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During these times of immense division in our political discourse, it is important that we remember the lessons of our founders. Under our Constitution, our great country has prospered for 241 years. The framers, based on their experiences with the tyrannical tendencies of King George III, created many safeguards to ensure that that type of behavior would never happen in America. Therefore, two of our most cherished constitutional concepts are the separation of powers and checks and balances.

The premiere example of these is the power and duty of the Congress to check the power of the executive, including advice and consent and oversight. There has been a great dereliction of duty by our representatives in Washington who are tasked with performing these essential functions. No two people are more guilty than Paul Ryan and Elise Stefanik.

Speaker Ryan and Rep. Stefanik have showed themselves to be unreliable in the face of the current administration. The transgressions gone unopposed are many including cabinet members wasting taxpayer money in egregious proportions, the administration insisting that honorable border patrol officers commit human-rights violations by separating parents from their young children, the executive claiming he has the power to pardon himself, and the White House standing motionless while our country was attacked by a foreign power. Ryan and Stefanik put up with this all for a legislative agenda that included a bill that would have left 23 million more Americans without health insurance by 2026 had it been passed.

This is not Buckley, Goldwater or Reagan conservatism. This is Ryan conservatism and it does not reflect our values. Yet who has been handpicked by the speaker to carry on this tradition? Elise Stefanik. It’s time to swap out our Washington insider for a North Country insider. Vote for Tedra Cobb on Nov. 6.

Tom Sheffield, Ballston Spa

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