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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Argentinian Rabbi Wins Big in Midterm Congressional Primary Vote

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Argentina’s Rabbi Sergio Bergman won the midterm congressional primary elections, his first national test for a seat in the country’s Parliament.

Bergman, who currently serves as a Buenos Aires city lawmaker for the center-right PRO Party, was the candidate who received the most votes for the lower house of the National Parliament in Sunday’s poll, receiving 27.5 percent of the votes. He was followed by the Peronist candidate Juan Cabandie with 18.9 percent.

Though the election was a primary, there was no opposition within each party, so the referendum is a harbinger of the October 27 midterm elections. In Buenos Aires city, the PRO Party is one of the most prominent parties running against the national Peronist government lead by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

The rabbi, a member of the Buenos Aires municipal Legislature, will lead the ticket for the center-right PRO Party in Argentina’s national elections as its candidate for the National Lower house. He is the first rabbi to lead a national ticket in Argentina.

Bergman, the senior rabbi of the traditional Congregacion Israelita Argentina, is the founder of Active Memory, a group that demonstrated every Monday for a decade seeking justice for the victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

NY City Comptroller Candidate Kristin Davis Arrested

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Police have arrested New York City Comptroller Kristin Davis, a former madam who supplied prostitutes through an escort service, on charges of selling prescription pills containing controlled substances.

Davis, 38, is accused of selling hundreds of pills, as recently as this past April, with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. She was charged with four counts of distributing, and she could be convicted for up to 20 years in jail on each count.

Davis has said that former governor and current comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer was one of her clients.

Weiner Grilled in Polls, Drops to 4th Place

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The latest sordid details of Anthony Weiner’s sexting, after he already had quite Congress over the first publication of the scandal, have dropped from from first place in the latest New York mayoral race polls published by Quinnipiac University.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has retaken her previous place at the top of the pack, with minority support of 27 percent, compared with 21 and 20 percent respectively for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. Weiner received only 16 percent.

“With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Cory Booker, NJ Torah-Versed Black Christian, on Way to Senate

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker is leading the Democratic primary polls and if he wins, he is a shoo-in for a general election victory to replace Frank Lautenberg in the Senate.

Already touted as possible presidential candidate in the future, Booker’s interest in Jewish studies began approximately 20 years ago when he met a Chabad rabbi. A “chavrutah” Torah study partner is – who else? – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

The Wall Street Journal noted Monday that his wide contacts with Jewish sources have helped him fill his campaign chest, even though Lautenberg’s family is far from thrilled with his candidacy and have endorsed one of his opponents, Rep. Frank Pallone.

Booker, a black Christian, usually appears at a Passover Seder, and he is so interested in Israel that he once took his parents to visit the Jewish state.

His knowledge of Judaism “could put many of us to shame,” New Jersey philanthropist and Jewish Federation leader Lori Klinghoffer told the Journal.

Booker has been in politics since a young age, after having grown up in a predominantly white upper-class borough of Bergen County. His parents were among the first black executives at IBM.

After earning a law degree at Yale, he moved to Newark to become a tenants’ rights attorney when he was  only 27. He quickly moved into politics and was elected to the city council in 1998. Booker narrowly lost his seat in 2002 but regained in four years later and then became mayor.

Bennett and Jewish Home Soar in Polls, Challenge Likud for Lead

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The Jewish Home party, headed by Trade, Industry and Labor Minister Naftali Bennett, would win only three Knesset seats less than the leading Likud-Beiteinu party If elections were held today according to a new Knesset Channel poll.

Likud would win 22 seats, followed by Jewish Home with 19, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party 16, Labor 15, Meretz 12 and the other parties less than five each.

The poll’s results are missing some data because the total number of the seats allocated to the parties is 15 less than the 120 in the Knesset. Even if 10 are added for the Arab parties, another five are missing.

One questionable statistic is the four seats allocated to Shas, three less than in the previous poll. Shas perennially wins approximately 10 mandates in the polls and usually comes up with one or two more in the elections. In the current Knesset, Shas has 11 seats.

The popularity of Bennett is unquestioned. He eagerly backed national religious Rabbi David Stav for Chief Rabbi and was dealt a severe loss with the solid victory of Haredi Rabbi David Lau.

Bennett lost the battle, but he picked up lots of Brownie points among the public, most of which is fed up with the Haredi domination of the Rabbinate.

The poll also showed that Lapid is holding his own with 16 seats, three less than his party now holds in the Knesset but one more than in the previous toll. Lapid has won support for his campaign for the universal draft, an issue that apparently is more important to the middle class than higher taxes that Lapid has imposed.

The popularity of Labor, headed by Shelley Yachimovich, dropped sharply from the 22 seats it won in the previous poll. It has 15 Knesset Members, the same number it would retain according to this week’s poll.

Meretz’s growing support , with 12 seats compared with the six it now holds, reflects frustration with Yachimovich, who has been far from spectacular.

If elections were held today, Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would be erased from the political map, which is no surprise.

Tzipi Livni’s Tnuva party would win only three seats, half of the number she now holds, and that also is not much of a surprise. She has no agenda other than opposing Netanyahu and supporting  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Rabbi Arusi Quits Race for Chief Rabbi One Hour before Balloting

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Rabbi Ratzon Arusi withdrew his candidacy for Chief Sephardi Rabbi, one hour before balloting began Wednesday afternoon. His withdrawal leaves three candidates in the race.

On Tuesday, Be’er Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri and Jerusalem Rabbinical Court head Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel quit the race. The remaining candidates are Hazon Ovadia yeshiva Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of former Chief Rabbi and Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef; High Rabbinical Court Judge Zion Boaron; and Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.

Supporters of Rabbi Arusi, Chief Rabbi of the metropolitan Tel Aviv city of Kiryat Ono,  are likely to vote for Rabbi Boaron.

Israel to (Possibly) Select New Chief Rabbis Today

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

If all goes well, the 150 person committee, made up of rabbis, politicians, and rabbinic judges may select two new chief rabbis for Israel today, one Ashkenazi, and one Sephardi.

The race to the top has been considered very ugly this time around, as it’s about more than just about selecting a new chief rabbi or two. This race is the battleground between the National-Religious and Secular on one side, and the Ultra-Orthodox on the other, on what face the Rabbinate will have for the next 10 years.

There are a lot of candidates, and its not clear at this point, who, if anyone, has the best shot at the title.

The results will be announced at 8 PM tonight.

In an interesting development, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), and Religious Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) are working together to implement MK Moshe Feiglin’s (Likud) plan to only have one chief rabbi next time around.

In their version of the proposal, there are still Ashkenazi and Sephardic candidates, but one will be the chief rabbi, while the other will be president of the High Rabbinic Court.

Weiner’s ‘Nazi Card’ Might Cost Him the Game

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Anthony Weiner played the “Nazi card” to run down New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy, but he violated an unwritten political law not to invoke Nazi policies in unrelated issues.

The so-far unstoppable Weiner campaigned in Staten Island Sunday and spoke to black congregants at a church, where he said, “Last year, more than 700,000 in New York were stopped — the overwhelming majority of them were young men of color. Ninety-seven percent of them did nothing wrong…. Well, you can have 100 percent statistical reduction in crime if you stop everybody.

“You could have 1938 Germany, because everyone has to show their papers.”

That was one step over the red line for some Jews.

State Sen. Simcha Felder, who represents largely Orthodox communities in South Brooklyn, was quoted by the New York Post as saying, “His comments were shocking and disgraceful . . . [and] he should apologize. Anyone who uses the Holocaust frivolously diminishes the tragedy that occurred. Weiner clearly stepped over the line.”

Weiner is on a hot streak in the polls, with the latest Quinnipiac University survey giving him a three-point lead over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Although the lead is small, it continues a trend in favor of Weiner, who scored a surprising virtual tie with Quinn in the previous poll.

Jewish Press correspondent,Jacob Kornbluh writing on an election blog this week, quoted the Guardian’s Harry Enten as writing, “For the first time in the campaign, one can easily paint a picture that would have Weiner winning both the primary and the runoff. Weiner leads by 25% to 22% over in the Quinnipiac survey released on Monday.

“It’s not the top line, however, that should make Weiner smile. It’s the fact that Quinn is in her weakest position yet against Weiner for the runoff, which will be held if no candidate reaches a threshold of 40% in the first round….

“I would guess that Weiner is probably ahead in a runoff against an opponent who is actually more disliked than he is.”

And then came the Nazi statement, which was made one day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting and killing black teenage Trayvon Martin.

Weiner’s spokeswoman Barbara Morgan went on the defensive and said, “The context of the reference was the argument made by some that stopping innocent citizens was an acceptable cost for public safety. He clearly was not equating 1938 Nazi Germany to New York City.”

Weiner has gotten away with a lot in this campaign. He has skillfully dealt with the sexting scandal.

He has come out four-square against calling Israel an occupier, a popular stand with most Orthodox Jewish voters and hardly an issue that matters in New York City day-to-day operations.

But his fast mouth may have gone into one gear too high by invoking the Nazis into the election.

Politicians have learned the hard way that playing the Nazi card does not work with local issues, such as the ”stop and frisk” policy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/weiners-nazi-card-might-cost-him-the-game/2013/07/17/

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