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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    No Room for Lee Zeldin

    When I heard that one of my fellow writers would be writing an article about Tim Bishop, my initial reaction was to wonder who is going to write about his Republican opponent, Lee Zeldin. Apparently the task has fallen to me. This was good. After all, what does anyone know about Mr. Zeldin aside from the proclamations of the signs along Middle Country Road that say, “Selden for Zeldin!”? It was time to find out.

    I contacted the Zeldin campaign last week, but despite my requests they never returned my message. Nonetheless, I was able to glean information about his platform from his own homepage, Zeldin08.com

    It seems as if he walks a fairly standard Republican Party line, so for ease and convenience, I have condensed his views for The Statesman readers:

    Zeldin claims he wants to reduce the high cost of living on Long Island by reducing high taxes, energy, and school costs. He would do this by permanently extending the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. He would also push congress to pass a moratorium on all earmarks.

    He is a proponent of the conservative initiate of strengthening national defense, advocating for “victory” in Iraq. His website doesn’t specify how or when this victory would be achieved, however. He is more specific about providing better assistance to military veterans; he would make sure disasters such as what happened in Walter Reed Hospital would never be repeated, by supporting veteran’s physical and psychological needs.

    On immigration, Zeldin says that we must close our borders and deport all illegal aliens who commit crimes. Zeldin wants to use government initiative to reduce health care costs, particularly for the elderly and uninsured. The cost of Medicare and Medicaid must be reduced by weeding out corruption. Furthermore, prescription drugs must be made more affordable.

    Zeldin would drill in Alaska and off shore and would put a moratorium on federal and state gas tax. He would also investigate market manipulation, make Iraqis spend their budget surplus to build their own infrastructure, and continue to develop alternate energy technologies.

    Zeldin considers himself pro-life. He is against public financing of abortions, partial birth abortions, and he’s for promoting adoption and foster care.

    This is Lee Zeldin’s main platform. Again, it’s a fairly conservative ideology with some moderate mindset sprinkled throughout. He makes some good points, I find his views on health care and immigration fairly agreeable and he has some other strong, bipartisan sounding arguments when it comes to reducing energy costs and helping veterans.

    There are, however, other items I find less satisfying. He talks about increasing aid for veterans, reforming our border security and immigration policy and strengthening our armed forces and national defense. These are all nice proposals, but is Mr. Zeldin really serious about passing these kinds of measures without increasing taxes?

    In fact, he wants to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Hasn’t the problem with our government over the last eight years been the fact that we have not been able to fund programs because of the spiraling $10 trillion deficit? How does Zeldin plan on increasing funding for such proposals while maintaining a tax policy that has gotten us into such financial debt?

    He is walking a fine line here, and although some of his plans are well intentioned, I have my doubts as to whether his pseudo-moderate stances will be convincing enough to beat Tim Bishop’s reelection run. At the end of the day, I think he has a long political career ahead of him, but in this election that is all about “change,” my prediction is that Lee Zeldin is going to be left out of what could very well end up becoming a democratic majority run congress.

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