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Dems vs Dems, locally and nationally

A new candidate, Hilda Rosario Escher, is considering entering the race to unseat Senator Joseph Robach in the 56th New York Senate District. This is occurring despite the fact that a bright, young, and progressive candidate, Jeremy Cooney, achieved a sizable 44 percent of the vote against Robach in 2018 and is making another run for this seat in 2020.

In an interview, Escher told the Democrat and Chronicle: "I am not running against anybody. I am just seeking a seat." She added, "Joe Robach has done amazing work for this community, and he is a friend." Once people realize how Robach's voting record was not "amazing work for this community," however, Jeremy Cooney stands a very good chance of victory.

This divisive scenario, unfortunately, is happening not only locally but on the national stage. By dividing the Democratic Party and the principles it stands for, we can almost be assured of defeat. Obviously, Escher wants to play nicely in the sandbox with Robach. This will not serve us well if you are concerned about public health, gun safety, and marriage equality, among other important issues. While Robach did vote in favor of prohibiting the declawing of pussy cats, a brief look at his voting record shows he voted against:

Protecting women's rights in having a voice about their own health and family planning, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression, permitting people to marry those they love, tightening up background checks for gun ownership, increasing renewable energy goals, protecting rent control as people are priced out of the rental market, and eliminating religious exemptions for vaccines.

While he might be everyone's "friend," Robach's voting record belies his concern for the rights and safety of individuals. For a potential opponent to say "he's done amazing work for the community" makes little sense to me. I realize that politics is full of quid pro quo's and often comes down to funding of everyone's pet projects and, above all, the optics and photo-ops that come with these awards. But it's also about how one votes when the proverbial rubber hits the road. This is what really affects us as citizens.

We need fresh ideas that promote individual freedoms and make our community a better place to live. Complimentary comments about our opponents do not serve us well.

SANFORD J. MAYER, ROCHESTER

Trump and fascism

The Republicans seem to increasingly refer to Democratic presidential aspirants with the "S" word. How about the "F" word?

Donald Trump says the Second Amendment to the Constitution allows him unlimited power, says he may extend his term beyond eight years, uses the office to enhance his personal wealth; lies like the proverbial rug, attacks minority groups, allies with dictators, encourages the Russians to help him get elected, gives inappropriate power to family members, and uses the justice system against political opponents.

A fascist is like a duck: if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. At best, Donald Trump is a proto-fascist. Those who stand behind this president should review the history of Germany and Italy in the early 1930's.

MARTIN KLEINMAN, ROCHESTER

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