NY Elects Republican to Replace Anthony Weiner

Conservative Republican Bob Turner was elected yesterday to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner. The District encompassed much of Queens and a small part of Brooklyn:

Turner, 70, a retired cable television executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of public service experience, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

The last time a Republican won in that district was in the 1920's.

Many will see it a referendum on Obama and the economy, and a sign for 2012. I think it's way too soon for that, too many unforeseen things can happen to change the public's mind between now and then. Voters are fickle and can change like the wind. Also, Israel/Palestine may have been a significant factor in this particular race: [More...]

The district’s large contingent of Orthodox Jews opposes his proposal for Palestinian statehood drawn around 1967 borders. The U.N. General Assembly is likely to vote on the Palestinian statehood issue when it convenes in New York next week.

Even former Mayor Ed Koch was supporting Turner over this issue.

Also, the district is more blue-collar and conservative than others in New York. Obama didn't do too well with these voters in 2008.

Another factor was the race wasn't seen as very important until recent weeks because redistricting is likely to zap the district next year.

And, while Turner won, so did six Democrats who ran in special assembly races yesterday in New York.

Voter turnout is usually low in these special elections, but I haven't seen any numbers yet for this one.

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    I don't know what conclusions can be drawn (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:57:16 AM EST
    regarding Obama this far out.

    But I know one thing - forcing House members to resign over personal behavior is not a good strategy for the Dems.

    Losing one seat (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:27:27 AM EST

    is perhaps better than becoming known as a party that harbors slimeballs that engage in high risk  behavior that is clearly subject to blackmail.  A reputation for having a low tolerance for bad behavior is good for the party.

    That kind of party behavior (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:47:02 AM EST
    doesn't seem to be hurting the Rethuglicans with their base.  And that base is a hell of a lot more sanctimonious than the Dems'.

    Hasn't hurt Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Yman on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:50:14 AM EST
    ... and they're the "family values" party (heh).

    Larry Craig.
    Mark Sanford.
    John Ensign.
    David Vitter.
    Mark Foley.
    Jim Gibbons.
    Jack Ryan.
    Dan Burton.
    Helen Chenoweth.
    Henry Hyde.
    Dan Crane.
    Newt Gingrich.


    yes yman, that's true: (none / 0) (#34)
    by cpinva on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:00:20 PM EST
    ... and they're the "family values" party

    however, the "family" in question is the gambino family.


    How is the Republican diaper guy doing? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:57:03 AM EST
    Last I heard he is still a Republican representative and the Republican party's reputation for harboring slimeballs that engage in high risk  behavior and having a high tolerance for bad behavior hasn't unfortunately hasn't eliminated them from our two party system.  

    Slimeballs? (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:34:40 AM EST
    It's congress man, if ya ain't slime ya need not apply.

    I'll take a little personal life slime over on the job slime anyday, but we as a society seem more bothered by personal life slime that is no business of ours, and don't seem to mind congressional business as usual slime.


    Let the voters decide (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:21:23 AM EST
    that's the beauty of the House - another election is always just around the corner. No need to force another one early, short of criminal behavior.

    The Senate is different I agree - there is a need to be more proactive there.


    Well then (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:34:42 AM EST
    Also, the district is more blue-collar and conservative than others in New York. Obama didn't do too well with these voters in 2008.

    Obama is screwed because most of the country is "more blue collar and conservative than the rest of New York."

    Jeralyn, it's obviously about Obama (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:33:19 AM EST
    to a large extent. The swing in poll ratings on Obama in that district was HUGE.

    Agree (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by sj on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:13:57 AM EST
    It is absolutely a referendum on Obama.  I do agree that it is too soon to draw a conclusion on the impliciations for 2012.  But it is certainly largely a referendum on Obama at this point in time.

    Yes, as (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Towanda on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:29:32 AM EST
    "a referendum on Obama and the economy, and a sign for 2012" are two different things (as indicated by the comma :-) and ought not be conflated.  A referendum today is not necessarily predictive of an election anon -- but it still is a referendum today.

    Wish I could give two ratings (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by sj on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    One for the clarification as to meaning, and another for the wonderful use of "anon".  I love that even more than "mayhap".  

    Not too fond of "methinks", though.


    I'm with you on "methinks" (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Towanda on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:20:21 AM EST
    as well as on "mayhap," a marvelous word that I must work into a comment . . . anon.

    I'm also increasingly fond of "whilst," which I thought a word relegated to the past, only to find that it is commonly used to this day in parts of the British commonwealth.  Btw, me doesn't just think so.  Meknows.


    lol (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by sj on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:41:42 AM EST
    What it is (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:03:19 AM EST
    is the voters screaming out to be heard. Just like Kathy Hochul winning in a Republican District.

    Clearly, a referendum on Obama... (none / 0) (#2)
    by masslib on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:35:38 AM EST
    but I agree it's about Israel more than the economy, but that is really bad news for Obama for 2012.  

    From MSNBC (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:42:06 AM EST
    Weprin had all the money advantages, but it was also his vote as a City Council member to legalize gay marriage that may have also hurt him among conservative Catholics, even though the district has three times as many registered Democrats as registered Republicans.

    In the last week before the election, outside Democratic groups had spent nearly $700,000 boosting Weprin, while Republican and conservative groups spent $53,000 to support Turner, a 13-to-1 Democratic advantage.

    Weprin's own campaign also outraised Turner's by better than two to one.

    how did Cuomo (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:58:12 AM EST
    do in this district? I really don't think it was the gay marriage thing that did Weprin in if Cuomo did well.

    One cannot exclude race as an issue (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:51:46 AM EST
    this district encompasses some of the hardest-white-racist neighborhoods in NYC.  Prima inter pares, Howard Beach.  Those with a long-enough memory will recall Howard Beach was the neighborhood where, back in the mid-80s, a band of white youths chased a black youth, who took a wrong turn, into freeway traffic where he was run down and killed.  Their chant as they did the chasing:  "Howard Beach".

    The district is the kind of place where it used to be said that All in the Family was a documentary, not a sitcom.

    Not much has changed since then.  So, to the extent the election was a referendum on Obama, the determinative factor was his race.  Don't kid yourself.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:10:03 AM EST
    Obama won this district in 2008 with 55% of the vote. Democratic presidnetial candidates have won this district by large margins, at least as far back as 2000. (Probably more, but that's as far as the link goes back).

    Cuomo has a 71% approval in the district.

    It is 71% white, 4.4% Black, 14.6% Asian, 13.6% Hispanic, 0.2% Native American, and 2.2% Other.


    It was over Israel, pure and simple (none / 0) (#12)
    by seabe on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:05:01 AM EST
    Check out Max Blumenthal:


    Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the fact that Hikind has never renounced his past activities, he has become a kingmaker in New York politics capable of turning out thousands of Orthodox Jewish and Russian-Jewish voters en masse for the candidate of his choice. His support proved essential in the election victories of Republican former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, former Republican Governor George Pataki, and ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And with Hikind's help in a Democratic stronghold, Turner appears headed for victory.

    Turner's probable victory will be chalked up to Obama's political weakness and the mediocre performance of Weprin. But the value of Turner's endorsement by Hikind, a Jewish extremist who spent much of his career involved with terrorist groups, can not be understated.

    Israel, Gay Marriage, and Ground Zero Mosque. (none / 0) (#19)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:35:03 AM EST
    Three issues that won't make this kind of difference in almost any other district in the country.

    Gay marriage (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:25:33 AM EST
    was not part of the problem. See above for Cuomo's 71% approval rating. Obama is seen as weak and that's the major problem.

    Sorry, I don't think you are familiar with the (none / 0) (#27)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 01:51:28 PM EST
    politics of this heavily (Orthodox) Jewish CD:

    In the run up to the election, a group of Orthodox rabbis, most from Brooklyn, but including others, notably Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, two nationally prominent Orthodox Jewish authorities, published a letter stating that "it is forbidden to fund, support, or vote for David Weprin."  The reason?  As a member of the New York state legislature, Weprin, despite his Orthodox Jewish beliefs, voted to redefine marriage to include same-sex partnerships.  This, the rabbonim declared, was chillul Hashem---a desecration, or bringing of shame, on God's name. The rabbis went on to say that "Weprin's claim that he is Orthodox makes the chillul Hashem even greater."

    Look (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:04:23 PM EST
    the fact of the matter is that Obama is toxic to the point that Dem strategists are recommending that their good candidates not run in 2012. I'm sure Obama would like to make it about gay marriage but like I said, Cuomo pushed for gay marriage and retains high approval numbers.

    There's also a lot of working class voters that Obama has always had problems with in that district.


    Depends on who you ask (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    The emergence of Israel as an issue was a surprise, because Mr. Weprin is an observant Jew and strong supporter of Israel. But Mr. Weprin's support in the Orthodox community had already been weakened by his vote to legalize same-sex marriage, and several voters interviewed on Tuesday said the Israel issue was a major factor in their decision to support Mr. Turner, who is Roman Catholic. Mr. Turner repeatedly criticized Mr. Obama on Israel.


    Ed Koch, who supported Turner over Weprin, said this:

    "Bob Turner has the same position with respect to gay marriage as President Barack Obama," Koch said. "He supports partnerships and wants partnerships to be given every right gay marriages have. So that's not it at all."

    Koch endorsed Turner early in the race, saying a vote for the Republican would send Obama a message to take a hard line on peace negotiations in Israel. That caught Weprin's forces off-guard and brought religious issues to the fore, though Koch insists it was solely a debate about Israel.

    "The Jews who are upset with David Weprin on the issue of gay marriage, they're not upset on gay marriage," Koch said. "They support candidates who are for gay marriage. Like [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver - he's their big candidate. And he's for gay marriage. But they're upset with Weprin. That's what they tell me."

    This has very little to do w/Obama (none / 0) (#30)
    by vicndabx on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:23:37 PM EST
    on economics.  It was Weprin and Obama on Israel.  Dov Hikind, key Jewish leader endorsed Turner, as did many others.

    And why did (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:27:08 PM EST
    they do that? Because of Obama.

    Israel (none / 0) (#32)
    by vicndabx on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:10:02 PM EST
    So then you feel Obama should have a different approach towards Israel then?

    I'm not in (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:41:02 PM EST
    NY 9 so it doesn't matter what I think. Obama's problems with Jewish voters have been there since the primaries. It's just become glaringly obvious now just like all his other problems with certain voting blocs that were never all that excited about him but held their nose and voted for him.

    Frankly, it doesn't even matter what Obama's policy is on Israel because everyone knows he doesn't ever really hold fast to any policy.

    The thing is, Obama is perceived as weak and someone who's weak Jews don't believe will stand up for them  when the time comes. Remember there are still some holocaust survivors who know about appeasement.


    Opponent didn't actually reside in this (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:42:00 AM EST
    district.  Probably didn't add to his appeal to voters.  

    Hard to figure out why anyone would (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:36:27 PM EST
    believe Pres. Obama does not support Israel.  For example

    Perhaps it is a referendum (none / 0) (#26)
    by rennies on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:43:09 PM EST
    in a certain way. There is a very provocative article on Politico (http://tinyurl.com/42sj9fu) showing that this district is predominantly white working class (police, firemen etc). And Obama, who has never done well with this group, is doing less well now.

    hopefully it is the beginning of the throw the (none / 0) (#35)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 05:32:43 AM EST
    bums out movement and we will throw them all out every election until they begin to understand the voters have the power not their monied special interets/ Then our representatives might start to represent us.