Letters to the Editor: Zeldin 02.23.17

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Despicable Votes

Montauk

February 17, 2017

To the Editor: 

Lee Zeldin has voted to let coal companies dump in streams, loosen air emissions rules for mining companies, remove restrictions on the hunting of predators in wildlife refuges (wolves and hibernating bears now okay to shoot, any way you can), and to allow state governments to defund abortion providers (no federal funds pay for abortions, remember). These are just a few of the despicable votes of the House over the past few weeks. 

This is honorable behavior for a veteran? You must be voted out of office.

It is time for Zeldin to remember his job is to keep our country beautiful, safe, and healthy for its citizens, and protect its resources for future generations. And maybe get some backbone and meet the people you say you represent in a town hall. Why are you hiding?

Republicans, wise up. You are losing generations for the sake of your donors. You are now the party of destruction.

Sincerely,

PAT LUKASZEWSKA

Core American Values

February 13, 2017

East Hampton 

Dear Editor: 

Let me begin by saying I am an unabashed supporter of Congressman Lee Zeldin. Let me also add that I attended the East Hampton Republican Party’s inauguration gala for Mr. Zeldin. I am proud of both of the above. I imagine my 411/2-year professional career serving this country does not make me immune from being one in Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.” So your recent editorial positions both on Feb. 2, as well as your previous tirade about the inauguration gala, not to mention the recent pontifications of other writers such as Melissa Berman, Betty Mazur, Larry Smith, and Tina Plesset, have led me to decide once again to write.

With regard to the “immigration ban,” I would like to relate a recent personal experience. Last week while in El Calafate, Argentina, I sat next to a married couple, both German passport-carrying citizens. One was a doctor and one was a pharmacist. The doctor was born in Germany, and the pharmacist was born in Turkey, in a town not far from the Syrian border. On their entry to New York the pharmacist was detained and questioned for what he said was about two hours. He was treated with respect and courtesy throughout, and those are his words. He was not happy that he was detained for two hours, but to paraphrase his own words, when one is treated with respect and understanding for the greater good, the circumstance was understandable. 

He then compared the relative safety he felt in the United States versus Europe. The bottom line is, it is perfectly consistent to have the basic belief that nobody should be denied entry to the U.S. based on religious preference, while still believing that a very careful and competent screening of those entering will reduce the threat of terrorism. 

Can you imagine if that had occurred at the end of the Clinton Administration? Perhaps Sept. 11 would not have happened shortly thereafter. And for the notion that this terrorism thing is a homegrown problem, I would remind Ms. Berman she has neither any idea how many terrorists have been stopped by our immigration professionals, nor a memory that would remind her of those who were our own, went abroad, and became dangerously radicalized. So I am for allowing people with different religious beliefs into this country, but after we make our best efforts to see that they mean us no harm. 

The president has the constitutional right to suspend immigration to those who can be reasonably expected to do harm to the U.S. A U.S. acting attorney general chose not to respect this constitutional provision, and was fired. A federal judge ruled against the president’s executive order, and the matter will most likely be ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. That is the way the system works. 

As far as the congressman’s apparent lack of sensitivity to Iraqi translators, let me remind the Star editorial board that Klaus Fuchs translated documents for the U.S. government while at Los Alamos while working on the Manhattan Project. Certainly he meant no harm to the U.S. — right?

And for Mr. Smith’s comment that Representative Zeldin is unwilling to meet with his constituents, let me say, wrong! He has met with me and he has offered to meet with at least two others on water quality issues, as told to me by them at the aforementioned inauguration gala. And for those who have differences on issues with the congressman, I would remind them that he had a meeting with several scores of such at his Riverhead office, as covered in The Star. Statements such as this about the congressman almost seem libelous.

I cannot close without commenting on The Star’s editorial comment, “but bowing to the political winds does not excuse [Congressman Zeldin] from standing by as many core American values are assailed by the White House.” Are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness core values of this country, or are the current political winds of the progressive elite blowing them away? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness hinge on having a country that is safe from terrorism. Do you understand that what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, is what results when we don’t have competence in keeping the bad guys out? 

We can all welcome all religious believers, just so long as their reason to be here is not to take away our life, our liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. What don’t you or your recent letter writers get about that? I mean even a deplorable can sometimes tell the difference between a core value and a wisp of political breeze. It appears to me, and 60 percent of the First Congressional District, that we have a congressman who stands up for core American values and isn’t swayed by a political breeze, and his name is Lee Zeldin.

PAUL GIARDINA

Wolves and Bears

Springs

February 18, 2017

Dear David,

I would like to know why our ostensibly “pro-life” congressman, Lee Zeldin, voted in favor of killing wolf pups and hibernating bears in Alaska’s wildlife refuges this week.

Zeldin, voted in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, a measure that overturns a federal rule that was years in the making, written by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop what the Humane Society calls “some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management.” These include, in addition to killing wolf pups and hibernating bears, spotting bears from planes and then shooting them, and trapping bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares.

The resolution passed with a very thin majority, so our congressman’s vote counted. Ten of his fellow Republicans had the sense to vote against it. So why in the world did Representative Zeldin cast this cruel vote? Does he think wolves and bears in the Alaskan wilderness pose a danger to his constituents on Long Island? 

Unlikely. More likely is that he fell in line behind the N.R.A. and the Safari Club — the latter organization is the one behind the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe — who were pushing for passage of the resolution.

Last week I asked Congressman Zeldin’s representative why Lee Zeldin voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a move that will deprive millions of poor and working-class women access to health care. He told me that Zeldin voted to defund P.P. because he is “pro-life” (even though 97 percent of the health services P.P. provides have nothing to do with abortion).

Wolves and bears are beautiful creatures that share the planet with us. Voting to kill them is a sign of just how little Mr. Zeldin actually values life. Anyone who is truly pro-life should not vote for Lee Zeldin.

FRANCESCA RHEANNON