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July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
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A Mayoral Candidate’s Low Blow

Mr. Lhota promptly followed up his attack on Mr. Silver with an extravagant fundraising e-mail.
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota.

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota.

We were dismayed by Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota’s opportunistic call last week for New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign from his leadership position over the Vito Lopez matter.

To our mind Mr. Lhota’s injecting the Lopez Assembly controversy into the mayoral race, something that has scant relevance to anything in his campaign platform, is a transparent effort at jump-starting what has otherwise been a lackluster campaign by securing some name recognition and perhaps whipping up some financial support. We think it no small coincidence that Mr. Lhota promptly followed up his attack on Mr. Silver with an extravagant fundraising e-mail.

It should be noted that Mr. Lhota’s remarks were directed at someone who has long been the single most productive elected official in the country in terms of laws enacted to protect the rights of Jews as a minority group. And while politics is politics, Mr. Lhota could not have been unmindful that his attack – were anyone actually paying attention to anything he says – could have helped fuel the anti-Silver bandwagon being driven by the city’s daily tabloids.

It is also a fact that the major candidates for mayor on the Democratic side have all been leaders in advocating for women’s rights and all have expressed support for Speaker Silver in the Lopez matter. In addition, Mr. Silver enjoys nearly unanimous support on the issue from the members of the Assembly Democratic caucus – including its female contingent, which has pressed for many women’s rights initiatives. Indeed, Mr. Silver himself has long been key to many of the achievements in this area.

There is another very current issue on the state level if Mr. Lhota is truly searching for a state issue to address. As we discussed last week, the Assembly had passed a bill sponsored by Speaker Silver that prohibits domestic insurers from including on their financial statements investments in companies that engage in investment activities in Iran. State insurance regulators rely on such financial statements to determine whether a company is solvent and able to pay claims.

Mr. Silver has said his bill addresses a concern that investments in Iran are not financially sound given the political turmoil there. Yet he also noted that he hopes this legislation would further encourage divestment in Iran in tandem with federal legislation. This is certainly something our community, along with most New Yorkers, is interested in. Sadly, the Republican majority leader of the State Senate, Dean Skelos, did not even allow Silver’s bill to be voted on before the legislature adjourned last Friday.

Rather than commenting on this clear failure on Senator Skelos’s part, Mr. Lhota chose to challenge Speaker Silver over the Lopez affair.

Come election time, our community should not forget Mr. Lhota’s priorities.

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3 Responses to “A Mayoral Candidate’s Low Blow”

  1. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    Jews don't need "rights as a minority group." They need to remember their objective responsibility to HaShem, the true G-d. What are these "laws that protect Jews' rights as a minority group?" Do they spread Qiddush HaShem before the Nations of the World or do they minimize and privatize it in the name of a secular public square? And just what sort of "women's rights" are we talking about here…abortion on demand? Jews have the "right" (but not the obligation) to observe Torah only when the culture has been secularized? Only where there is abortion on demand? How about homosexual marriage? Does that help "Jewish rights as a minority group?" I'm certainly glad when Yehoshu`a Bin Nun went into Yerecho he didn't spend any time worrying about "the rights of Jews as a minority group." He didn't secularize Yerecho, he killed its residents and destroyed it because it was HaShem's commandment to do so. Is this **really** the same paper that Rabbi Me'ir Kahana' (zt"l; Hy"d) used to write for so regularly?

  2. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    Jews don't need "rights as a minority group." They need to remember their objective responsibility to HaShem, the true G-d. What are these "laws that protect Jews' rights as a minority group?" Do they spread Qiddush HaShem before the Nations of the World or do they minimize and privatize it in the name of a secular public square? And just what sort of "women's rights" are we talking about here…abortion on demand? Jews have the "right" (but not the obligation) to observe Torah only when the culture has been secularized? Only where there is abortion on demand? How about homosexual marriage? Does that help "Jewish rights as a minority group?" I'm certainly glad when Yehoshu`a Bin Nun went into Yerecho he didn't spend any time worrying about "the rights of Jews as a minority group." He didn't secularize Yerecho, he killed its residents and destroyed it because it was HaShem's commandment to do so. Is this **really** the same paper that Rabbi Me'ir Kahana' (zt"l; Hy"d) used to write for so regularly?

  3. Alice Lemos says:

    Silver is a creep and must step down. If he cared about "women's rights" he would not have covered up the harassment scandals in Albany.

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