Letter: Neal, district aren't Steyer's political tool

Posted
To the editor:

Monday's Eagle editorial rightly called for Rep. Richard Neal to work cautiously and carefully in building a case to subpoena President Trump's tax returns. This sage piece of advice seems to run contrary to the message being blasted across TV sets in Mr. Neal's Western Massachusetts constituency by Tom Steyer and his impeachment campaign.

While the president may be deserving of impeachment, Democrats and the resistance movement are in a very precarious position and cannot afford to take brash and brazen action for its own sake. The 2018 midterms were won with a good deal of help from swing voters who may be dissuaded by seeing a rush to attack the president or the party bending to every whim of its more leftist factions.

Of course MA-1 is not one of these swing seats, and Steyer's logic for targeting our district are incredibly valid. Mr. Neal leads a powerful committee and a great majority of his constituents are of the anti-Trump persuasion. However, Mr. Steyer's strategy seems to be capitalizing on our new-found political relevance.

1 understand the great danger that this president represents to our nation's institutions, traditions, and values. But we are also a unique and dynamic district that has its own challenges to be faced. A billionaire targeting us to use our voices for the sole purpose of impeachment has an air of disingenuousness.

Western Massachusetts is well served by Mr. Neal, but he is our congressman and his actions in the legislature should reflect that. The opioid crisis has left its tragic mark on the region and conservation and climate change action are deeply important issues to Mr. Neal's constituents, especially in the Berkshires. A billionaire from California probably does not have a deep grasp on the nuances of political reality in the region.

That, combined with the fact that a rush to get started on impeachment is not a sound course of action at the moment, is why Mr. Steyer needs to kindly leave us alone. We are aware of the pressing danger of the Trump presidency; we are aware of the great power that our congressman holds; but we are not a political tool only to get attention when we can provide a service.

I have confidence that Mr. Neal with competently build a case to attain Trump's tax returns. He is receiving enough encouragement for that from the rest of the country. I am more concerned with what Mr. Neal will be doing to directly improve the lives of his constituents in Western Massachusetts.

Mark LeBeau,

Pittsfield

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