Scanlon off-base on support for Ayotte

To the Editor:

I have to disagree with my friend Jim Scanlon, regarding his endorsement of Kelly Ayotte for U.S. Senate.

Despite his own partisan leanings, Mr. Scanlon sensibly concludes that Donald Trump is not of presidential timber, and does not merit support. Unfortunately, however, Sen. Ayotte herself has been unable to exercise such principle.

Were it merely a matter of endorsing or supporting Mr. Trump, Sen. Ayotte’s fence-sitting could perhaps be accepted as political expediency. Unfortunately, however, Ms. Ayotte’s lack of leadership as senator extends to other matters of importance for our state and for our country.

? Sen. Ayotte has accepted over $300,000 in campaign contributions during the current election cycle from big pharmaceutical interests, while pretending to be constructive in the battle against the opioid epidemic. The proliferation of opioid drugs by big pharma is the proximate cause of the explosion of this epidemic.

? Sen. Ayotte’s opposition to senate hearings for U.S. supreme court justice nominee Merrick Garland is a defiance of our constitution, and deprives the Supreme Court a full bench and a respectable moderate justice.

? Sen. Ayotte’s posture regarding Israel’s internal politics has been undemocratic and naive. When House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli prime minister candidate Benjamin Netanyahu last year to speak before Congress just 2 weeks before the Israeli elections, he had Kelly Ayotte’s support. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a divisive and controversial politician in his own country, as many regard him as being intractable and temperamentally incapable of approaching disputes with anything but antagonism. The event, and Ms. Ayotte’s attendance, was a blasphemous attack on our ally’s democratic process and sovereignty.

? Sen. Ayotte’s signing of a letter last year to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was seditious. The letter stated that a new American president could scrap any Iran-US nuclear agreement. Khemenei himself chided the letter as "a sign of a decline in political ethics and the destruction of the American establishment from within." Here again, Ms. Ayotte fails to differentiate between partisan politics and loyalty to her country.

Her inability to do what is right for her party, for her state, and for her country makes Ms. Ayotte distinctly unqualified to continue as our U.S. senator. We hope that Mr. Scanlon, and other thoughtful people, will withdraw their support for Ms. Ayotte.

Jerry Hanauer