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Oct 26, 2010 5:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Election 2010: Bishop Points To His Track Record

Oct 26, 2010 5:58 PM

The past two years have been unusual in many ways for U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, a Southampton native who is seeking his fifth term in Congress on Tuesday, November 2.

For starters, the most recent term was the first time since Mr. Bishop took office in 2002 that his party had control of the federal government: since 2008, Mr. Bishop has served in a Democratic House of Representatives, with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, Barack Obama. His first six years, Republican George W. Bush was president.

Also, this most recent term was defined by a historic economic downturn in the United States that has resulted in soaring unemployment rates.

And those two converging factors have made for an uphill battle this election cycle for Mr. Bishop, and for other Democratic incumbents in Washington, D.C.

“It’s much more difficult to be in the majority with the president being of the same party, because you actually have to govern,” Mr. Bishop said. “To be in the minority allows you to stand on the sidelines and throw all the stones you want to throw, and be as irresponsible as you want to be, because you don’t have to govern.”

Mr. Bishop has spent much of his campaign defending actions the federal government took to stave off economic collapse. The congressman supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, a $700 billion bailout of financial, insurance and auto industries, and the federal stimulus package in 2009, which injected $787 billion into the economy in an attempt to revive it and avoid a depression.

While high unemployment rates continue, and anger toward elected officials in Washington continues to mount, Mr. Bishop has made a point of reminding voters that the crisis began before his party took power. He has also been telling them that things are moving in the right direction—albeit too slowly, he said.

“Fear gives rise to distrust, and distrust gives rise to anger, and that’s where we are,” he said. “The thing that I find the most frustrating is that the anger is being visited on those of us who are trying to solve the problem, as opposed to those who created the problem.”

The bailouts, while unsavory, allowed the nation to dodge a second Great Depression, Mr. Bishop said, and the stimulus bill brought millions of federal dollars to Suffolk County while also creating jobs here.

The next steps, he said, are to extend tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 per year, and to reauthorize the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act, which has been tied up in Congress for about a year. The act will invest federal money into infrastructure projects and improve transportation, while creating jobs, according to Mr. Bishop.

Facing criticism from conservatives, Mr. Bishop has defended his vote on national health care reform earlier this year. The congressman said the law will make health care accessible to millions of uninsured Americans, and make it less costly for everyone by spreading risk over a larger pool. It will also provide new consumer protections, as well as tax breaks that will allow small businesses to cover their employees, he said.

All in all, Mr. Bishop said he is most proud of the services his office has provided individual constituents over the years. For instance, Mr. Bishop said he advocates for war veterans who call his office seeking disability services, or upgrades to their existing disability ratings.

The congressman also pointed to his work on local issues in general. He advocated for the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing base in Westhampton, which was in danger of closure earlier in the decade, opposed the proposed Broadwater Energy floating natural gas terminal in the Long Island Sound, and secured funding for the recent dredging of the Shinnecock and Moriches inlets.

Before launching his political career, Mr. Bishop spent 29 years working at Southampton College when it was part of Long Island University, starting as an admissions counselor and finishing as provost. The congressman is part of the 12th generation of his family to reside in Southampton. He and his wife, Kathryn, have two daughters, Molly and Meghan. Molly gave birth to Mr. Bishop’s first grandchild, Nathan, in September.

In addition to the Democratic Party, the Independence and Working Families parties have endorsed Mr. Bishop. He has also secured endorsements from Newsday, the New York League of Conservation Voters, the National Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee, Equality Long Island and other organizations.

According to his campaign financial disclosure records, Mr. Bishop has raised a total of $2.3 million as of October 13. An estimated $1.4 million of that amount is from individuals, and about $900,000 is from political groups, according to documentation.

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Tim Bishop's tenure in Congress has been marked by more and more and more and more and more deficit spending. People can point to George Bush or Barak Obama but appropriations are the responsibility of Congress period! The Congress can say no to any Presidential spending plan, as the President can veto any Congressional bill, and the Congress can, with enough votes, overide that veto. These are the checks and balances built into our Constitution. We MUST hold our representatives responsible for ...more
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Oct 27, 10 10:32 PM
You are dead on. All spending and tax bills originate in Congress. Since Nancy Pelosi took over the gavel the deficit has grown by $5 trillion. Since Tim Bishop votes with Pelosi 97% of the time, let's put ol' Tim down for $4.85 trillion. Thanks, Tim! My great-great-grandchildren, who will be paying for this, thank you.
By BillO (7), Head of the Harbor on Oct 28, 10 7:58 AM
Your great grand children will be paying for two illegal wars and trillions of dollars worth of tax breaks to the rich and you are rewriting history.

Vote Tim!
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 10 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Not rewriting history just stating the facts and hoping and praying our Constitution does'nt become history.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Oct 28, 10 11:51 AM
His track record is consistent with what is wrong with Washington. Creating more government programs like Obamacare just puts us further in debt. Bishop needs to take his track record to the RXR station and leave Washington.
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Oct 28, 10 9:58 PM
Tim Bishop's track record? How about 1,000 jobs at Brookhaven National Lab, the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, Wall Street reform, improved health care for veterans, tax cuts for 20,900 small businesses that hire and 215,000 middle class families in this Congressional district alone, affordable quality health care for 8,700 people in this district who didn't have it before, keeping Shinnecock Inlet open, and stopping tax breaks for outsourcers? And that's not all. Tim is a local guy who has ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 28, 10 10:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
No one has told us how many of these Brookhaven Lab. jobs went to district residents or weather any at all did. More likely these jobs were lateral transfers from other labs around the country.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Oct 29, 10 11:36 AM
It's been two days TB, no answer yet?
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Oct 31, 10 5:40 PM
Instead of just casually speculating that "most likely" these jobs were lateral transfers, do your own research and find out one way or the other. My understanding is that they are not laterals, that the positions have been authorized and are now being filled, and that they aren't all scientific positions, that they include administrative and maintenance jobs, too. In other words, Brookhaven is hiring now because of Tim Bishop. Check it out, montaukman, maybe you'll get a job, and if you do, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 10 7:43 PM
All anyone has to do is go on a government site and take a good look at Tim Bishops voting record . If Brookhaven Labs had 1,000 jobs to give out I guess they would have put a help wanted add in the paper. Bishop is an Obama boy.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 1, 10 11:35 AM

Here's where you can apply for a position.

Here are the current job listings:


Good Luck!
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 1, 10 8:28 PM
Has anyone stopped to think how a deregulated financial industry created the current economic conditions?

CDOs, CSOs, and all other manner of exotic "financial instruments" that turned the financial markets into a wild betting casino that inflated the derivatives market from 2 billion dollars in 1998, to 524 TRILLION dollars by 2007? Did you notice how most of that money only existed "on paper", and evaporated like ether on a hot sidewalk?

Would Randy want to reign in the banking ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 1, 10 8:20 PM