We need a representative who cares about American ideals.
Representative Elise Stefanik wraps herself in the flag and crows about supporting the military. However, it has become increasingly evident that she cares more for party advantage than for the strength and health of our republic.
Stefanik routinely touts her membership on the House Intelligence Committee. And such a position might be important, except that under current Chair Devin Nunes — and with Stefanik's complicity — it has become a sick joke. This committee is tasked with investigating Russian propaganda and cyber-attack campaigns in the 2016 election. Yet, Stefanik voted for the initial release of the flimsy, party-line Nunes memo designed to cast aspersions on U.S. intelligence agencies. Stefanik's cause célèbre, by the way, is Carter Page, a man who has been on the radar screens of intelligence agencies since 2013 for his chumminess with foreign intelligence figures. Stefanik would rather spend time and taxpayer dollars defending a potential foreign spy than to follow through with the Intelligence Committee's mandate to identify and shore up U.S. election vulnerabilities. This makes America less safe by increasing both the likelihood of future foreign meddling and the likelihood that our military personnel could be deployed to counter such action.
Stefanik likes to claim bipartisanship, but her vote on the Intelligence Committee contradicts her claim. She should have insisted that any memo detailing the committee's findings require unanimous consent, not an unreasonable expectation considering the sensitivity of the information with which the committee deals. Instead, she voted with only other Republicans to release a nakedly partisan memo. And now, physical walls are being built in the committee to separate Republican and Democratic staffers. As a member of the controlling party of the committee, Stefanik owns this sorry — and, ultimately, dangerous — dysfunction. She must be replaced by a patriot in November 2018.
Ben Landry, Canton