By Harut Sassounian
The California Courier
There is widespread dissatisfaction and mistrust among the American public toward the two main presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Armenian-Americans likewise are negatively disposed toward these candidates. More specifically, on Armenian issues Mrs. Clinton has shown that she cannot be trusted, while Donald Trump’s position is unknown.
Strangely, neither Clinton nor Trump has made any effort to win over Armenian-American voters, despite the close presidential race. The two candidates have not attended any Armenian events, held no meetings with members of the community, nor sought to raise any funds from them. It is preferable that presidential candidates make no promises that they do not intend to keep, thereby deterring Armenian-Americans from wasting their money and votes, and after the election, saving them from much aggravation and disappointment.
Of course, everyone is free to vote for the candidate of his or her choice. One is also free to vote for third party candidates or not to vote at all.
While Presidential candidates are constantly covered by the media, there are many local and state elections that hardly make the news. For example, there are 435 Members of Congress and a third of the 100 U.S. Senators who are up for election or reelection on November 8.
As opposed to White House candidates who may or may not support Armenian issues after the election, most House and Senate members have already served in Congress for several years and therefore, their positions on Armenian issues are well-known. Thus, voting for them is not a guessing game! They have a proven track record — positive, negative or in between.
Below is the list of only those House and Senate members who have received either an excellent (A) or extremely bad (F) grade from the Armenian National Committee of America after a thorough review of their positions on a broad range of Armenian-American issues in the last two years. Those who have earned the grade A deserve the Armenian community’s support. Those who have an F after their names have had a very negative position on Armenian causes, and therefore, should not be supported. The letters D and R denote Democrat or Republican. To review the complete list of all members of Congress and their grades, please visit: www.anca.org/report-card.
Alaska: Don Young (R) F.
California: Jeff Denham (R) A; Barbara Lee (D) A; Jackie Speier (D) A; Jim Costa (D) A; Anna Eshoo (D) A; Zoe Lofgren (D) A; David Valadao (R) A; Devin Nunes (R) A; Judy Chu (D) A; Adam Schiff (D) A; Tony Cardenas (D) A; Brad Sherman (D) A; Grace Napolitano (D) A; Ted Lieu (D) A; Karen Bass (D) A; Linda Sanchez (D) A; Edward Royce (R) A; Lucille Roybal-Allard (D) A; Alan Lowenthal (D) A; Dana Rohrabacher (R) A. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) A (running for Senate and endorsed by ANCA).
Colorado: Sen. Cory Gardner (R) A; Jared Polis (D) A; Mike Coffman (R) A; Edwin Perlmutter (D) A.
Florida: Sen. Marco Rubio (R) A; Gus Bilirakis (R) A.
Georgia: Doug Collins (R) F.
Illinois: Sen. Richard Durbin (D) A; Sen. Mark Kirk (R) A; Daniel Lipinski (D) A; Mike Quigley (D) A; Janice Schakowsky (D) A; Robert Dold (R) A.
Maryland: John Sarbanes (D) A; Christopher Van Hollen (D) A (running for Senate and endorsed by ANCA).
Massachusetts: Sen. Edward Markey (D) A; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) A; James McGovern (D) A; Niki Tsongas (D) A; Joe Kennedy (D) A; Katherine Clark (D) A.
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) A; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) A; Sander Levin (D) A; David Trott (R) A; John Conyers (D) A.
Minnesota: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) A; Betty McCollum (D) A; Collin Peterson (D) A.
Montana: Ryan Zinke (R) F.
Nevada: Dina Titus (D) A; Joe Heck (R) A (running for Senate and endorsed by ANCA).
New Jersey: Sen. Robert Menendez (D) A; Christopher Smith (R) A; Scott Garrett (R) A; Frank Pallone (D) A; Donald Payne (D) F.
New York: Sen. Charles Schumer (D) A; Grace Meng (D) A; Carolyn Maloney (D) A; Eliot Engel (D) A; Paul Tonko (D) A.
North Carolina: Virginia Foxx (R) F.
Ohio: Michael Turner (R) F; Tim Ryan (D) F.
Pennsylvania: Scott Perry (R) F; Bill Shuster (R) F.
Rhode Island: Sen. Jack Reed (D) A; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) A; David Cicilline (D) A; James Langevin (D) A.
Tennessee: Stephen Ira Cohen (D) F.
Texas: Joe Barton (R) F; Pete Olson (R) F; Henry Cuellar (D) F; Gene Green (D) F; Pete Sessions (R) F.
Virginia: Dave Brat (R) A; Gerald Connolly (D) F.
In addition, there are two Armenian-American candidates who are worthy of your support: 1) Those who live in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District are urged to vote for Danny Tarkanian (Republican); 2) Those who live in California’s Assembly District 43 should vote for Ardy Kassakhian (Democrat).