It’s not just conservatives who are critiquing Sen. Chuck Schumer and the rest of the so-called “Gang of Eight” for their immigration bill.
Freshman Congresswoman Grace Meng, a steady liberal hand, is also urging to re-assess the latest version of the proposed federal immigration overhaul. But her warnings come with a unique twist: potential damage to Asian-American immigrant families.
In her first such letter to lawmakers on a major piece of legislation, Ms. Meng, New York’s first Asian-American Congresswoman, told Mr. Schumer, New York’s most politically powerful voice in Washington, that she has concerns about certain provisions of the sweeping reform bill, which is set to be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
Queens Democrat Grace Meng became the first Asian-American from New York to be elected to Congress when she defeated Republican Councilman Dan Halloran on Tuesday, but after her victory, she focused on her status as a female elected official rather than her background. In a speech before a room full of supporters and local officials at the Sheraton LaGuardia East last night, Ms. Meng emphasized the importance of electing women to government office and voiced her support for the middle class rather than trumpeting her win as a watershed moment for Asian-Americans.
“Tonight is historic in that we’ve taken one small step in getting more women elected to government,” Ms. Meng said as she addressed the room. ”More women in government means practical attention on how families educate their children, how they pay their bills, how they worship, how they participate in their community, and how they plan for the future.“
New York State started off as a key battleground in the Democrats’ battle to retake control of the U.S. House, especially after the courts intervened in the redistricting plan and shook up a lot of traditional boundaries. However, most of these races were focused in areas further Upstate and the suburbs, leaving the heavily Democratic New York City with just two congressional elections of note.
In Queens, Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng faced off against GOP Councilman Dan Halloran for a seat crafted from the district remnants of outgoing Congressmen Bob Turner and Gary Ackerman. Despite Mr. Halloran’s polling showing the race a tie, those numbers did not pan out and Ms. Meng is currently ahead by roughly 2-to-1, which matches how Democrats have historically performed within the area.
braving the storm
On Sunday afternoon, Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s congressional campaign held a “unity rally” with a plethora of local elected officials, including Senator Chuck Schumer, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and outgoing Congressman Gary Ackerman. But Hurricane Sandy’s gusts of wind were already bombarding the rally as the officials gathered, making life just a tad more difficult. Volunteers kept having campaign signs blown out of their hands, for example.
“Good afternoon everyone, thank you so much for coming out here today,” Ms. Meng said to begin her speech, standing in the plaza in front of the Queens Crossing Mall in Flushing. “Days ago, when we planned this rally, we really did think it was a good idea. And in light of the fact of the weather, we thought, ‘What better way than to make sure elected officials keep their speeches under 2 minutes than to hold it in the middle of a hurricane?’”
In advance of the upcoming elections, the women’s magazine Marie Claire got a look inside the purses of several prominent female candidates for their “Running in Heels” feature. Based on their findings, iPads and other Apple gear are must-have accessories on the campaign trail, but a few of the women in the article apparently tote less standard fare including one candidate with a heavy energy drink habit and another who’s packing heat.
It’s Election Day in New York next Thursday! But instead of a titanic battle between ideologies–your Mitt Romneys vs. Barack Obamas, if you will–the options on the ballot will be little-noticed state legislative contests between candidates of the same party, often with few policy differences.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting races happening. From “Who Gets Arrested for Raping a Grandmother?” to “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men,” there’s been no shortage of nasty drama and mud slinging as voters head to the polls.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running and why it might matter who wins. The list below focuses on Democratic races because the few Republican primaries in this staunchly blue city tend to have clear favorites or are taking place in such Democratic territory that the victor is reasonably likely to be irrelevant.
GOP Councilman Dan Halloran is an underdog congressional campaign in a staunchly Democratic district where his opponent has repeatedly attacked him for his support of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, but Mr. Halloran has no plans to slow down his advocacy in Mr. Paul’s political movement any time soon. To that end, he was among the supporters of Mr. Paul who gathered in Maine a couple weeks ago, and last night, he addressed a crowd that had gathered for Mr. Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, near Penn Station last night.
“Problem is, we ain’t getting Ron in the White House. … We have a choice: Do we keep what we have, or do we trade it in?” Mr. Halloran said to the enthusiastic crowd, making the case for Mitt Romney’s campaign. “We can’t afford to have four more years of Barack Hussein Obama. We can’t afford it. Our country can’t economically. Our people can’t afford it. If you think people are out of work today, when the real depression hits us, and there’s no leadership in the White House, there’s going to be nowhere to hide. This country will come to a grinding halt. The Constitution, you can just forget about it.”
on the attack
Republican Councilman Dan Halloran, a candidate for congress in northeastern Queens, gave a long, 36-minute speech before a conservative group in Suffolk County at the end of last week where he unloaded a multitude of charges against his Democratic opponent, Assemblywoman Grace Meng. Notably, he implied she is somehow involved with the alleged criminal schemes of her father, former Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, who was arrested last month and charged with soliciting an $80,000 bribe to fix a court case. Ms. Meng has declared her independence.
“Grace Meng has spent $1.1 million dollars. She raised $1 million, she spent $1.1 million. Can anyone do the math?” Mr. Halloran rhetorically asked. “She’s $100,000 in the hole. Her father was arrested last week for accepting an $80,000 bribe. You can do the math there and figure it out. He was also — by the way — kicked out of the Assembly for voter fraud in 2004. His campaign manager was Grace Meng, my opponent.”
The race for New York’s 6th Congressional District heated up a bit today, with both sides launching broadsides against one another.
To start, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, the Democratic candidate in the race, sent a fundraising email to her supporters entitled, “No Room for Racism.” At issue was a Times of Israel profile of her Republican opponent, Councilman Dan Halloran, where he was quoted saying some provocative things about her nationality.
With only a couple weeks to go until election day, races for state legislative primaries across New York are heating up, and one of the top ones in the five boroughs is the campaign to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Grace Meng in her Flushing-based district. Ms. Meng of course is currently the Democratic nominee for Congress and will be leaving a vacant seat behind her.