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NYC: Jewish Democrat Loses To Catholic Republican In Special Weiner Race



In a hotly-fought battle by everyone — except the actual candidates — Jewish Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin lost to Roman Catholic retired media executive Robert Turner in a special election to fill the House seat vacated by now former Representative Anthony Weiner, who resigned amid a sex scandal. The AP called the vote just minutes before midnight Tuesday for Turner, 53%-47%. The New York City district, NY-9, is populated by a strong Jewish and Latino constituency.

The race was hotly contested, but both Weprin and Turner were lackluster and pawns in a game of homophobic, racist, and religious bigotry that had nothing to do with the issues the winner, now, Turner, will face as a Congressman.

In a surprising turn of events, fueled many say by Maggie Gallagher’s NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, a group of 40 Rabbis came out in support of Turner, claiming that a vote for Weprin violated Jewish law, as the Orthodox Democrat had voted in favor of New York’s same-sex marriage bill that became law earlier this summer. In point of fact, it appears the Rabbis act is a violation of IRS law, and should be investigated immediately.

READ: NY Same-Sex Marriage: Why NOM’s 10,000 Protesters Lie Is So Embarrassing

Pundits will look at this race and decide it represents the shape of things to come, and call it a referendum on:

  • President Obama
  • Same-sex marriage
  • Weiner’s sex scandal
  • The economy
  • Israel
  • The weather

Julie Bolcer at The Advocate put it best:

“Despite decades of Democratic control in the district, David Weprin lost a special congressional election in New York that hinged on the economy and dissatisfaction with national politics. The shocking result means that voters will continue to hear about same-sex marriage, even if evidence suggests the issue played no significant role in the race.”

“The upset appears likely to raise questions about the potential for marriage equality support to pose a political liability, and also about the willingness of opponents to press the issue even when polling shows a majority of voters preoccupied with other concerns. While some answers remain in flux just hours after the election, the initial analysis suggests that discussions about marriage equality will persist, so long as opponents have anything to do with it.”

“They have a microphone and a good loudspeaker and they will claim that they had an impact,” said Ken Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College, about the contribution of marriage equality opponents. “Absent any systemic exit polling, I think there will be no hard evidence to support that claim. It just flies in the face of everything we know about voting to think that views on marriage equality would trump votes on the issue of the economy when there is a high level of unemployment.”

Remember too that former New York City iconic mayor Ed Koch, also Jewish, also a Democrat, and, by many accounts — though neither acknowledged nor denied — gay, came out in support of Turner. So did the virulently homophobic New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, who said he “thanks God” for giving him the opportunity to record robocalls for Turner, via his partners in hate, NOM, the National Organization For Marriage.

“In the robo-call, sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage and recorded in Spanish, Diaz denounces Weprin for his vote for same-sex marriage in June of this year,” reports The Weekly Standard.

“‘David Weprin betrayed New York families when he voted to impose same sex marriage’, Diaz says, according to a translation. ‘Weprin voted to impose gay marriage against the wishes of our community. Worse, he refused to allow the people of New York to decide this issue by allowing us to vote on marriage, as voters in 31 other states have been able to do. Our families face terrible consequences because of David Weprin. Join me, Democratic state senator Ruben Diaz, in supporting Bob Turner for Congress on September 13’.”

The Standard adds, “A poll released Sunday night by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed that a plurality of voters in the district oppose same-sex marriage–45% say it should be illegal, 41% say legal, and 14% aren’t sure. While 29% of all likely voters in the district said the issue of same-sex marriage is ‘very important’ in ‘deciding who to vote for for Congress,’ 38% of Hispanic voters said the issue is ‘very important’ to them.”

Village Voicewriter and Brooklyn resident Steven Thrasher — whose moniker is remarkably appropriate — writes, “Politicians who are on the fence about coming out for marriage equality will undoubtedly take note of NOM’s success with a seat which should have been a cakewalk for the Democrats.”Wiser heads than ours can probably argue that there were larger forces at play than simply marriage equality.”Still, judging from the stream in our (extremely) little slice of the twitterverse, NY-9 was all about gay marriage, Weprin’s vote, and NOM’s vow to take him on.”Lost on Thrasher is a highly-religious district who felt betrayed by one of their own members showing his own member on the Internet with six different women, and denying it for as long as he possibly could uphold the ruse.

Adam Lisberg writing in City Hall News says, “a low-profile campaign among Orthodox Jews aims to make it about same-sex marriage.

“The Family Research Council is raising money off Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin’s vote to legalize it. The National Organization for Marriage paid for 30,000 robocalls to Jewish homes supporting his opponent, Republican Bob Turner. And online, Weprin’s vote for same-sex marriage has been portrayed as a vote against God – even though Weprin is himself an Orthodox Jew.

“David Weprin defied Jewish law and betrayed our values,” said Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein in the robocall. “David Weprin abandoned Jewish teaching in New York State. It’s time for us to abandon David Weprin.”

“After the robocall went out, Wallerstein told Vos iz Neias that he hadn’t even met Turner, but saw an opportunity to push an anti-gay marriage message.

“Turner has not made New York’s gay nuptials a campaign issue, though he has benefited from those who have done so. Still, his most prominent early supporter – former mayor Ed Koch – supports same-sex marriage and says the race is about Israel and Obama, no matter what social conservatives say.”

Duncan Osborne in Gay City News added,

Three gay political groups, the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens, the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, and the Stonewall Democrats, held a fundraiser for Weprin, and Lambda solicited volunteer support for the candidate. Erin Drinkwater, a Lambda vice president, told Gay City News, “Going into 2012, it would be a huge problem to give the GOP or Tea Party any momentum.”In an op ed published online at, titled “The Race in the 9th Is About The Economy –– Not Israel or Gay Marriage,” Matthew McMorrow, Lambda’s co-president, wrote that Koch’s focus on Israel and NOM’s effort to make Weprin’s marriage vote an issue were “red herrings.”“If Brooklyn and Queens voters want to use this race to send a real message, let it be a rebuke of the radical and reckless Republican members of Congress who have damaged our nation’s credit rating, refused to compromise, and advocated for the dismantling of our nation’s services… without entertaining even the most modest proposals to increase revenue or to implement fairness in the tax code,” McMorrow wrote, voicing familiar Democratic Party arguments.

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, reportedly invested $75,000 in this election, while HRC invested a paltry $5,000, perhaps because NY-9 as a district will disappear due to redistricting.
The Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry just after noon Tuesday noted,

It’s not surprising that virulently anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage are arguing that the freedom to marry has played some sort of noteworthy role in the Weprin-Turner race for New York’s Ninth Congressional District.  Whoever wins tonight, marriage equality did not play an influential, even modest, role in the outcome of this special election.  What people are focused on are jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

Here are some facts:

•           ‘Gay marriage’ doesn’t show up in the polling.  Siena’s poll conducted September 6-8 asked, which would you say was the single most important factor in your decision to vote for [candidate name]? The top concern, according to respondents, was the economy (32%), followed by entitlements like Social Security (28%), a candidate’s political party (18%), and position on Israel (7%).

•           Turner himself has consistently emphasized how marriage equality is not an issue in the race.  He told the New York Daily News, “The gay marriage issue is closed, [sic] it’s New York state law. I don’t see any reason to be using this as a campaign issue.”  Last week, the Turner camp issued this statement:  “Queens and Brooklyn voters of all political parties are sending a terse telegram to President Obama that they are unhappy with his economic agenda and his hostile stance toward Israel.”

•          Prior to this race, the pro-marriage equality incumbent continued to get re-elected. Anthony Weiner served his constituents for 12 years and was a much more outspoken advocate of marriage equality than Weprin has been.

•           Statewide, polls consistently and incontrovertibly show a majority of New Yorkers (58%) support marriage equality – even after the vote. NY1-YNN-Marist survey conducted in August—well after the law went into effect this summer—registered 63 percent of adults who don’t want the law overturned.

The National Organization for Marriage has aggressively tried to infuse its fringe agenda into the NY-9 race. NOM is a highly secretive organization thought to funnel money from a small group of extreme donors to anti-gay causes. It is still reeling from its big loss in the Empire State this summer. But no matter who wins tonight, tomorrow a strong and decisive majority of New Yorkers will continue to support the freedom to marry, just as a majority of the American public does.

So, it’s a win essentially in name only, but it’s certainly an emotional win for Maggie Gallagher and her band of merry hating homophobes.

Bring on Maggie and Brian’s fundraising emails! How long should we give them?
(Image: Bill O’Reilly)

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Trump Indictment Is a Massive 34 Counts: CNN



When he appears in New York next week, Donald Trump will face a 34-count indictment.

CNN’s John Miller on-air Thursday evening announced, “I am told by my sources that this is 34 counts of falsification of business records, which is probably a lot of charges involving each document, each thing that was submitted, as a separate count.”

Attorney Tristan Snell, who assisted in the successful prosecution of the Trump University case for the New York Attorney General’s Office, responded via Twitter:

“This is WAY more than expected. If this is correct, it could mean that the indictment covers FAR more than the Stormy Daniels hush money — like Karen McDougal hush money or other hush money/catch-and-kill cases.”

READ MORE: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’

“My hunch for a while,” Snell adds, “given [David] Pecker’s involvement and the drawn-out timetable of the indictment, plus the TWENTY interviews of Michael Cohen with the DA, showed that something far larger than Stormy might be in the works.”

“May still be wrong, of course. But 34 counts is a LOT!”

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Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’



Donald Trump’s attorneys were notified Thursday afternoon a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict him on felony charges related to his alleged hush money payoff of a porn star he reported slept with.

The ex-president’ attorney recently said if indicted Trump would travel to New York to turn himself in.

The Office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has just issued a strongly-worded statement saying it is “coordinating” with Trump’s attorneys for his “surrender.”

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond

The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery posted the statement to Twitter.

NBC News explains the process, noting he is expected to be arraigned next week.

“After the indictment, Trump will be arrested and taken into custody. He will likely have a mug shot and fingerprints taken,” NBC reports. “Trump will then appear in court to be arraigned, where he will hear charges and enter a plea. Two sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that the former president is likely to be arraigned next week. Trump will either be jailed or released while pre-trial hearings take place.”

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‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond



Just past 5:00 PM ET The New York Times broke the news that Donald Trump, the ex-president, had been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on felony charges.

It is a historic moment.

Legal experts are weighing in to help guide Americans through an event that has never before happened in this country.

Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman says the fact that this is the first time in U.S. history a president is facing criminal charges is itself a problem.

“I think it would have not been a novel event,” Ackerman said on MSNBC, “if we had done this 49 years ago with Richard Nixon, and he had not been pardoned, this will not be a big event [that] it is today.”

READ MORE: New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted

“Everybody should be held accountable,” Ackerman added, citing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s earlier remarks. Cohen testified repeatedly before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump late Thursday afternoon after a three-hour session.

Ackerman lamented that despite over 30 people being indicted during Watergate, “Richard Nixon was pardoned, he wasn’t held accountable.”

“I think this is very important,” Ackerman continued, “establishing a principle, a line in the sand, that even if you’re the President of the United States, and you commit a crime, you can’t stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and just shoot somebody.”

Ackerman was referring to Trump’s infamous comments during the 2016 election, when he bragged he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Attorney and civil rights activist Maya Wiley, also on MSNBC, said, “It’s important and sobering that we had somebody who had the highest office of this country who has now ben indicted for his behavior, his acts, in order to win that office, but also faces what are more shoes that will drop, I believe.”

“It is a sobering moment for this country, that we are witnessing this happened to somebody who was entrusted with such power who has now had a jury of his peers, because that is what a grand jury also is, say we believe he had to face the music.”

READ MORE: Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law, called this a “moment where we would do well to seriously assess who we are as Americans and who we are not as Americans, because we re all so familiar with Donald Trump’s tactics.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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