Democrats will miss Congressman Anthony Weiner more now that he’s been replaced by Bob Turner in N.Y.’s 9th District. Turner is the founder of the Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Springer shows AND he mirrors Michele Bachmann on fiscal policy. Moreover, Turner exploited New Yorkers’ sentiments on 9/11, Palestinians and gays to edge out Democratic candidate Dave Weprin by a 6.5 percent margin.
Before getting into the details of his dubious campaign, let’s talk about why Turner’s a threat. Turner has written that he aims to “dramatically cut the budget by 30 or 35 percent and slash capital-gains taxes down to zero.” He claims “the rest of America’s economic healing will happen naturally as a consequence” of extreme, partisan fiscal policy. He ignores the fact that tax-free investment earnings only benefit the already rich and that tens of millions of people will suffer if the federal budget is cut by a third.
So, how did Turner win Tuesday’s special election in a district that’s voted Democrat for 90 years?
1. Turner Exploited 9/11 Grief Just Days before the Anniversary of the WTC Attacks
Days before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the New York GOP sent out a mailer meant to spark grief, fear and hatred among voters in Brooklyn and Queens. The misleading flyer superimposed a mosque over an image of the Ground Zero site in an attempt to paint Democrat Dave Weprin as unsympathetic to the 9/11 victims and their families.
While Weprin did support a Muslim group’s bid to build a community center, the intended site was two blocks from the former World Trade Center site, not on top of it. More to the point, the group who planned to build the Park 51 center had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorist attacks.
Here’s an image of the back and front of the mailer courtesy of Politico:
Notice the use of the word “injustice” at the end of the blue text. Injustice means: inequality, discrimination, bias, unfairness, or a violation of rights. Isn’t it more unjust to discriminate against Muslims who are not terrorists? When did Muslim and terrorist become one in the same? What happened to the First Amendment right to freedom of religion?
2. Turner, a Catholic, Manipulated Anti-Obama Sentiment among Pro-Israel Jews
By linking Weprin with Obama, Turner also tapped into Jewish disapproval of Obama’s Israel-Palestine peace-making stance.
In May, Obama announced a bold, peace-focused U.S. policy that advocates an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The policy backs a two-state solution with borders drawn along pre-1967 lines. Many Jews do not accept this solution and see it is an infringement of Israel’s land rights.
In Turner’s acceptance speech he pointed the finger at Obama: “We’ve had it with your treatment of Israel,” at which point the crowd’s intensity peaked with cheers of “Yeah!!”
The irony here is that Turner is Roman-Catholic, NOT Jewish. On the other hand, his Democratic opponent, Weprin, IS an Orthodox Jew. Go figure.
3. Democratic Opponent Weprin Went Out on Limb for Gay Rights
In June, Weprin voted to legalize gay marriage in the State of New York, which may have cost him support among some voters in the 9th district.
The chairman of the fiercely conservative, anti-gay Family Research Council said of the election results:
This is a district that previously voted for Anthony Weiner over Bob Turner by 60 percent. This race would not be close if Weprin had not voted for ‘counterfeit’ marriage.
So standing up for equal rights for Muslims and gays may have cost Weprin the election. Surely, the fact that Turner pulled 9/11 heartstrings in his favor also helped sway the vote. In the end, Turner won 53 percent of the vote and Weprin won 46.5 percent. If 3.5 percent of voters had voted for Weprin instead of Turner, the Democratic candidate would have won.
Let’s not let Republicans claim narrow-margin wins in the 2012 general election because they successfully exploit voters’ prejudices. Please help spread good information and promote voting as a civic duty. Do what you can while you can.
In other words: Get off your Democratic Donkey’s A** and VOTE on Nov. 6, 2012.
Don’t let the GOP deliver Obama and the unemployed another defeat.
Support the American Jobs Act.