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September 02, 2011

Bob Turner, Seeking to Replace Anthony Weiner, Secures Endorsements of Giuliani, Koch, and... The New York Daily News

The New York Daily News is the liberal-leaning tabloid. More of a blue-collar liberalism (as opposed to the New York Times' moneyed-set liberalism), but still liberal.

So it's a little surprising it it endorsed the Republican Bob Turner.

After a private-sector career as a television industry executive, Turner has a real-world sense of the country's fiscal distress and of the pressing need to jump-start employment opportunities.

Voters in the overwhelmingly Democratic Brooklyn-Queens district have responded well to Turner despite his sin of being a Republican.

With no name recognition and little money, he scored an astounding 40% of the vote against the well-known Weiner last year. And the polls now put Turner within easy striking distance of Democratic rival David Weprin.

Turner has the right central priority: tackling the federal deficit and creating a climate for job growth.

He accepts the truth that America cannot climb out of its hole without reforming Medicare and Social Security. He put on the table such measures as raising the retirement eligibility age for people who are 55 or younger.

At the same time, unlike so many Republicans, he says he is open to raising revenues to cut the deficit. He cites closing tax loopholes as an avenue to collecting dough and said he would have accepted the $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan that eluded President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

That position places Turner somewhere on the same page as President Obama, who has called for a "balanced" approach to fiscal policy.

Among the points listed against Democratic candidate Weprin: That this idiot running for Congress had to guess at the much-publicized federal debt, and guessed... $4 trillion.

Another knock against Weprin: He seems to be either a coward or a flake, skipping out of a recent debate by claiming Hurricane Irene, long since dissipated, had "disrupted his schedule."

Turner was actually evacuated from his home due to the storm and made the debate. The buffoon Weprin realized he would expose his stupidity further, and so just skipped out.

He claimed he had important meetings he had to attend to. Instead of attending the long-planned debate. The debate's organizers were not amused.

That account was immediately mocked by the debate’s organizers, the Juniper Park Civic Association and The Times Newsweekly, a newspaper in Queens and Brooklyn whose leaders said that Mr. Weprin’s campaign aides had previously expressed reservations about the format of the debate.

Robert F. Holden, the president of the civic association, said that Mr. Weprin’s aides had sought to change the event from a debate to a forum, without a face-to-face dialogue between the candidates. Mr. Holden said he had rejected that suggestion.

And Maureen E. Walthers, publisher and editor of The Times Newsweekly, said that the Weprin campaign had requested that debate questions be given to the campaign ahead of time, in writing. Ms. Walthers said she refused.

“He is a coward,” Ms. Walthers said. “He obviously did not want to do the debate.”

“As far as I am concerned,” she added, “he disenfranchised all the voters in this area.”


By the end of Monday, however, it was clear that Mr. Weprin had antagonized the wrong debate organizers.


By bowing out of the debate, the article said, Mr. Weprin “was living up to his reputation as a career politician relying on appointments and back-door politics to survive in the complicated Ninth Congressional District.”

The headline on the article read: “Weprin to Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale & Ridgewood — DROP DEAD.”

Turner goofed on him for that.

If you're interested, video from the earlier debate begins here. A truncated highlight reel is here.

Interestingly, Turner says "this is the most irresponsible, ridiculous government that I have ever seen," to applause (from about half the room).

Bear in mind, this is New York City. Not the most liberal part of New York City, but this is the blue of the blue. And he's getting applause attacking a Democratic president.

The local Tea Party, incidentally, is strongly supporting him.

Although Weprin is attempting the Mediscare offense, Robocalls from Mayor Ed Koch may wind up blunting that attack.

“David Weprin is making phone calls trying to scare seniors,” Koch says in the call. They’re nonsense. Weprin should be ashamed of himself. Bob Turner is running for Congress to protect your Medicare and Social Security.”

According to the Turner campaign, the calls are going out to “tens of thousands of households in Brooklyn and Queens,” where Turner is locked in a tight battle with Democrat David Weprin.

Obama will be trying to get out the vote for the election.

One little oddity about that: Weprin, the Democrat, is actually... running against Obama, due to the unpopularity of Obama's Israel policy in this heavily-Jewish district.

A reporter recently asked you if President Obama should be reelected and you said, I'll tell you on September 14 (the day after the special election). If you can tell us then, why can't you tell us now? Should he be reelected? When Senator Lieberman endorsed me, the point he made and that I've been making is that I can be a lot more influential with the Obama administration than a Republican would be. I disagreed publicly before any other elected official with a number of statements President Obama made on the Middle East, the most recent being that negotiations should be based on pre-'67 borders with some swaps. And Jerusalem should never be divided. I spoke out very strongly on the whole settlement freeze. Will I eventually support Obama on his reelection? Probably. Do I disagree with him on his Israel policy? Absolutely. I will probably not refuse to endorse him because I think I will be more effective by supporting him but at the same time being very strongly against him on some of his policies.

Weprin's supposedly withholding an endorsement of Obama, but Obama's sending in the troops on his behalf? That doesn't sound right. It sounds like maybe Obama knows this distancing-himself-from-Obama act is just a ruse for the rubes.

And where does the race stand? In a poll of 300 likely voters (not a big sample), it's tied, 42-42.

Doable? Doable.

Bob Turner's website is here.

What he needs is something to get the word out about him.

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posted by Ace at 12:42 PM

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