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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mr. de Blasio’

Orthodox Jewish Vote Major Focus of Both Mayoral Campaigns

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

In recent months, Borough Park and Flatbush have gotten used to having New York City mayoral candidates coming there to campaign. Now that it’s been narrowed down to two candidates who are relatively close to the Jewish community, the community is being courted like never before.

While the Republican candidate Joe Lhota has been more visible in his aggressive outreach to the community, Mr. de Blasio has been meetings with leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community out of the public eye, keeping his cards close to his chest.

Mr. de Blasio is scheduled to meet with Jewish community leaders at the home of Mr. Abe Biderman, a former supporter of Bill Thompson, this coming Saturday night, YWN has learned.

“For Lhota, Jews gradually became the focus of the campaign,” Hamodia highlighted Mr. Lhota’s outreach to the community in a lengthy profile of the Republican candidate. “A quick scan of Lhota’s daily emailed schedule for last week alone shows stops in two Jewish centers on Staten Island, a Bukharian Jewish group in Queens, the Young Israel of Far Rockaway, a powerful appearance on Nachum Segal’s radio show, a breakfast for the Bronx Jewish Community Relations Council, a Boro Park JCC breakfast, and a meeting with the Flatbush JCC. It is clear that Lhota has staked his path to victory through Staten Island, along with Boro Park, Crown Heights and Forest Hills.”

In his meetings with Jewish groups, Hamodia notes, Lhota comes across as a person who is eager to learn and to understand new concepts. He easily admitted that he couldn’t pronounce the term “metzitzah b’peh,” an issue of concern that was brought up several times throughout the day.

“The bris ritual which I cannot pronounce,” he begins during one of the gatherings. “Every time I try, I mess it up.”

“We don’t want you to pronounce it, we want you to denounce it!” one participant yelled out.

Mr. Lhota also addressed his status as a practicing Chatholic but halachically Jewish. Surprisingly, Mr. Lhota has not made an issue of his own status as a Jew, which would possibly make him attractive to the city’s Jews even as he faces an opponent who represented parts of Boro Park in the City Council for eight years.

“I consider that pandering,” he told Hamodia, adding that he was also hesitant politically, wondering how the Jewish community would accept him. “I’m not going to come into the community and start talking about how my grandmother is Jewish,” he said. “It begs the question: well, why aren’t you? And I wasn’t raised Jewish.”

Meanwhile, Other than attending smoked filled rooms with community leaders, making sure the press and the Jewish media are not aware of his meetings, Mr. de Blasio is a no show in the community he once represented in the City Council.

For the first time since the start of his campaign, Mr. de Blasio took out a full page ad in the weekly newspapers touting his support for the Jewish community. “Bill de Blasio supports the Jewish community. That’s why the Jewish community supports Bill de Blasio,” the ad reads.

However, the uncertainty of Mr. de Blasio’s positions on key issues is causing some anxiety within the organized Jewish social service network, at a time when some programs for the needy have already been frozen because of a state probe of misappropriated funds at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, The Jewish week reports.

One Jewish organizational leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was hopeful an alternative to scrapping member items—which Bill de Blasio now opposes—could be found that also addressed the corruption concerns. “There are a number of ways one could retool the system,” said the official.

“You could have a pot of money for aging and youth services go through the Council or go through city agencies with Council input. This could have more accountability and I would hope we could engage with the new mayor, whoever that may be, to discuss how to make sure his money is best spent and avoid the political and financial pitfalls we have seen in a very small number of contracts,” he said.

“De Blasio’s campaign did not respond to several requests for an interview. The campaign also did not respond to prior inquiries about his view on a pending matter of religion and law: The Human Rights Commission’s efforts to rein in Orthodox shops in Williamsburg who post modesty rules for customers,” Adam Dickter notes in the article.

Nevertheless, Mr. de Blasio still maintains a close relationship with the machers and leaders in the community. “De Blasio will be fair and square in issues affecting the Jewish community, like Sabbath observance,” former state Sen. Seymour Lachman, who served alongside de Blasio in a district that overlapped with his Council district, told The Jewish Week.

On Tuesday, with the polls showing him with a 40 point lead over Mr. Lhota, Mr. de Blasio is expected to receive a substantially higher support in the community than previous Democratic candidates have done in recent general elections.

A Closer Look at Bill de Blasio’s Record

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary for mayor, has been running his second television commercial of the campaign, titled “Dignity,” since Monday. Fact checking the ad, Michael Barbaro of the NY Times found it quite misleading. Mr. de Blasio argues he’s the only candidate pledging to end the way the Police Department carries out the stop-and-frisk tactic. The problem with that claim is that his opponents have all, in one way or another, pledged to reform it, too.



Nor is Mr. de Blasio, per his claim, the only candidate proposing an income tax on the rich to pay for education. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, has proposed raising the city’s marginal income tax to pay for after-school programs, among other things.

“Dropping the misleading word ‘only’ from several of his claims, or using it more carefully, would do wonders for the accuracy and credibility of his commercials,” Barbaro concludes.

Bill de Blasio’s exaggerating his role as an advocate for the issues he believes are at the top of voters’ concerns is nothing new. In fact, his record of representing the outer-boroughs, as he now promises not to let down any New Yorker, is far from exhilarating.

Back in 2001, when he first ran for City Council in the 39th district, Mr. de Blasio was examined for mismanagement and controversial ties that had put in question his credentials at the time. “[Bill de Blasio] carries a lot of baggage as well,” The Village Voice wrote in a profile on the race for council.

“De Blasio was elected to School Board 15 in 1999, and his tenure has been rocky. Many public school parents charge that de Blasio was stubbornly supportive of Frank DeStefano, the former superintendent of District 15 who resigned in the winter amid allegations of overspending and mismanagement. Reports first surfaced in the fall of 1999 that DeStefano had begun to run up big deficits, taking himself and other school officials on several expensive junkets costing a total of more than $100,000. One year later the school deficit topped $1 million, leading to the cancellation of a popular after-school reading program while DeStefano maintained an expensive car service.

“De Blasio still defends his decision to stick with DeStefano for as long as he did. “He was a visionary and a great educator, but he was a horrible communicator,” de Blasio says of DeStefano. “I was deeply concerned, but I was not going to make a final decision until I saw the evidence.” In the end, de Blasio says, “he could have made better decisions, but I don’t think the spending was wildly excessive. Both of my parents were victims of the McCarthy era. I do not take lightly the idea of ousting someone. You have to have the evidence.”

“De Blasio has also been linked to the flap over New Square, the Hasidic village in upstate New York that has been mired in pardon scandals. Candidate Clinton assiduously courted the small Rockland community last year, winning the town by the whopping margin of 1400 to 12. Six weeks after the election, Israel Spitzer, New Square’s deputy mayor, met with the Clintons at the White House, where pardons for four New Square civic leaders convicted of fraud were discussed. In January, Bill Clinton commuted their sentences, leading to a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in which several Hillary Clinton campaign aides were called in for questioning. At a Manhattan fundraiser for de Blasio in December, Spitzer made a $2500 donation, the largest permitted under the city’s Campaign Finance Board. De Blasio refused to comment on that matter, including the issue of whether he was questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. De Blasio would only offer this comment: “I’m waiting to hear what’s going to happen with that.”

in 2007 as councilman, Mr. de Blasio was lambasted for not living up to his promises and for a lackluster performance as representative of his district.  In a hard hitting piece by a local blogger named “Parden Me For Asking,” Mr. de Blasio was criticized for running a dysfunctional office and keeping himself distracted from the issues that mattered to the neighborhoods he represented, going back to his time he served on the Board of Education before his run for council.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-closer-look-at-bill-de-blasios-record/2013/08/21/

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