Sunday, September 5, 2010

Five Towns Jewish Times Endorses Fran

Primary Election Day Print E-mail
Local News
By Larry Gordon   
on Thursday, September 02, 2010
There will be a host of intraparty election contests around the country on September 14, as the process of choosing our elected officials in various legislative forums begins the final leg of the journey to what is certain to be a momentous Election Day on November 2.

This year, more than in any other of the ten years that this newspaper has been publishing, we have seen a parade of candidates marching through our offices and laying out their visions of what needs to be done in county, city, and statewide elections in order to right a political process that in all too many instances seems to have gone awry.

In our circles, in communities here on Long Island and throughout the Jewish communities in the five boroughs of New York City, it seems that almost everyone you speak with is eager and filled with anticipation at the opportunity to cast their votes and contribute to making things with America right again.

That process begins on September 14, as both Democrats and Republicans go to the polls to choose their candidates to represent the voters’ and citizens’ interests in places like Mineola, Albany, and Washington, DC. There are, of course, a multitude of issues that need to be aired and explored, but we would be remiss and neglecting reality if we did not mention up front that first and foremost this year’s electoral process is about sending a message to Washington and President Obama.

More than in any other segment of the country, the overall Jewish community is disenchanted with President Obama. While the president received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, a recent poll indicated that were Obama to face a reelection contest today, he would receive only 41 percent of the Jewish vote. Candidates and officials across the broad political spectrum agree that there will be an extreme anti-incumbent and anti-Democrat sentiment expressed at the polls. What is not yet known is how severe that backlash is going to be.

Here in our home area, the 4th Congressional District, our representative in Congress for the last 14 years has been Carolyn McCarthy. She’s a liberal Democrat that, according to those preparing to oppose her in November, has voted 97 percent of the time with President Obama. Over the years, she has faced opposition at election time, but to date there has not been a genuine or effective campaign mounted to unseat her. If there ever was an opportunity to do so, this is the year.

Mrs. McCarthy is a wonderful well-meaning individual who has served her constituents, particularly here in the Orthodox Jewish communities on the south shore of Long Island, fairly well. Her positions on Israel are relatively good, and she even supported and voted for legislation that insisted that Israel has a right to defend itself in the face of the barrage of rockets it absorbed from Gaza up until the Gaza War of 2009. Why there has to be legislation at all that communicates to a free and independent democratic country that it has a right to defend itself is another story.

Her statement, however, on the Obama view of the peace process and the call for a two-state solution raises some real questions. Her website displays her statements and votes in support of Israel, but there is no mention of any support, for example, for keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. That’s a simple issue in a strong pro-Israel community like ours, but it is simply not in tune with the Obama vision or approach.

Becker vs. Scaturro

I suppose this is just one reason that there are two Republicans who will be facing off in a primary election on September 14 to be designated as the candidate who will oppose Mrs. McCarthy on November 2.

Fran Becker has been a member of the Nassau County Legislature for the last 14 years and who cares deeply about the district and communities he hopes to represent in Washington. He’s a conservative Republican with a vision in tune with Ronald Reagan and emphatically opposed to the direction in which President Obama and the Democratic Congress want to take this country.

Becker has forceful and innovative positions on how to go about creating jobs and putting Americans back to work instead of cultivating an ever-increasing class of unemployed district residents. He is steadfastly in favor of important pocketbook issues that are very meaningful for our community. Becker is in favor of school vouchers for yeshivas and other private schools and firmly believes that we have to reverse the tax-and-spend momentum, bring down taxes, and restore our economy to health. He believes strongly in Israel’s right to defend itself and has very little faith in the proposed two-state solution that is currently being discussed in Washington.

Becker makes it clear that he believes Israel does not have a partner at present with which to negotiate peace. He poignantly asks how Israel can be expected to close a deal with a Palestinian entity that represents less than half of the Palestinian people.

Frank Scaturro is challenging Becker for the right to run against McCarthy in November. Scaturro is young (about 38 years old), brash, and intelligent. He was hoping to receive the Nassau County Republican Party endorsement, but for a variety of reasons did not receive the nod of the party, and Becker became the selected candidate in May.

Scaturro has had a headstart and has raised significantly more money, but Becker is running hard. It’s a difficult choice to make, as both are very impressive candidates, but considering Becker’s years of service as an elected official and his extensive business experience in the financial sector, we are endorsing Fran Becker for Republican candidate for Congress in the 4th Congressional District of New York.

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