BACKGROUND: Republican candidate Bugler served as a petty officer in the US Navy. He is a Member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and an Associate Member of the US Naval Institute. Most of his career was with the New York State Department of Transportation and in 1986 he was named the Engineer of the Year.
WAR IN IRAQ: Bugler believes the status quo is untenable and bad for the US international reputation. He wants Iraq to be divided into three distinct countries, one Sunni, one Shiite and one Kurd that would form the Iraqi Union using a federalist system modeled after the European Union.
IMMIGRATION: Bugler is in favor of creating a border in order to prevent immigrants from coming into the country illegally. He also would like to suspend all immigration until the situation is sorted out. “Taxpayers cannot continue to pay when illegal immigrants use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads and social services,” said Bugler. He wants to enforce visa rules on immigrants already in the country legally and believes that individuals who overstay their visas or otherwise violate the law should be deported. “The current system is incoherent and unfair,” said Bugler. “Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.”
ENERGY: Bugler supports off shore oil drilling and drilling in Alaska for oil. He wants to implement a mandate that all new housing has solar panels. He wants to bring back nuclear energy. “Every time we go to the pump we give money to our enemies,” said Bugler. “We must unite together to save our future. We must help bring back coal.”
HOMELAND SECURITY: Bugler is against the Military Commissions Act, recently signed into law, which declares that the President can declare anyone he chooses as an enemy combatant. He believes this bill is unconstitutional. “We must be careful not to throw our constitution into the fire,” said Bugler. “Don’t say it can’t happen here, when it already has.”
BACKGROUND: Steve Israel was first elected to Congress in 2000 and re-elected in 2002 and 2004. As the Democratic incumbent, Israel is one of only two New York House Members on the House Armed Services Committee. He lives in Dix Hills with his wife, Suffolk County Family Court Judge Marlene Budd, and has two children.
WAR IN IRAQ: Israel supports a “1 for 1” plan that would require the administration to certify to Congress the operational capability of Iraqi forces and to re-deploy US forces on a 1:1 basis as Iraqi forces reach full combat capability. “This would give the American people a good yardstick to measure the readiness of Iraqi forces and would be an effective tool to hold the administration accountable on a regular basis,” said Israel.
IMMIGRATION: He believes there are two elements to an effective immigration reform, monitoring the flow of immigrants and establishing a way to monitor the 12 million people who already entered illegally. “I supported the House bill to authorize the construction of a fence and other border control and enforcement measures,” said Israel. “Simply deporting all of them is a physical impossibility,” said Israel. “We should offer those who have been here the longest an opportunity to apply for citizenship if they pay back taxes and penalties, learn English, work steadily and have no criminal records.”
ENERGY: Energy security is a top priority, said Israel. He says he wants to invest heavily in research, development and deployment of wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen and advanced hybrid technologies. “I support new and enhanced tax incentives for consumers who purchase energy-efficient products and for businesses pursuing clean, renewable and efficient energy technologies,” said Israel. “I’ve introduced legislation that would provide matching grants to municipal governments that update their buildings or vehicle fleets to improve efficiency or run on alternative fuels.”
HOMELAND SECURITY: Israel says we need a balance between national security and individual freedoms. “I want to ensure that we have the tools to investigate terrorists without invading the constitutional freedoms of law-abiding Americans,” said Israel. “The best way to do this is by respecting the constitutional system that guided us through past challenges.