* (Read NJOA Chairman Anthony Mauro's personal comments at the bottom of the endorsement)
Grassroots Voice of Anglers, Hunters, Trappers, and Conservationists Backs District 3
(9/18/13 Belmar, NJ) -- Senate President Steve Sweeney, along with Assemblyman John Burzichelli, and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, have won the endorsement of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (NJOA), the grassroots organization that represents the interests of anglers, hunters, environmental stewards, and other outdoor enthusiasts across the state.
"Sportsmen and women can't fish or hunt with polluted habitat, whether the habitat is water or land. Senator Sweeney has a proven track record of supporting environmental stewardship and ensuring access to fish, game, and our state's many natural resources. So, too, do Assemblyman Burzichelli and Assemblywoman Riley. That's why we support Sweeney, Burzichelli, and Riley in District 3," said Anthony Mauro, Chair and Cofounder of the NJOA. "NJOA is proud to continue its support of these legislators because of their long history of supporting outdoor interests. They have consistently sought out commonsense solutions for the challenges facing our state, and that includes protecting the rights and values of all outdoor enthusiasts."
"I'm honored to have the support of the hundreds of thousands of residents across the state that enjoy the outdoors, while recognizing the important environmental contributions made by sportsmen and women," said Sweeney. "The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance understands that the interests of outdoor sports enthusiasts aren't narrow, and that protecting the rights of those who fish and hunt goes hand-in-hand with protecting New Jersey's diverse natural environment."
Assemblyman Burzichelli stated, "I've enjoyed supporting our state residents in their desire for healthy natural resources and access to them, this not only benefits all New Jerseyeans, it also makes for good public policy." Assemblywoman Riley agreed, "The sportsmen and women are hands-on when it comes to wanting wholesome fish and game. So, it only makes sense that one of their priorities is to protect these wildlife resources and the habitats that sustain them."
NJOA is an organization of conservationists, which includes freshwater and saltwater anglers, hunters, trappers, foresters, and scuba divers, all of whom are dedicated to protecting the environment while enjoying outdoor sports and recreation. It is reported that there are approximately 800,000 New Jersey residents that participate in fishing and hunting.
According to its mission, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance serves as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to the conservation of natural resources and environmental stewardship.
* NJOA Chair, Anthony P. Mauro, Sr., shares his thoughts on the Sweeny/Burzichelli/Riley endorsement.
The outdoorsmen/women of New Jersey owe a great deal of thanks to Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli, and Assemblywoman Riley. Their leadership and understanding of the importance of conservation has helped to advance numerous outdoors initiatives.
While it is important to note that bipartisan support from many of our state legislators, and governors, have advanced NJOA conservation initiatives, the backing of New Jersey's Senate President (Senator Sweeney) is crucial for legislation to move to the Governor's desk. Senator Sweeney has also played a key role in stopping harmful legislation from becoming law. Also, it is through his efforts that sportsmen and women have a forum in Trenton to voice their interests through the New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus.
Collectively the Sweeney/Burzichelli/Riley team has been instrumental in the following conservation accomplishments:
The advancement of Sunday bow hunting, which was signed into law.
The advancement of 150' safety zone, which was signed into law.
The advancement of Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs, which was signed into law.
The recent compromise regarding the removal of fixed gear from state reefs.
The development of New Jersey's first caucus to advance conservation matters in Trenton: "New Jersey Angling & Hunting Conservation Caucus". This caucus has received national recognition.
Additionally, Senator Sweeney, as Senate President, has a long record of preventing harmful anti-hunting and anti-fishing legislation from becoming law. He has done so by educating legislators and policy makers about the benefits of fishing, hunting, and environmental stewardship through conservation based policy.
While some hunters may have disagreed with recent F.I.D. related gun legislation (which was vetoed by Governor Christie) it is noteworthy that the NRA has given Senator Sweeney its highest rating in past years, and he has long been considered a supporter of the Second Amendment. He also filtered the Assembly's 23 gun bills to help ensure a more effective outcome.
Importantly, given demographic trends in New Jersey, should Senator Sweeney be replaced as Senate President there is a high probability that it would be with someone strongly opposed to the Second Amendment and hunting, and perhaps fishing, to a lesser degree. So, in the opinion of NJOA, it is wise to avoid needlessly self-destructive behavior that could impact the Senate President position and as a consequence negatively influence conservation and shooting interests.
In short, the NJOA endorses the Sweeney/Burzichelli/Riley team in the 3rd legislative district for their long history of outdoor friendly laws and legislation, their understanding and support of the principles of conservation, and their efforts to act as educators of legislators and policy-makers to the needs of outdoorsmen and women.
Anthony P. Mauro, Sr
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance