Letter To The Editor: Congressman Israel a No Show at Veterans Forum
QUEENS, NASSAU & SUFFOLK VETERANS OBSERVED WHICH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES CARE ABOUT THEM IN A PUBLIC FORUM
On August 25, 2012 Veterans for Better Government Coalition held a free public forum at the VFW, 155 Searingtown Road, Albertson, NY 11507, which was hosted and sponsored by myself, Leann Murphy-Baker, Veteran Advocate for veterans throughout Long Island and the country. Currently, I am individually accredited by the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC. Previously I worked as a senior paralegal with over 11 years of experience working in law firms and in-house counsel. My experience includes assisting attorneys and clients throughout the United States with Family Law matters, Insurance Defense, Environmental Litigation, Personal Injury, White Collar Crime, Tax Fraud, Bankruptcy, Asbestos Cases, Contract Litigation, Construction Litigation, Intellectual Property and Complex Litigation. My passion is advocating for disabled veterans who have applied for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs and Board of Veterans Appeals and for homeless veterans. I also maintain several Executive Board positions for multiple organizations.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Congressional Candidates Stephen Labate, Frank Scaturro and Councilman Dan Halloran for attending the Veterans for Better Government forum. Also in attendance was Lou Imbroto who is running for NYS Assembly. The following candidates did not appear, but sent someone on their behalf: Francis Becker was represented by Joe LoPristi, Assemblywoman Grace Meng was represented by Michael Fleischman, and Candidate for the U.S. Senate Wendy Long was represented by Shoshana Weismann.
In addition to Congressman Steve Israel, the following other candidates did not attend, nor did they send someone on their behalf, clearly demonstrating by their actions the lack of concern for veterans: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy.
Near the end of the program, I asked a young man what he was doing with a VIDEO RECORDING DEVICE under the table and why he attempted to secretly record the forum. I confronted the young man, who was later identified as Nick Beek, Congressman Steve Israel’s Research Director, and not the concerned citizen he first attempted to portray himself as, in front of the veterans and candidates. In fact, Mr. Beek not once, not twice, but three times lied to the veterans and me about his identity.
These actions of Congressman Steve Israel are appalling. Not only did Congressman Israel not show up or send someone on his behalf, he sent someone undercover to secretly record the forum under the disguise of deception and lies. Congressman Israel’s behavior is not only outrageous, immoral and unbecoming of a man who holds the title of Congressman, but more importantly demonstrates his lack of concern for veteran voters. Mr. Beek attempted to explain that he was there to record statements of Candidate Stephen Labate, Congressman Israel’s opponent. This action further demonstrates Congressman Israel’s lack of attentiveness for veteran voters and a misplaced concern for his opponent.
On Monday, August 27, I reached out to Congressman Israel’s office and campaign staff. Both offices took the position to “dodge” the issue. Congressman Israel is deceitful, conniving and untrustworthy and is a political figure that uses veterans for photo ops and pretends to care for them. His actions on Saturday, August 25, speak volumes.
VETERANS. . . REMEMBER ELECTION DAY WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT YOU. Congressman Steve Israel does not. DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Support the candidates who cared to show up themselves and listened to the concerns of veteran voters.
Please pass this to everybody that you know. The 3rd Congressional District covers the entire North Shore of Long Island from Whitestone and Little Neck on the West End, through all of Northern Nassau into Huntington and western Smithtown on the East End.
For information, please email Leann Murphy-Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.