Tim Bishop has managed to be a progressive Democratic voice in the Republican leaning First Congressional District of Long Island for eight years. His formula includes actively and successfully representing the interests of his constituents, listening to and considering all points of view, and a willingness to take principled stands on critical issues…
Following Obama’s victory and the Democratic takeover of Congress, however, he has taken on the role of lightning rod for opposition by the conservative right and Tea Bag movement. Bishop has been a strong proponent of health care reform and while he orginally supported the public option he understands the critical importance of taking a positive incremental step in securing affordable health care for all Americans. Thus, not surprisingly, Tim’s first town hall meeting on health care was one of the first ones targeted by the Baggers. Rather than engage in civil discussion of the issues, they were there in force with the express intent to shout him down and disrupt the discourse (see Health Care Debacle). And despite their negative intentions and personal abuse Tim listened politely, tried to calmly address their concerns and invited all who could not make it inside the huge auditorium to come to his office to present their views face to face. Tim Bishop has more class in his pinky than the entire Tea Bag movement combined.
As a strong and loyal supporter of science in general and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, located in his district) in particular – and thus of specific interest to me – Tim helped lobby for several important large improvement projects at BNL and secure the largest amount of stimulous funding of any NY congressional district. Much of this support went toward much needed science and technology infrastructure at BNL. Tim is a founding member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), a focused, action-based caucus in the House of Representatives. He was one of just 33 House members to receive a perfect rating from the environmental lobby organization, the League of Conservation Voters for:
passing the Energy Independence Security Act which raised the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks to 35 mpg and will save more than 1.1 million barrels of oil per day and significantly reduce global warming pollution
adoption of a Congressional resolution calling for mandatory limits on global warming pollution and
gaining approval of a National Intelligence Estimate to assess the security implications of climate change.
His accomplishments in almost eight years of service are too long to list here but you can get more details at his Congressional site:
Having lost the White House, control of Congress, and now the watershed health care bill, the conservative right is preparing to launch an unprecedented attack on liberal Democrats and Congressman Tim Bishop is a primary target. A crowded field of serious candidates has emerged including:
- Randy Altschuler, a wealthy fund raiser for John McCain, heads up Office Tiger, a commercially successful export business whose only product is shipping U.S. office jobs to India
- Christopher Nixon Cox, grandson of the former president and son of the head of the NYS GOP Chariman Edward Cox. After diplomas from Princeton and NYU Law, appointment as the McCain campaign NYS Chair, 31 year old Cox is ready to remove his silver spoon and seek his political destiny
- George Demos, whose political team includes a former advisor to Gov. Pataki and deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney, a former City Hall aide to Mayor Giuliani and a former strategist for Pataki and Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, and currently a Lazio-for-governor advisor.
The stakes over the control of Congress and Obama’s ability to act on his change agenda are high. Every Democratic congressional seat is critical and progressive legislators are most vunerable to the concerted campaign efforts of the right. Despite his many accomplishments and tireless efforts on our behalf, Congressman Bishop faces his toughest race to date. Let’s make sure Tim is re-elected as the Democratic congressman in the First Congressional District.