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Oct 27, 2016 10:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

EDITORIAL: The Press Endorses Anna Throne-Holst For The U.S. House

Oct 27, 2016 10:44 AM

Lee Zeldin has been a fine representative of the 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives. That’s not just based on a sliding scale for a freshman legislator: By any reasonable measure, he is responsive and effective. Handed plum assignments after taking a House seat from a veteran Democrat in 2014, and with a growing national presence that the newly elected rarely enjoy, he has embraced the opportunity and consistently delivered for his district in tangible ways.

Why, then, does our endorsement go to his Democratic challenger, Anna Throne-Holst?

It’s not solely because of geography, or familiarity. In fact, having observed Ms. Throne-Holst’s rise from the nonprofit world to Southampton Town supervisor, her flaws have been visible along with her strengths, her failures with her successes. It’s a complicated picture, but one that generally demonstrates real aptitude for public service.

She has been responsible in office, forward-thinking even in the face of criticism (including in this space), and rarely in lockstep with those around her. In fact, a point used against her in this campaign—that her colleagues throughout the South Fork, including some in her own party, have supported her opponents in the primary and general elections—demonstrates a “no affiliation” stubbornness that can easily be seen as true independence. At the same time, she got things done.

Unlike at the top of the ballot, where the choice is painfully clear, this 1st District race presents a real quandary. The Press’s editorial board—made up of the publisher and key editors—is a diverse one, with representatives from all across the political scale. Despite that diversity, it’s notable that there was unity on the issue of Donald Trump’s candidacy. The House race presented a much thornier call. In the end, however, there was unity again.

It’s not just lip service: In his first term, Lee Zeldin has been dedicated and active. He has effectively advocated for the district’s interests as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes in on a final draft of its Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study, a crucial blueprint for the coastline; he has kept Montauk, Ditch Plains and Westhampton Beach Village on the Army Corps radar. He closed on predecessor Tim Bishop’s efforts to block the commercial development of Plum Island. He appears poised to resolve a small issue—unless you live in Flanders—by finally breaking a years-long stalemate and getting a separate zip code for its residents.

He’s also shown serious dedication to big issues. He made passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and related measures, a keystone of his first term—perfectly appropriate in a district where opioid abuse is a crisis. A veteran, he has focused on issues of importance to returning members of the military, culminating in the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program, a national effort to help “our veterans cope with the mental wounds of war.”

Still, there are significant ways in which Mr. Zeldin’s principles are more problematic—for the 1st District, and particularly for the easternmost part of it.

He has voted to protect LGBTQ rights when it comes to discrimination for housing and jobs. But in the New York State Senate, he was on the wrong side of the vote to legalize same-sex marriage in New York State—and even today stands by that vote. He’s also dismissed talk of gender neutrality where public restrooms are concerned, even though several schools on the South Fork have shown that accommodation doesn’t have to be controversial. In this case, Mr. Zeldin’s principles are unclear: Do LGBTQ people deserve full rights or not? It’s alarming to even have to ask the question.

His military intelligence background makes some of his positions even more baffling: his belligerent rhetoric where Iran is concerned, for example, and his call for a “pause” on accepting Syrian refugees, which ignores the reality, and the urgency, of the situation. And on immigration, he rejects the “deport them all” extremism at the top of his ticket (based, it seems, on logistics more than on whether it’s right or wrong), but he has not offered a clear or coherent answer for what, specifically, should be done. His focus instead has been primarily on border security—even though the Pew Research Center, and others, have pointed out that illegal immigration is in steep decline. The problem isn’t the border, it’s the families who are already here, contributing. That’s much tougher to solve, but it’s also the real issue—and there’s no cogent answer from Mr. Zeldin.

On far too many other issues—Obamacare, reducing gun violence, the economy, taxes and abortion—his positions are indistinguishable from the most conservative fringe of the Republican Party and its presidential candidate, Donald Trump. He has, in fact, endorsed Mr. Trump, as Mr. Trump did him. And while Mr. Zeldin appears uncomfortable being tied to the demagogue at the top of his ticket, he has not found the courage to denounce him as so many other Republican colleagues have. Instead, he glibly says that neither candidate is “perfect”—then talks of Hillary Clinton’s “crimes,” sounding like just another Trump surrogate.

In a normal election year, partisanship of this kind could be overlooked, and the focus could fall solely on the representative’s ability to do the job, and to get the job done. In a normal election year, Lee Zeldin’s performance would win the endorsement.

This is not a normal election year. There should be a price to be paid for being on the wrong side of history, as he was five years ago with his gay marriage vote in the State Senate. There should be a price paid for putting partisan politics above principle. At a moment when the nation is at a fork in the road, sides must be chosen.

There was a path for Mr. Zeldin to lock down a compelling case for his reelection, even in the diverse 1st District, simply by moderating his most extreme positions, and denouncing Mr. Trump for his sickening campaign, disgusting behavior and unsuitability for the office. He simply chose not to take that path.

Anna Throne-Holst is—to borrow Mr. Zeldin’s word—not “perfect.” But her skill set should prove an even better fit in the House of Representatives than it did at Southampton Town Hall, since policy is her strong suit. She is smart, passionate on issues and has the depth of knowledge that was the hallmark of another recent Southampton resident who held the 1st District seat. She embodies the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” South Fork in a way few other candidates could. Her positions are clear; in many cases, they follow the Democratic line, but she has a history of independence and skepticism—and a willingness to engage colleagues regardless of political stripe.

Voters have a clear choice, and both candidates are qualified and capable. But one is encumbered by this particular moment in American politics, and the partisanship, and the poor judgment. It is an anchor that drags him back to earth.

On the same ballot where a woman could well become president, Anna Throne-Holst’s trajectory is upward—and the House seat would be a perfect place for her to land.

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I hope any candidate who has endorsed Drumpf loses!
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on Oct 27, 16 11:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
This from a Gary Johnson supporter.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Oct 27, 16 2:56 PM
They won't, he and Lee will………….and cry and whine as do all you democRATS !
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Oct 27, 16 4:25 PM
Yes I am! A proud Johnson supporter!
By Rich Morey (378), East Hampton on Oct 28, 16 9:27 AM
one idiot supporting another. Aleppo?? Duuuhhhhh
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Nov 2, 16 9:03 AM
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Oct 27, 16 12:01 PM
Wise decision,Anna will talk their ears off in Congress till she sends home the bacon.Hillary in WH Schumer in Senate and Anna in House of Reps...happy days will be here again.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Oct 27, 16 12:14 PM
3 members liked this comment
Lee Zeldin all the way!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Oct 27, 16 3:36 PM
3 members liked this comment
Is it really the newspapers job to be picking sides...? I thought they just report the news, not option.. Didn't someone say "If it tells you how you should feel, then it isn't news..."? Editorial or not, it's still clearly branding a candidate with your logo. Or perhaps vice versa?
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Oct 27, 16 4:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Oct 27, 16 4:18 PM
Every newspaper in America from time immemorial has endorsed candidates for every office. Didn't you learn that somewhere along the line? Like in school, maybe? They make their case for or against. After that you make up your own mind.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 27, 16 6:44 PM
"Didn't you learn that somewhere along the line? Like in school, maybe?"

Aggressive arrogance is a common trait in the most ignorant among us. Would you care to admit your statement is wrong, or should I humiliate you by posting the names of a hundred newspapers of SHP's size and larger that do not endorse political candidates?
By ChrisDiPetta (37), on Oct 28, 16 7:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
My post --admittedly perhaps a bit snarky---was in answer to The Royal 'We' who didn't seem to have any idea of the longstanding tradition of newspaper editorial boards endorsing candidates. Yes, some papers have abandoned the form, but, historically speaking, that is a fairly recent development. And interestingly, some who abandoned endorsing have recently reinstated the practice.
I'll end by asserting that I am not "ignorant", and your threat to "humiliate" rather reveals the ...more
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 31, 16 12:59 PM
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Oct 27, 16 4:22 PM
"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."

~ Benjamin Franklin

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 27, 16 7:12 PM
Editorial pages never have attribution. Obvious that your venom comes along with your ignorance of what the free press (Fourth Estate) is in America. For the love of God, educate yourselves.
And do some anger management while you're at it. Your health will suffer if you don't.
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 27, 16 7:51 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By ChrisDiPetta (37), on Oct 28, 16 7:34 PM
lighten up, Francis
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Nov 1, 16 11:52 AM
Newspaper editorial boards have been endorsing candidates since the printing press was invented and they never attribute the endorsements. The unbound ignorance the anti-media right is astonishing. All caps are not a substitute for critical thought.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Nov 1, 16 11:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
Anna has been a political prostitute , taking care of any and all developers willing to pay for play. While that is a badge of honor for the Democrat Party, she does not represent the values of the east end. Zeldin in a landslide.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 27, 16 4:25 PM
WOW... Probably have hillery signs too... Think she will need a guard at her meetings as here? She bullied everyone, then got a guard and cut off the public.
Bought by bloomberger and soros, two real crooks. Bought elections, b said he would buy anyone who agreed with him...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 27, 16 5:57 PM
Lee all the way!!! he has shown he is the most competent member to serve us eastern long islanders in many years. (think Bishop). Jows is she golng to benefit herself in a congress position the way she has in local position with developers her best friends?
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 27, 16 8:36 PM
Excellent editorial. A little kinder to Lee Zeldin than he deserves, but well thought out and well expressed. I have to acknowledge Anna Throne-Holst's independence and determination, speaking as one who has disagreed with her more than once in the past. Nevertheless, coupled with her declared willingness to work across the aisle, these qualities will serve her (and us) well in Congress.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 27, 16 9:32 PM
> "her declared willingness to work across the aisle"

So you recognize her lack of conviction, but feel it's a plus.

Re-read the Editorial Endorsement again, TB. It's actually more about Lee Zeldin's effectiveness representing Brookhaven and the East End, but the Editorial Board just couldn't pull the trigger for the Republican any more than you could.

I suspect that if Anthony Weiner relocated out here you'd have no compunctions about carrying a petition for him if he ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 27, 16 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
While I understand that as an officer of the Town Dem Committee you have a fidicarylike responsibility to support the Democratic candidate for Congress, I would note (as I believe you have in the past) that Anna's exhibitions of "independence" have come on some core Democratic Party principles, when they have conflicted with the desires of her developer and other campaign finance contributors.

So you and the Press might see it as "independence" I and others see it as standing up for her ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 29, 16 1:17 PM
Very well said, Neil. I'm not saying that I would have voted for Calone, but at least he had what it took to be a Congressman.

ATH is not a good choice.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 29, 16 6:29 PM
Anna is a political trollop. Kind of like my man Turkey. Say and do anything to get elected, or your party elected.

Lee Zeldin is the real deal.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 27, 16 9:56 PM
Next time you get a health care bill scratch your head why you would vote for a democrat. Basically the circulation of this paper is near zero so who cares anyway
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 27, 16 11:53 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (156), Southampton on Oct 16, 16 6:24 AM

My comment that was removed said something along the lines of ''why would anyone want to debate ATH, why doesn't Lee bang his head into the wall a few times, the SH Press can endorse ATH and we can be done with it....."

It would have actually been newsworthy if the SH Press if the Press were an objective news outlet.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Oct 28, 16 6:35 AM
So the Press basically said: Lee Zeldin has done a good job and has done everything one would expect from a freshman congressman but we think he is too partisan so we are going to be partisan and endorse and inferior candidate.

By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Oct 28, 16 9:18 AM
Lee Zeldin is in the pocket of Exxon Mobil and will vote against any and all pro-environment legislation. Not to mention he has more interest in Israel than Islandia or Islip. Show me one politician who doesn't use their power for self-enrichment, so why on earth wouldn't you want a representative who lives where you do and cares about the East End?
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 28, 16 10:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Anna Throne-Holst is a sellout to developers - look at that disgraceful condo development on Tuckahoe - where they would like to add a shopping mall when the mall just north of Tuckahoe has been unoccupied since it was built in the 1990's - The condos look like Commack/Patchogue/Manorville/Major's Path condos - and they are only 50% occupied - and ATH wants to another one at the Shinnecock Bay locks - would she live in one of those? Zeldin wants to remove scofflaw immigrants who break housing, ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 28, 16 12:40 PM
Trying to place a mall north of Tuckahoe. What's in it?
By June Bug (2680), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 28, 16 1:45 PM
I am not sure how any woman or any resident of Hampton Bays can vote for ATH if you were at or watched any of the Town Hall meetings. I was embarrassed for her that she couldn't understand basic concepts and made her bias so evident. She turned her back on the hard working middle class folks of HB. She had her chance - not one more day.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 16 7:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
Any time l have a paper bag rip or have the bottom blow out and my groceries fall on the ground I think of how lucky I am to have had Queen Nanny Anna ban plastic bags for my own good. This women has no business in government as she doesn't understand or support our constitution. Lee is definitely not perfect, but he is a hell of a lot better than ATH. She is a globalist and has no place in our Ferderal government.
By FoReel (18), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 16 11:42 AM
The plastic bag ban, as unpopular as it is in some quarters, is an idea that was long overdue, and I can't fault ATH on that count.

Nor can I fault her for standing tall against the Town Board GOP majority stuffing Republican Party hack Russell Kratoville into a newly re-created position in Southampton Town Hall.

But she is most certainly a naked opportunist, and "less than accurate" with some of her claims. (Eight years on the Town Board? Seven by my count!)

Her TV ads ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 29, 16 8:22 PM
Ath has the most ridiculous commerciaks Ive ever seen. She said Lee Zeldin voted for terrorists to get hand guns? Lol really what bill number was that? Then she said he likes Donald Trump? Wow since he might win that is a bad thing? Joker go back to your back room deals with developers.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 29, 16 7:14 PM
June, I think you're confusing "done more" with support of.
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Oct 29, 16 10:11 PM
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. Vote for Hillary Clinton and Anna Throne-Holst on November 8.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 16 10:14 AM
A pay for play local politician who never met a PDD or developer she didn't back and a soon to be indicted career criminal, Democrat Party at its' finest. Neither of these two represent anything remotely connected with the voters of the east end.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 31, 16 12:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just cancelled my subscription to the Southampton Press. What has Anna been doing since she lost her last election?
How can you endorse this woman?
We have to vote Lee Zeldin back in office.
The Democrats are killing this country with their cheating and lies.
We need people to represent all the people now the chosen few .
By longislander40 (37), hampton bays on Oct 31, 16 12:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
What election did she lose?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 31, 16 1:12 PM
Tip of the hat to the Southampton Press.
#VoteAnna #VoteHillary
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Oct 31, 16 12:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Zeldin says nobody in Congress wants terrorists to have guns. Yet supports gun rights to those people on terrorist fly watch lists. Reason because people have mistakenly been put on lists. How many people is this? Worse case scenario, Have to wait to purchase a gun.More of dishonest double-talk while towing tea-party agenda.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Nov 1, 16 10:58 AM
He supports constitutional rights for all citizens. If there was legislation floated to allow the police to enter your home and search your belongings if you were on a no-fly list, you'd be outraged. Unfortunately you can't (or shouldn't be able to) pick which amendments you suspend (2nd or 4th) without some solid groundwork on how the rules will be applied. "Because we say so" generally isn't well received.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Nov 1, 16 6:58 PM
But there isn't legislation floated. Suspected terrorists even have the right to buy an assault weapon. Wouldn't want to trample on his or her rights to buy an assault weapon would we now.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Nov 2, 16 6:11 AM
ATH is NOT ready to play with the BIG kids on national level. was barely holding on in the town. Lee is qualified and ready to continue his first term with steady intelligent votes. GO LEE
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Nov 1, 16 7:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
I would like to know when the Press last supported a Republican for Congress.
By tim2011 (18), southampton on Nov 1, 16 11:42 PM
Another liberal rag supporting an incompetent, corrupt Democrat. Disgraceful.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Nov 2, 16 7:45 AM
I can't stand the woman but this notion that something sinister could happen to critics of hillary clinton is simply not tr
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Nov 2, 16 8:22 AM
Not sure how keeping men with penises out of the bathrooms our little girls use is a bad idea. Just sayin'
By fire11 (276), east hampton on Nov 2, 16 10:03 PM
Obama has admitted that he communicated with hillary's unencrypted, non disclosed private email server. He was shocked, however, to learn from the media that he was using a pseudonym.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Nov 3, 16 7:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
Makes sense that hillary had a tough time pointing to her accomplishments over the last 27 years. It's not that there weren't any, it's that they were all illegal.

The woman was never a politician. She was a career criminal married to a politician.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 3, 16 1:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Comey is a democrat who reports to
Loretta Lynch who is a democrat who reports to
Obama who is a democrat

Comey was investigating Weiner who is a NY Democrat married to
Huma who is a NY Democrat who worked for both the Lynch AND
The Clinton Foundation Rrun by
Bill Clinton who is a Democrat and
Hillary Clinton who is the Democrat candidate for President.

this email mess has as much to do with Republicans as Obamacare does....
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Nov 4, 16 7:30 AM
1 member liked this comment