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Stefanik is embarrassing herself

Glen Falls Post-Star

By selling anti-Andrew Cuomo T-shirts, can coolers, lapel stickers, bumper stickers, posters and hats on her congressional campaign website, Elise Stefanik has entered a new realm of partisanship.

Browsing the cheap products in her online “store,” dominated by anti-Cuomo apparel, we wondered if our congresswoman has become obsessed. She has an important job, yet of all the causes she could embrace, she is most passionate about proving that Andrew Cuomo is “the worst governor in America.”

It’s not just her online store. A large portion of the website’s homepage is devoted to a video of Stefanik on Fox News, headlined “Holding Cuomo accountable for scandals.” This is what she cares about, even though it has very little to do with her job and even though she has no authority over the governor.

We are not defending Cuomo. We believe he has behaved badly, and we support a full investigation and a legal and political reckoning for his misdeeds. We believe, when several women come forward with similar stories of misconduct, they are most likely true.

No one is above the law — that may be the most important principle in our country’s system of justice. But Stefanik is not seeking equal justice; she is trying to exact punishment on a political enemy — Andrew Cuomo — and she has gone after him with an astonishing eagerness.

We checked around on other congressional members’ campaign websites — few have “stores” where they sell merchandise, and none that we could find sells items that attack another politician, or any person. Nancy Pelosi’s site, for example, sells T-shirts, masks, mugs, stickers, pins, hats and more, but the mugs say, “We don’t agonize, we organize” and the T-shirts say, “Hold the House.” One of the stickers says, “Patron saint of shade” and features a cartoon drawing of Pelosi doing her extended-arm hand clap. That is a long way from the mock “Wanted” poster featuring a headshot of Andrew Cuomo under the legend “Worst governor in America” that you can buy for $30 on Stefanik’s site.

We looked through websites for other House Republicans known for obstreperousness, like Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, but found nothing like Stefanik’s online store.

Stefanik can say what she likes, even if what she likes is attacking her state’s governor. But we question the usefulness of her efforts. How is the sale of “Cuomo’s. Gotta. Go.” lapel stickers (set of 12) helping her constituents? Could she find a better way to advocate for us than promoting bright red can coolers (set of 2), printed with the message “Impeach Cuomo?”

We no longer believe Stefanik entered public life to accomplish good things for the country. She has exhibited a pattern of lying and hyper-partisanship that undermines democracy.

She lied during the 2020 campaign about her Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb, and came up with mocking nicknames for her, which she repeated. Mean-spirited attacks seem to be what she likes best about politics, and her behavior demeans the office she holds.

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