Letter to the Editor: Stefanik doesn’t have John McCain’s courage

From a letter to the editor on the Watertown Daily Times website published 9/8/18.

As the nation mourns a true American hero in John McCain, one attribute I admired was his courage to express his beliefs. His willingness to respond to critics honestly and be straightforward was a hallmark of his career. In his campaign for president in 2000, he did more than 100 small town hall meetings in New Hampshire. McCain took on all questions from everyone and gave straight, truthful answers.

Compare John McCain’s courage and leadership with that of our member of Congress, Elise Stefanik. As recently as August, Stefanik showed an egregious lack of courage by snubbing Sen. McCain by omitting his name during the signing of the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act at Fort Drum, following the lead of President Donald Trump.

Additionally, Stefanik could have demonstrated courage and leadership by stating her opposition to the tax bill, rather than avoiding her district, telling callers to her office she was reading the bill when she was actually drumming up support for the bill as part of the GOP whip team. Stefanik then voted against the bill when she got permission from House leadership after the bill had enough votes to pass.

Furthermore, Stefanik lacked leadership and the courage to vote for NY21 constituents by following GOP support of the American Health Act, which would have decimated north country hospitals and clinics and thrown 64,000 people in NY21 off their health care insurance. Only John McCain’s courageous no vote prevented the bill from becoming law.

More recently, the EPA rolled back pollution levels from the Clean Power Plan that will increase acid rain in our region. Stefanik voiced opposition to the changes in an election year but didn’t mention that she voted against the Clean Power Plan in 2015, meaning she didn’t support the decrease in acid rain.

Was Stefanik being honest with NY21 when she denied any knowledge of her campaign’s 17-year-old intern who secretly recorded Tedra Cobb’s conversation with students? Initially, Stefanik denied any knowledge until pictures showed otherwise. We then found out her party paid the intern $1,000 to record opponents.

Tedra Cobb has the courage, experience and integrity to represent NY21. Tedra has pledged one “real” town hall annually in each of the 12 counties in NY21. Tedra’s decisions will be based on what is best for NY21, not at the direction of the Trump GOP.

Jon Hall

Watertown

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