Coalition Backing Crown Heights Candidate

Staff Writer
A Jewish political group in Crown Heights has endorsed third-party candidate Letitia James over a member of their own chasidic community, Abraham Wasserman, in what could be the cityís most dramatic City Council race next week.

Race Issue Heating Up In Brooklyn House Contest

Staff Writer
Some prominent black leaders are intensifying their efforts to stop a white Jewish candidate from winning the Democratic primary for Congress in Brooklyn's majority black 11th Congressional District. Black elected officials have held a series of meetings, including one Monday morning, to address their growing concern that well-funded New York City Councilman David Yassky could prevail in a Sept. 12 Democratic primary against three African-American candidates. Efforts to convince one or two of them to drop out to avoid splitting the black vote have fallen short.

Silver's Tax Credit Tightrope

Staff Writer
Rarely do people have to speculate on where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stands on an issue of keen interest to Orthodox Jews. But when it comes to mounting pressure to push through some form of tax relief for parents who pay private school tuition, Silver has said little publicly as observers and activists try to predict his eventual position. Silver, an opponent of tuition vouchers for private schools, recently said he does not accept the position of opponents that tax credits are a back door or stealth voucher program.

City Council And Beyond?

Staff Writer
Jessica Lappin laughs when asked about her plans for higher office.

Boro Park Pol Favors Gay Speaker Hopeful

Staff Writer
The City Council's only Orthodox member, who has opposed gay rights legislation, says he has no problem backing an openly gay colleague, Christine Quinn, in the upcoming vote for speaker.

Ferrer: No Minority Set-Asides

Staff Writer
If elected mayor, Fernando Ferrer would not seek to shift the way the city contracts social services with non-profit community groups through quotas to include more minority-run agencies, the Democratic nominee told The Jewish Week in an exclusive interview. Ferrer said he was confident that Jewish organizations and others were effectively serving people of all ethnic groups. "When I was borough president of the Bronx, there were Jewish social service organizations that were serving not merely the Jewish community," he said.

Ognibene: I'd Downsize City Government

Staff Writer
Tom Ognibene was knocked out of the Republican primary by petition challenges from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign, but he remains on the ballot as the Conservative Party candidate. Ognibene was a City Councilman for 10 years until 2001 representing Middle Village and other parts of Queens, and he was the Republican minority leader for seven years. He is currently practicing law. Ognibene spoke to The Jewish Week in a phone interview Monday about his campaign. Jewish Week: Without enough money to advertise, how are you able to get your message out?

Israel Now Key Issue In Brooklyn House Races

Staff Writer
Activists in the large Orthodox community that lies in the center of two contested congressional districts in Tuesday’s Democratic primary have launched a massive campaign in support of one incumbent and an embattled candidate, citing Israel as a primary concern. The campaign consists of mailings, phone calls and posters and home visits in support of Rep. Edolphus Towns, the 12-term incumbent running in the 10th Congressional District, and David Yassky, the white city councilman who is running to succeed retiring Rep. Major Owens in a district intended to empower blacks.

Coalitions And The Clubhouse

Staff Writer
Stepping out the door of his Nostrand Avenue campaign office on Tuesday, state Sen. Carl Andrews took a minute to express pride in the diverse coalition backing his congressional bid. “Who else can bring together Eliot Spitzer on the left and Dov Hikind on the right, and Tom Duane on the left and Rhoda Jacobs on the right, and David Dinkins on the left and Carl Kruger on the right?” asked Andrews as he stepped out into a light drizzle.

The Tangled Politics Of Identity

Staff Writer
Sitting down at an Atlantic Avenue diner recently, Chris Owens was none too pleased about an interview the previous night on a Jewish radio program.
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