Should He Stay Or Go? Weiner Constituents Mixed
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Protesters gathered in front of Congressman Anthony Weiner's Kew Gardens office on Sunday called for his resignation in the wake of the sexting scandal in which the Congressman is currently embroiled. But as they chanted, Weiner supporters quickly came to his defense, calling on the seven-term Congressman to complete his term.
The group of protesters was a small but vocal. Shouting into a megaphone, organizer Robert Holden from Middle Village led the thirty-some constituents in chanting: "Resign now, rehab later".
"At this point we feel that Anthony Weiner cannot be an effective leader, after all that's gone on," Holden told the small crowd of onlookers. "If he wants to get well, let him go off, let him resign and, in a year and a half, if he wants to come back, let him run again. But that seat is not his. It belongs to the 9th Congressional District."
In a NY1-Marist poll released last Wednesday, 56 percent of Weiner's constituents said the Congressman should not step down. Carrying a sign with boxes checked "perv", "liar" and "cheat", Patricia Farrell said the rally was meant to prove the poll wrong.
"Our children are watching him," she said. "What kind of an example is he setting?"
Republicans like Farrell are not the only ones asking Weiner to resign from office. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Weiner to step down on Saturday, not just take a leave of absence, as Weiner has requested. Weiner's spokesperson said the Congressman has entered "treatment."
But the short protest on Sunday showed that opinion is split over the Congressman. Just as things were heating up, another group of Weiner constituents quickly organized an impromptu demonstration of their own. Harde Singh from Forest Hill held a makeshift sign reading "Anthony Weiner is FOR the people" as he chanted, "We support Weiner."
"I am not saying what he did was appropriate. Possibly he has issues he has to deal with," Singh said. "Let him go, take care of the situation, come back and then we will decide what we are going to do."
"We" meaning he and his fellow Democrats, Singh said. Would he reelect Weiner to office in 2012?
"He is one of the only Congressmen I agree with," Singh said.