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Oct 27, 2014 3:52 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Republican Lee Zeldin Aims For Bishop's Seat

Oct 28, 2014 1:40 PM
Lee Zeldin, 34, RepublicanMr. Zeldin, who lives in Shirley, has served in the New York State Senate since 2010.

He spent four years on active duty with the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2007 and served as a military intelligence officer, paratrooper, federal prosecutor and military magistrate during that time. He was deployed in Iraq in 2006, as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is currently a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. He ran his own law practice in Smithtown and New York City from 2008 to 2010.

Mr. Zeldin unsuccessfully fought Mr. Bishop for his seat in 2008. He was elected to the State Senate in 2010 and reelected in 2012.

He graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach and earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany, and a law degree from Albany Law School at age 23.

He and his wife, Diana, have twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.

Issues• Immigration reform: Mr. Zeldin said he supports strengthening the U.S. southern border and does not support what he calls “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants. He said he would rather the federal government invest more time and money in increasing border security and enforcement. He has said that Central American children who try to cross the border should be detained humanely and then expeditiously sent home, with the message that children won’t be granted amnesty.

• Civil Rights/Equality: He defines marriage as between a man and a woman and was one of 29 members of the State Senate to vote against the Marriage Equality Act, which legalized same-sex marriage after it passed both houses and was signed into law in 2011. He supports equal pay for equal work and opposes abortion rights.

• Health care/Social Security: Mr. Zeldin wants to repeal or replace Obamacare with a more affordable solution that fosters more competition in the private marketplace.

• Economy/Jobs: He said he does not support increasing the federal minimum wage, saying it could place financial burdens on small businesses. He has also said that providing Medicaid for those who abuse the system is another drain, and that the tax code needs to be simplified to make it harder for people to exploit deductions and exemptions. He said making taxes flatter and cutting government spending would provide tax relief. As a state senator, he helped repeal the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax in 2011; that tax required that employers pay approximately 34 cents for every $100 of payroll. Proposed by the MTA board of directors and approved by the state in 2009, it was a way to close a $1.2 billion deficit in the MTA annual operating budget. In 2012, Mr. Zeldin voted for a law that gives the state’s craft brewers, who produce less than six million barrels a year, a 14-cent-per-gallon tax credit on the first 200,000 barrels produced to exempt small breweries from a $150 annual brand label fee, and to create a “farm brewery” license allowing them to use products grown in the state to operate as the state’s farm wineries do.

• Marijuana legalization: Mr. Zeldin said he is skeptical of the medicinal properties of cannabis and, as state senator, voted against the Compassionate Care Act, which was signed into law this summer. It allows medical marijuana to be available for a host of serious conditions. Mr. Zeldin said he would not consider voting in favor of legalizing medical marijuana at the federal level unless the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies it as a medicine and deems it safe for use by consumers. He said he believes states should make their own laws regarding marijuana, but that the federal government should monitor the transport of all drugs across state and national borders.

• ISIS: Mr. Zeldin has said he favors military action against the group but would like to see a U.S. military general on the ground to lead the latest operation and guide the strategy.

• Ebola: He has said he is disappointed in how the president has handled the situation and is concerned that the appointed “Ebola czar,” Ron Klain, has no health care experience. Mr. Zeldin supports banning air travel to and from Ebola-stricken countries.

His Pitch“When I was talking about the need to repeal the MTA payroll tax, the advice I was getting from people was not to pursue it. They said, ‘You won the election, move on,’ but I said I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t go back to the voters and give them an excuse, like others, for why they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. There was no way. I introduced 48 bills that were signed into law in Albany … during my entire time in elected office, I’ve been getting things done no matter how difficult it was to get things done by working with people on both sides of the aisle.” — Mr. Zeldin’s closing remarks from a debate at LTV Studios in Wainscott on October 23.

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All great reasons to vote FOR him!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 29, 14 7:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
A fairly accurate summation of Zeldin's beliefs which disqualify him from representing a constituency that doesn't share them.

The danger is that he is such an outlier that East Enders may become complaisant (as they did in 2010 with the appalling Randy Altschuler) and refrain from voting - to our profound embarrassment.

In contrast, Tim Bishop has represented our shared interests faithfully and effectively throughout his incumbency. Republicans, having no grounds on which to ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 29, 14 9:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why on earth would we send yet another Republican to Congress?

Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the liberal Brookings Institution have studied Congressional gridlock. They conclude that, while both parties are to blame, the GOP bears the greater share of responsibility for this condition. In their book, "It's Even Worse Than It Looks," they write that the House Republicans have become "ideologically extreme" and "scornful of compromise,"

This ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 14 10:32 AM