Editorial: 3rd Congressional District

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Like Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi would be the clear choice to be re-elected even if House Republicans had not abdicated their constitutional responsibilities to provide a check against an executive branch greatly in need of investigation and oversight.

But given that failure, beginning with their efforts to thwart any meaningful investigation of Russia’s attack against this country’s election system, it is critical that Suozzi be given a second term and a Democratic majority with which to serve.

Unlike Rice, Suozzi, 56, did not join fellow Democrats in filing a lawsuit accusing the Trump administration of violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states.

For a candidate who ran for Congress based on what he said was a record of fighting “powerful interests,” we found this very disappointing.

Suozzi, a Glen Cove resident who served as Nassau County executive from 2001 to 2009, has maintained that he wanted to focus on his work with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in developing common-sense solutions.

We believe he could have done both. And if Republican counterparts found his support for holding the president accountable for conflicts of interest in his handling of foreign policy unacceptable, then his attempts at outreach were not worth the price.

Suozzi acknowledges that the Problem Solvers Caucus did little more than build trust thanks to the Freedom Caucus  — a group of conservative House Republicans — that prevented popular bills like background checks for gun purchases from reaching the floor.

But Suozzi has been far more successful in focusing on problems on Long Island and, in some cases, finding solutions.

He brought attention and then money to remediate the Bethpage plume, clean Long Island Sound, improve the Northport VA Medical Center and bring a mobile VA medical unit to North Hempstead, and cut helicopter traffic over Queens and Nassau.

He has also wisely pressed a research corridor on Long Island focused on life sciences and aerospace.

Suozzi said he supported universal health care “academically” but said that “the devil is in the details” and that it would need a lot more work before he could support it. He said he was opposed to the Trump tax cut.

He said he supported Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem but said there needed to be a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

We believe the U.S. should have gotten something in exchange for the move such as a curtailment of settlements in the West Bank that could create obstacles to a two-state solution.

Suozzi’s opponent is Republican Dan DeBono, 49, a former Navy SEAL and investment banker.

DeBono brings an eclectic take on the issues that he says will strengthen middle-class jobs and middle-class wages.

He supports building President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border and a reduction in immigration, which he says has held down middle-class wages.  He said he also supports Trump’s efforts to renegotiate trade treaties for the same reason and his demands that European countries pay more for their defense.

Unlike most people in New York, he said the Republican tax bill will help people on Long Island. But he declined to comment on whether he would have voted for it.

Like Trump, DeBono is critical of the Federal Reserve, which he says has caused the dollar to be devalued, but did not offer a solution.

Unlike Trump and other Republicans – and more like Sen. Bernie Sanders – he calls for the breakup of large corporations that dominate their fields, beginning with banks and pharmaceutical companies. He also blasts the role of corporate contributions in national elections.

Some of these stances are worthy of discussion. Others we strongly disagree with.

But what is disqualifying is DeBono’s call for an immediate end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our elections and the possible role of the Trump administration as well as his lack of concern for Russia’s bad behavior here and around the world.

Blank Slate Media endorses Suozzi.

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