assumption of a static tax code that was upended in 2017. On Jan. 21, 2020, I will unveil a position paper which, among other things, will call for the restoration of previous tax rates for certain high-income taxpayers; restoration of certain deductions eliminated in the 2017 tax law, and a change in the tax treatment of certain items of income.
In February 2020, I will offer a position paper on steps I believe are necessary to insure the solvency of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) trust funds. Also, in February 2020, I will offer a position paper on Health Care, it being noted I fully support continued insurance coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, and am opposed to “Medicare for All”. In March 2020, I will offer a position paper on matters affecting our veterans.
"At the time I announced my candidacy for Congress in 2018, I mentioned that virtually all sectors (Financial, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, etc.,) of our economy were well-served by lobbyists in Washington, D.C., but that there was no measurable lobbying effort working on behalf of our children.
"I also noted at that time that if I had the opportunity to serve as your Congressman I would legislate as though I were the lobbyist for your children and mine. I noted then that every vote I cast would be weighed against three benchmarks: Is it good for my constituents? Is it good for my country? And most importantly is it good for our children? Like my positions on the issues, that pledge to you has not changed with the passage of time.
God Bless America."
Who Is Turkavage?
Turkavage lives with his wife Sarah, and his daughter, Sarah. Turkavage also has two children from a prior marriage.
Turkavage was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 32 ½ years. During his FBI employment, Turkavage served as a Supervisory Special Agent of both the Public Corruption and Government Fraud and Squads in New York City.
Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Turkavage was reassigned to supervise one of the newly created Office of Intelligence analytical squads, which then operated under the JTTF umbrella.
In 2005, Turkavage retired from the FBI and began employment as a vice president with JPMorgan Chase and Company in NYC. Assigned to Global Security, Turkavage, for the next six and a half years was charged with the responsibility of protecting bank customers (including many senior citizens) from being defrauded by various schemes and scams.
In 2014, Turkavage ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in New Jersey.
In 2016, Turkavage campaigned both in New Hampshire and in New Jersey on behalf of then Presidential candidate John Kasich. Turkavage was a N.J. Kasich delegate, and was instrumental in having Kasich’s name placed on the NJ ballot.
In 2018, Turkavage was an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for the 2nd District congressional seat. Turkavage and his wife (also a retired FBI special agent) are involved in a variety of volunteer activities that benefit veterans and senior citizens in Southern New Jersey.