Speaker Static

Staff Writer
A state Supreme Court ruling last week has set off a scramble for the second-most powerful job in city government. Several key City Council members are insisting they are solidly behind Speaker Gifford Miller in his legal battle to stay in office. But just in case the court rejects Miller's appeal of the ruling, which would force him out in December, there is plenty of behind-the-scenes maneuvering to fill the void.

Council Lays Off Israel

Staff Writer
Israel managed to stay virtually out of the picture at the last City Council meeting, when members approved a resolution opposing the U.S. war against Iraq. The final vote was 31-17, after members passionately argued for and against the heavily modified bill. But although that the anti-war movement has been inundated with anti-Zionism, and members of the Council have not hesitated to criticize the Jewish state, there was only one veiled reference to Israel during the hour-long debate.

More Mideast Melees

Staff Writer
A resolution calling for restraint on Iraq has once again pointed up sharp divisions in the views of City Council members where the Middle East is concerned. It was unclear Tuesday whether the Council would vote on the resolution at its scheduled meeting the following day, as members were said to be divided on the issue. Council leaders generally avoid votes when the outcome is unclear.

Battle Over Rights Panelist Fading

Staff Writer
Jewish activists who want a Muslim lawyer dumped from the city's Human Rights Commission are finding little support as the commission begins its work. Key members of the City Council had denounced the appointment of Omar Mohammedi to the panel because of his ties to the Council on American Islamic Relations, whose members have made anti-Israel statements. Some pols, including Majority Leader Joel Rivera of the Bronx, promised to investigate the commission with an eye toward pulling its funding. But those efforts have all but vanished.

Agencies Fear Cuts

Staff Writer
Gov. George Pataki's anticipated return to his conservative roots could be bad news for the Jewish social services network as it awaits details of the budget plan he will release at the end of the month. Pataki offered few details in his State of the State address last week on how he envisions closing a $10 million budget gap next year, except to say that he would oppose tax increases and fight for tax reductions while "spending less money than we did last year."

District Split Roils Brighton Beach

Staff Writer
Some residents of Brighton Beach are angry over a new redistricting plan that would remove the heavily immigrant Brooklyn neighborhood from its current City Council district, possibly diluting its political power. But others in the area are welcoming the change because it could amount to increased clout for Russian-speaking immigrants, who would be a concentrated presence in two districts rather than one.

Embarrassment Times Two

Staff Writer
The arrest of Rockland County's Democratic chair, Paul Adler, on corruption charges this week is an embarrassment to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign and an organizational setback at a time when the Jewish vote in that region is seen as a crucial swing block. As recently as two weeks ago Clinton appeared with Adler at the Orangetown Jewish Center, despite reports in the local press that Adler was under investigation.

Red-Hot Primaries

Staff Writer
Democratic congressional primaries in New York, when they do occur, often are low-key affairs, with little drama and predictable outcomes. But this season is seeing an unusual share of hot races, and they are becoming increasingly nasty. Facing serious challenges in four races of interest to Jewish communities are Reps. Anthony Weiner, Major Owens and Ed Towns in Brooklyn and Eliot Engel in the Bronx.

Amity Over Iranian Jews Mutes Issue

Staff Writer
In an unfortunate twist, the unanimity of political opinion on behalf of the 13 Jews on trial in Iran is making it difficult to generate much publicity for their cause. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Republican Senate opponent, Rep. Rick Lazio, signed a petition calling for the freedom of the so-called Shiraz 13, accused of spying for Israel and facing execution. So did members of the City Council from both parties and across racial and ethnic lines last week.

Tisch's Lazio Nod Raises Questions

Staff Writer
It's nothing new for one in a voluntary leadership position with a Jewish nonprofit group to take sides in a political race. But the endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio by Meryl Tisch, president of the city's leading Jewish anti-poverty group, raised a few eyebrows last week. Some who read the comments were surprised that Tisch made no apparent effort to distinguish her personal view from that of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, a tax-exempt organization enjoined from endorsing candidates.S
Syndicate content