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David Weprin

WNYC News

Driving Out Auto Insurance Fraud through Legislation

Friday, June 08, 2012

Assemblyman David Weprin and other advocates are urging the New York State Assembly to pass a bill that will make it a felony to stage a car accident. The crime is currently a misdemeanor. 

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The Empire

Assemblyman David Weprin not pleased with his new district

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Assemblymembers were given their maps late last night (fellow Queens Assemblymember Grace Meng shared hers already). Former congressional candidate Assemblyman David Weprin is not happy about his.

The new 24th Assembly District lines in Queens would make a minority-majority district that stretches across the borough. The district would be an Asian-influenced district, with about 33 percent of the district being voting-age Asian. The white--and presumably heavily Jewish population that the current district now accommodates--is 26 percent of the voting age population.

Here's Weprin's statement in his letter to LATFOR:

Following the publication of the draft re-districting maps, I want to state my opposition to the changes made to the 24th Assembly district.  While I thank LATFOR for its work on redistricting, our goal must be to ensure that the proposed maps reflect lines that represent a fair and independent process and keep communities of interest together.

Northeast Queens is a special and distinct geographic region, whose residents and community leaders have voiced their desire to be kept together in a contiguous district, rather than be divided. I look forward to offering testimony as part of LATFOR’s public review process and for my constituents to do likewise in order to end with a map that truly represents the unique character of Northeast Queens.

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The Empire

Assemblyman Lancman keeps at Congressman Turner, this time over guns

Friday, January 06, 2012

Assemblyman Rory Lancman wanted a shot at the 9th Congressional District during the special election back in September. Since the man Queens party boss Congressman Joe Crowley picked for the seat, Assemblyman David Weprin, lost to Republican Bob Turner, Assemblyman Lancman has kept up a steady stream of criticism of the new congressman, potentially portending a run against him next year.

Today's critique is over Congressman Turner's position on gun control (something the city takes very seriously).Or, I suppose, lack there of: Turner, according to theQueens Chronicle, won't take a position on a bill to strengthen gun background checks.

“Congressman Bob Turner’s troubling position on guns leaves Queens families and New York’s finest vulnerable,” Lancman said in a statement. “It’s extremely unsettling that someone who represents me and my community would put our safety at risk to satisfy the gun lobby.”

Lancman went on to tout his own record on gun control as an Assemblyman, which earned him an "A" from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and an "F" from the National Rifle Association.

While Lancman almost certainly has strong philosophical differences with Turner, and vice versa, whether or not he'll be able to turn those into campaign fodder will depend entirely on how the Congressional lines are drawn in redistricting.

Hoping to get a response from Turner's folks on this. I'll post when it comes in.

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The Empire

Davidzon: Meet the Man Who Got Bob Turner Elected

Monday, September 19, 2011

Congressman Bob Turner (Courtesy of the Congressman)

Less than 5,000 votes separated Democrat David Weprin from his opponent, now Republican Congressman Bob Turner in last week’s 9th Congressional District contest. It wasn’t really a surprise, as the last poll before the election showed Turner up over Weprin by six points.

Turner ended up beating Weprin by almost eight points, according to unofficial Board of Election results. OK, so Turner did better than expected, but it wasn’t just that he did better; it was where he did better.

In the last Siena poll before the election, Weprin was down five points to Turner in Queens and 12 in Brooklyn. On Election Day, Weprin actually won the overall Queens vote, beating Turner by five percentage points.

But in the southeastern chunk of Brooklyn that made up less than a third of the voters in the 9th Congressional District, Turner won by a whopping two-to-one margin. This might not be surprising to some, but the Turner campaign made a strategic campaign hire that helped ensure that this conservative-leaning, heavily Russian area would be behind their candidate.

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WNYC News

On the Heels of Victory, Turner Is Celebrated at GOP Dinner

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WNYC

Congressman-elect Bob Turner was feted at the annual state Republican Party dinner Wednesday night in Midtown Manhattan like a newly crowned prom king. His upset victory in the 9th Congressional District was referred to throughout the night as a wake up call to Democrats.

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WNYC News

Party Leaders to Dems: Chins Up

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WNYC

Democratic party leaders are trying to reassure members about the party's future after a loss in New York's 9th Congressional district race. Republicans painted the victory as a referendum on President Obama's job performance.

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The Empire

What does a Turner win mean for the future of NY-9?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NY-9: Doomed to extinction? (Courtesy of LATFOR.)

Even before Bob Turner’s upset victory last night, a lot was made about the possibility that the 9th Congressional District might cease to exist soon.

But why, exactly? On a practical level, New York State is going to lose representation in Congress. We grew slower in comparison to other parts of the country over the last ten years, according to the US Census. Since the set number of seats in the House of Representatives are divvied up proportionally among the states based on population, New York is going to get two less seats come 2012.

This process happens every ten years, and in the past there has been an agreement between the Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature, which is responsible for drawing the political lines for all New York political districts. Since the Democrats control the Assembly, and the Republicans control the Senate, when they get together to carve up the state, each side would loses a seat. As the Democrats are strong downstate, they’d likely sacrifice a seat here and vice versa for the Republicans upstate.

It’s an interesting arrangement, as the Federal elected representatives have to lobby their colleagues in the state legislature. Generally speaking, seniority and political influence rule the process, with junior and weaker members more likely to be redistricted out of a job.

“These are political decisions and the lines are drawn in regards to political balance,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor at SUNY New Paltz. “You’re not dealing with math here.”

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The Empire

David Weprin has conceeded to Congressman-elect Bob Turner

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I just called Bob Turner to congratulate him on a well-fought campaign.  He will now have the honor of representing Brooklyn and Queens in Congress, and I hope that he will work every day to represent all of the diverse communities that make up the 9th Congressional district.

I’m incredibly proud of the campaign that we ran, and incredibly grateful to the countless volunteers who worked day after day to bring our message to voters.  In doing so we raised the profile of issues like Medicare, Social Security, and tax relief for working families – issues that will be of critical importance for the next Congress.

Though we may not have won, our work is far from over.  The challenges that face our nation are many, and I will continue to work with all of my supporters to ensure that middle class New Yorkers have a real voice in our city, our state, and our country.

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The Empire

Was Turner's win a rebuke of Obama?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Congressman-elect Bob Turner (Courtesy of the Turner campaign)

Morning! Looking to get a number of things posted, including rundowns of the other races last night, but really wanted to give a quick recap from last night.

While it wasn't a surprise, Bob Turner's upset victory over David Weprin sent shockwaves through the political world. National pundits are calling it a rebuke of Obama and a foreboding omen for 2012.

Certainly that's how the Turner people tried to paint it from Day 1: The special election to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner was a referendum, and sending Turner to Washington would show the president people were fed up.

And they are. Let's be real--people in the 9th Congressional District are not jazzed about the Obama White House. But they never have been. Obama won there with only 55 percent of the vote in 2008. The only other New York City congressional district that had a lower return for Obama sent Republican Michael Grimm to congress. The district's been going red for a number of election cycles.

While I don't want to take away from the Turner win, it had as much to do with Obama as it did a weak Democratic candidate. Likewise, I don't want to kick a guy when he's down, but if the name Weiner had been on the ballot, this district would still be held by Democrats.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Special Elections Show the Waning Power of the Party

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's about races that used to be shoo-ins becoming competitive. And if more challengers sense blood in the water, you'll just see more incumbents and party favorites fighting for their jobs.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Empire

9th Congessional District Special Election Coverage

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Election Day. Throughout the day we'll be updating this post with news from the campaign trail, as well as interesting info from around the web. We'll be with the candidates up until the race is decided so check back in regularly. You can also see the returns come in for the race here.

12:14 AM

From WNYC correspondent Yasmeen Khan

Turner supporters started the chant, "Yes we can!" -- a jab at Obama supporters. Turner quieted the crowd saying, "It's still me up here."

Turner is all smiles: "Maybe we started something," he said. "I sure hope so."

He says he starts work on Thursday

12:10 AM

From WNYC correspondent Yasmeen Khan

Turner has his whole family on stage and is giving a victory speech

12:08 AM

After giving the briefest of comments, Weprin headed straight for the door. Turner's victory speech is playing on the television as Weprin supporters followed Weprin's lead.

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The Empire

The Empire's 9th Congressional District Voters Guide

Monday, September 12, 2011

Compiled by WNYC's Alana Casanova-Burgess

Endorsement selections

Bob Turner (Courtesy of the Turner campaign)

Bob Turner: NY Daily News; NY Post; the Jewish Voice; former governor George Pataki; former mayors Ed Koch; former mayor Rudy Giuliani; Assemblyman Dov Hikind

David Weprin: The New York Times; Queens Tribune; El Diario; Senators Joseph Lieberman; Senator Kirsten Gilbrand; Senator Charles Schumer; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; New York State AFL-CIO; SEIU; 32BJ; DC 37

Federal budget policies

Turner has publicized his goal of cutting federal spending by 35 percent across the board – but that he would not cut Social Security of Medicaid in their present form. Turner was endorsed by former Mayor Ed Koch in part because he has pledged not to privatize Medicare and Social Security and turn Medicaid into a block grant, as per Paul Ryan’s proposal. He also said that he would be open to increasing revenues.

Weprin has attacked Turner by saying his goals to cut federal spending are not realistic. “The Republicans in the House are looking to slash Social Security and Medicare. Frankly, people are scared,” he said. “I will fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare, not to privatize Social Security and Medicare.”

Zadroga Act for 9/11 first responders

Turner has said that the $4.3 billion health law for 9/11 first responders has flaws. “I think it is a little too broad,” he told the New York Daily News Editorial Board last month. Volunteers should not have been included in the law, he added.

Weprin shot back, supporting the law famously championed by Rep. Weiner. “Those volunteers risked their lives,” he said.

Israel

The focus early in the campaign seemed to be on competing support of Israel. The district is home to many Orthodox Jewish voters. For the record, here’s what both candidates said on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC:

David Weprin (Colby Hamilton / WNYC)

Weprin: I think we have to be careful about asking Israel to make concessions that we’re not asking of the Palestinian Authority. Obviously, while there is aid to the Palestinian Authority certain support for recognition of the state of Israel is important but.. I don’t think we differ too much for our strength for the state of Israel. But I think we have to really talk about the other issues where there’s really a major difference.

Weprin, an Orthodox Jew, has also said that he disagrees with President Obama’s stance on Israel.

Turner: I think Mr. Weprin said it himself when he said I will follow the party caucus. The caucus is not always in line with what is in the best interest of Israel or even the U.S. in this regard. So I think that’s an important distinction… I think some UN votes, UN funding will be a part of this. Just the other day we had the Democratic caucus supporting Obama in paying the Palestinians who in turn are paying terrorists who are in Israeli prisons. … I think [cutting off all aid to the Palestinian authority from the U.S. is] a good starting point until we get some cooperation out of them in terms of firing rockets at Israel.

Debt Ceiling Vote

Weprin would not have voted for the compromise deal reached for the debt ceiling, but acknowledged that something had to be done to prevent default. Cuts to Medicare and Social Security would be particularly painful for New Yorkers, he said on WNYC. More recently, he told the Daily News Editorial Board that he thought the federal debt was $4 trillion. It is actually roughly $14 trillion.

Turner also called the deal imperfect, but said in a press release that he supports the deal reached in Washington. “This agreement is far from perfect, but it will protect Social Security and Medicare and prevent default on our debt, which would have damaged this weak economy even more.” Overspending on both sides of the aisle, he added, is to blame.

Gay Marriage

Turner has said he supports marriage as being between a man and a woman. He has received support in his campaign from the anti-gay marriage group, The National Organization for Marriage.

Weprin “supported the same-sex marriage bill in Albany” as a state Assemblyman, he told Brian Lehrer. “It was a civil issue. We basically just authorized civil marriage. It wasn’t a religious issue.”

Turner lives in the 9th Congressional District, although Weprin does not.

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The Empire

NY-9 Special Election: Maybe You Can Vote Tomorrow!

Monday, September 12, 2011

By It's a Free Country blogger Stephen Reader

A sample ballot for tomorrow's special election. (WNYC)

Remember Anthony Weiner? Man! Where did the summer go?

Anyway, that guy is gone and after tomorrow we'll have a new representative of New York's 9th congressional district. The candidates are Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin, and the contest is being cast as a referendum on Barack Obama, etc.

Maybe you didn't know there was an election tomorrow. Maybe you don't know if you're even in this oh-so-coveted and exotic 9th district. Your eighth grade civics teacher would be ashamed. What's a New Yorker to do?

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The Empire

Clinton and Cuomo robocall for Weprin, as Turner files an Israel reminder

Monday, September 12, 2011

David Weprin, left, and Bob Turner ( )

The Weprin campaign is pulling out the big guns a day before voters go to the polls in the 9th congressional district. Governor Andrew Cuomo and former president Bill Clinton are asking voters to support the Democrat for congress. Cuomo's calls will start today. Click on the link to hear the audio.

Cuomo for Weprin

Hello, this is Governor Andrew Cuomo asking you to support David Weprin in tomorrow’s special election for Congress. I’ve known David for many years, and I’ve known him to be a leader who stands up for what’s right. In Congress he’ll stand up for middle class families and he’ll fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare. David will bring jobs to New York and get our economy moving.  That’s why he’s also been endorsed by the New York Times. Once again, this is Governor Andrew Cuomo and I’m asking you to support David Weprin for Congress. I hope you will.

Clinton's call will be going out tomorrow.

Clinton for Weprin

Hello, this is President Bill Clinton. I’m calling to ask you to support David Weprin in today’s special election for Congress. The New York Times endorsed David.  They support him for the same reasons I do: because he’ll stand up for the middle class, he’ll support a good program to put Americans back to work, and he’ll oppose the Tea Party plan to destroy Medicare. Again, it’s President Bill Clinton, I’m proud to support David Weprin for Congress and I hope you will too. Thanks.

Meanwhile, the Turner campaign this morning came out swinging for Israel, demanding the Obama administration rebuke Turkey over the Israeli embassy raiding last week.

"If Turkey wants to be a NATO member, it needs to behave like one," Turner said in a statement. "NATO countries don't militarily escort terrorist weaponry used to attack allies of fellow NATO members. The world is becoming a more dangerous place because of Mr. Obama's demonstrated ambivalence toward Israel and his naïve and academic belief in moral relativity. This is the real world, and President Obama must put his foot down."

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The Empire

The New York Times publishes its profile of David Weprin

Friday, September 09, 2011

Colby Hamilton / WNYC

The Times published its follow-up candidate profile of David Weprin in the race for congress out in Queens today. (I'm guessing Chris Hoeppner's not getting his piece in before Tuesday.)

As we did with Turner's piece yesterday, here's the money section that sort of speaks to the big issue for the Weprin campaign right now:

Among his worst setbacks, he said, was finishing last in the 2009 Democratic primary for comptroller, which he attributed to a lack of support from the Democratic Party machine.

But political operatives who worked with him in that race said he had proved to be a sometimes temperamental candidate.

They said he would miss scheduled meetings with black and Latino groups, only to be discovered spending time with Orthodox Jewish constituents. While he was very skilled at raising money, they said he was also absent-minded.

The Weprin campaign's missteps might be more of trait following the candidate from race to race than any sort of bad luck. And they seem to be taking their toll: Siena came out with their poll this morning showing Turner capturing the majority of the support of those polled, leading the former frontrunner Weprin by 6 points.

The big question will be how the Weprin camp responds this weekend. Mobilizing support from endorsers in labor and elected office, hitting the pavement in the district, using the poll for a last-minute fundraising push--all of these things would indicate a campaign that was still going for the gold.

If today's event today was any indication, things don't look good for Weprin. After the poll was released showing Weprin sliding into second place, the campaign held a "protest" against Donald Trump's endorsement of Bob Turner. In Midtown. Far, far away from the district that could be slipping through his fingers.

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The Empire

Turner blows past Weprin, leads by 6 points in latest NY-9 Siena poll

Friday, September 09, 2011

Poll results after the jump.

With only four days until election, Republican Bob Turner appears to have gained major ground in his race against Democrat David Weprin, according to the Siena Research Institute poll. Turner now leads Weprin 50-44 among likely voters, in a dramatic reversal from last month, when Siena had Weprin up 48-42.

Courtesy of Siena

“Republican Turner heads into the final days of the campaign with a six-point lead in this heavily Democratic district after having trailed Democrat Weprin by six points just four weeks ago,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “While Turner has an overwhelming 90-6 percent lead among Republicans, Weprin has only a 63-32 percent lead among Democrats, and Turner has a 38-point lead among likely independent voters. Currently, Turner enjoys a slightly larger lead among independent voters than Weprin has with Democrats. Weprin needs to find a way to win a larger share of Democratic and independent voters if he’s going to turn the race back around in the final days.”

A series of polls over the past few weeks showed the race tightening, though they were mostly from partisan polling firms or commissioned by the campaigns. Earlier this week, the New York Times pollster Nate Silver said that, based on available data, he was giving Weprin the slightest of edges.

"Over all, Mr. Weprin’s advantages are more tangible, which is why I would consider him a modest favorite given the ambiguity in the polling," Silver said in his article Wednesday. "But a victory by Mr. Turner would hardly be surprising. I always caution against drawing national implications from special election results, and would certainly do so here given the idiosyncrasies of the district. But it would represent a nice little notch in Republicans’ belts and a troubling data point for Democrats."

With this latest poll, Weprin's chances appear to be slipping, as Turner's call to send a message to Washington appears to be gaining major traction.

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The Empire

New York Times profiles Bob Turner, who reminds us his opponent can't vote for himself

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Courtesy of the Turner campaign

The quote:

“I do have an appreciation for shtick,” Mr. Turner, 70, conceded with a mischievous laugh. “It draws attention to the race and makes the mundane newsworthy.”

Yes, it's been noted on this blog before, as the race at times has felt like an episode of the Springer Show. The piece does go on to give some important insight into Turner's background in television that haven't been looked at in-depth before.

In other Turner news, his campaign reminded us this morning that his opponent, Democrat David Weprin, doesn't actually live in the district and won't be able to vote for himself next Tuesday:

"Bob Turner will be voting for himself next Tuesday morning; I have no idea what Mr. Weprin will be doing at the time," Turner campaign spokesman William O'Reilly said in a statement. "Mr. Weprin doesn't live in the Ninth Congressional District, but he I guess he couldn't resists running to represent it.  Mr. Weprin is a professional politician who evidently runs for everything."

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The Empire

Weprin campaign releases new video

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Check out the up-beat, if not musically derivative, campaign spot from the Weprin campaign. It'll be running through Election Day next week. According to the Weprin campaign:

The ad prominently features David’s endorsement by the New York Times, which states that David “has far more expertise and fiscal rationality” than his opponent, and points out that David “has promoted education and civil rights and fought to protect senior citizens”.

The ad also notes that the Times warned against Bob Turner’s Tea Party budget ideas, specifically that “Turner would force a reduction in benefits for those on Social Security and Medicare”.  A recent poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group found that when voters are informed about the New York Times endorsement, David Weprin’s lead increases to 23 points over his opponent.

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The Empire

A socialist and a reporter try to walk into a NY-9 debate...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Socialist Workers Party candidate Chris Hoeppner. (Courtesy of the Socialist Workers Party)

I managed to get on the wrong bus on Cross Bay Boulevard. Figuring I’d save myself a few minutes in the rain, I jumped on at 157th Street, and hit the button to get off across from the Cross Bay Diner at 161st Street.

Ten minutes later I was at the foot of the Cross Bay Bridge, giving Chris Hoeppner -- the Socialist Workers Party candidate in the congressional race to replace Anthony Weiner -- bad directions. He finally found me, a half hour late and soaked.

I apologized for the rigmarole, but Hoeppner skipped quickly past the $3.25 in tolls he just paid, each way, on the bridge. We were on a tight schedule; he had a debate to attend.

“I grew up in Woodside,” Hoeppner said as we drove through the rain. “I’ve been involved in politics for 40 years.”

The windows fogged up — it was an older car with a barely working defroster — bringing visibility in the downpour to a dangerous low. Hoeppner didn’t seem to notice as he started firing away at the absurdness he sees in the race. His voice pinched emphatically as he broke down how “they”—the Democrats and Republicans—fail working people.

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The Empire

Weprin gets Schumer, Turner gets Pataki as NY-9 campaign enters final week

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin are pulling out all sorts of endorsements as the campaign to replace Anthony Weiner in New York's 9th Congressional District.

Today US Senator Charles Schumer toured senior homes with Weprin, discussing the threat they say Turner poses to seniors.

"David has the values, the experience and the vision we need in Washington," Schumer was quoted saying in a statement. "We can count on David to fight against the Republican plan to gut Medicare and Social Security. We can count on David to fight for middle-class families in Brooklyn and Queens and to focus on getting people back to work."

Meanwhile Turner had arguably his biggest day of endorsements yet. Earlier he stood with former -- and over-before-it-started candidate for president -- Governor George Pataki, as the governor lent his endorsement.

"Our federal debt threatens the very future of America as we know it, and Bob Turner has the courage to do something about it," Pataki said in a statement. "He isn't just fighting to preserve Social Security and Medicare for our senior citizens, he's fighting to make sure those programs are there for our children and grandchildren. Bob Turner has the real-world business experience we need in Congress, and I strongly endorse him."

Turner also picked up the endorsement of the New York Post today. The Daily News had already backed Turner, meaning he's captured the lucrative tabloid endorsement market.

Perhaps most importantly -- though not surprisingly -- the Turner campaign announced Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind will give Turner his endorsement tomorrow. Hikind, who represents a heavily Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, has indicated he would not support his colleague in the assembly over, among other things, his vote for same-sex marriage.

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