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EDITORIAL: Let's not give credit to Stefanik when credit is not due

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Elise Stefanik

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, arriving for a news conference in Washington, D.C. in June.

Besides ranting on Twitter that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci to “save Christmas,” we don’t know what Elise Stefanik has been doing these days in Washington, D.C., where, people say, she is working as our congresswoman.

A recent press release from her office bragged about a $1.5 million federal grant to Hudson Headwaters Health Network that the organization will use to renovate its Broad Street building.

“I’m proud to announce these taxpayer dollars are returning to our district to support meeting the needs of the residents of Warren County,” the press release quoted her as saying.

You can feel proud of spending you opposed, we guess. But it’s misleading to “announce” that spending as if you had something to do with it.

The money came from the American Rescue Plan Act, which is helping to fund projects at health centers nationwide, along with sending billions of dollars to communities for pandemic recovery and infrastructure projects.

Glens Falls is getting more than $12 million and local officials just decided on the first project they will spend some of the money on — $1.6 million for repair and improvement of the city’s drinking water system. Water and sewer projects are a priority of the Rescue Plan, as is broadband infrastructure, and those are two of the top needs here in upstate New York.

Still, Stefanik voted against the bill. This area and other rural areas are desperate for the investment, and in the midst of the pandemic, the country needed the economic boost the bill provides.

We would think since Stefanik opposed the bill, the decent thing would be not to take credit for projects it is paying for.

Since she opposes this sort of fundamental local need, we have to wonder what Elise Stefanik supports. She never fails to announce what she is against, using the megaphone of her position to shout on social media platforms and elsewhere about what and who she despises.

Much of her energy in recent days, judging by the emojis and exclamation points on her Twitter feed, has gone into attacking Anthony Fauci, because he is still urging caution about large gatherings when it comes to COVID-19.

No one likes a killjoy, but few things will ruin your mood like getting thoroughly sick for a couple of weeks or, God forbid, for the rest of your short life. Is it bad that Dr. Fauci feels a responsibility to encourage vaccinations that save people’s lives and preventative measures that do the same?

The sniping at public servants like Fauci, who are doing their best for the good of all, is destructive of the national effort to beat the pandemic.

When you become known for carping and criticizing, it sounds off when you try to praise and celebrate, as Stefanik tried with the Hudson Headwaters project. Putting aside that this is funding she opposed, her shtick has grown so negative that attempts like this to horn in on something positive feel forced and fall flat.

Local editorials are written by the Post-Star editorial board, which includes Ben Rogers, president and director of local sales and marketing; Brian Corcoran, regional finance director and former publisher; Will Doolittle, projects editor; and Bob Condon, local news editor.

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