A Real Choice - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2021448

A Real Choice

Polls indicate that crime and safety are important issues for voters. One of the basic responsibilities of government is to ensure that citizens can live in safety. Historically, the Republican Party portrayed itself as the party of law and order. But not this year.

Voters in Congressional District 1 will have a stark choice this year: Support a candidate, Bridget Fleming, with a long track record as an assistant district attorney and a legislator, who has demonstrated her integrity and commitment to common sense policies to reduce crime and promote safety; or a Republican who would vote with a party that has now abandoned its commitment to law and order.

Unfortunately, and tragically, the Republican Party supports insurrectionists who attacked our Capitol law enforcement officers, defends the criminal behavior on the part of our former president, and has even called for cutting the FBI budget, our preeminent law enforcement agency. They oppose common sense gun policies like background checks.

While you might say that it’s only a handful of extreme Republicans far from District 1, we have seen over and over that House Republicans have fallen in line and voted as a block against rational policies. For example, Republicans have opposed nearly any and all efforts to constrain the supply and availability of guns, even guns designed for warfare.

The latest affront to the respect for the law is the statement by former President Donald Trump that he would pardon the January 6 rioters who violently attacked our Congress and law enforcement officials.

As a former assistant district attorney, Bridget Fleming fought for justice for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. As a Suffolk County legislator, she has helped lead the fight for reforms to enhance public safety and ensure equitable policing, with input from all stakeholders working with law enforcement and community advocates.

Candidate Fleming supports elimination of “ghost guns,” closing loopholes around background checks, and ensuring that terrorists, criminals and domestic abusers can’t acquire guns. She supports banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, and passing “Red Flag’’ laws to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and others.

While supporting efforts to reduce the availability of guns, Fleming also supports funding important mental health services throughout our communities.

In 2022, we on the East End have a real choice. Fleming brings a strong track record on steps to fight crime and ensure safety with common sense strategies. Her Republican opponent will vote against reforms that will support the police, the FBI and common sense policies.

Your choice can help shape the future of our community and the nation.

Edward Salsberg

East Quogue