Bishop And Zeldin To Debate As Election Day Draws Near Bishop And Zeldin To Debate As Election Day Draws Near - 27 East

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Bishop And Zeldin To Debate As Election Day Draws Near

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authorShaye Weaver on Oct 7, 2014

With a little less than one month until Election Day, both U.S. Representative Tim Bishop and his Republican challenger for New York’s 1st Congressional District, State Senator Lee Zeldin, are going head to head on issues across the district.

On Wednesday, October 8, at 7 p.m., East End Local Media Corporation will host a debate between the candidates at the Riverhead Polish Hall. Questions will not be taken from the audience at the debate, they rather from a list of questions the news company will field via email at

On Friday, from 5 to 6 p.m., Long Island News Radio will air a debate at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. Anchor Jay Oliver will moderate the debate, which will broadcast live on 103.9. Questions will be directed by LI News management and St. Joseph’s students. For more information, call 631-687-2667 or email

On Thursday, October 16, the Press News Group and the League of Women Voters will co-sponsor a debate between Mr. Bishop and Mr. Zeldin 7 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach High School auditorium at 49 Lilac Road in Westhampton Beach.

Candidates will make opening and closing statements and answer questions posed by Southampton Press executive editor Joe Shaw, East Hampton Star editor David Rattray, the League of Women Voters and the audience. The event will be moderated by Cathy Peacock of the League of Women Voters.

For those who want to catch the debate at a later time, Southampton’s SEA-TV will tape and broadcast it on Channel 22. For more information, contact LWV Services co-chair and debate organizer Anne Marshall at (631) 766-3687.

The Concerned Citizens of Montauk will hold its 44th annual Meet the Candidates Forum on Sunday, October 19, at the Montauk Firehouse on Flamingo Avenue. The forum will begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on LTV.

In addition to Mr. Bishop and Mr. Zeldin, candidates for State Assembly— incumbent Fred W. Thiele Jr., Conservative Brian DeSesa and Republican Heather Collins—and State Senate incumbent Ken LaValle and Democrat Michael Conroy—will introduce themselves, state their positions and ask their opponents a question. The public will also get to ask the candidates questions.

On October 23, the Press News Group will sponsor another debate at LTV Studios at 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott at 7 p.m. That debate will also be taped and aired on Channel 22.

A Dead Heat?

A poll released in September by the American Action Network, a right-leaning non-profit group that backs Republican candidates, including Mr. Zeldin, states the Congressional ballot is “a dead heat” because both Mr. Bishop and Mr. Zeldin are tied at 46 percent, with 7 percent undecided.

The poll, by a Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, was conducted in the last week of September through 400 telephone calls. The sample was 34 percent Republican and 31 percent Democratic, according to the agency.

In several emails in the last month, Mr. Bishop’s camp has been pleading with supporters to donate to the campaign in order to offset Mr. Zeldin’s fundraising efforts.

In the latest email on Monday, Mr. Bishop’s team was asking for donations, saying Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, are spending $3 million to defeat him.

Both Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for Mr. Bishop, and Jennifer DiSiena, a spokesperson for Mr. Zeldin, said they couldn’t release how much they’ve raised until the October 15 Federal Election Commission filing deadline.

Taking Aim

This month, Mr. Bishop received an endorsement from the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum for his support of water quality improvement.

The group, which is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that campaigns for candidates for public office, has vowed not to support those who failed to vote for a water quality improvement bill in Albany, according to a press release.

Mr. Lukaske late last month sent out a press release condemning Mr. Zeldin for seeking donations from Republican Randy Altschuler, who unsuccessfully ran against Mr. Bishop in 2010 and 2012.

“The fact that Lee Zeldin would seek donations from outsourcer Randy Altschuler demonstrates where his true loyalties lie,” Mr. Lukaske wrote. “Altschuler made millions of dollars by shipping good-paying American jobs overseas and putting hard-working Long Islanders out of work.”

Mr. Bishop has recently been touring the district, highlighting his record of “fighting for the middle class,” according to Mr. Lukaske.

Mr. Lukaske said that Mr. Bishop has been trying to protect American jobs by writing the Outsourcing Accountability Act, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to train foreign workers and eliminates tax breaks for big corporations that outsource jobs overseas. That bill was introduced in the House in February 2013.

In response this week, Mr. Zeldin’s spokesperson, Ms. DiSiena, wrote in an email to The Press that Mr. Bishop’s campaign is just trying to shift the focus off his record.

“While Bishop is raking in over a million dollars in dishonest advertising from Nancy Pelosi’s super PAC [political action committee], he has some nerve to try to play games,” she said. “We need someone who will look out for the residents they serve, rather than Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and special interests, like those in Washington representing the helicopter pilots. It’s time to term-limit Tim.”

Ms. DiSiena said that Mr. Zeldin is focusing on his “Five Point Plan” to grow the economy, create well-paying private sector jobs, repeal and replace Obamacare, fight for veterans’ rights, secure America’s interests at the border and abroad and fight for higher standards in schools, “knowing Common Core isn’t the answer.”

She said it’s up to voters on November 4 to “show they’re ready for new leadership, a stronger voice and a fresh perspective.”

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