Opinion: Stefanik’s funds are mostly special interest dollars, says Colton resident
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 10:21 am

To the Editor:

A recent news article stated that Stefanik has $1.2 million in re-election funds; the story allowed Stefanik to make a misleading comment and omitted details indicating where these funds originated, what benefits are expected in return, and whether funds were mostly from within or without the 21st District.

Stefanik stated, “As 2018 begins, I am grateful for the strong outpouring of support and for the contributions from all across the 21st District.” Removing the words “for the” turns this into a claim that, yes, most of that $1.2 million is from within the District: “I am grateful for the strong outpouring of support and contributions from all across the 21st District,” an implication easily mistaken as fact.

A less misleading statement would be “I am grateful for the strong outpouring of support from my rich donors and for some contributions from across the district.” Out of Stefanik’s top 30 campaign contributors reported on the Federal Elections Commission website, almost all are from special interests. Each of these has a narrow special interest in legislation and appropriations with the goal of lining their own pockets at the expense of taxpayers.

This “strong outpouring of support” came from billionaire hedge fund owners who reap hundreds of millions in untaxed earnings from the “carryover interest” exclusion. Why do they not pay taxes on gains when we in the district must?

This “strong outpouring of support” also came from the nation’s largest defense contractors; not from Fort Drum soldiers, but from the huge corporations whose executives and shareholders make hundreds of millions of dollars selling equipment and services to the Department of Defense. Ask yourself if Raytheon, Boeing, or Palantir have any employees in the district.

The “strong outpouring of support” also came from the Koch Industries, the largest oil and gas industry infrastructure firm in the country. They are outspoken proponents of subsidies for the oil and gas industries, primarily for their businesses in the south and midwest. How do their interests coincide with those of Stefanik’s constituents, many of whom struggle to pay heating bills and put gas in their cars?

When she voted against the tax bill, it was over the valid state and local tax issue, but not because nearly all benefits go to the rich and are permanent while the benefits for the rest of us are temporary. It’s time to replace this representative who hides from constituents in the pockets of rich donors.

Ginger Storey-Welch