Latest update: November 2nd, 2012
Last week we urged readers to support Governor Mitt Romney for president. Essentially we argued that Mr. Romney seems to be someone who can be relied on to nurture and enhance the special, decades-old U.S.-Israel relationship.
On the other hand, once freed from the dynamic of the American electoral process, President Obama, we fear, could well revert to his original stated position that “When there is no daylight [between the U.S. and Israel]…that erodes our credibility with the Arab world.”
For that reason, and because of the continued weak state of our economy, Mr. Romney is the preferred candidate.
In the race for the Senate in Massachusetts, we endorse Scott Brown (R) for reelection. He is a stalwart supporter of Israel and distinguished himself with regard to the Goldstone Report, calling attention to the deplorable human rights records of Israel’s enemies and urging severe and effective sanctions against Iran. In the Senate race in Wisconsin we support former governor Tommy Thompson (R). Thompson has long been vocal about his support of the Jewish state and has called for serious sanctions against Iran in order to thwart its nuclear program. Meanwhile, Thompson’s opponent voted as a congresswoman against the four major sanctions-expansion bills from 2006 to 2011. In the Ohio Senate race we endorse Josh Mandel (R), who in his currently position as state treasurer authored a law providing for the divestment of state pension funds from companies doing business with Iran and has been vocal in his support for an undivided Jerusalem and the right of Jews to build homes anywhere in that city.
U.S. House of Representatives (NY)
Grace Meng, 6th CD (Queens) deserves the support of Jewish voters. She is a vocal proponent of a strong Israel and will be a reliable friend in Washington. Though she is not prepared to completely dismiss President Obama’s record on Israel, she straightforwardly says he could have done more and been a better friend to the Jewish state and that she has problems with his “’67 lines” formulation. Hakeem Jeffries, 8th CD (Brooklyn, parts of Queens), in his interview with The Jewish Press editorial board, displayed a deep interest in foreign affairs and a keen understanding of Israel’s need for an undivided Jerusalem as its capital and why a return to the ’67 lines is not an option. He would be a valuable asset in Congress. Yvette D. Clarke, 9th CD (Brooklyn), has developed her views on the Middle East and has become a stalwart voice for accommodating Israel’s needs in Congress. Jerry Nadler, 10th CD (parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan) has always been there for Israel and the special needs of the Jewish community and is an important congressional presence. Elliot Engel, 16th CD (Bronx) has always been a staunch and key advocate in Congress for Israel and the Jewish community. In the congressional race in the 9th CD (Englewood, NJ) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gets our support. Though he has gained notoriety as a celebrity rabbi, he possesses a formidable intellect and a deep grasp of a wide range of issues. There can be no doubt that when it will come to dealing with matters of concern to our community, he will be there for us.
New York State Assembly
Assemblyman Peter Abbate, 49th AD (Brooklyn), has delivered crucial services to the Jewish community in his district, including funding for senior centers and social services organizations. He has also been a leading advocate for giving rabbinical students access to the Tuition Assistance Program and has received an Outstanding Legislator award from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, 46th AD (Brooklyn), has more than earned reelection. He is the first Russian immigrant to serve in the Assembly and has been a great friend to the Jewish community in his district, helping to found the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations, which has been a crucial resource for immigrant families. He has also supported programs that have lowered the cost of prescription drugs and helped toughen penalties for criminals who victimize the elderly. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, 45th AD (Brooklyn), has long been a strong voice for us and a staunch advocate for Jewish social service organizations that provide legal and financial services and help feed the hungry. The son of survivors, he has been a leader in educating children about the horrors of the Holocaust and has been a great friend to survivors and their families. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, 13th AD (Nassau County), is president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators. He has been a great friend to the Jewish community in his district and across the state on a variety of issues. A strong supporter of Israel, he helped lead the fight to pass New York’s Iran divestment law. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, 37th AD (Queens), is the chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee and is one of the state’s leading advocates for children, the elderly and the infirm.
Assemblyman Michael Miller, 38th AD (Queens), is a lifelong community activist who has made public safety and bringing resources to the mentally and physically disabled top priorities during his career in public service. He has also pushed legislation cracking down on drunk drivers and distracted drivers. Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, 20th AD (Nassau County), is a strong champion of the Jewish community in his district, helping many worthy organizations do their important work. He has sponsored legislation that would give local synagogues more opportunities to file for tax exemptions, given strong support to programs for children with special needs and supported the founding of the nation’s only day camp for children with cancer. Assemblyman Dov Hikind, 47th AD (Brooklyn), has long been a vocal advocate for our community and the state of Israel.
The Jewish community has no greater friend in government than Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, 65th AD (Manhattan). A lifelong resident of the Lower East Side, he has also delivered for his district for many years. Recently he passed Iran divestment legislation prohibiting local governments and New York State from doing business with companies that invest in Iran’s energy industry and a law helping New Yorkers who need fertility drugs. He has secured state assistance to many charitable organizations that help the needy and been a tireless advocate for our seniors and our children. He has championed religious freedom, provided crucial support to Jewish social services organizations and is a strong supporter of Israel.
Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, 16th AD (Nassau County), has made combating violence a top priority in her public service career, sponsoring legislation allowing police to better track guns used in violent crimes and fighting for tougher penalties for drunk drivers. She also traveled to Israel in the interest of furthering her efforts to establish a relationship between the Nassau County Health Administration and the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, 41st AD (Brooklyn), is a leading advocate for New York’s youth, helping make the state’s family law more responsive to children and mandating seat belts on school buses. In her district Weinstein has delivered crucial support for recreation programs and senior services. She has also been a staunch supporter of Hatzolah, helping the volunteer ambulance service significantly upgrade its communications equipment so it can further improve on its legendary response times. Assemblyman William Colton, 47th AD (Brooklyn), is an ardent supporter of Israel, introduced a law that makes it a felony to vandalize property with swastikas, and organized a program of presentations by Holocaust survivor groups in local schools. He has been honored by the Jewish Holocaust Survivors group and Ezras Torah Society. He has also been a champion of access to affordable medicine for seniors. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, 96th AD (Rockland County), has made protecting children and seniors a priority. He sponsored one of the nation’s toughest DWI laws, making it a felony to drink and drive with a child under 15 in the car. He also co-sponsored the law that mandates insurance companies to cover autism spectrum disorders.
Gabriel Rosa, 72nd AD (Washington Heights, Inwood), is a lifelong community activist with a dedication to public service who has fought for quality education and better access to public transportation. Gerard McQuade, 98th AD (Rockland County, part of Orange County), is an experienced public servant who has been a strong supporter of his community, particularly the Jewish community in Kiryas Joel. As a councilman, he has been a tireless advocate for local taxpayers and a fighter for the middle class. Nily Rozic, 25th AD (Queens), was born in Jerusalem and moved to Queens as a child. She has always been engaged with local issues, serving on Community Board 8 and working as an active member of the Hillcrest Jewish Center. She is an advocate for improving access to healthcare, particularly for cancer screenings and early detection programs. She has also fought to expand neighborhood bus service and increase open space. Walter Mosley, 57th AD (Brooklyn), a longtime community activist in his Brooklyn community, is fighting to expand access to healthcare and support programs that strengthen local small businesses. He has worked with local youth organizations to help children succeed at school and in the workforce. He is committed to improving the quality of life for all families in the district.
New York State Senate
Eric A. Ulrich, 15th SD (Queens), has been endorsed by Jewish organizations in the district; as a member of the New York City Council he has been instrumental in getting financial aid to Jewish-oriented service agencies even though his district does not have a large Jewish constituency. He is also committed to tax credits and mandated services for parochial schools, key issues in our community. In our interview with him he impressed with his grasp of the issues and determination to make a difference. Simcha Felder, 17th SD (Brooklyn), has become a household name in our community by dint of his service as a member of the New York City Council for eight years and currently as deputy New York City comptroller. In a political world defined by self-aggrandizement, hyperbole, demonstrations and histrionics, he has been a model of self-effacement, understatement, hard work and competence – and has always championed the issues that are important to us. He would be an important addition to the New York State Senate. Martin J. Golden, 22nd SD (Brooklyn), has paid serious and faithful attention to the needs of his Jewish constituents and been an important “go to person” both in the State Senate, where he has served since 2002, and before that as a member of the New York City Council. He has visited The Jewish Press on many occasions and always speaks with passion of his plans for meeting the community’s needs. As a senior Republican senator and leader he plays an important role in the Republican-controlled Senate.
In the race for New York State Supreme Court for the Tenth Judicial District (Nassau and Suffolk) we endorse Judge Leonard B. Austen for reelection. He has been a member of the supreme court bench since 1998 and for the past three and a half years has had the added distinction of having been appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Second Department, the busiest appellate court in the country. It is noteworthy that appellate division judges are chosen from the pool of sitting supreme court judges. This speaks not only to the esteem in which he is held but also to the fact that he must be reelected to the supreme court in order to continue to serve on the appellate court.
Judge Austen is widely respected by attorneys and colleagues for his scholarship and knowledge of the law, his talent for legal analysis and above all for a judicial demeanor consistent with fairness and open-mindedness. In the course of his judicial career his decisions and opinions have had a significant impact on the development of the law in several areas. It is important that he be reelected in order to continue his important service.
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