Voting begins Saturday in New York in an atmosphere of immense political polarization where few people seem willing to engage in any kind of serious dialogue about issues and instead candidates seem to focus on superficial allegations of political ineptness.

Many of these issues are noisy but they are simplistic and do not address the questions challenging the 21st Congressional District. The next member of the U.S. House of Representatives elected from the north country will need experience, seniority and an understanding of what is important to the district.

We are extremely dependent upon the federal government’s continued investment in and commitment to Fort Drum — the largest single-site employer in the state, providing enormous economic activity throughout our community. The federal government using our local health care system has meant better medical care for all of us.

Fort Drum is energy independent, using our forest products to fuel a generator that provides all its electrical needs. Fort Drum is a critical user of internet bandwidth, resulting in immense investments in capacity from which we will benefit. And if the nation decides it needs to strengthen its anti-ballistic defense system, Fort Drum will be the center for that investment.

The north country is very dependent upon agriculture. The dairy industry provides the raw material for cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt and Greek yogurt. The apple orchards at the east end of Lake Ontario and in the Champlain Valley make New York state one of the nation’s largest producers of food for the country.

The district’s tourism industry provides jobs for many people, a fact sadly driven home by the pandemic.

The district has proven itself resilient for generations, coping with economic hard times and weather shocks because no one is afraid to work and work hard to support their neighbors and make life better. The district has endorsed Republicans and Democrats as president and worked closely with Washington leadership to enhance our way of life.

Unfortunately, this year the campaign for the House of Representatives seems to focus on President Donald Trump.

He is not the member of Congress from the north country. He is not running to represent us in Congress.

Voters have plenty of chances to express themselves on their ballots about him. What voters here must decide is who will better represent them in the House of Representatives.

This race is not about to what degree candidates have supported or criticized Mr. Trump. This race is not about individual military personnel issues but instead about investment in and sustainability of Fort Drum and an expanded mission.

This race is not about whether existing medical conditions should be covered by a federal health care program. Instead, it is about improving the system we have with affordable programs.

The political hysteria about the Affordable Care Act ignores the fact that since the law passed and coverage was expanded to many uninsured people, the north country’s health care system and especially some of its hospitals continued to atrophy.

The agricultural sectors need sensible access to migrant workers. The tourism industry needs support to restore a transportation system to being visitors to the north country.

Elise Stefanik has a clear record of success on these issues. She understands Fort Drum and its multi-layer nuance. She has exhibited a reasonable approach to bringing migrant labor to the north country to aid in the harvest of our bountiful crops.

She understands the shortfalls of the Affordable Care Act and supports structural reform. In the meantime, her efforts in Washington brought millions of dollars to north country hospitals shortchanged by illogical federal rules.

She has a proven record and has earned seniority. She deserves re-election and an opportunity to continue to make the north country a vibrant community. She can do exactly that no matter who becomes our next president.

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(39) comments

KRobbins

Zeitgeist, Friendlyother, Satorimark, Lacroim, myself and maybe others are here making, what I feel, are justified criticisms of the endorsement. How lucky WDT is to have champions like Pitbull and Holmes making such cogent defenses of it. Good company to be in.

Pitbull

This liberal bloodbath of words reminds me of what happens when things don't go the liberals way. For example, look at the attacks on the Jews for Trump motorcade. Pepper spray and rocks. This comment section is filled with shock and are the written equivalent of rocks and pepper spray. It socks when you don't get your way.

KRobbins

bloodbath of words?????????

People here are engaging in, I believe, legitimate criticism of the endorsement. Rather than rebut any of it all you do is attack us for offering criticism by comparing us to those in NYC. How is there any similarity? Criticism in a comment thread is the same as throwing rocks? If they’d endorsed Cobb you’d be here making pointless attacks on WDT for being liberals.

I’m old enough to remember Tea Partiers whining “I want my country back, wahhhhhh” when the Black dude got elected president. Their progeny is in Michigan locked up for plotting to kidnap, put on trial the governor and execute her.

hermit thrush

right-wingers are such snowflakes that they view words they don't like as violence.

KRobbins

Yeah, and look how many have died due to Trump’s forked tongue. There’s the real danger.

Empathy

I repeatedly ask myself why I subscribe to WDT. It is not because of fair and unbiased reporting. Award winning newspaper? AN ARTICLE about an event or topic on occasion gets an award. The awarding panel most likely does not read the WDT daily for fine, fair, and unbiased reporting. NO. I read the public announcements, copy sudoku to do , read the car guy and Lenard Pitts on Sundays, get a bit of laundered local news, and I enjoy a couple of farm and garden articles. That's about it. I subscribe elsewhere to several sources in seeking fair and unbiased reporting. It takes a lot of searching and thought. I've concluded that reading WDT has become just a habit which is expensive for what I get as many others have told me.

zeitgeist

Satorimark commented that the editorial is "weird."

I think the editorial is "weird" because it's cold, one-dimensional, opportunistic, and devoid of conscience.

Basically, the editorial lists the various features of the district-- Fort Drum, agriculture, tourism, healthcare, etc. The point is, she delivers. That's the extent to which we are to ponder her suitability.

Nothing else is relevant.

Readers catch the drift that we're not reading about "she" in the context of a human being-candidate with political associations and alignments meriting consideration, a character and values meriting evaluation, a style of constituent-engagement meriting judgment, or anything like that. No. We're reading about "she" in the context of "she delivers." Like a machine. She can be completely explained, and her suitability can be completely determined, in mechanical terms: "See, there are these living, breathing, district-features. She? Well, she delivers."

The editorial board gets its pathetic, Republican, certainty and security-fix by objectifying her, seeing her in terms of her utility, alone. She's transactional. She serves a purpose. "She delivers."

She's not an object! She's a subject, having tremendous breadth, and the entirety of it merits our consideration.

KRobbins

With coronavirus cases now we’ll over 80,000 per day and the Trump Superspreader Tour in full swing it’s worth looking back and seeing our congresswoman attending opening night in Tulsa.

Does the editorial board of the WDT think that showed the kind of judgment we’d like to see in a representative?

hermit thrush

[thumbup]

TheOutsiders

After reading this endorsement of Elise Stefanik, lukewarm as it was, I wonder if your editorial board even bothers to read your own paper.

In October, this was your headline: “Latest Stefanik Ad includes Fake Citation, Misleading Claims.” You went on to label Ms. Stefanik’s actions as “beneath a public official” and of her tactics, “We deserve better than to live in an environment like this”. Another headline of your paper “Stefanik Casts Aside Truth, Decency in her re-election bid.”

So what exactly do you want to give another chance to Ms. Stefanik to do? Feed us fake and divisive claims? Or yet another chance to cast aside truth and decency?

If re-elected, Stefanik would not be in the majority party and would have little power in Committee. She does not sit on the Agriculture Committee, a tremendous loss for our farming community. She is indifferent to the stresses of being without health insurance in this rural district.  Her partisan efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act indicate she isn’t interested in the long-term needs of our hospitals and nursing homes. She has introduced the fewest bills of the NY Congressional Delegation. Only two have been signed into law, one to name a post office and another for a commemorative coin. Is this how she plans to make our district “vibrant”?

It is not as though we don’t have a strong alternative in Tedra Cobb.  She has lived in the 21st Congressional District for over 30 years. She has worked to increase access to health care, welcomed collaboration with Republicans and Democrats alike, embraced opposing opinions to enrich her understanding of voters needs and maintained a small business in our district. Tedra knows the backroads and front porches of our district because she has made it her home, not her stepping stone. You have a choice.

Instead you have endorsed a Congresswoman whom you exposed for habitually and intentionally embracing false truths during her re-election bid.

Why would you turn a blind eye to your own truth telling, your own good and honest reporting?

Another chance? Uncandid and insincere and ultra-partisan Stefanik hasn’t earned that. In your own words, “…she pollutes the 21st Congressional District with cynicism and acrimony.”

KRobbins

Fantastic comment! It was as if they didn’t even consider Cobb and just wrote from a viewpoint of trying to justify an endorsement of Stefanik without considering her actions of the last two years.

KRobbins

Anybody wanna play a game of counting chickens before they are hatched?

Even Republican politicians realize they have no hope of re-taking the House.

hermit thrush

look at a poll sometime. democrats are more likely to expand their majority than not. the odds of them actually losing the house are virtually nil. please try to keep up.

Pitbull

"If reelected, she would not be in the majority party...." Anybody wanna play a game of counting chickens before they are hatched?

KRobbins

When the history of these years is written Elise Stefanik is going to at least get mention. And it’s not going to look good.

Pitbull

You're right...IF YOU are chairman of the historical review board. Its pretty sanctimonious to predict the future based on on your opinions, KR.

KRobbins

IF YOU are chairman of the historical review board. Its pretty sanctimonious to predict the future based on on your opinions, KR.

It’s obviously my opinion. And no, I don’t write history. The history will, however, be written using legitimate newspapers and news sources. That would be such as Reuters, AP, WashPo, NYTimes. What won’t be used is Hannity, Carlson, Dobbs, Infowars, Breitbart, NYPost, etc. Real news, not Trump supporting conspiracists.

Elise Stefanik was an attack dog defender of Trump both during impeachment and on House Intelligence before that. She helped ensure that he would still be president during the worst public health crisis in a century.

Sanctimonious is using excessive force to clear away peaceful protesters to waddle one’s cowardly self to a photo op in front of a building you’d never enter holding up a Book you’ve never read. I’m well aware that I’m a sinner.

hermit thrush

get real pb, you predict the future all the times based on your own opinions. classic elitist behavior, holding others to a standard you have no interest in holding yourself to.

Satorimark

This is one of the weirdest endorsements I have ever read. Milk toast. They mention Stefanik in the last paragraph. Holding their nose is as much as this endorsement gives her. It's hard to make sense of the seniority argument when Elise will spend the next two years, if she gets elected, in the wasteland of the minority. She will have no influence, and her reprehensible behavior as a follower of her friends in the Freedom caucus, make her persona non grata. Doesn't it make much more sense to endorse Tedra who will be a member of the governing Democratic majority. Sorry WDT---this endorsement makes absolutely no logical or political sense. Ignore the WDT and vote for meaningful change--Go Tedra!

KRobbins

Yeah, they started off with the “experience, seniority and an understanding of what is important to the district” requirement. Then they talked about Ft Drum, agriculture and tourism for like 2/3 or better of the endorsement connecting it really in no way to Stefanik.

This race is not about to what degree candidates have supported or criticized Mr. Trump.

Are they saying she hasn’t latched on tightly to the president? Saying she hasn’t been loyal above and beyond?

The political hysteria about the Affordable Care Act ignores the fact that since the law passed and coverage was expanded to many uninsured people, the north country’s health care system and especially some of its hospitals continued to atrophy.

The Trump Administration is at the SC with 3 Trump appointees and will in some likelihood kill ACA. Stefanik ran on Repeal and Replace 6 years ago. Neither she nor any other Republican has anything to replace it with. Right. Trump has one for you 2 weeks from now.

Tedra Cobb has more legislative experience than Stefanik did. Certainly. What understanding of the district did Stefanik have when was elected? She never lived here. Cobb has more understanding of the district even now.

KRobbins

Another bogus election prediction!

What prediction did I make? Why don’t you quote it so I know what you’re talking about?

Pitbull

Another bogus election prediction!

KRobbins

The Post Star endorsed Cobb. They actually gave justifications for their choice. It was quite a difference from this endorsement for Stefanik.

zeitgeist

From the Sept. 9, 2020, WDT editorial-- "It's not a bloodsport: Stefanik casts aside truth, decency in her re-election bid":

"For the first year and a half of President Donald Trump's term in the Oval Office, Ms. Stefanik supported him on a variety of issues while keeping a safe distance. Mr. Trump all too frequently behaves in a boorish manner, perpetuates numerous falsehoods and demeans those who don't pledge their undying loyalty to him at the expense of everything else.

"For Republicans, walking the tightrope of backing the leader of their party while remaining outside his sphere of absurdity can be tricky. Ms. Stefanik seemed to have found a way to accomplish this, and it was to her credit that she did so. She remained firmly committed to the GOP while not getting caught up in Mr. Trump's repulsive and counterproductive antics.

"But for the past two years, Ms. Stefanik has closely aligned herself with the president. She has adopted his scorched-earth policy of dispatching with critics and political challengers.

"Ms. Stefanik is certainly not the first person to follow this destructive path, and she won't be the last. Sadly, this seems to have become common ground among political extremists of just about every ideological stripe.

"It's difficult grasping why Ms. Stefanik has decided to go rogue. She's built an excellent reputation among her colleagues and is popular with her constituents. She has a very comfortable lead in this race, and she's raised an enormous amount of money.

"Ms. Stefanik should see that the false accusations, name-calling and deception are beneath a public official of her obvious intelligence and political skills. She sells herself short by going for the low-hanging fruit of vilifying all those who oppose her or try to hold her accountable.

"We cannot understand why Ms. Stefanik is convinced this kind of behavior is necessary. She needs to rely on the admirable qualities that make her a dynamic leader and effective legislator.

"She should follow the example of her predecessors in this office by adhering to the principles of truth and decency. This tactic does not serve her well, and it pollutes the 21st Congressional District with cynicism and acrimony. We deserve better than to live in an environment like this."

It's unacceptable, lacking accountability, that this editorial, endorsing Ms. Stefanik, fails to note how the editorial board seemingly reconciled the contents of its Sept. 9 editorial. On Sept. 9, the editorial board believed "We deserve better than to live in an environment like this." This editorial, endorsing Ms. Stefanik, should specifically address why, now, the editorial board believes we deserve to live in an environment that it considered deplorable on Sept. 9.

Pitbull

Good solid endorsement with excellent reasoning.

hermit thrush

lol.

KRobbins

Can’t help but wonder how her re-election bid would be going if she was in one of the many districts around the country getting slammed by Covid. Can’t miss the irony with all of her attacks on Cuomo that here in northern NY we are, for the moment anyway, relatively isolated from the virus. If she had any grace and class she might give thanks for that.

KRobbins

Character counts for nothing, I suppose. You might as well endorse Trump too.

KRobbins

It was an endorsement in search of a reason for being. Pretty lame.

She probably will win, but is going back to an increasingly small minority in the House. The GOP is on its way to just being a regional party in some backwaters represented by the extreme right. Maybe northern NY should be part of the fringe according to WDT.

Pitbull

"This was an endorsement insearch of a reason..." How's your reading comprehension coming along? The reasons are right there for you to see.

hermit thrush

nothing is funnier than people who slam the intelligence or reading comprehension of others only to reveal their own enormous shortcomings in doing so. krobbins obviously meant that the editorial had to strain to come up with reasons to justify the endorsement. sheesh....

Truthseeker

Losers backing losers,🔐

hermit thrush

at the end of the day, the wdt is and always has been a republican paper.

FIDO

Stefanik is complicit in Trump's catastrophic failures, not the least of which are the 200,000+ deaths from Trump's failure to defend this nation from the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting economic disaster. Now considering if the WDT is also complicit in all of the failures of these 2 national disgraces.

Empathy

"a serious case of schizophrenic amnesia..." pretty much sums it up. WDT opinions are worthless to me. Too often they are so obviously political with little intellectual content.

Holmes

Why because they differ from your far left views? Remember, Trump won 45 counties in NYS in 2016.

hermit thrush

confusing land area with people -- talk about a lack of intellectual content.

Lacroim

I think the editorial board of the WDT must have a few if not all of them suffering from a serious case of schizophrenic amnesia...

About a month ago they were saying “ Stefanik had casts aside truth, and decency in her re-election bid” and that we in the North Country..”deserve better than to live in an environment like this.” under Stefaniks lies...

Sorry but I’m not really giving this endorsement much weight. Besides the premises of their endorsement are all incorrect. Electing someone who will most certainly be in the minority party in the House will do absolutely nothing for our district...The seat might as well just be empty. Really...when Stefanik was is the majority she was a do nothing Congresswoman...In the minority she has proven to be even less then that....🤷🏻

https://www.nny360.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-it-s-not-a-bloodsport-stefanik-casts-aside-truth-decency-in-her-re-election/article_891ada8b-d3ba-585a-929b-5e47b1325693.html

Pitbull

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][beam]

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