Lawmaker Plans Controversial Hearings on Islamic Threat
Why Kissinger Said U.S. Jews Acted 'Traitorously'
A Talmud Ace Tackles Thorny Issue of Net Neutrality
The Biggest Pro-Israel Group in America? That’s Us, Says Christians United
Senate Fight Over Arms Reduction Treaty Puts AIPAC in the Hot Seat
AIPAC Gets Down and Dirty in Pushback vs. Defamation Suit
The Rise, Then The Fall of GOP’s ‘National Rabbi’
Terror Expert Emerson Feels His Own Heat Over Finances
Jewish Voters, Obama and the Great Elephant Hunt
Jewish Congressman Loses Florida Seat to Hard-Line, Pro-Israel Republican
Forward Closeup: Some Israelis Hoping for A GOP Win, But Will History Repeat Itself?
Forward Closeup: Boxer-Fiorina Race Redefines 'Negative'
Forward Closeup: Wisconsin's Feingold Fights for Political Life
Forward Closeup: Israel Is a Campaign Issue, But How Big?
Forward Closeup: New York Candidates Court Hasidic Vote
Forward Closeup: J Street Flap Shines Spotlight On George Soros And His Money
Opinion: What J Street Can Learn From The Tea Party
Forward Closeup: How Christian Is the Tea Party?
Forward Closeup: Grayson Defying Convention in Florida
Forward Closeup: Cantor Gunning For Another Revolution
Senate Race To Watch: Fiorina Threatens Boxer in California
Senate Race To Watch: Ex-Bush Official Vies With Ohio’s Jewish Lt. Gov.
Senate Race To Watch: Obama's Banker Friend Takes On Illinois Rep.
Senate Race To Watch: Three-Way Race Heats Up Florida
Senate Race To Watch: Israel Looms Large in Penn Contest
House Race To Watch: Newbie Wisconsin Republican Takes Lead Over Feingold
House Race To Watch: A Choice, Not An Echo in Affluent Chicago Suburbs
House Race To Watch: Black War Vet Challenges Jewish Incumbent in South Florida
House Race To Watch: Democrat Withstanding Challengers on S.I. Despite ‘Jewish Money’ Flap
Forward Closeup: The Ten To Watch in 2010
Forward Closeup: New Conservative Group Targets Democrats Working With J Street
Forward Closeup: Pennsylvania Senate Race Turns Into Battlefield for Dueling Pro-Israel Groups
Forward Closeup: Battle for Jewish Votes In a Florida Race That Threatens To Oust Incumbent
Dressed to … Distress: The Atlantic found photographs of Ohio Republican house candidate Rich Iott in Nazi Uniform. His campaign maintains his affiliation is purely historical — it was for a group that reenacts SS battles — but experts disagree. Either way, not a great calling card for Jewish voters. (BBC)
Republican Jewish Push: Speaking of the Jewish vote, with three weeks left to the election, the Republican Jewish Committee announced it was buying $1 million in advertisements on behalf of eight congressional candidates. (MizVote)
This could be the biggest single injection of Jewish organizational money into the mid-term campaign so far.
The Republican Jewish Coalition announced today that it was putting $1 million into eight congressional races, in attempt to promote Republican candidates.
POTUS, Hammering Away: While on the campaign trail, Barack Obama chided the GOP’s private donations, suggesting that some of the cash came from abroad. “Groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads come from,” he said. (The New York Times)
Think you have a good grip of all the Jewish candidates running for office in the November elections?
Well, how about Judge Eric Brown from Ohio?
Yes, he is Jewish, and yes, he is running.
Eric Brown, if elected, will be the first Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. In fact, he already is. Brown was appointed by the governor to fill in the vacancy of the sudden death of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer in April, but now he is running for a full 6-year term.
In early September, MitzVote sent a questionnaire to candidates we wanted to learn more about. We’ve just received our answers from California Senator Barbara Boxer — the Democratic incumbent who is fighting Republican Carly Fiorina to defend her seat — via Boxer campaign research director Rosa Po. Here’s what Boxer had to say, word for word and hot off the … inbox.
(For the record: MitzVote still awaits Fiorina’s answers. Read more of our coverage on this race here.)
MitzVote: What is your position on each of the following?: Closing of Guantanamo bay and transfer of its remaining residents to a U.S. prison facility; warrantless wiretapping; the use on suspected terrorists of waterboarding and other treatments that were described by President Bush as “enhanced interrogation techniques” but which critics have labeled torture; prosecuting government officials or contractors who authorized or practiced these techniques.
Big Bucks: Florida’s Republican senatorial candidate Marco Rubio has held a lead in polls against rivals independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek — and yesterday posted that he raised $5 million in the last quarter. As Politico’s Alexander Burns puts it: “that’s a ridiculous fundraising performance, and if one of Rubio’s two opponents can compete in cash on hand it’s more likely to be Crist.” (Politico’s Morning Score)
Darlin’ Arlen on the Trail: In April 2009, longtime Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter announced he was going Democratic. He was then defeated in the primaries by Joe Sestak. And on Monday, he’s going to start campaigning for him. (Philadelphia Jewish Voice)
A Story You Can Bank On: Illinois senatorial candidate Alexi Giannoulias, a former official at his family’s Chicago area bank, is “consistently vague” about just what he did there, the Chicago Tribune finds. In the words of his opponent Mark Kirk, “First he said he was the senior loan officer and ran much of the bank in order to be elected state treasurer. Then, when it was revealed that the Tony Rezko loans were made, he said, ‘Well, I left in 2005.’ Then when it was revealed that he took a $2.7 million tax deduction that required him to justify 500 hours of work (in 2006), he said that he actually was there in 2006.” (Chicago Tribune)
A survey out today confirms the sense many observers of the Tea Party movement have had regarding members’ religious leanings. The American Values Survey, conducted biennially by the Public Religion Research Institute, found that 47% of those who identify themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement also describe themselves as being part of the religious right or the conservative Christian movement.
Eight of 10 Tea Partiers identify themselves as Christians, and among them, a majority say they are conservative Christians. More detailed questions confirm the social conservative nature of Tea Party supporters: A majority of them oppose abortion rights, and only a small minority support gay marriage rights.
The Other [Uncovered] March: Think only Glenn Beck can lure tens of thousands to the National Mall for a march? Well, think again — because over the weekend, an estimated 200,000 liberals attended the “One Nation Working Together March,” organized by unions, civil rights groups and other left-inclined groups. (The Week)
Joining the Caucus: While many conservative anti-abortion activists would allow abortion in the case of rape or incest, some of this year’s more extreme, tea-partying candidates oppose that, too. NBC host Rachel Maddow has dubbed this group the “Bear Your Rapist’s Baby Caucus,” and Raw Story has found 78 of its “members.” Among them: Kentucky senate candidate Rand Paul: Delaware senate candidate Christine O’Donnell; and Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle. (AlterNet)
An Unlikely Pair: Though O’Donnell has garnered much attention for her previous crusade against masturbation, was it that different from Norman Mailer’s? (MitzVote)
A previously little known, earnest Christian woman running for a high-profile office her first time out confronts derision, scorn and outrage in 2010 thanks to dredged up 14-year-old comments in which she criticized masturbation for its purported role in stoking lust and discouraging intimacy. She’s pummeled, eviscerated, all but left for politically dead.
That’s Republican Christine O’Donnell today as her numbers continue to fall in the race for Delaware’s open Senate seat.
Forty-one years ago, on the other hand, it was a gruff and celebrated Jewish male from Brooklyn running for high-profile office his first time out, just six years after denouncing masturbation as conduct so heinous that “it’s better to commit rape than masturbate.”
And public reaction was — well, nothing.
Glass Half Full: With the election 29 days away, Democrats are gaining hope as polls make them out to be more competitive than they seemed over the summer. Or at least talking heads are saying so: As Axelrod said last week in Google/Politico’s election preview, “You’re going to see Democrats winning in places that you didn’t expect them to win…. I think we are going to win some races that you guys perhaps don’t think we’re going to win.” Strategists still expect Republican gains, but say their projected impact has diminished. This change in tone comes just as the Democratic National Committee posts record fundraising stats in this election cycle: $16 million in September. (Politico)
Extremely Extreme: Florida’s 8th congressional district is home to one of the country’s more distinctive contests, as we’ve reported here: liberal Jewish Democrat Alan Grayson vying against conservative Christian Republican Daniel Webster. To Webster’s already solid conservative Christian bona fides — he works to restrict abortion, fought for the state to force-feed Terry Schiavo and homeschooled his own children — Alternet reports that Alan Grayson’s FL Republican Opponent Tied To “Biblical Stoning” Movement, AKA Christian Reconstructionism. The district already seems to be leaning Webster’s way, but maybe now he’ll capture the elusive biblical stoner vote as well.
Boxing Back: Despite the wide interest in Carly Fiorina’s challenge to longtime California Senator Barbara Boxer, polling throughout September consistently showed Boxer ahead. According to Real Clear Politics, though, it’s more a sign that Fiorina’s numbers are falling than that the incumbent is gaining more support.
Rahm Emanuel is leaving, David Axelrod might be on his way out, Larry Summers will be gone by the fall, and Peter Orszag has already moved on.
Are there any Jews left in the White House?
The latest wave of departures of senior White House advisers seems to have taken its toll on the Jewish presence in top administration positions.
The most visible Jewish official, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, decided to part with President Obama and seek election as the mayor of his hometown of Chicago next year. David Axelrod, senior adviser to the president who’s been with Obama since their Chicago days, is reportedly also planning to leave this fall, although he will not be going far. Axelrod will focus on preparing Obama’s strategy for the 2012 presidential elections.
Former congressman Robert Wexler has been out of politics for nearly a year, but in his home state of Florida he still has a say, especially with the state’s large Jewish community.
That is why Wexler’s endorsement of governor Charlie Crist for Florida’s Senate seat drew much attention. Wexler preferred to back the Republican-turned-Independent candidate over his own party member, Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek.
“There is a special time in which elected officials, and people to which people look to, have to put country before party,” Wexler said about his decision, “and this is one of those times.”
In his endorsement speech, Wexler, who is Jewish, touted Crist’s credentials on issues close to Democratic voters: women’s rights, public education, and voting rights. “He earned our support,” Wexler said. His endorsement came at a time when Crist’s Democratic rival is running campaign ads portraying him as a staunch conservative. The ads show clips of Crist in his former Republican affiliation praising Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush and stating he is a “pro-life, pro-gun, anti tax-Republican.”
Is the discovery of George Soros’ donations to J Street beginning to take its political toll?
Early signs from the race in Illinois 9th congressional district may indicate that the answer is positive.
Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who was endorsed by J StreetPAC and received campaign donations from them, is now openly criticizing the dovish lobby because of the Soros affair.
Florida Heat: According to Politico’s Alexander Burns, Gov. Charlie Crist, running in Florida’s senatorial contest as an independent, is about to get “the full Arlen Specter treatment” as the state’s Democratic party supports an ad from Democratic opponent Kendrick Meek that points to Crist’s Republican — no less, his “Jeb Bush Republican” — past. It includes footage of Crist praising Sen. John McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate. (Politico)
American Israel Public Affairs Committee spokesman Josh Block is stepping down from his post at the pro-Israel lobby and setting up shop as a consultant for Democrats. Block, who has been AIPAC’s spokesman for the past 9 years, will be starting a new Washington media consulting firm with former Clinton White House aide Lanny Davis.
-The Jewish Wife Gambit: Gov. Charlie Crist, the independent in the three-way race for Florida’s senate seat, is gunning for the Jewish vote. In front of a crowd of 600 mostly Jewish retirees, he called his wife, Carole, a “nice Jewish girl who grew up on Long Island.” (Sun-Sentinel)
-Rahmbo’s Running … Fast: Politico reports that Rahm Emanuel is expected to leave the White House ASAP — perhaps this Friday, even — to jumpstart his stab at Chicago’s City Hall, where he would be the Windy City’s first Jewish mayor. The New York Times holds out for the possibility of a more decorous exit, saying merely that Emanuel could “make an announcement as early as Friday.” Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo finds the first possibility “unseemly and almost bizarre.” “Chief of Staff is usually considered a pinnacle job rather than a stepping stone,” he writes. “You do it until the president is done with you or you burn out, neither of which usually takes very long. And five weeks before an election? On very short notice? It just doesn’t seem right.” (Politico)
The rise to power of Barack Obama has been a vexing issue for many Republicans in the past two years. How did he ever get elected?
Well, it turns out the answer is simple: by hypnotizing the Jews.
Or at least that is what one group of conservative doctors thinks. The group, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which is based in Arizona, opposes Obama’s healthcare plan and is strongly against abortions. It also published an article in 2008 wondering if Obama is “a brilliant orator, or a hypnotist?” The answer, according to the paper published on the group’s website, is that Obama has used in his speeches “covert hypnosis intended only for licensed therapists on consenting patients.” And those most affected by Obama’s covert hypnosis were Jewish voters. Or else, the paper asks, how could you explain the fact that “many Jews are supporting a candidate who is endorsed by Hamas, Farrakhan, Khalidi and Iran”?
-Less Competition in the Windy City: Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been eyeing a run for mayor of Chicago — the first Jewish one, at that. Yesterday, former city inspector David Hoffman, also Jewish, announced he isn’t running — a decision the Sun-Times expects will help Rahm’s candidacy. (Chicago Sun-Times)
-The Not So Wild West?: The San Francisco Chronicle is unimpressed with the race between Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer for U.S. Senate — so the paper isn’t endorsing either of them. Boxer, the Democratic incumbent, the editorial says, “has failed to distinguish herself” during her 18 years in the seat; and Republican challenger Fiorina “has an agenda that would undermine the nation’s need to move forward” on issues such as climate change, health care, and immigration. (San Francisco Chronicle)
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