Featured Letter: Lee Zeldin Has Forsaken The Responsibility of Governing

Congressman Lee Zeldin at a fall 2016 forum in Riverhead.

To Whom It May Concern,

Lee Zeldin has forsaken the responsibility of governing for petty party politics and squabbles.

The past two months have presented Congressman Zeldin a unique opportunity to demonstrate where his, and his parties, priorities and passions truly lie. 

Unfortunately it hasn’t taken long for Mr. Zeldin to make it clear that his priorities lie not with representing all District 1 voters, but rather an extreme party line, falling lock step in line with President Trump.

Mr. Zeldin quickly took to Trump-era tactics of obfuscation and attacks. As members of Congress began working on their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act behind closed doors, his constituents desperately wanted to meet with him in person. 

Mr. Zeldin made it clear he had no intention of meeting with his constituents seeking clarity on this pressing issue, ostensibly because he believed his constituents were only seeking to be disruptive and to gain media attention. 

Mr. Zeldin claimed that his remote town halls via Facebook, and “mobile office hours” which were designed to limit attendees by only occurring in the middle of the work day, were sufficient for providing answers to his very concerned constituency. In the meantime, no clarity was ever gained on the major issue of the AHCA.

Mr. Zeldin took a very clear lesson from last year’s political furor by attempting to create distractions with absurd and insulting attacks. This began with his attack on Newsday for publishing an article that was critical of a New York State Senator (then Islip Town Supervisor) and his false statements surrounding a Navy Reserve deployment in the midst of political and personal difficulties. Mr. Zeldin unleashed an unhinged and befuddling attack on Newsday, comparing their investigative article to people spitting on Vietnam veterans.

Furthermore, in the midst of the political turmoil during the week of the scheduled vote for the American Healthcare Act, he turned his attention to Governor Cuomo. During this week, countless members of his district were desperately trying to get information on what was in the current version of the AHCA and what Mr. Zeldin’s position on it was. 

During this week, the Congressman was unable to provide his specific position on the bill, beyond that he was committed to repealing Obamacare. While he wouldn’t provide any details on his position, he did take the time to release two days of angry statements calling Governor Cuomo a liar because of statements he made about the AHCA.  Up until the pulling of the bill, Mr. Zeldin was never able to answer why he supported the AHCA, beyond his fervent desire to repeal Obamacare.

Following the failure of this incredibly unpopular and ill-prepared bill, Mr. Zeldin was very quick to respond on social media. Much like President Trump’s proclamation of “letting Obamacare explode,” Mr. Zeldin quipped “And now Obamacare repeals itself.” 

This immature and emotional outburst is unbecoming of an elected representative. Mr. Zeldin previously stated that, regarding healthcare, “doing nothing is not an option.” Now that the unpopular and unwanted replacement plan that he supported has failed, he wants to see the healthcare system fail, whatever the consequences. 

In his attacks on Governor Cuomo, Mr. Zeldin said that the Governor should “approach Congressional Republicans to genuinely work with them.”  Those suggestions seem to only apply to those who he opposes rather than himself. His quip about letting Obamacare “repeal itself” has made it clear he has no intent on following his advice of bipartisanship.

James Webster
Stationed at Fort Leavenworth, KS
District 1 voter from Port Jefferson

Letters to the editor may be emailed to editor@eastendbeacon.com or mailed to East End Beacon, P.O. Box 665, New Suffolk, NY  11956. Please include your name and telephone number (for verification), and don’t submit any letters under false names. The Beacon will publish all letters that are deemed to not be defamatory or obscene, and may edit submissions for clarity and grammar.

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6 thoughts on “Featured Letter: Lee Zeldin Has Forsaken The Responsibility of Governing

  • March 31, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I’m sorry, I signed up for this newsletter to receive local news and you are awesome in reporting the news on the east end. Don’t ruin that reputation by spreading propaganda and fake news. I couldn’t get past the first sentence because it is false. I’ve personally known my Congressman for a long time. This piece is disrespectful. It’s hurtful. Don’t let someone else do your dirty work. If you want to provide opinion pieces please provide both sides, be fair and balanced as you are when presenting the news and please make sure it’s done respectfully.

    • April 1, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Hello Frank,

      This is a letter to the editor. It says it is a letter to the editor in the headline. You are welcome to write a letter to the editor as well. We print every letter we receive as long as it is not profane or defamatory, and this letter is neither.

      Best wishes,

    • April 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

      So… allowing thousands of local residents to lose their health care is not local news? Allowing local financially teetering hospitals, that are dependent on Medicaid expansion dollars obtained thanks to Obamacare, to simply go broke…I guess thats not local news either. AHCA was a disaster. It was disavowed by all involved, AMA, local hospital presidents, NY State and national hospital associations included. I guess you would call that all “fake news”? Time to grow up. Start with respect of the arguments of your opponents. Start listening. Not refusing to hold townhalls. Americans do have common concerns.

  • March 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    It would appear that the editor published a letter, not an opinion piece. What was disrespectful in that letter? What was not factual? On reading it, it was a pretty straightforward and factual account the Zeldin’s behavior over the past few months.

  • April 1, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    You must be reading a very different letter than I. There was nothing disrespectful and definitely nothing false in the letter. In fact it was a pretty concise description of Zeldin’s partisan and inflammatory behavior of late.

    What specifically did you find disrespectful and false?

  • April 21, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Just sat next to zeldin on a plane to Dallas – we were cramped as hell and he was riding coach (kudos) – his laptop was constantly open and kept in my line of sight.

    He was feverishly coming up with a game plan for this weekend’s community forum in Riverhead. Robo Scripts and avoiding protestors were his primary concerns,asking his adversaries look bad was truly his primary goal. He had a plan for someone named Kennedy to make him look like a bad cop in the whole process. Something about using veterans in the process as well.


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