New York special election is a smelling salt for Obama, Democrats
New York special election: In a House district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1, the victory of GOP businessman Bob Turner delivers a sobering message to the Democratic Party leadership.
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Mr. Hikind, in announcing his endorsement, echoed Koch, saying Turner’s election would send a message to Obama “about his failed, disastrous economic policies and his reckless policies toward Israel.”Skip to next paragraph
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The Turner win came despite a frantic last-minute effort by the Democratic machine in Queens and Brooklyn to get out the vote.
In Forest Hills on Tuesday afternoon, union members, some wearing T-shirts identifying their union, greeted residents as they came out of the subway stations with exhortations to vote for Mr. Weprin. A car with a bullhorn mounted on the trunk blared a pro-Weprin message.
However, a woman who would identify herself only as “Vivian” said she planned to vote for Turner. “I like his proposals,” she said, “And I think I’m feeling in more of a Republican mode these days.”
Another voter, Lynn Berzon, a retiree, said she was considering a vote for Turner because she liked his pro-business attitude. She was also tired of robo-calls from the Democrats exhorting her to vote for Weprin. The Democrats had tape-recorded calls from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former President Bill Clinton.
“I must have gotten 100 phone calls, it did not stop ringing,” she said as she walked along Queens Boulevard. “But my first priority is who is going to do something for me.”
In an indication that Turner may not support the most conservative fiscal proposals of fellow House Republicans, Koch said Turner had assured him that he would go along with efforts to privatize Social Security or Medicare. “He told me, ‘I am for stabilizing the programs and making them solvent in the future,’ ” said Koch. “I said, ‘Put it in writing,’ and he did.”
Turner is expected to support some of the more conservative measures in Congress such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, but is now being challenged in federal court.
Those conservative positions appealed to James Jagiello, who voted for Turner. “Obama has been the most pro-abortion president,” said Mr. Jagiello as he walked along the street in Forest Hills. “And Weprin has supported the same-sex marriage act,” he said.
It’s not clear how long Turner will represent the district; many observers suggest it will be eliminated when Albany starts the contentious redistricting process. The state lost two seats as a result of the latest US Census.
Koch says that does not mean Turner will just fade away. “No question that district will be redistricted,” says Koch. “But he can run again in the new district,” says the former mayor. “That’s what they [Democrats] are all scared of.”
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