On Friday, Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron released a new online ad in his closely watched congressional campaign against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. Mr. Barron’s commercial features the candidate standing in the park talking up his achievements in the City Council and his plans for Washington as a soundtrack of drumming and chanting plays in the background.
“I’m Charles Barron and I’m running for Congress. Im excited,” Mr. Barrons says in the ad. “Unbossed, unbought Charles Barron for Congress.”
Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke went on his radio show today to say he did not appreciate the media referring to him as a former Ku Klux Klan leader in the coverage of his endorsement of Charles Barron. As The Politicker first reported, Mr. Duke (a former KKK leader) released a video on Wednesday endorsing Mr. Barron in his race for Brooklyn’s 8th Congressional district against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.
“We’ve had an incredible two days of media invective against me because I dared to say positive words in the congressional race between Charles Barron in New York and his Zio-African American–really all I can say is Zionist stooge opponent Mr. Hakeem Jeffries,” the former Ku Klux Klan leader Mr. Duke said. “It’s been an amazing bit of hate that has been launched against me and against Mr. Barron.”
A spokeswoman for Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is running against Charles Barron in the congressional race in Brooklyn’s 8th District, had harsh words for a video made by KKK Grand Wizard David Duke endorsing Mr. Barron.
“Hate and extreme rhetoric have no place in our society,” Lupe Todd, Mr. Jeffries’ campaign spokeswoman said. “We denounce David Duke’s remarks in its entirety and urge the other candidate in this race to do the same.”
Former KKK Grand Wizard and member of the Louisiana Legislature David Duke released a video yesterday endorsing Charles Barron in his race for Brooklyn’s 8th Congressional district against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. Mr. Barron, a member of the City Council and former member of the Black Panther Party who, over the years, has made a series of controversial statements against Israel and in support of African dictators including Muammar Qaddafi. He would seem to be an odd choice for a self-described “white nationalist” like Mr. Duke, but in the video, Mr. Duke explains that he thinks Mr. Jeffries has “sold his soul to the international Zio-bankers” while Mr. Barron’s strong past criticisms of Israel outweigh their other differences.
“In a race for Congress between an anti-Zionist black activist and a black activist who is a bought and paid for Zionist Uncle Tom, I’ll take the anti-Zionist any day,” Mr. Duke says in the video. “In this election of limited choices, I believe that Charles Barron is the best choice. Why? Because I think there’s no greater danger facing the United States of America and facing the world than the unbridled power of Zionist globalism. … Charles Barron stands against that power. If I lived in New York City, I would certainly vote for Charles Barron.”
Even though it is heavily African-American, the newly reconfigured 8th Congressional District that Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron are competing for includes some neighborhoods that contain concentrated Russian Jewish communities. And some of the activists in these neighborhoods are rather uncomfortable with Mr. Barron’s anti-Zionist advocacy and support for African dictators, so they held a press conference yesterday evening to urge their neighbors to turn out to vote for Mr. Jeffries.
“Our goal is to mobilize our community to come out against this vicious, racist anti-Semite and not allow him to come forward,” Rabbi Mordechai Tokarsky, one of the lead organizers, explained at the event, which was conducted mostly in Russian.
Although Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is a candidate for a majority African-American congressional district, he is spending plenty of time and campaign resources reaching out to the district’s diverse constituencies as well, with Election Day looming only a week away. This includes the Jewish vote. For example, Mr. Jeffries could be found at the Flatbush Park Jewish Center last night and on post-Shabbos Jewish radio last weekend, listeners were treated to a steady stream of ads from former Mayor Ed Koch.
“This is Ed Koch, remember me?” The former mayor said in the ad. “On June 26th voters in your community will be going to the polls to vote for a new member of Congress. I urge you to vote for Hakeem Jeffries. Terrific guy! He will be a great congressman.”
king of queens
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron might be campaigning for a seat that is over 93% in Kings County and majority African-American, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be ignoring that tiny little little slice of the district in Queens with a history of racial tension.
Mr. Jeffries in particular is making a strong play or the neighborhood as he battles in a competitive primary against the controversial Mr. Barron. And, at the Cross Bay Diner in Howard Beach this afternoon, multiple elected officials representing that neighborhood announced their firm support for Mr. Jeffries.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng announced raising over $750,000 to date for her congressional campaign this morning, and it looks like her colleague in the Assembly, Hakeem Jeffries, has raised the same amount for his own congressional bid. In a statement from his campaign, Mr. Jeffries reported raising $250,000 since he last disclosed his tally in April, and twice again that number in the previous filings, placing him in a good position to do well in his June 26th Democratic primary.
“I am honored and humbled to have the support of hundreds of additional donors over these last two months,” Mr. Jeffries said. “Many have contributed $5 or less to support our campaign. We have talked to residents in every corner of the district to intimately understand the challenges facing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. With the strong support and commitment of so many people, we will be able to effectively communicate our progressive message throughout the balance of this campaign.”
“We’ve gained nothing in this country without a movement,” Charles Barron, a controversial candidate for congress declared during a town hall earlier this week.
Mr. Barron explained that just like the civil rights movement is remembered more by Martin Luther King Jr. than the legislators who shepherded the bill through Congress, he will instigate change by bringing a “movement” to Washington D.C.
“Most of us in this room don’t know who was the House or Senate sponsor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Most of us in this room don’t know who was the House [sponsor] or sponsor in the Senate of the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” he continued. “You know why we don’t know them? Because Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement is what made those bills happen. And that’s what we have to do now.”
At a town hall last night in Bed-Stuy, congressional candidates Hakeem Jeffries and Charles Barron gave their pitches and took questions, striking familiar themes: Mr. Jeffries portrayed himself as a serious legislator while Mr. Barron proclaimed his ability to help lead a national movement to change the country.
As the two competitors spoke at different times in different rooms, they never interacted or had the opportunity to have a fiery back-and-forth, as already happened on Inside City Hall. However, both candidates did take identical questions on foreign policy, “especially related around Africa and the Caribbean,” and their responses showed an interesting yet unsurprising divergence.
“This is a very diverse district and so there are going to be different parts of the district that have significant foreign policy interests,” Mr. Jeffries noted, adding that Africa was dear to the heart of many residents in places like Bed-Stuy, the Caribbean was important to Canarsie and Flatlands, and, unprompted, stressed the importance of Israel as well.