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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Bloomberg’

Bill de Blasio Likely Democratic Winner, GOP Picks Lhota

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

As of 3 AM, NY time, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio stood to pick up a little over the 40 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s primary election, and so avoid the runoff. Otherwise, he’ll be facing the next best Democrat, Bill Thompson, who collected 26 percent. Christine Quinn, the obvious heir apparent to Mayor Bloomberg, who led in the polls since last Shavuos came in third with only 15 percent.

Indefatigable texter Anthony Weiner ended up with only 5 percent, after leading the pack in the summer—before he was exposed again, literally. So NYC Democrats, second in overall liberalism and promiscuity only to SF Democrats, still would not pick a perv for high office. There’s still hope for all of us!

No such confusion on the Republican side (with about a sixth of the number of registered voters the Democrats boast). Joseph Lhota has won the GOP mayoral primary, with 52 percent, ahead of John Catsimatidis who received 41 percent.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic city comptroller race, Scott Stringer beat the other perv in Tuesday’s primaries, former governor Eliot Spitzer, by 52 percent to 48 percent. Sigh of relief anyone? On my mark…

There will definitely be a runoff in the Democratic primary for public advocate between my state Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilwoman Letitia James. NY1 reports that, with more than 96 percent of precincts reporting, James had 36 percent of the vote and Squadron had 33 percent. May I express here my unabashed support for Squadron, a Democrat who combines two rare qualities in politics: he’s both honest and effective.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes was defeated by challenger Ken Thompson. Hynes, in his post as Brooklyn DA since 1989, received only 44 percent of the vote, Thompson slid over him with 45 percent. Those meetings with all those rebbes totally paid off.

That’s it for now. We’ll update this item as soon as we know in case the Dems are having a runoff, and where you should show up next to vote.

New Jersey Jewish Student Sues NY Cops over Immodest Frisk

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Bard College student Samantha Rosenbaum is suing the New York Police Department for carrying out an immodest search while she was walking on a Williamsburg street on  the way from the post office back to her place of work at a store last year.

The suit, reported Thursday by The New York Post, comes amid controversy over Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charge that the police are carrying out a disproportionate number of frisks on white people. A New York Daily News survey published today revealed that the mayor is wrong, but more troubling is the reason for frisks, whether on blacks or whites.

Rosenbaum, age 22 and from Essex, New Jersey, told the newspaper that she loves animals and stopped to pet a cat she noticed in an alley. The plainclothed police, sitting in an unmarked car, apparently did not look at it that way.

“Hey, stop!” a man yelled from his parked car. “He was really aggressive,” Rosenbaum recalled. “I had no idea who he was, [so] I just kept walking.”

That was the obvious tip-off for the two police officers that she was a criminal, and they ran after Rosenbaum and threw her against the car, asking her if she had drugs.

“This whole time, I didn’t know who these people are,” she told the Post. “Finally, after a few minutes, they tell me they are police. My face and stomach were on the hood. I don’t think anyone, no matter what color you are, deserves to be treated like that.

“I offered to show them the cat. They had two people on top of me, and my arm was really hurting.”

Her lawyer Michael Goldstein added,  “She thought she was getting kidnapped. This is a very nice young lady. This was a false arrest and imprisonment. It’s assault.”

The suit alleges that a policewoman who was part of the search-and-frisk team opened her clothing and peeked underneath at private parts of her body.

According to Rosenbaum, the police finally let her go when she started crying after they threatened several times to haul her off to the police station and charge her with a crime,

“They told me they didn’t want me to have a bad impression of cops so they were going to let me go,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

Why would anyone even think of such a thing?

There are plenty who would think so.

The New York Civil Liberties Union found in a survey two years ago, quoted by Slate, “Only 11 percent of stops in 2011 were based on a description of a violent crime suspect.” The rest of them were carried out at random, and most of the victim was found to be innocent.

The numbers are astonishing. Hundreds of thousands of people are stopped every year for frisks that turn out to be needless but which the police justify when they file forms after each search. All a police officer has to write is that a person was “carrying a suspicious object” or “wearing clothes commonly used in a crime,” or was wearing “inappropriate attire for season.”

Or, “The suspect was petting a cat.”

JPress Forum: Metzitzah B’peh, Vouchers, Weiner Charms the Crowd

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Appearing for the first time with all of his Democratic rivals on stage, Anthony Weiner sought to stand out, for the second time in a row, ahead of his competitors. At a Jewish Press mayoral forum in Manhattan Beach, Mr. Weiner claimed to be the first to oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s regulation on the traditional practice of Metzitzah B’peh.

“I first spoke about Metzitzah B’peh when I ran in 2005,” Mr. Weiner said at the first forum on issues relating to the Orthodox Jewish community. “I was trying to get anyone possible to talk about it in the context of that campaign because, you know, this didn’t start last week,” he said. ”This has been going on for years now, that this battle has been going on, and for me it comes down to my values as someone who believes in the ethos of New York.”

Adding, “Part of that ethos of New York is we all come from different places, we bring different cultures, we bring different ideas, and we are never too far from our mother country. We try to bring those traditions here and that’s very, very important and part of the fundamental structure of the frum community.”

Mr. Weiner was quoted in the Jewish Forward during his first run for mayor, in 2005: “It is not the place of the Department of Health to be deciding on a religious practice. I am troubled, based on the facts of this case, about whether or not the city has overreached here.”

In comparison to Mr. Weiner walking around the issue, the remaining candidates directly addressed the issue at great concern to the frum community. Sal Albanese and Bill de Blasio promised to review the issue and discuss the matter with the rabbis and community leaders in order to find common ground. Speaker Christine Quinn defended the consent form requirement as a balance between religious freedom and public health concerns. John Liu and Rev. Erick Salgado were the only candidates to pledge to discontinue the city’s anti-Metztitzah B’peh regulations.

There are not many issues the Democratic mayoral hopefuls agree on, especially when they are seated at one table. However, on the one issue that is of great concern to the Jewish community, amid the high cost of tuition and transportation, all of the candidates held hands together in opposing school choice vouchers or tax credit relief.

At The Jewish Press forum in Manhattan Beach Wednesday evening, none of the viable candidates seeking to succeed Mayor Bloomberg expressed their support for some kind of relief to struggling parents who are not willing to enroll in the public school system.

In a previous conversation with this reporter, Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota promised to fight hard for school choice vouchers if elected. “The mayor can use the bully pulpit to advocate in Albany for private schools,” he said. “It’s important that our children are properly educated. The role of the government and the role of the state is making sure they have the proper textbooks, making sure they are secure and making sure that they have transportation. The children that go to parochial schools and yeshivas are residents and the children of taxpayers in the city of New York, and they are not getting their fair share,” he asserted.

“On the issue of tax credits, I have been in favor of that. I have yet to find a way that it would cover the full tuition, but some form of a tax credit, to give relief to parents who pay for property tax as well and all the other taxes in New York, and are also paying tuition,” Mr. Lhota proclaimed.




De Blasio Promising The Jewish Press to Restore Childcare Vouchers

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

If elected mayor, one of the tasks for Bill de Blasio would be balancing the funding of necessary programs for individuals and communities with the financial difficulty the city faces. “I have worked with some of the most disciplined folks in public life, people like Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo,” Mr. de Blasio told The Jewish Press editorial board.

“I predict the first few years of the next mayor will be very tight budget years – which will be made worse by the open labor contracts the mayor is leaving, something that will tarnish Bloomberg’s record. The people of New York understand the choices are not easy. People have been sobered by the economy, and they want to see fairness,” he said.

On early childhood education, however, Mr de Blasio promised to expand the city’s funding of the program – not because it’s a handout, or even to be generous, he said, but because it’s an investment.

“I believe early childhood education is the key to everything we want to do in New York: maintaining the social fabric, keeping crime down, improving the economy – it all starts by expanding early childhood education.”

Mr. de Blasio also criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for axing important childcare vouchers from the budget, and pledged to restore them. “I think voters are sick of not being heard by City Hall,” he said. “Too often, the Bloomberg approach has been My way or the highway. I’ll do things differently.”

Four Years Late, Thompson Hires Sheinkopf as ‘Senior’ Strategist

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Four years after he left Bill Thompson hanging, in favor of Mayor Bloomberg, Hank Sheinkopf is back in the car with Bill Thompson. In key move, the Thompson campaign announced the hiring of Sheinkopf, 63 (now Rabbi Sheinkopf, after he received his ordination from Rabbi Yaroslavsky of Kfar Chabad), as a senior strategist, working together with team Thompson’s chief strategist Jonathan Prince.

“There was a time when he certainly was not happy with me, but there’s a larger issue involved, and the larger issue is getting him to Gracie Mansion,” Sheinkopf told The Daily News. “I’m emotionally very moved that he would want me back and working with him, and I hope that I can help to make him the next mayor of the city of New York.

In a Jewish Week interview with Adam Dickter, Hank Sheinkopf called himself “a warrior,” saying both his chosen vocations, rabbi and political consultant, required a love of fighting.

The Thompson campaign also announced the hiring of John Collinsr, a former staffer for Anthony Weiner, as Communications Director, and Amber Greene as Policy Director.

Thompson also brought on more Obama veterans, including Senior Advisor Karine Jean-Pierre, who’s worked on both the campaign side—helping run battleground state ops— and in the White House. Another ex-Obama staffer, Will Leaverton, who ran GOTV ops, will serve as Thompson’s field director. Deputy Campaign Manager Frank Thomas, who managed Rep. Kathy Hochul’s re-election bid last year, and Political Director Kim Ramos, a strategist and lawyer with a network of contacts particularly among elected Latinos in the city and state Legislatures.

“We are proud to be building an experienced team that will aggressively campaign in every community in every corner of the city,” said Prince. “New Yorkers have benefited from Bill’s career in public service, including his leadership of the Board of Education and his successful tenure as the City Comptroller. As Mayor he will use his experience and leadership to deliver for all New Yorkers.”

Incidentally, Rabbi Yaroslavsky, who gave Rabbi Sheinkopf his smicha, speaks no English, and so Sheinkopf completed his exam in Hebrew, which he has been studying at home on the Upper West Side.

“I studied very hard,” Sheinkopf told Adam Dickter, “I had to learn the four portions of the Shulchan Orach.”

So now you can ask Rabbi Sheinkopf which candidate to vote for and whether or not you can eat your chicken.

Yori Yanover contributed to this report.

Few Mayoral Candidates Stand Up to Chassidim on ‘Metzitzah B’peh’

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

When it comes to the mayoral candidates’ stances on the controversial Jewish circumcision practice known as metzitzah b’peh, Rev. Erick Salgado and City Comptroller John Liu pledged to outright abolish the city’s regulation of the practice, The Forward reported.

“For thousands of years, this has been a practice that has been observed by people,” Liu said. “As with most procedures, some risk is inherent. But I would certainly defer to the rabbis on this, as opposed to thinking that, well, we know better after thousands of years of this practice.”

The metzitzah, translated as suction, is one of the steps involved in the circumcision rite, and is intended to renew blood flaw in the traumatized organ. But in recent years several babies became sick and at least two died, and it has been strongly suggested that the culprits in those cases were ritual circumcisers suffering from herpes simplex – and the NY City Dept. of Health is seeking to curb the practice, if not through legislation then through education.

In a meeting with an Orthodox Jewish crowd in Brooklyn that was posted online in March, Democratic candidate Bill Thompson was told by one of the attendees that any mayoral candidate who didn’t take a stand against regulation of MBP would be a candidate for whom people wouldn’t feel comfortable voting. In response, Thompson said, “The government needs to respect the religious beliefs of people.”

Thompson added that he had heard there was no discussion between members of the Orthodox Jewish community and the city, and that he would be “absolutely willing to sit down and talk” about balancing safety and religious practice.

Another Democratic candidate, Erick Salgado, in a speech to the Rabbinical Alliance of America, called MBP “a practice that was commanded by God,” one that had been practiced “since God told Abraham to do so.”

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota, was reportedly quoted by The Forward as a supporter of the regulation. Based on a video taken by Photo Journalist Shimon Gifter, the Forward concluded that Mr. Lhota’s assessment that the signed consent forms was “a reasonable approach” to tell parents what the risks are, was an expression of supporting the regulation.

However, in a phone conversation with this reporter, Mr. Lhota claimed The Forward took his words out of context. Pointing to the video, in which he says he is opposed to the government regulation or banning religious practices or tradition. Mr. Lhota also said it was the first time he was asked about the issue, and that he intended to study it, and meet with religious leaders in order to solve the issue.

“Look, it requires education,” Mr. Lhota told Jewish students in April, according to the video posted. “Originally the mayor wanted to outright ban it. Now he wants you to sign a piece of paper that acknowledges that you understand it. That’s a reasonable approach. Banning it, no. It’s a reasonable approach to tell you what the risks are. If you understand the risk, and you sign that you understand the risk, then the burden is on you. That a good thing to do. Government shouldn’t tell people what to do, but direct you,” he said. Adding, “I Follow the issue. I have an enormous respect to religion, tradition and culture and all of that.”

Mr. Lhota’s Republican challenger, John Catsimatidis, apparently supports the regulation. A representative for the campaign told the Forward that Catsimatidis “believes a mohel’s work should be regulated by the health department, just like a variety of other procedures are,” and that “we understand the religious implications, but there also has to be a balance with the health implications.”

When this reporter called the Catsimatidis campaign for a response, we were told that Mr. Catsimatidis himself didn’t come clear on the issue yet.

In a statement to the Forward, Democratic front-runner Christine Quinn said the use of signed consent forms to perform MBP “protects religious freedoms” and is the “right policy,” but that the city’s health department “must do a better job in the future with its outreach on sensitive issues in which public health and religious practices intersect.”

Democrat Bill de Blasio said that while the city “has a solemn duty to protect the public health, and we will never compromise on that.” He added that Mayor Michael Bloomberg “was wrong to simply dictate to a community on a matter of religious tradition.” De Blasio added that he would find a solution “that protects the health of newborns and allows freedom of religious practice.”

NYC Mayoral Candidates Heavily Courting Orthodox Jewish Voters

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Mew York mayoral candidates are boning up on Jewish law and are learning about Jewish holidays as they attend Jewish events in the race for the large Jewish vote, especially in the Democratic primary.

There are no Jewish candidates to replace Michael Bloomberg, and the lack of a strong Republican candidate more or less puts a Democrat in Gracie Mansion next November.

Approximately 600,000 Democrats are expected to vote in the primaries, a large number of them black or Jewish. Outside of Manhattan, Jews account for more than 15 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times, and nearly one-third of them are Orthodox, whose population continues to soar.

“The seven or eight percentage points that the Orthodox Jewish vote makes up in a primary could definitely make the difference,” Councilman David Greenfield told Colin Campbell in 2012.

It is no wonder that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn attended a Tu B’Shvat “seder” earlier this year and met with Orthodox women who own or manage businesses in Williamsburg.

Polls give her a commanding lead over rivals with 37 percent of the projected vote and 40 percent of the Jewish vote, but future polls could change drastically, one way or the other, if Mayor Bloomberg endorses a candidate. He previously has said that Quinn is the only “rational” candidate but has since gone cold one her after she call for a new Police Department watchdog.

With the primaries five months away, she has plenty of time to go after the Jewish vote, but for the time being, she has not been overly noticeable at Jewish events. One point against her among Orthodox Jews may be that although she is married, she also is openly homosexual.

Her closest rivals are Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio, who are running close to each other in the polls.

Thompson is a black who is highly regarded in many Orthodox Jewish circles and may be able to garner the Jewish vote to close the gap behind Quinn.

The Times reported last month that Thompson knows better than to shake hands with an Orthodox women and may even have learned a bit of Yiddish that his father, a former legislator, often used.

He is an Episcopalian, but his father’s second wife was Jewish.

“I still remember his bar mitzvah,” joked Ben Barber, an observant Jew who owns a linen business in Borough Park told the newspaper.

Last month, Thompson was the only Democratic candidate at a press conference who denounced Brooklyn College for hosting a Boycott Israel movement event.

Thompson also was the first comptroller to make city investments in Israeli bonds.

De Blasio has 18 percent of the Jewish vote, according to New York Mayor BlogSpot, which also reported Sunday that he attended the Belz annual dinner in February, where he was introduced as “the next mayor of New York City.”

The New York Times reported last month that de Blasio has been “attuned” to issues of business fines and parking that have irritated Orthodox Jews.

Quinn last week attacked a $1 million ad blitz against Quinn, who implied that it was financed “by those closely aligned with my opponents,” but de Blasio denied any connection with the campaign, whose spokeswoman Chelsea Conner said, “Frankly, the Quinn folks made an inaccurate statement Sunday night, they knew it as well as us, and they had to walk it back Monday morning.”

All of the other Democratic party candidates have marginal support except for John Liu who garnered 9 percent in the Marist poll.

Some Jewish leaders have noted “he hasn’t missed any Jewish event in the years he’s been in office,”  BlogSpot wrote.

Court De-Fizzes Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

A New York state judge ruled that the New York City “big soda can” ban promoted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg is illegal. It was slated to take effect Tuesday morning.

“It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule … serve to gut the purpose of the rule,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling.

The mayor said he will appeal the decision.

Bloomberg previously has passed legislation to prohibit smoking in restaurants and parks and to require restaurants show the calorie count of meals. The ban of soda drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces was aimed at fighting obesity.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-de-fizzes-mayor-bloombergs-soda-ban/2013/03/12/

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