After years of endorsing King, Newsday sees the light....
NEWSDAY ENDORSES: In 3rd C.D., it's time for a change
Challenger offers pragmatic approach
November 1, 2006
Newsday's editorial board has a complicated relationship with Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). We disagree on virtually every important issue and he uses Newsday as a foil, often campaigning as if the newspaper is his opponent. Despite those mutual differences, Newsday has repeatedly endorsed King for Congress.
We've admired his independence, his willingness to stand up against political correctness and to speak his mind. He also has had the good luck to run mostly against weak opponents. This year is different. Democrat David Mejias, 35, is a strong candidate making a spirited run for the job.
King, 62, has become increasingly strident and divisive, for instance launching a blistering, broad-brush attack on local Islamic leaders whom he judged insufficiently vocal in disavowing 9/11 conspiracy theories. And although he became chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee this year - which should have been good for New York - he failed to prevent a 40-percent cut in federal anti-terror dollars to the state.
He also has unalterably supported President George W. Bush's troubled policy in Iraq and his dangerous, go-it-alone approach to governing, which would deny Congress and the courts their proper roles as checks on abuses of presidential power. When King did part company with Bush on illegal immigration, it was King who chose the wrong course: His divisive, enforcement-only approach won't solve the problem.
Mejias supports a more pragmatic policy that would include tougher border security and employer sanctions, a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country. Mejias is the son of Hispanic immigrants. He overcame economic hardship to become a lawyer and a Nassau County legislator. He's been effective, for instance, by passing a tough county registration-and-notification law for sex offenders and a domestic worker bill of rights.
Mejias promises pragmatic solutions to the nation's problems, a refreshing change. Newsday endorses Mejias.