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

Campaign Diary: Bishop and Altschuler Debate in Westhampton Beach; Bishop Earns Endorsements

Nov 2, 2012 12:42 PM

Campaign finance reform, bipartisanship and immigration policy were among the topics covered at a debate between candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat, held at the Westhampton Beach High School last Thursday.

Democrat incumbent U.S. Representative Tim Bishop debated Republican businessman and second-time challenger Randy Altschuler before an audience that included a large number of Westhampton Beach High School students. Some of those students were able to get their questions answered, as they were submitted to a panel of questioners, and several were put to the candidates.

It was the last debate between the two held on the East End before Election Day on November 6. The debate was hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons and cosponsored by both The Press News Group and the Times/Review News Group of Mattituck. Anne Marshall of the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons served as moderator.

A debate planned on Tuesday, October 30, in Bridgehampton was canceled by the business alliances of both East Hampton and Southampton towns due to Hurricane Sandy.

On campaign finance, both were asked if they would vote to support a constitutional amendment reversing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for Super PACs to funnel large amounts of money into campaigns. Mr. Bishop said yes, adding that he would vote as often as he could to repeal the case, which he said “fundamentally imperils our democracy.” Mr. Altschuler said while he’s supportive of campaign finance reform, “we need to be fair here,” and added that the “whole system is broken.”

Mr. Bishop said later that as long as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker of the House John Boehner are leading the House, they will not bring comprehensive immigration reform to the table. Mr. Altschuler denounced piecemeal reforms, including President Barack Obama’s executive order that prevents illegal immigrants who entered the country as children from getting deported. He said he’d rather see a “comprehensive approach” to immigration reform.

If reelected, Mr. Bishop said he’d dedicate the first day of his new term to job growth, and reenergizing the partnership between the private and public sector. Mr. Altschuler said he’d spend his day organizing a group of Republicans and Democrats to work together.

Governor, Senator 
Endorse Bishop

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Long Island last week to support Mr. Bishop’s reelection.

Ms. Gillibrand participated in a Women for Bishop rally at Stacie’s Bagels in Ronkonkoma last Thursday, October 25, according to a statement released by the Bishop campaign. There were more than 100 supporters at the event, according to the statement.

“It’s great to have so much support from the women of this district,” said Lisa Santeramo, the Tim Bishop for Congress campaign manager, said in the statement. “On issues from women’s health to growing our local economy, the women of this district know they have an ally in Representative Bishop.”

The next day, Governor Cuomo rallied in support of Mr. Bishop. Mr. Cuomo came out to support Mr. Bishop at the IBEW Local 25 Hall in Hauppauge.

“Tim is a true advocate for eastern Long Island and all New Yorkers,” the governor said in a statement endorsing Mr. Bishop. “From fighting for clean air and clean water to fighting to keep jobs in our state at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Gabreski Airport, Tim has shown time and again that he has what it takes to represent our interests in Congress. In short, Tim delivers for us and for eastern Long Island, and that’s why it is so important to send him back to Congress.”

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He tried Connecticut, New Jersey and twice on Long Island. After Randy "send 'em jobs overseas" Altschuler loses to lifetime local Tim Bishp will he be done here? What are the odds he moves once again to a more right wing enclave -- like the south -- and runs yet again?
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Nov 2, 12 5:33 AM