Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt finally resigned yesterday. It’s not clear exactly which straw broke the camel’s back–Pruitt was facing fourteen separate investigations–but his removal was a tiny bright spot in an otherwise horrible saga. For the time being, the EPA will be run by deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist whose desire to destroy environmental regulations may be even greater than Pruitt’s, but who may exercise better judgement about wasting taxpayer money on perks and corruption.
The Pruitt disaster was so flagrant for so long, it’s horrifying how little concern Republicans in Congress appeared to have for it. Their duty to oversee the executive branch was almost entirely betrayed, and this includes our own Congressman John Faso, who remained silent on Pruitt’s rolling series of scandals despite a constant outcry from our district on social media and in letters to the editor.
Faso embodies a crucial difference between today’s Republicans and Democrats. When a Democrat falls under a dark cloud of accusation the party usually presses them to resign. Al Franken is a recent example. The accusations of improper interactions with women by Franken were concerning but nothing resembling the accusations against President Trump. Yet the Democrats sent Franken packing within a few days. Meanwhile, the Republicans allowed a corrupt grifter like Pruitt to run amok for over a year, racking up over a dozen allegations of impropriety and investigations, and did nothing. And of course, there’s Trump.
But Faso wasn’t content to stay silent in the face of an ethical disaster like Pruitt. He taunted challenger Antonio Delgado on Facebook to take a stand on the issue of abolishing ICE:
Antonio Delgado’s silence on this issue is disturbing. Mr. Delgado must immediately inform the voters of the 19th Congressional District if he stands with Mayor de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and other fellow-Progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE.
Faso demanding that anyone make an immediate statement is both laughable and absurd. Faso has repeatedly refused to take a stand on any number of issues or situations, always responding with the same old political doublespeak bullshit: “we’re studying the issues” or “we’re waiting for more information”.
Delgado hit back quickly on Twitter,
Yesterday, Congressman Faso’s campaign manager asked me some questions: https://www.facebook.com/johnfasony/posts/1382540698512621
Congressman Faso should feel free to contact me directly with his inquiries about my positions — I would be happy to exchange cell phone numbers so that he does not need his staffer to send out statements written by Paul Ryan.
I am eager to discuss our country’s immigration policies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the Congressman. Spoiler alert: I do not support abolishing ICE.
When we do have the chance to talk, I look forward to asking Congressman Faso if he stands with Paul Ryan, who counted on and received Faso’s vote in order to rip healthcare away from constituents like Andrea Mitchell.
The exchange produced a lot of attention and commentary on social media, and was also referenced in an editorial entitled “Delgado schools Faso on issues and decorum” in the Times Herald-Record that began with the line, “You almost have to feel sorry for John Faso on this one.”
The key word is almost.
Rep John Faso has proven himself a feckless supporter of Donald Trump, and has routinely avoided or evaded taking a stand on issues of local and national significance, like the guilty pleas of so many members of Trump’s campaign. When an issue enjoys broad bi-partisan support Faso has no problem boldly announcing his stand. He bravely denounced the opioid epidemic, for example, and had the courage to be against putting small children in cages. But the rest of the time his positions are just as invisible as the Congressman himself.
NY-19 deserves a Congressman that holds a corrupt president accountable, who denounces corruption and unethical behavior wherever it appears, and who has the courage to face and listen to his constituents rather than the billionaires who fund his campaign. Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso…