The recent column by Jerry Moore of the Watertown Daily Times (“Stefanik guilty of stolen valor,” Aug. 30) also was published in my local newspaper, The Press Republican. His criticism of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik was well founded for her claims of foul against her Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb. The issue involves the Military Family Stability Act and who gets credit.
Mr. Moore did an excellent factual analysis and crafted a clear presentation to his readers. The conclusion, Rep. Stefanik was at best disingenuous and at worst deliberately misrepresenting her work to her constituents.
Ms. Stefanik also is falsely presenting herself as having bipartisan credentials. A review of her actual record as set forth in GovTrack.com gives her status a significantly different look. In 2016 during her first term in office, her ideological ranking was 227, so slightly left of center (227/435). In 2018, she was at 107, shifting 120 places to the right. And in 2019, she is at 72, evidencing a further shift to the right placing her in the top 20 percent of conservatives. Add to that that she votes with President Donald Trump — if not the most often in Congress, pretty close to it. Nonetheless, Ms. Stefanik continues to take the position that she is bipartisan. In the past, I have refrained about making negative comments about my successor as long as she was acting in a bipartisan manner, in keeping with the previous members from the 21st Congressional District such as David Martin, John McHugh and myself.
I am sure that this letter will offend some of my friends who may vote for Mr. Trump and Ms. Stefanik. Nevertheless, the facts need to be known.
William L. Owens
The writer served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 21st Congressional District from 2009 to 2015.