To the Editor:
Does it matter that John Faso is from Massapequa and Antonio Delgado is from Schenectady?
It took less than 24 hours after last week’s primary election for John Faso to issue a statement to remind CD 19 voters that Antonio Delgado had moved from elsewhere to run for Congress in the Hudson Valley. But John Faso himself made a remarkably similar move 35 years ago. Faso grew up on Long Island, and after college went to work in Washington for the Nassau County Long Island government, lobbying for federal grants. He attended law school in D.C. and continued his work for Nassau County. But according to a 2006 Faso profile in the New York Times, “all the while he was thinking about a run for elective office in New York. In 1983, the Fasos bought a fixer-upper in Kinderhook. . . purposely choosing a district of a longtime assemblyman, Larry Lane, whom Mr. Faso wanted to replace.” In 1986 Faso won the Republican nomination “in a crowded primary” and went on to win in the general election.
So one irony is that John Faso himself started his career as a carpetbagger. Now he says Antonio Delgado will soon discover that CD 19 voters don’t like the idea of being represented by someone who doesn’t understand and address their concerns. That’s another irony. John Faso, who has been in Kinderhook for 35 years, doesn’t seem to get or particularly care about the concerns of his constituents. He has made promises he has not kept, most infamously abandoning voters on healthcare; he refuses to meet the public in open town hall meetings; and he has supported the most malicious, incompetent and corrupt President in American history.
Antonio Delgado, like Faso years ago, has also won a “crowded primary,” the most vigorous, competitive, publicly conducted campaign this district has seen. The candidates knocked on doors throughout the district and attended countless public forums, hearing voters questions and concerns, and proposing, advocating, debating policies to address those concerns. Antonio Delgado has been far more engaged in serious public conversation with the voters of CD 19 in the last year and a half than has their Congressman. In the largest primary election turnout in years, Democratic voters have chosen him over six other highly qualified candidates, all of whom have pledged their support for his campaign. He has the support of an energized electorate eager to put an end to the mendacity and cruelty of our current government, in which John Faso is a prominent player and loyal enabler.
Faso and Delgado both have working class origins outside of CD 19. More important to voters than where they came from is how they will represent the concerns of their constituents in Congress, and whether they have the political courage and moral integrity to provide the kind of leadership that the nation so desperately needs.