Editorial: 4th Congressional District

Rep. Kathleen Rice is running unopposed for reelection in the June 23 Democratic primary. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Kathleen Rice via Twitter)

Kathleen Rice would be the clear choice to be re-elected for a third term 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 election system, it is even more critical that Rice be given a third term and a Democratic majority with which to serve.

To her credit, Rice, 53, joined fellow Democrats in filing a lawsuit against Trump accusing him 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.

We agree with Democrats in Congress and others that the clause prohibits Trump-owned businesses from accepting payments from foreign governments.

The need for House members to investigate the president and determine whether conflicts of interest exist with foreign countries such as Russia are further underscored by Trump’s reaction to the recent gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post and resident of the United States, at the hands of Saudi Arabian agents.

But Rice is no knee jerk party member along for the ride. She is outspoken in her call to oust Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker should the Democrats reclaim the majority as well as other members of the House and Senate’s sclerotic leadership that in recent years has failed to lead.

Rice, a Garden City resident who served three terms as Nassau County district attorney, has also established clear priorities for next term beginning with gun violence, health care and immigration.

She supports universal background checks, preventing those on the no-fly list from buying guns and a ban on assault weapons. This weekend’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue offered the latest proof of why that ban is needed.

Rice has also expressed a commitment to forging a bipartisan majority to work on those issues as well find fixes for Obamacare, protect Dreamers and provide border security.

Rice’s position as ranking member of the homeland security subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence has given her an important perspective on the infrastructure needs of the region as well as the critical need to protect the country from cyberattacks.

Rice is opposed by Republican Ameer Benno, a Bellmore resident and civil rights lawyer whose father came from Israel.

Benno said the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s attack on our election system and the possible involvement of the Trump campaign should have ended after “a year tops” and that prosecutors should train their focus on Hillary Clinton.

Enough said. But we will go on.

Benno also said he supports defunding “sanctuary cities,” erecting a wall on portions of the United States-Mexico border and pulling out of the Paris climate accord. He also declined to say how he would have voted on the Republican tax bill, which capped the state and local tax deduction at $10,000.

Blank Slate Media endorses Rice.



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