New York – NY Assemblyman Hikind Crosses Party Lines to Back Republican Turner

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    Photo: Shimon GifterNew York – New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) has crossed party lines Wednesday and endorsed Republican businessman Bob Turner over fellow Jewish assemblyman David Weprin (D) in the election to fill former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) congressional seat.

    “I am endorsing Bob Turner because he represents the values of this district. I am supporting Mr. Turner because this is a rare opportunity for all those living in the 9th Congressional District, myself included, to send a message to President Obama about his failed, disastrous economic policies and his reckless policies toward Israel.

    “Mr. Turner’s background as a businessman gives him a unique advantage in dealing with the major financial crisis in this country. His business acumen will be a welcome asset in trying to reduce the federal deficit.

    “I resent the scare tactics and code words being employed by the Democrats to frighten senior citizens and others into believing that Mr. Turner will interfere with Social Security and Medicare. Worrying seniors needlessly is beyond the pale.

    “I am a proud Democrat, but am not a blind one. There are times when a candidate of a different party can be more effective for the constituency. The race in the 9th Congressional District has proven to be one of those times. I am, therefore, pleased to support Mr. Turner in his bid for this seat.”

    Hikind, a conservative foreign policy hawk who also has a local radio show, is influential in the district’s large Orthodox Jewish community. Has backed Republicans before, endorsing President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. Mr. Hikind has said he is upset about Mr. Weprin’s vote earlier this year in Albany to legalize gay marriage in New York state—particularly that Mr. Weprin cited his orthodox Jewish faith as a reason to vote for the bill.

    Weprin and Turner are in what seems to be a close race in the Democratic-leaning district that encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens. The election is next Tuesday.

    The Orthodox Jewish vote is a big wild card. Weprin himself is an Orthodox Jew but has not yet coalesced support around his campaign. The community is more conservative than other Jewish communities around the country, especially on foreign policy and social issues, and tends to vote as a bloc depending on who their leaders support. The district had the biggest swing of any in the country towards Republicans in 2004: After giving Al Gore 67 percent of the vote in 2000, it gave Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) just 56 percent of its vote in 2004. Obama took 55 percent of the vote in 2008.

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    16 COMMENTS

    1. Just because Weprin voted for the Gay Rites bill, he still is a very strong supporter of everything Jewish, including Israel. We have separation of Church and State, and passing the Gay rites bill has nothing to do with the Jewish community. No one is being forced to do anything. I think we should support Weprin.

      • I don’t know about you mr. Anonymous but I do live in the ninth district and plan to give my vote to mr. Turner agianst mr. Weprin cause of his vote for the gay bill which is a issue that’s against humanity and civility (not to mention against the torah)

      • Not JUST BECAUSE he voted. he had every right to vote where he felt he is voting the way his constituents want him to vote. What he did was way LIFNIM MISHURAS HADIN he didn’t just vote he made a statement that his vote is “as an orthodox Jew” trampling on orthodoxy and showing his arrogant hypocrisy. I would never trust somebody like that. Unfortunately the Jewish Press went with the NY Times instead with the more rational Daily News and NY Post..

      • Anon#1 here’s the thing, there is no “church” world, and “state” world. There’s only hashem’s world, the one which he created, and in which charged us with m’kadesh his name. One rule in his world is that gay relations are forbidden, and certainly should not be promoted as the norm. When a government sanctions these Unions, hashem’s name is dragged through the mud on HIS Planet

    2. I agree and commend Mr. Hikinds decision. I’m sure Mr. Weprin is a decent man but his backing of Obama and his vote for gay marriage should be something to think hard about at vote time. I hope that Mr. Hikinds influence extends beyond his own district because little of it actually falls within the 9th Congressional district.

    3. Hikind’s when he says the gay issue turned him against Weprin. If that’s the case, how come he’s never criticized Sheldon Silver for supporting the gay marriage legislation?

    4. a pity on #8 we are in this world to bring g-diness in it ,after all you can see that the aibershter is unleasing his fury on the us,this will bring the redemption

    5. I commend Dov for not shafting G-d in favor of party. Many of our fellow gentile neighbors are deeply religious as well and are disgusted with the politicians who shove gay marriage into our face. One municipality was so eager to perform gay marriages, that they opened city hall at midnight to perform “marriages for gays” the first day the new bill (that most citizens presumably resent as evidenced by every state, approximately 25 in total, that presented the issue as a referendum, was shot down by the voting citizenry) had taken effect. Shame on these disgraceful politicians.
      GO BOB TURNER!

      Signed,
      A Rabbi from Crown Heights, Brooklyn

    6. Most people don’t realize that David Weprin doesn’t even live in the 9th district, the district that he wishes to represent in Congress. Truthfully, I didn’t even know this was legal — but I discovered that the U.S. Constitution requires only “state” residency and not “district” residency for Congressional candidates. But what is “legal” is not necessarily “ethical.” Weprin was hand picked to run by the Democratic party machine. That he agreed to do so — knowing full well that he doesn’t even reside in the 9th district — makes my rather suspicious of his character, i.e. he is putting personal ambition over personal ethics. In my humble opinion Mr. Weprin should have either declined the nomination or agreed to move. He did neither.

    7. I don’t live in NY so have no skin in the game, but I’m impressed by all of the people who will vote against their self-interest just to punish the gays. I mean, after all, all NY marriages and families have totally fallen apart since gay marriage was allowed. Maybe gay marriage even caused the earthquake, though it was centered in Republican Eric Cantor’s district, or the hurricane, though it hit many Republican states. Why worry about supporting a candidate who will help improve the economy, the environment, and citizens’ lives in general? I’m sure society will be much happier with voters making a meaningless political gesture that will not change the gay marriage law.

    8. Weprin should have chosen his words carefully, but that shouldn’t erase years of working for our community. silver voted for the same issue w/o words and was not condemned by the fat cats of our community. weprin is a convenient korbon to hit obama with. shows alot of sinas chinom on our part. no jew should enter politics if they are going to be thrown under the bus after years of hard work.

      • No one forced him to vote for the bill, which he was fully aware is against the very ethics of the district he represents. it is not the religious prespective that is at hand here, rather the bill that was forced upon the voters who will have thier say as well. yesh Din vyesh dayan! this should have been handled as in CA.

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