social security skirmish
Things are heating up over in New York’s 6th Congressional District.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman started things off by criticizing his two rivals for the Democratic nomination, Assemblyman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, over their Social Security positions. His campaign mailer hitting households in the district focused on Ms. Meng in particular, accusing her of supporting slashed benefits.
Well, it seems that Ms. Meng’s campaign has had enough of that, and they put out a long statement entitled, “Rory Lancman’s Honesty Problem.”
Assemblyman Rory Lancman has been sniping at his opponents’ Social Security positions in the media as of late, but it looks like the gloves might finally be ready to come off. Multiple voters in the district reported receiving a mailer, which his campaign sent out to reporters yesterday, directly criticizing his two main competitors: Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
On the back side of the ad — which, to be fair, largely touts Mr. Lancman’s commitment to Social Security and images of the candidate talking to old people — are photos of Ms. Meng and Ms. Crowley next to this text:
Assemblywoman Grace Meng is running in the crowded race for the seat in Queens’ 6th congressional district and it doesn’t seem like her busy political schedule is leaving her with any room for romance. Today was Ms. Meng’s wedding anniversary with her husband and she invited her Facebook friends to decide how they would mark the occasion, going door-to-door or to a subway stop to meet potential voters.
“Happy anniversary to my loving husband,” Ms. Meng wrote in a post on her Facebook page. “Door-knocking or subway stop-you get to decide how we celebrate. :)”
Last month, The Observer wrote a piece detailing how the New York Times endorsement process works, what the editorial board looks for in a candidate, and how much getting the gray lady’s nod determines who emerges victorious on election day.
Now, with New York’s federal elections only a few weeks away, we take a look at each of the competitive elections on June 26, take a guess at which way the paper will go and deduce what kind of an effect it will have.
Disagree? Make it known in the comments.
U.S. Senate Republican Primary—Bob Turner vs. Wendy Long vs. George Maragos
It is no by means a certainty that The Times will endorse in the GOP Senate primary, and if they do, expect it to be a hold-you-nose-and-vote-for-the-guy-who-is-marginally-better-than-the-rest kind of endorsement. Expect something along the lines of the paper’s endorsement of Mitt Romney in the presidential primary in April, in which they mocked Mr. Romney for abandoning his moderating tendencies and slammed GOP extremism before declaring the Massachusetts governor “the best choice of the field.” For this little noticed Senate race for the right to go up against Kirsten Gillibrand, the paper is likely to go with Bob Turner, a Queens businessman-turned-congressman, who is far less strident in his social views than Wendy Long and more dynamic than George Maragos. Mr. Turner is running very much as the candidate of New York City, and hometown pride may count for something here.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman got a nice boost for his congressional campaign yesterday when he received the formal backing of the Jewish Press. The endorsement, which might be the first one from a newspaper in the race, comes as Mr. Lancman is competing against Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblywoman Grace Meng in a Democratic primary for a northeastern Queens Congressional District.
“In an extensive interview with The Jewish Press, Mr. Lancman impressed us as someone we would like to see in Congress voting on issues important to the Jewish community,” the publication wrote about their preferred candidate. “He displayed a deep understanding of the nature of Israel’s struggle with its neighbors and why it’s important, for both Israeli and American interests, that the United States ’tilt’ toward Israel.”
There have been quiet rumblings lately of multiple polls showing poor numbers for Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s congressional campaign and unexpectedly good number for one of his rivals, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, and earlier today, Colby Hamilton reported one of them from about a month ago showing Mr. Lancman “struggling to break into the low double digits.” We reached out to Mr. Lancman’s campaign about the numbers this afternoon, to which they responded with heavy vitriol towards the third candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who conducted the poll.
“Meng’s phony poll is a slap in the face to the over 1 million union members who have endorsed Rory Lancman, and distracts from the growing awareness in the district that Rory is the only candidate who knows what to do in Congress once he gets there,” spokesman Hank Sheinkopf said in a statement.
my bridge to your phone
Assemblyman Rory Lancman is going all out with former Mayor Ed Koch today. In addition to a press conference lampooning the status quo of Wall Street, a reader passes along a robocall Mr. Koch is doing on Mr. Lancman’s behalf.
“Hi, this is Ed Koch and I’m asking you to vote for my friend, Rory Lancman, for Congress,” he says in the call. “Rory Lancman served our country in the army and has been fighting for years to protect seniors and to hold Wall Street accountable and to level the economic playing field for you.”
Yesterday, the three main Democratic candidates to replace retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman went on Up Close with Diana Williams. The candidates for this northeastern Queens district, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Assemblywoman Grace Meng, were forced to say specifically where they would come out on some of the contentious issues of the day.
For example, Ms. Crowley recently announced her opposition to a police funding amendment that the rest of New York City’s Democratic congressional delegation supported (including her cousin, Rep. Joe Crowley), arguing it undermined the NYPD. Quizzed on how he would have voted, Mr. Lancman said he would have voted the same as Ms. Crowley, but Ms. Meng said the anti-discrimination language in the amendment was too important and indcated she would have voted in favor of the legislation.
Yesterday, most of New York’s delegation in the House of Representatives backed a measure that would have rebuked the New York Police Department for their Muslim surveillance program by blocking federal spending on police programs that violate the Constitution.
The measure brought howls of protest from conservatives and from Long Island Rep. Peter King, and it ultimately went down to defeat.
This morning, Liz Crowley, a City Councilwoman from Queens who is running for the Congressional seat formerly held by Gary Ackerman sent out a statement saying that she opposed her would-be Democratic colleagues’ efforts.
“Withholding federal funding from our police department because our cops have done their jobs is wrong,” Ms. Crowley said. “The NYPD has acted lawfully to protect New Yorkers from very real terrorist threats. Voting for this measure frustrates the NYPD’s efforts to keep us safe. We need to work on expanding funding for the NYPD in a dangerous world, not cutting it off.”
It had seemed practically every union in New York City had already endorsed in the race for an open congressional seat in northeastern Queens, but that’s not quite the case. Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who has gobbled up the majority of the big unions, announced the American Federation of State, County and Mucipal Employees of New York earlier this afternoon.
In recent weeks, another candidate competing against Mr. Lancman, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, has announced a host of smaller unions, including Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 210 and Local 553, but AFSCME stands out, as with its membership components like DC-37 and and CSEA, it represents over 150,000 workers in New York City (but a smaller number in the Congressional District in question, of course).