The Race in the 9th is About The Economy, Not About Israel or Gay Marriage

The special election campaign for the 9th Congressional District should not be about Israel or about gay marriage, as some have suggested.  It should be about the economy and the direction in which we want our nation to head.  With all due respect to Ed Koch, a loss for Democrat David Weprin will not cause the Obama administration to change its policy towards Israel.  And, while the LGBT community appreciates Weprin’s consistent support for marriage equality, we recognize that there is little he will be able to do on his own to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, given the current majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Both of these issues are red herrings.

If Brooklyn and Queens voters want to use this race to send a real message, let it be a rebuke of the radical and reckless Republican members of Congress who have damaged our nation’s credit rating, refused to compromise, and advocated for the dismantling of our nation’s services, infrastructure and social safety net without entertaining even the most modest proposals to increase revenue or to implement fairness in the tax code.  It is this agenda that has stalled our recovery, and it is this agenda that Republican Bob Turner fully supports.

As we have seen over the past several months, House Republicans either are not serious about governing or have the wrong solutions for the problems our nation faces.  Either way, they are obstructing the implementation of smart economic policies that would heal our economy and put more Americans back to work.  In the recent debt debate – a crisis manufactured by Congressional Republicans unwilling to pay for wars, tax cuts and entitlement programs for which they voted – they played chicken with our nation’s credit rating.  Despite President Obama’s willingness to compromise, Republicans refused to accept sensible, fair and popular proposals to increase revenue by closing tax loopholes for big oil companies and hedge fund managers.  Instead, they demanded a cuts-only bill that now threatens to eviscerate programs and services many Americans cherish and rely upon, including Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Clean Air Act, funding for public education, unemployment insurance, Pell Grants and services for veterans.  Moreover, S&P’s decision to lower the nation’s credit rating anyway, largely because Republicans decided to hold our debt ceiling hostage, will now likely cause interest rates on credit cards and loans to rise and the values of 401K accounts to fall.  Clearly, Republican policies are destructive to the middle class, yet they are exactly the same policies Republican Bob Turner promises to support should he be elected to Congress.

A Congressman Weprin will fight hard for the middle class and the social safety net that generations of Americans have paid into, depend upon, and value.  He will advocate for fair and smart tax and economic policies that ensure growth, invest in our future and protect Social Security and Medicare for generations to come.  Republican Bob Turner, on the other hand, will be just another rubber stamp for radical, right-wing Tea Party Republicans who want to privatize Social Security, dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, de-fund the SEC, de-regulate the EPA, and continue the unsustainable tax cuts and tax loopholes for large corporations and the wealthiest one-percent of Americans.

We have a real decision to make on September 13th.  If deep-blue Brooklyn and Queens send Republican Bob Turner to Congress, national Republicans will be emboldened to push ahead with their reckless and radical economic agenda, and they will have yet another vote with which to implement it.  If, instead, we send Democrat David Weprin to Congress, we will send the clear message that we disapprove of the direction in which radical Republicans want to take this country.  With a Congressman Weprin, yes we will have an unwavering defender of Israel and supporter of civil rights.  More importantly, though, we will have a smart and experienced leader who will fight hard for the middle class values we support and cherish and for the vision of greatness we have for this country.

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