For four years now, U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s constituents have been urging him to hold a town hall meeting where we could question him on some of his policy stands. He has refused to do so.
Instead, he has held a number of what he calls “mobile office hours.” I have been to three of these and have yet to meet Mr. Zeldin. Each one was like a trip to the DMV, only worse. Lots of waiting, but no face-to-face with my congressman.
Prior to the last election, Mr. Zeldin did hold what could best be described as a faux town hall meeting. No questions were allowed from the floor, and Mr. Zeldin took up much of the time with a campaign speech of sorts. Anyone who had a question for the congressman was told to fill out a card with their queries. I was told by one of Mr. Zeldin’s aides that all questions would be answered.
This proved to be false. The moderator pre-screened the cards and did not read the questions verbatim, instead paraphrasing some and clumping dozens of cards into one vaguely worded question. My question was, “Why do we need to fill out cards?” That one did not make the cut.
Last week, Mr. Zeldin found time to hobnob with the rich and famous at President Trump’s Hamptons fundraisers. For a mere $250,000 I could have gotten up close and personal with the president and his favorite congressman. Do you think the mega donors there had to fill out any cards?
I am once again urging our congressman to start earning his pay and meet with his working-class constituents. We have some questions for him.
For example, why does he think it’s a good idea to force New York State to honor concealed weapon permits from states like Mississippi? Does he really think that guns in bars or at concerts is a great idea? And, personally, I would like him to lay out the Republican health care plan that Mr. Trump and his party have been promising us for two years. I would also like to hear him defend the anti-environment agenda that his party’s leader has been ruthlessly pursuing. I am sure other East End voters have many more concerns they would like addressed.
Mr. Zeldin, you tout yourself as a man of the people. So come meet with us. There might be some tough questions. And maybe a little shouting and booing. But, hey, that is what democracy looks like sometimes.
I hope to see you soon.
John NeelyWesthampton Beach
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