Letters to the Editor: Zeldin 02.09.17

Our readers comments

Questioning Zeldin

Montauk

February 2, 2017

Dear David,

Thank you for last week’s editorial about Lee Zeldin and his party of fear. While Congressman Zeldin may have carried our Congressional district, and is, as you propose, emboldened by President Trump’s assertion of power and breakneck-speed assault on civil liberties under the guise of security, he did not carry the East End, and does not represent the majority of this community. 

I know the East End to be the home of some of the most compassionate human beings I have ever met. Indeed, a group of our residents has been volunteering tirelessly to aid the refugees stranded and suffering in Greece. Our community has come together to support these victims of terrorism, not to blame them for the very thing they are running from. 

Perhaps the congressman would like to accompany them on their next trip and meet some of the people being used as pawns to instill fear in our country. We’d be happy to ensure his safety from the orphaned 6-year-old girl who has known nothing but war and destruction her whole life, or the woman who has been raped in front of her husband before her rapists turned to murder him. Or maybe he’d like to meet one of Syria’s best soccer players who nearly drowned crossing a six-mile stretch in a flimsy rubber raft and fell to his knees weeping in prayer having made it to land.

Your questioning of Congressman Zeldin’s judgment and actions as someone of Jewish heritage and someone who has served in our military are spot on. Also interesting to note that in December 2015, Congressman Zeldin was quoted on Long Island’s News 12 in response to Trump’s campaign promise of a ban on Muslims: “Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) disagreed with Trump, saying that he does not support any policy that calls on banning anyone from entering America solely based on their religion.” When I pointed this out to his office, they found no discrepancy with that statement and his current position, saying that “Congressman Zeldin is opposed to banning entry into the U.S. solely based on religious grounds, but he is supportive of the temporary halt of refugees from certain nations (regardless of religious affiliation).” 

He may be able to spin the rest of our district. But most of us here recognize a politically motivated flip on an unconstitutional policy when we see one. The propagation of xenophobia by Trump to accomplish his power grab is dizzying. And terrifying. And maddening. And gut-wrenching. The lack of leadership from our congressman in going along with it and not defending the foundation of our democracy is disgraceful.

It was so heartening to see my local paper call him out. I trust you will continue to do so. Thanks, David, for your voice. It spoke for me.

MELISSA BERMAN

Voter Suppression

Amagansett

February 6, 2017

Dear David,

Amidst the chaotic flurry of frightening executive orders and impulsive pronouncements from the White House, one announcement may have missed public scrutiny. This is the “major probe” ordered into “3 to 5 million cases” of alleged instances of voter fraud in the November election. The truth of the matter is that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have completed their election results, with no reports of the kind of widespread fraud claimed by this administration. 

In fact, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah, states that his committee has seen no evidence of voter fraud. These unsubstantiated claims are reckless and dangerous, undermining the stability and credibility of a fundamental right of United States citizenship: the right to vote. And prior to this election, skittish states and counties imposed more and more restrictions and obstacles to voter registration, shortening hours of voting, and adding new forms of voter identification. The result? Pure and simple: voter suppression. 

Voter suppression is not acceptable in this state, or in the county of Suffolk. Congressman Lee Zeldin, who represents this congressional district, needs to know this. And he also needs to know that the residents of the First Congressional District say “no” to squandering millions of our tax dollars on a Congressional investigation-probe into a nonexistent problem. 

Mr. Zeldin’s mailing address is 31 Oak Street, Patchogue 11772. The phone is 631-289-1097.

Help save the vote.

BETTY MAZUR

Any Differences

East Hampton

February 6, 2017

Dear David,

I have written to Mr. Zeldin and asked him to identify any differences that he has with Mr. Trump, his policies, or appointments. I am still awaiting his reply.

Why don’t you all ask him as well? We have the right to know.

LARRY SMITH

Running Away From Us

Springs

February 3, 2017

Dear David,

Thank you for your coverage of Congressman Lee Zeldin in The East Hampton Star of Feb. 2, 2017. From the article by Christopher Walsh, your editorial, and many letters, I see Representative Zeldin as being political and self-serving in his unwavering support of President Trump’s policies. He is ignoring the lessons or takeaways from his heritage and military service experiences instead of learning from them. Is this an attitude and style one should respect? Is this the kind of man we want to represent the First Congressional District?

We are a district that is a microcosm of the problems facing this great nation. We need a representative who intelligently and critically evaluates the needs and concerns of all his constituents. A major indication that he doesn’t do this is his unwillingness thus far to meet with constituents, as reported — by refusing to speak with The Star, by refusing to hold town hall meetings when asked, and by sending his district manager to requested meetings instead of showing up himself.

What a shame. He is running away from us instead of running for us! And, as far as critical thinking, how can he blindly support Trump’s “alternative facts,” being debunked even by members of his own party? 

TINA PLESSET