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Posted by on Nov 1, 2009 in Breaking News, Places, Politics, Society | 1 comment

An Endorsement, and a Class Act

The Watertown Times has endorsed Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate to represent New York State’s 23rd Congressional district seat:

In her statement Saturday morning, the assemblywoman explained the reasons behind her decision: “It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so.”

During the day Saturday, she began to quietly and thoughtfully encourage her supporters to vote for Democrat William L. Owens.
The Watertown Daily Times initially endorsed Ms. Scozzafava as the best-qualified candidate in the race. We still think she is. However, in suspending her campaign she released her supporters’ commitment to her. That left voters to choose between Mr. Owens and Mr. Hoffman.

Of the two, Bill Owens is by far the superior and only choice.
Mr. Hoffman is running as an ideologue. If he carries out his pledges on earmarks, taxation, labor law reform and other inflexible positions, Northern New York will suffer. This rural district depends on the federal government for an investment in Fort Drum and its soldiers, environmental protection of our international waterway and the Adirondack Park, and the livelihood of all our dairy farmers across the district, among other support. Our representative cannot be locked into rigid promises and policies that would jeopardize these critical sectors of our economy.

Here is the Issues page on Bill Owens’ official website, for those who are unfamiliar with his positions. I was struck by what he has to say about veterans’ issues (emphasis mine):

Bill Owens is an Air Force veteran who served as a Captain at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. He comes from a family with a long military tradition. His great grandfather served in the Civil War, his uncle in World War I and his father served in World War II. As a veteran himself, Owens thinks that by asking the men and women of our Armed Forces to put their lives on the line to defend America, we have an obligation to care for them when they come home.

Like all Northern and Central New Yorkers, Bill recognizes how important it is to give our troops and their families the care they need. Their service is what keeps America safe and free, and from the men and women at Fort Drum to those all across the globe we must continually do our part to honor their courage and sacrifice.

In Congress, Owens will fight for our veterans, and for the brave soldiers still fighting in America‚Äôs conflicts today. Bill will work tirelessly to ensure that soldiers’ homes cannot be foreclosed upon when they are overseas, and that our veterans get the health care they deserve, especially those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. America has asked a lot of its sons and daughters, and Bill believes that we must be ready to give something back.

Obviously, politicians make promises, and I don’t know enough about this guy’s political history to know how good he is at keeping his, but it’s impressive to me that he even mentions Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. That’s not typically what political candidates focus on when playing up their concern for military issues.