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Oct 30, 2012 2:19 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Altschuler Takes A Second Shot At Congress

Nov 2, 2012 12:42 PM

Things are different for Republican businessman Randy Altschuler this time around, compared to when he first challenged incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago.

For starters, Mr. Altschuler, 41, of St. James, has secured the endorsement of the New York State Independence Party—a line Mr. Bishop had in 2010. That could mean the difference between winning or losing the election, according to Mr. Altschuler’s campaign, as there are about 19,000 residents of the 1st Congressional District registered with the party.

The line has always gone to Mr. Bishop in the past—except for his first election in 2002 against former U.S. Representative Felix Grucci—and it brought him in more than 7,000 votes in a razor-thin victory over Mr. Altschuler in 2010. Mr. Bishop won that race by fewer than 600 votes.

Also this year, Mr. Altschuler has made a concerted effort to have a stronger presence on the East End, which is Mr. Bishop’s home territory. Mr. Altschuler hired Wainscott resident Diana Weir in February to serve as his campaign manager and has earned endorsements from the fishing industry, including groups like the Montauk Boatman & Captain’s Association.

Now Mr. Altschuler is taking a second shot at unseating the longtime incumbent Democrat. They will face off on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.

Mr. Altschuler said he’s a “better candidate” since the last time he ran for office, having learned tactics for running a day-to-day campaign that he didn’t know two years ago. But he said the business of politics is still upsetting to him.

“Unfortunately, it’s less about what’s best about your district and your country, and it’s more about winning elections,” he said. “We can’t afford for that to continue.”

Mr. Altschuler is seeking to unseat Mr. Bishop, a longtime Democrat who has held on to the seat for a decade. Mr. Altschuler and Mr. Bishop have taken part in a number of debates on the East End, discussing their views on issues like immigration, Obamacare, Medicare, same-sex marriage, abortion, the economy and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan’s proposed economic plan.

Mr. Altschuler has positioned himself as a moderate on some issues, and has pledged bipartisanship as part of his campaign platform. While he has said he would vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law—something House Republicans have tried numerous times to do—he’s in favor of keeping certain elements of it, like making sure people don’t get dropped from their insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition. And while he doesn’t support abortion on the whole, he’d support some exceptions, including cases where pregnancy could put the health of the mother at risk. But he also supports Mr. Ryan’s budget, a spending plan that has divided Congress along party lines.

He has also said he’d break from his Republican colleagues on things that could be harmful to the 1st Congressional District. He said he supports federal investments in infrastructure, water quality improvement and road improvements. “That’s not necessarily in step with most Republicans,” he said.

Mr. Altschuler owns CloudBlue, an electronics recycling company. He also helped create Office Tiger in 2000, a company he later sold—and one that he’s taken considerable heat for. Critics, including Mr. Bishop in his campaign ads, have blasted Office Tiger for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries, and Mr. Altschuler’s defense has been that the company also created 400 American jobs.

Mr. Altschuler said he first decided to run because after he and his wife, Cheryl, had two children, he had become “incredibly concerned” for the future of his kids and the direction the country was headed in.

Mr. Altschuler said his business experience would serve the 1st Congressional District well. “I spent my entire career in the private sector,” he said. “As a business person, I feel I can apply those skills to making government better and to helping improve the local economy. I also think as somebody who has spent his life focused on getting things done and working collaboratively, I can fight through the partisanship, which is just destroying this country.”

One of the first things he’d do if elected would be to create a bipartisan group of lawmakers to review legislation. “I think if we’re going to make any progress, it has to be done with both parties working together,” he said.

Mr. Altschuler will be running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines on Tuesday. He has raised about $2 million, spent about $1.8 million and has $204,137 left in cash on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Several important differences this time around for Altschuler: He now has Indepence Party endorsement (always went to Bishop in past), he has been endorsed by the largest union (Assoc of Municipal Employees) in Suffolk County (always went to Bishop in past), he has been endorsed by Newsday (always went to Bishop in past), Independence newspaper endorsed Altschuler (they went with Bishop 4 elections in a row). Bishop's own ethical transgressions, vote for Obamacare, and pathetic record will doom ...more
By shampton (30), southampton on Oct 31, 12 3:40 PM
I would never vote for a person who is a follower of Paul Ryan & his reverse Robin hood budget. They want to kill Medicaid & severely weaken Social Security & Medicare with a voucher program. The already wealthy does very well under the Ryan Budget, but at the expense of those who need Social Security & Medicare.

Your grandmother or father or neighbor worked for their SS. In the previous great economic calamity, FDR fought hard to pass Social Security against the opposition of Republicans. ...more
By mo (89), Sag Harbor on Nov 2, 12 10:03 AM
You offer nothing but more lies and scare tactics, liberal loser. Scare the poor, scare granny, scare women, hoping they'll vote for 2 career politicians with absolutely dismal records, Barack Obama and Tim Bishop. Tim Bishop hasn't done a thing for the average person in NY's 1st Congressional District, except bring higher taxes, bigger and more expensive gov't, more regulation, and more lawsuits, while he earns distinct honor of being identified as 1 of 12 most corrupt members of congress
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 2, 12 12:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
shampton - pot, kettle, black.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Nov 6, 12 12:39 PM
I listened to him at the CCOM debate in Montauk. As The EH Press editorial correctly stated: He's a shifty guy and politically more savvy than the last time he ran. He's learned to manipulate the system and through Diana Weir he got Independent Party endorsement. Doesn't mean he earned it!
By Rona Klopman (2), East Hampton on Nov 1, 12 9:16 AM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Rona Klopman (2), East Hampton on Nov 1, 12 9:16 AM
No one is more SHIFTY than Congressman Tim Bishop: He pays his daughter Molly $600,000 of campaign donor money for 'consulting' , puts 10 family members on payroll at Southampton College while provost (do you think competitive bids were out for those jobs?), allows his wife to run a for-profit business venture on College grounds without paying rent, gets caught pressuring constituent for campaign money in return for bar mitzvah fireworks,
labelled 1 of 12 MOST CORRUPT in CONGRESS by indep watchdog ...more
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 1, 12 5:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's hard to overlook Altschuler's annihilating 10,000 American jobs for personal gain, Congressman Bishop's alleged failings notwithstanding.

There are some business ventures that should preclude one from being considered for public office.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 2, 12 1:30 AM
Highhatsize, please educate yourself about the global economy in which we live. Altschuler didn't "annihilate" anyone's job, much less 10,000 jobs. If this is true, then why can't you or Tim Bishop identify even a single one of these so-called jobless victims. Altschuler made U.S. companies more competitive on the global stage, and prevented them from going out of business. It's called the free market and the global economy. You're right, there are 2 business ventures that should preclude public ...more
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 2, 12 12:17 PM
to shampton:

Whatever job you have, shampton, you have it because you are protected by your nationality. There is no American job (outside of unique talents) that cannot be performed as well and much cheaper by foreigners. Were the federal government to permit true "global" competition, you would be unemployed.

Yet people like yourself who owe their comfort entirely to government policy cheerfully endorse laissez-faire attitudes that throw their countrymen under the bus just ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 2, 12 3:15 PM
Those of us who frequent this site know HHS political affiliation. He attempts to pivot away from Bishops record and checkered past. Bishop is a self serving career politician who needs to go.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Nov 4, 12 7:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
I noticed you still haven't provided the name of a single person who claims to have lost their job due to Altschuler. Odd that there are 10,000 of them out there, and yet Bishop and you can't seem to find them. Perhaps this is because they simply don't exist.
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 4, 12 7:37 AM
Highhat, you sound frighteningly like Obama when he said to Americans that they didn't build their companies, the gov't did. Obama and Bishop haven't done a darn thing for me, and you're silly to believe I or anyone else in this country "owe our comfort entirely to gov't policy". I have my job because I worked hard my whole life and earned it....concepts you simply can't understand. Perhaps you should actually get a job and stop wasting your time on the blogs. Quit subsidizing dependency. Gov't ...more
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 4, 12 7:35 AM
What President Obama said about companies is that the owners did not do it alone.( employees, roads infrastructure of municipalities, etc. )
He did NOT say the government built their businesses.I have no issues with someone having a differing political philosophy, but tell the truth, lest your integrity, and arguement, be questioned. To Mr. Tiger below, sorry the warts got me. I am not voting on that line. Mr. Bishop has not once come out and told why and what happened with the fireworks/ ...more
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Nov 4, 12 2:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
to shampton:

Your American nationality is the sine qua non of your success. Under the protective aegis of the federal government, you have found an economic niche in which to ply your trade. That niche would be occupied by a foreigner in your stead were it not for the prohibition of the federal government.

Egoistically, you refuse to acknowledge the fact that you have a job because you are protected from competition like a baby bird from predators. The simple truth, however, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 4, 12 3:31 PM
You just don't get it, do ya? I welcome free competition with open worldwide markets, including for my job itself. Bring it on, high hat, I don't need you or Tim Bishop or Barack Obama or big government to "protect" my job. Government just gets in the way, it doesn't help private business. It's a massive burdensome bureaucracy that wastes billions of dollars every year.
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 5, 12 10:41 AM
to shampton:

My congratulations on your principled offer to compete against foreigners without the protection of Mama Fed. It is a credit to your character.

However, Mama isn't likely to change the national worker protection laws for your benefit, so to make your offer actual rather than merely boastful, you will have to emigrate somewhere where Mama's reach does not extend (e.g. India.) And before you go, don't forget to refund her 80% of your earnings over your lifetime for ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 5, 12 11:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm not going anywhere, let them come here and compete on equal terms. Why are you so afraid of good ol' competition? Let the cream rise to the top, that's called free markets. Quit asking your country to do for you what you won't do for yourself. If you want a nanny state, Europe is your destination. Since your boy Bishop will be unemployed tomorrow, take him and your socialist community organizer with you.
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 6, 12 12:24 PM
If you believe in the tea party philosophy, and I know many vocal contributors here do, then Alschuler is your guy. If you don't believe in that particular philosohpy then Bishop should be your choice. Yes, he has plenty of warts, but on most issues of importance to me, he votes the way I would. So I will hold my nose and vote go re-elect him despite some of the stupid political malpractice acts he has committed. The House of Representatives, to my mind, is already over loaded with members too ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Nov 4, 12 1:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ntiger, your inaccurate statements fall on deaf ears. Randy Altschuler has been endorsed by Newsday, The Independent Newspaper, the largest union in Suffolk County, The Republican Party, The Conservative Party, New York State Independent Party, and The Healthcare Coalition of Suffolk County, among others....hardly 'Tea Party Philosophy'!!!
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 5, 12 10:47 AM
Aren't we all TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY????????
Who can be against a smaller, more efficient government?
HH: Please explain how the federal government protects our jobs from foreign workers who will work for less money when they allow MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS to live and work here without fear of deportation?!
Outsourcing jobs is different than allowing an invasion of unskilled, uneducated labor.
If the government got the hell out of the way of business, there would be less reason to outsource ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 4, 12 5:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not if Wal-Mart can pay a nickel an hour to have their garments made in South America.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 6, 12 12:59 AM
to bigfresh:

Well spoken, bigfresh, although there actually is NO principled difference between protecting American workers from the competition of illegal foreign immigrants and in protecting them from the competition of non-immigrant foreign labor. If the federal government permits Randy to replace American workers with foreign workers, it should permit foreign workers to replace American workers on their own without necessitating the facilitation of a middleman.

Or it should ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 6, 12 4:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
bigfreak, your taxes are lower now then they have ever been. Your argument against a gov't you accuse of outsourcing (remember, we are still under Bush's tax plan) is to vote an outsourcer into the gov't. Do you ever stop and think before you type? Or vote?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Nov 6, 12 12:52 PM
Do you think if Obama and timmy had their way we would have low taxes. If you want someone who is fiscaly irresponsible and only redeeming quality is the ability to spend money recklessly than tim is your guy.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Nov 6, 12 2:11 PM
Well its really much simpler than that. If Altshuler wins you can forget about the East End obtaining much of anything. Bishop lives and has lineage here and does what he can for the East End. Its that simple I want people in government who are going to take care of where I live and work and our home needs.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Nov 6, 12 6:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
The East End has contributed untold BILLIONS in federal tax dollars over the past decade, only to have Bishop return PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR to select favored constituents in return. The average East Ender has only received in return higher taxes, outrageous spending, bigger government, far fewer jobs, more home foreclosures, massive outmigration of local youths....what a great record of achievement for Tim Bishop. This is what you get when you put a college provost in Congress. Only a community ...more
By shampton (30), southampton on Nov 6, 12 12:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
PreposteriousNow:42% effective tax rate as a small business owner + worker's comp + 100% of FICA. Don't tell my taxes are lower than ever before! A larger business is subjected to insane governmental regulations costing even more. Add to that the costs of dealing with unions, eg. lack of productivity, insane benefits and preposteriously high wages. It's more cost effective to outsource some segments of business where the costs are less.
I have to disagree with your logic HH, taking a portion ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 6, 12 5:07 PM