The New York Daily News endorsed Bob Turner for Congress this morning, calling him the candidate with “a real-world sense of the country’s fiscal distress and of the pressing need to jump-start employment opportunities.”
And they agreed with former mayor Ed Koch that voters should elect Turner to send a message to President Obama over his Israel policy, something that The Times criticized in their endorsement of Weprin.
Meanwhile, the editors hit Weprin for having vague policy prescriptions and for being the chosen candidate of the Brooklyn and Queens Democratic machines.
The Daily News has been a bit all over the place when it comes to endorsement in recent years, backing Eric Dinallo for attorney general in 2010 and Eric Gioia for public advocate in 2009. It was the only newspaper to endorse either of them, and they both went down to defeat.
Full text below.
The people of Anthony Weiner’s old congressional district will elect a successor at a time when Washington faces historic challenges in cutting the national debt and creating jobs. They should choose Bob Turner.
After a private-sector career as a television industry executive, Turner has a real-world sense of the country’s fiscal distress and of the pressing need to jump-start employment opportunities.
Voters in the overwhelmingly Democratic Brooklyn-Queens district have responded well to Turner despite his sin of being a Republican.
With no name recognition and little money, he scored an astounding 40% of the vote against the well-known Weiner last year. And the polls now put Turner within easy striking distance of Democratic rival David Weprin.
Turner has the right central priority: tackling the federal deficit and creating a climate for job growth.
He accepts the truth that America cannot climb out of its hole without reforming Medicare and Social Security. He put on the table such measures as raising the retirement eligibility age for people who are 55 or younger.
At the same time, unlike so many Republicans, he says he is open to raising revenues to cut the deficit. He cites closing tax loopholes as an avenue to collecting dough and said he would have accepted the $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan that eluded President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
That position places Turner somewhere on the same page as President Obama, who has called for a “balanced” approach to fiscal policy.
The race has focused also on matters of particular interest to the district’s Jewish residents, including a substantial Orthodox population.
Ed Koch finds Turner a kindred spirit in criticizing Obama’s policies toward the Jewish state. Koch is calling on voters to elect Turner to send a message of repudiation to the White House.
Where Turner is a self-made office seeker, Weprin is a product of the Queens County Democratic Organization. The bosses slipped him into the City Council and the Assembly through noncompetitive primaries and special elections.
Queens chief Joseph Crowley and Brooklyn ruler Vito Lopez did the same for Weprin in making him the Democratic candidate in this race – even though Weprin does not live in the district.
As for Weprin on the issues, he purports to believe that – no tough decisions needed – the deficit will somehow fix itself if the U.S. brings troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Appearing before the Daily News Editorial Board, he said he would have voted against the deficit deal that saved America from defaulting. Then he said he’d have voted for the deal if his vote had been necessary for passage. Where he really stands is any voter’s guess.
Most famously, in the same Editorial Board session, Weprin proved clueless as to the size of the national debt. He pegged the amount at $4 trillion – a mere $10 trillion less than it actually is.
To be sure, Turner has his faults. He was misinformed when speaking to the Editorial Board about the federal Zadroga bill that will provide health care and compensation to sickened 9/11 responders. He has been wrong to make a campaign issue of the so-called Ground Zero mosque. And he has been doubly wrong in urging government action to block the mosque – a stance that runs counter to the First Amendment.
Perfection is not the standard. Superiority is. Turner is the superior candidate and has the Daily News’ endorsement.