In a hotly-fought battle by everyone — except the actual candidates — Jewish Democrat AssemblymanÂ David Weprin lost to Roman Catholic retired media executiveÂ 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.
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
- 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.”
â€œThey have a microphone and a good loudspeaker and they will claim that they had an impact,â€ said Ken Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College, about the contribution of marriage equality opponents. â€œAbsent 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.â€
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 RubÃ©n DÃaz, 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) littleÂ 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 Weprinâ€™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, Weprinâ€™s vote for same-sex marriage has been portrayed as a vote against God â€“ even though Weprin is himself an Orthodox Jew.
â€œDavid Weprin defied Jewish law and betrayed our values,â€ said Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein in the robocall. â€œDavid Weprin abandoned Jewish teaching in New York State. Itâ€™s time for us to abandon David Weprin.â€
“After the robocall went out, Wallerstein told Vos iz Neias that he hadnâ€™t even met Turner, but saw an opportunity to push an anti-gay marriage message.
“Turner has not made New Yorkâ€™s gay nuptials a campaign issue, though he has benefited from those who have done so. Still, his most prominent early supporter â€“ former mayor Ed Koch â€“ 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, â€œGoing into 2012, it would be a huge problem to give the GOP or Tea Party any momentum.â€In an op ed published online at gaycitynews.com, titled â€œThe Race in the 9th Is About The Economy â€“â€“ Not Israel or Gay Marriage,â€ Matthew McMorrow, Lambdaâ€™s co-president, wrote that Kochâ€™s focus on Israel and NOMâ€™s effort to make Weprinâ€™s marriage vote an issue were â€œred herrings.â€â€œIf 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 nationâ€™s credit rating, refused to compromise, and advocated for the dismantling of our nationâ€™s servicesâ€¦ without entertaining even the most modest proposals to increase revenue or to implement fairness in the tax code,â€ 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,
Itâ€™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 Yorkâ€™s Ninth Congressional District.Â Whoever wins tonight, marriage equality did not play an influential, even modest, role in the outcome of this special election.Â What people are focused on are jobs, jobs, and more jobs.
Here are some facts:
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€˜Gay marriageâ€™ doesnâ€™t show up in the polling.Â Sienaâ€™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 candidateâ€™s political party (18%), and position on Israel (7%).
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Turner himself has consistently emphasized how marriage equality is not an issue in the race.Â He told the New York Daily News, â€œThe 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.”Â Last week, the Turner camp issued this statement:Â â€œQueens 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.â€
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 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.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Statewide, polls consistently and incontrovertibly show a majority of New Yorkers (58%) support marriage equality â€“ even after the vote. NY1-YNN-Marist survey conducted in Augustâ€”well after the law went into effect this summerâ€”registered 63 percent of adults who donâ€™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)
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
White House Mocks GOP With ‘Worst Person You Know’ Meme After Matt Gaetz Blames McCarthy for Shutdown
In a rare move the Biden White House on Wednesday mocked House Republicans with a popular internet meme to highlight remarks made by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz that show how the Florida Republican is blaming the impending, likely shutdown of the federal government on Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Congressman Gaetz specifically says “We cannot blame Joe Biden” and “We cannot blame House Democrats” for it.
Gaetz, who did not vote to hand McCarthy the gavel back in January, for weeks has increasingly been targeting the House Speaker. Last week he threatened he would get McCarthy removed as Speaker, going as far as to say he was “out of compliance.” On Tuesday a reporter found a resolution with links to Gaetz declaring the Office of the Speaker “vacant” on a baby changing table in a House restroom.
Fox News’ Liz Elkind reported on Gaetz’s comments via social media, “MATT GAETZ pins shutdown on McCarthy: ‘We will have a government shutdown and it is absolutely Speaker McCarthy’s fault. We cannot blame Joe Biden for not having moved our individual spending bills. We cannot blame House Democrats. We can’t even blame Chuck Schumer in the Senate.”
The White House reposted them, and the “worst person” meme, known as the “Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point.” The meme was published in 2018 by Clickhole. a satirical website.
The federal government will shut down in 10 days if Speaker McCarthy cannot pass legislation to keep the government funded after September 30. That legislation will need to be acceptable to the Senate, and President Joe Biden. House Republicans, intent on stripping funding for Ukraine, defunding Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigations, along with the Dept. of Justice and FBI, are digging in their heels amid “chaos” and “infighting.” Some have called it a GOP “civil war.”
See the White House’s post below or at this link.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 20, 2023
‘Brazen and Misguided’: Schumer Decimates Tuberville’s ‘Act of Desperation’ – and Threatens to Hold Senators in DC
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took strong action on Wednesday, slamming U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville, vowing to get several officers in the U.S. Armed Forces confirmed to top posts, and threatening that if the Georgia Republican lawmaker who has blockaded well over 300 military promotions does not release his holds he will hold Senators in D.C. over the weekend.
“In an act of desperation, Sen. Tuberville is trying to use a procedural step to overcome his own holds,” Majority Leader Schumer wrote on social media Wednesday afternoon, before delivering a floor speech. “You read it right. His own holds.”
“He is trying to make himself the gatekeeper of which officers are promoted or languish,” Schumer added. “We can’t allow this to continue. We’re taking action.”
On the floor of the Senate he added: “We cannot allow Senator Tuberville to decide which of our dedicated and brave service members get promoted and which get to languish. Which military families are able to settle in their new posts, and which must remain in limbo. We cannot we should not allow that to be the case.”
“So I have just filed cloture on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Army Chief of Staff. These men should have already been confirmed. They should already be serving in their new positions,” Schumer said. “The Senate should not have to go through procedural hoops just to please one brazen and misguided senator.”
“But this is where we are. In the end, the Senate will overwhelmingly vote to overcome Senator Tuberville’s blockade of these three nominees by voting for cloture then the Senate will overwhelmingly vote to confirm them,” he vowed. “And these three honorable men will finally be able to assume their positions and the abortion policy that Senator Tuberville abhors will remain in place. Senator Tuberville will have accomplished nothing.”
It is rare for a Senate Leader to target one member of the body, and even more rare to do so by name, but Senator Tuberville’s blockade, which he began in February, has harmed military readiness, according to multiple top Pentagon officials and former officials.
Tuberville has said he has blocked at least 319 military promotions, which require Senate confirmation, in response to the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing service members who need to travel out of state to obtain abortion health care services. Many GOP-majority states have imposed abortion bans, forcing out-of travel.
But Schumer’s reference to “gatekeeper,” and later, in his floor speech saying, “which of our dedicated and brave service members get promoted,” may also refer to Tuberville’s unprecedented personal attacks on individual officers awaiting promotion.
Last month the Georgia freshman Republican Senator targeted over 20 individual U.S. Military officers, promoting an attack on their remarks supporting diversity and equity programs, or even, in one case, blasting one officer for their “celebration” of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Tuberville, who denied holding up hundreds of promotions is having a damaging effect on the military and morale, also has said he is blocking these promotions because the Biden administration is “woke.”
Recently, Tuberville told Bloomberg News each military officer’s promotion takes two hours of voting by the Senate, which could take them up individually despite his block. Tuberville falsely said voting on all the promotions would take “no time at all” to complete.
Watch Majority Leader Schumer below or at this link.
Majority Leader Schumer (D) says the Senate will vote on stalled military promotions individually:
“The Senate will overwhelmingly vote to confirm them … and the abortion policy that Sen. Tuberville abhors will remain in place. Sen. Tuberville will have accomplished nothing.” pic.twitter.com/zBxzcJrGkZ
— The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2023
Fetterman Vows to GOP ‘Jagoffs’ He Will ‘Save Democracy by Wearing a Suit’ but He Has Two Conditions
Amid several days of right-wing, Republican, and Fox News outrage targeting U.S. Senator John Fetterman after Senators were told they may now wear casual attire on the floor, the Pennsylvania Democrat is promising to “save democracy by wearing a suit,” but he has two conditions.
Senator Fetterman stands at least six feet eight inches tall and weighs in at 270 pounds, according to The Washington Post, which attempted this week to debunk right-wing conspiracy theories that he has a “body double.”
He is known for wearing Carhartt sweatshirts and shorts more often than suits and ties, and after he was elected last year many in the media worried how he would transition to the more formal restrictions expected of sitting U.S. Senators. As it turns out there is no actual “dress code” that applies to Senators, and some, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), have taken advantage of that fact on occasion.
Ted Cruz came in t shirt and shorts and nobody said boo. pic.twitter.com/PSRqhKm48x
— Myron Nelson (@Myronnelson) September 19, 2023
Some, like one menswear editor, have taken the opportunity to mock other unique dress aspects of some political figures.
i hope republicans institute a stricter dress code
1. no low-rise pants with short jackets and insane shoes
2. no black dress shirts with light-colored ties; no suits without a jacket
3. no tan shoes with dark suits; no dress sneakers or “fun socks”
4. no scotch tape on ties https://t.co/rAMx7S8uia pic.twitter.com/AkXYfWkoQf
— derek guy (@dieworkwear) September 20, 2023
On Tuesday Sen. Fetterman mocked his detractors, including Fox News, which has aired at least several segments on his casual attire while suggesting the relaxed enforcement of the already non-existent “dress code” in the nation’s top deliberative body is an example of the “decline of standards in everything.”
One of Fetterman’s detractors has been having her own challenges this week: U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), caught vaping, taking photos, and allegedly engaged in sexual groping during a performance of a family-friendly musical.
In response to a Fox News social media post that claimed “People are furious after the Senate dropped its dress code requirement,” Sen. Fetterman said: “I figure if I take up vaping and grabbing the hog during a live musical, they’ll make me a folk hero.”
On Wednesday, Fetterman continued his colorful remarks, while mocking his critics – namely, House Republicans – who, he suggested, feel sweats are the end of the American republic.
The House is currently mired in “chaos,” a word Reuters, Fox News, MSNBC, The Hill, Axios, The Washington Post, and others have used to described the state of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s conference just eleven days before what appears to be a likely shutdown of the federal government. It appears less and less likely Republicans will be able to pass legislation that will keep the government open after September 30, and continue funding Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
“If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week,” Sen. Fetterman wrote.
See the social media photos above or at this link.
- News3 days ago
‘Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party’: McCarthy and Far Right Republicans Mocked as GOP Divide Grows Even Greater
- News2 days ago
Legal Expert Points to Another Trump Confession That ‘Got Very Little Attention’
- News3 days ago
‘A Nazi Movement—All the Way to the Top’: Critics Denounce Trump’s Antisemitic Attack on ‘Liberal Jews’
- News2 days ago
‘Grabbing the Hog During a Live Musical’: Fetterman Mocks Fox News and Boebert Over Dress Code Outrage
- News3 days ago
‘Another Alleged Instance of Obstruction’: New ‘Rock Crusher’ Revelation Makes Case Against Trump Even Stronger Expert Says
- News3 days ago
Boebert’s ‘Explicit Groping’ Video Response Shows She’s in a Panic About Re-Election: MSNBC Panelist
- OPINION3 days ago
‘I Dress Like He Campaigns’: Fetterman Smacks Down DeSantis Amid Sweeping Right Wing Attack on His Attire
- News19 hours ago
‘Knock It Off’: Matt Gaetz Thinks Merrick Garland Should Tell the President to Not Allow Hunter Biden at State Dinners