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Views and comments expressed in Letters To Editor are the opinions of the writer not Smithtown Matters.

Wednesday
Nov142018

Letter To Editor - Lee Zeldin Failed To Call Out Trump's Lack Of Respect

To the Editor:

 This is from Member of Congress and veteran Lee Zeldin’s Facebook post for Veteran’s Day:

“Every day should be Veterans Day, yet on this great Veterans Day morning, I would like to thank every US veteran for their sacrifice in defense of our flag and our freedoms on behalf of the greatest nation in the world. It’s hard to imagine that not that long ago, our country spat on our heroes as they returned home from combat. That can never happen again. To our Vietnam Vets, welcome home! Our great veterans deserve our unwavering love, loyalty, and respect for their service not only on behalf of their families back home, but also for strangers to keep the rest of us safe… .” *

While some people did denigrate returning soldiers because of their opposition to the Viet Nam War, our country did not spit on them.  Zeldin can visit the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington to see how our soldiers are honored and cherished. 

However, someone who did spit upon our veterans is our five-deferment president.  He failed to join numerous world leaders in commemorating the end of WW1 at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial  in France where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought.  The cemetery contains the graves of 2539 known and unknown Americans, and commemorates 1060 dead soldiers.  Why did Trump refuse to attend?  It was raining, so he stayed in his hotel to watch TV instead. 

But Trump is not alone in expressing disdain for the fallen. Lee Zeldin also dishonored them by failing to utter one word of criticism about Trump’s disgusting lack of respect.   This should not be surprising because Zeldin never expresses any opinion that is not in lockstep with Trump’s, but his silence in this instance is particularly shocking.

Ruth A Cohen

Lake Grove

Friday
Nov022018

Letter To Editor - LCV Gives Zeldin A 9% Environmental Rating

To the Editor: 

In an effort to burnish his image with East End voters Congressman Lee Zeldin has taken out a full page ad in some local papers. I would like to address some of his claims. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been “safeguarding our environment.” Fact: Mr. Zeldin has one of the worst environmental records in Congress. The non-partisan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has given him a grade of 9%, one of the lowest in Congress. Contributing to this low rating are his votes to reverse clean air rules and to block the Clean Water Rule, which protects the drinking water of one in three Americans. And Mr. Zeldin’s vote for an amendment cutting the EPA budget by $1.9 billion does not sound like “safeguarding our environment” to me. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been “supporting our veterans.” Fact: As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, he skipped 65% of the committee’s hearings in 2015. In 2017 he abandoned Veterans Affairs for Financial Services, which presides over the bank, insurance, securities and housing industries, from which he has received millions in donations. Which might explain why Mr. Zeldin voted “No” on a bill preserving our veterans’ right to sue if their mortgages violate anti-predatory lending laws. The bill was designed to also protect vets from brokers who get bonuses for selling them unaffordable mortgages. With his vote Mr. Zeldin put the interests of financial predators ahead of those of our vets. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been working on “repairing our nation’s infrastructure.” Fact: Our nation’s infrastructure is starting to resemble that of a third world country. Mr. Zeldin and his fellow Republicans have controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress for two years. They have failed to come up with legislation to address this problem, opting instead to give huge tax 

cuts to multi-national corporations and billionaires. (Said tax cuts, by the way, have resulted in increased corporate profits with minuscule pay raises for workers, while raising the deficit to unsustainable levels.) 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been working at “improving healthcare in America.” Fact: Mr. Zeldin voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which provides health insurance to thousands of his constituents. Mr. Zeldin and his fellow Republicans offered no replacement plan, apparently unconcerned with the pain and suffering the loss of insurance would cause for millions of our fellow Americans. If you have a pre-existing condition, a son or daughter you need to keep on your health plan, or are unable to afford needed medicines, you should be very concerned with Mr. Zeldin’ws record on health care. 

I have no faith that Mr. Zeldin is fighting for me in Congress. That is why I am voting for Perry Gershon on Nevember 6. 

Sincerely,
John Neely
Westhampton Beach, New York 

P. S. I am a former member of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee. 

Tuesday
Oct232018

Letter To Editor - Zeldin's Environmental Record 

The 1st Congressional District on the East End of Long Island is more dependent on the environment than many other places.  We are surrounded by water, with agriculture, fishing and tourism major sources of revenue.  Clean water, clean air, unpolluted beaches and farm and marine produce, fish, oysters and clams  free from contaminants are an economic necessity in addition to being  health and safety priorities.

Lee Zeldin supported withdrawal from the International Climate Accords. He voted to cut funds for the EPA (HR 492 & 354).  He voted to cut funds for clean water projects (HR492). He voted to undermine National Oceans Policy that ensures ocean health for fisherman and all of us who swim and eat fish (HR 3043. Zelda voted to limit criminal prosecution of polluters (HR 482). From 2015 through 2017 Zeldin voted for anti-environment legislation 28 times - that is 95% of the time.  So far in 2018 his record is worse. He voted 21 times for anti environment legislation with only one pro vote.

Zeldin says he opposes off-shore drilling in the waters off his district.  He does not, however,  oppose off-shore drilling any place else in the U.S.  That means he is not opposed to off-shore oil drilling in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey or even Nassau County.  Any fisherman or person who lived through oil spills in Alaska, California and the Gulf of Mexico will tell you the damage from an oil spill to water, wildlife, tourism and quality of life is not limited by Congressional district boundaries.

And regarding Plum Island, despite all of Zeldin’s talk, the fact is the date for the sale of Plum Island remains 2023 - unchanged.

For the health of our children and grandchildren; for cleaner air and water and for the economic welfare of our communities I am voting for Perry Gershon and not for Lee Zeldin.

Susan F. Bloom

Saturday
Oct202018

Letter To Editor - Joined At The Hip

Joined at the Hip

Here are some of President Trump’s most shameful moments.

President Trump supported and defended Roy Moore, a credibly accused child molester for the U.S. Senate.  He defended his White House aide, Rob Porter, who was credibly accused of wife-beating. President Trump defended American Nazis in Charlottesville.  President Trump defended Vladimir Putin who was accused by the British government of poisoning people on English soil with a nerve agent.  President Trump denigrated Christine Ford and championed Brett Kavanaugh who was credibly charged with sexual assault.

Now President Trump is trying his very best to support the Saudi regime which has been creditably accused of the torture, murder and bone-saw dismemberment of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Can it be these are our new friends? They seem to be President Trump’s friends.

Congressman Lee Zeldin has supported President Trump in word and deed at almost every opportunity. Trump and Zeldin are effectively, “joined at the hip”.  A vote for Zeldin excuses this behavior and will get us more of the same.

Anne Howard

Wednesday
Oct172018

Letter To Editor - When You Vote Think Healthcare

Letter to the Editor

I watched the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court with horror, for many reasons. But my greatest fear is what this will mean regarding the availability and affordability of health care, especially for women and children. A Supreme Court that will not put a check on Congress’s mission to gut the Affordable Health Care Act and to outlaw abortions is a scenario that should scare all of us, regardless of your political affiliation.

This issue cuts close to my heart, as I’m sure it does for many other Suffolk County women. I am a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a niece and a grandmother. I am grateful that my daughter and daughter-in-law have had access to pre-natal care, and that my grandchildren will be covered by their parents’ health insurance plans so that they may grow up as healthy as possible. I was also blessed to be able to choose when and if to bring my children into the world, and to care for them well when I did.

But this is not the reality for many Americans, including many Suffolk County residents. If the Republicans get their way, many of the pro-family health provisions under the Affordable Care Act would be eliminated. This would mean that insurance companies could deny coverage for pregnancy, maternity and newborn care. They would be able to deny such preventive services as mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer and could even charge women more than men for coverage. Additionally, if the Republicans are successful in eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions, this would permit insurers to deny coverage for C-sections and all cancers.

And this does not even begin to cover the scope of other pre-existing conditions that insurers could exclude from coverage – including, but not limited to, mental health, substance abuse, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, heart disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, COPD, emphysema, epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

In the latest poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 75% of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want to retain the protection of the ACA barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. In Nassau-Suffolk Counties, 23% of our non-elderly residents have a pre-existing condition. When you add in our local seniors, the percentage rises to almost 50%.

The Supreme Court used to be the last refuge for the protection of individual rights, and a restriction on the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Now that we cannot rely on the Supreme Court to leave partisan politics out of their decision-making, we must have a Congress that will represent the best interests of everyday Americans, not just those of corporations and the 1%.

Having a Congressman who will fight to preserve these protections for women and families is more critical than ever. Lee Zeldin will not be that champion. Perry Gershon will put the interests of Suffolk County residents first. I urge everyone to vote for Perry Gershon on November 6th.

Andrea Klausner, Esq.

Retired civil rights attorney