In our endorsement for U.S. Congress, it’s no contest. We support Tim Bishop and feel that at this critical juncture in history East End voters should do the same.
That’s because, unlike his opponent Randy Altschuler, Bishop is a Southampton resident with deep family roots here. Altschuler on the other hand moved to Long Island from New Jersey just three years ago when he decided to run for Congress.
During his time in office, Bishop has been a champion for the East End. He secured funding to dredge Shinnecock Inlet to keep the commercial fishing fleet working and brought $2.5 million in federal funds to South Fork school districts. Bishop was also instrumental in stopping the controversial Broadwater plant that would have installed a floating liquid natural gas facility on Long Island Sound.
But we have been given scant opportunity to get to know Bishop’s opponent, who made just two brief stops on the East End during this campaign.
In his Hampton Bays appearance, Altschuler stressed fiscal responsibility and the need to cut the spending in Washington. Yet when Bishop turned over the remainder of his closing remarks time to Altschuler so he could give specifics on how he would accomplish that, Altschuler refused, saying his words would be used against him in Bishop’s campaign.
We find that insulting. This was Altschuler’s opportunity to give East Enders substance, instead he stuck with his party’s line and offered only generalities like those we’ve heard from candidates like him all over the country. Which is a shame. Because we, too, worry about fiscal responsibility. The $1.3 trillion deficit is out of control and it’s one that began with the Bush administration. Without specifics, Altschuler’s pledge to slash spending rings hollow.
Conversely, if we were to lose Tim Bishop in Congress, we would lose a real ally in Washington. We need government leaders who fight for us, not their party. Bishop has shown us already that he does that. Altschuler, conversely, has only shown us that he likely would not. We need to protect the fact we have someone working for us and not a larger agenda. So don’t sit back, get out there and vote for Bishop.
A Reply from Mr. Altschuler’s Campaign:
As someone who has lived in the 1st Congressional District for over 20 years, and is an avid reader of the Sag Harbor Express, I thought it would be prudent to set the record straight on a few inaccuracies listed in your endorsement of Tim Bishop’s reelection to Congress.
You noted that Randy Altschuler “moved to Long Island from New Jersey just three years ago.” This statement is false. Randy Altschuler moved to Suffolk County from New York City three years ago. In that time he’s become a sustaining member of his local Chamber of Commerce, his three-year-old son is in pre-school here, and Mrs. Altschuler is operating a pediatric practice in Brookhaven.
Your statement that Randy Altschuler “made just two brief stops on the East End” is also blatantly inaccurate. Randy has made dozens of stops on the East End since the start of the congressional campaign. Despite both of his opponents in the primaries hailing from the “East End”, (Demos from Shelter Island, Cox from Southampton) Randy carried Southampton, Riverhead, East Hampton and Southold by wide margins in the September 14th Republican and Conservative Party primaries. While many of Randy’s East End meetings may not have been widely publicized by The Express, he’s spent full days in the five eastern towns meeting with local business owners, the Long Island Wine Council, the Farm Bureau, local civics and chamber organizations and elected officials. Randy has the support of three East End Supervisors (Scott Russell in Southold, Bill Wilkinson in East Hampton, and Sean Walter in Riverhead), the East End Independent newspaper and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (both of which have endorsed Tim Bishop in his past campaigns). To suggest a lack of focus on East End issues lacks as much credibility as the statement that Tim Bishop fights “for us,” and not his party.
The reality is that according to National Journal’s independent compellation of Tim Bishop’s voting record, the eight-term incumbent has towed the Democratic Party line more than 97% of the time. Of the 29 Democratic and Republican members of Congress from New York, only two members vote with their party more often than Tim Bishop. What is your definition of partisanship?
In the spirit of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, The Express is certainly entitled to its own opinion but not its own facts. I thank you for allowing me equal time to correct the record.
Randy Altschuler for Congress