It is impossible not to notice how divisive politics, and to a certain extent, government in general, has become. From nasty attack advertisements that twist facts into scenarios casting opposing candidates as stereotypical bad guys, to what appears to be a basic inability to work together in addressing important issues, it’s clear there is truly a divide in this country.
It’s a divide that has only deepened since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008 and the immediate agenda that developed to oust him from office in 2012 — an agenda we do not support, for the record. As a result, candidates poured into the political arena, many with the same rhetoric, same speeches, same agenda.
One of the reasons we have always supported Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop, outside of the very real fact his work in Washington, D.C. over the last decade has directly benefited the East End of Long Island, is because he has always had his own voice.
When you speak with Congressman Bishop about an issue, he will tell you what he thinks — even if he knows you won’t like it. He also shares real, substantive information whether on issues like the proposed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facility he effectively stopped from setting up shop in the Long Island Sound, his ongoing commitment to the environment, veterans, healthcare and education, or his office’s constituent services.
Congressman Bishop has shown time and time again, and even as recently as this week as Hurricane Sandy bore down on our region, that he is truly available to the East End. On issues like the potential sale of Plum Island, the possible partnership between Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook University Medical Center and immigration, Congressman Bishop ensures he is part of the discussion, offering aid or information — sadly a luxury in this day and age, and not a luxury we should throw away in the name of party politics.
Randy Altschuler has certainly been a force to contend with. Charming, intelligent and a self described example of the American dream, we can see how easily he draws supporters in. But we disagree fundamentally with Altschuler, a Republican, in terms of the actual benefit achieved in keeping tax breaks in place for the wealthiest in this nation, while the middle and lower classes continues to suffer.
We are also concerned about electing a Congressman so new to this region, and frankly, someone most of us are fairly unfamiliar with outside of the political landscape.
Altschuler looks good on paper, and talks a great game, we admit, but we are a little tired of games these days and would feel much more secure knowing the person representing us in Washington is a neighbor who has a tangible investment in our community. That is why Congressman Bishop, also represented on the Working Families line, has our endorsement for the First Congressional District.