I'd Love To See Jello Biafra In Congress... But Not Bob Price (AKA, Bob Healey) Of The Ghouls
How many members of Congress have pierced nipples? I’m not certain but if Bob Healey beats Andy Kim Tuesday, there will be at least one. He’s also covered in tattoos— and stinking rich, running his family’s yacht business. When he was a teenager, calling himself Bob Price, he started a punk rock band, The Ghouls, who were popular in the Philly area and put out 2 albums and an EP paid for by Healey’s parents, We Are The Dead, It’s Time To Die and Stand Alone. (More recently Healey’s mommy contributed $2.7 million to his SuperPAC, Garden State Advance, so he could continue smearing Congressman Andy Kim on TV.
Let me start with some facts about the district, NJ-03. And we’ll comeback to the punk rock in a minute. When Andy Kim beat Republican multimillionaire incumbent Tom MacArthur in 2018, the district had just gone to Trump by 6 points and had a solid R+5 partisan lean. MacArthur wrote his campaign a $1.36 million dollar check but Kim beat him by 1.3 points. The New Jersey legislature moved to make the district much friendlier for Kim last year and the lean is now D+9— with a PVI of D+5.
Half of Healey’s campaign haul comes from a $2,260,025 check he wrote himself (not counting the money he’s gotten from his immediate family members). Garden State Advance PAC, which has spent $2,416,649 smearing Kim and $769,510 propping up Healey is funded by his mommy and 6 other people, all close associates of his family, mostly from out of state. The RNCC and McCarthy’s SuperPAC has stated out of the race, viewing it as unwinnable by the spoiled rich former punk rocker. The 538 forecast shows Kim beating Healey 51.5% to 45.2%.
Just before Healey announced he was running, crooked convicted Republican felon, David Wildstein, who once ran dirty tricks for Chris Christie and now runs a right wing website, the New Jersey Globe, described him as “heavily-tattooed with long hair and nipple piercings” and ran the photo up top. Later he wrote tried to help Healey/Price defuse his punk rock past.
Some of the lyrics were hardcore and sometimes violent, and his candidacy could test whether there is a reasonable shelf life for opposition research— most specifically if voters will judge Healey based on his record as a businessman and philanthropist and not songs written by someone in his teens and early 20s.
Healey is stepping up and owning his days [as] a punk rocker.
“I was a lead singer, and I wrote those songs and I understand if people might find it offensive,” Healey told the New Jersey Globe. “I was an angry guy back then. I started the band when I was sixteen.”
Healey’s music career ended almost fifteen years ago, when he decided to use his degree in finance to help run his family business.
“It’s not who I am now. I’ve got a five-month-old daughter. I’ve spent the last fifteen years learning that it’s not about me, it’s about a lot of other people,” he said. “Back then, I thought I was the center of everything. Now I realize that that you’ve got to take yourself out of the center if you want to lead some kind of fulfilling life.”
You can see why McCarthy doesn’t want to be associated with songs like “Skullfuck,” “Yours In Murder” and “Suicide Club” and doesn’t want him to win. He’s probably imagining what would happen if Healey, Marjorie Traitor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar performed “Family Matters” on the floor of Congress. Healey/Price is the singer:
And remember, as much as Healey/Price likes to emphasize that he started the band in 2004 and disbanded them in 2008, he is less forthcoming about having started them up again in 2019… so not exactly when he was 16 any longer. Aside from the questionable music, the Star Ledger editorial board called him "wildly unqualified," noting that he "has zero public experience, and is cutting to the front of the line based on family money and the power of TV commercials."
Given all that, you might think he’d make every effort to learn the issues and convince voters that he deserves a seat in Congress, when he’s never even run for local office. Yet after inviting Rep. Andy Kim to a series of debates, Healey didn’t bother to show up to three of them.
Contrast that with the 56 town halls Kim has held over the last four years— one every month, since he was sworn into office— and his substantial experience in serving the public, including at the front lines in Afghanistan with General David Petraeus.
It’s hard to conjure a more striking mismatch. Kim serves on the Small Business, Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees and is perhaps best known for quietly helping to clean up debris after a mob ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. He is a humble public servant, a delightful anomaly in these times.
Kim is now leading the charge to ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks, and publicly defied Speaker Nancy Pelosi on this issue, which is a matter of principle to him. Healey, by contrast, holds more than $1 million of stock in Big Pharma, and protects their interest by opposing a bill allowing Medicare to negotiate discounts for seniors on drug prices.
But Healey has called for tax cuts on yacht sales. Merits aside, pushing a specific policy like this that would directly benefit his own yacht business shows a lack of awareness of fundamental ethics rules.
He’s also praised Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul that gave a huge windfall to corporations and the rich, including Healey and his family. Most Americans believe that rich people and corporations pay too little in taxes, and know that 2017 tax law did the opposite: It gave the biggest tax cuts to the wealthiest among us.
Healey has been trumpeting the myth of “trickle-down economics” on the campaign trail. He’s also trying to have it both ways, claiming that he will somehow restore the full deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT, which got capped at $10,000 by that same disastrous 2017 tax overhaul that Healey heartily supported. Why on earth should voters trust him on this?
The folks Healey is most likely to advocate for in Congress are the rich, like his family, not the regular people that Kim has been fighting for on issues like lowering drug prices and capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 a year. So, if you’re frustrated about a government that works for the rich and powerful and well-connected, then make your voice heard: Vote for Kim.