Rep. Anthony Weiner Shares His Mayoral Aspirations
Hamodia - (Excerpt) - August 31, 2005 - Hamodia Staff
No one can accuse Congressman Anthony Weiner of being passive. True to his Brooklyn roots, the mayoral candidate's pugnacious and sharp-witted reputation justified itself as he answered questions and discussed a range of issues, including Jonathan Pollard, the United Nations, schools and housing, during an interview with Hamodia last week.
For the enjoyment and education of our readers, we are presenting that interview, as follows:
Hamodia: Could you tell our readers a little bit about your background - about your family and where you come from in the city?
Weiner: I grew up not far from here in Park Slope on 6th Avenue between 8th Street and the park I have two brothers. My brother Seth, of blessed memory, I lost a couple of years ago. I have a younger brother Jason who is a chef and has two restaurants in the Hamptons. He's the talented one in the family. He won't go hungry for several reasons.
...After college I went to work for Chuck Schumer in Washington, then later on in his Brooklyn office. I ran his Brooklyn office, then in 1991, when there was a council seat that had opened up because of redistricting in the City Council, I ran for that.
Hamodia: Opened up where?
Weiner: It was in Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, a bissel Borough Park, a bissel Brighton. It didn't go all the way into Borough Park, just up to Ave. J. I served for seven years in the City Council. Then when Chuck Schumer ran for Senate I ran for his seat and the rest is history And this last year I've been running for this high office (of mayor). All of my campaigns have had certain familiar themes. I've always run in races where I've been outspent by my opponent and I'm sure to be outspent by Bloomberg. I always ran in races where I was the underdog when a political organization supported the other guy. That was true when I ran for city council and that was true when I ran for Congress. Thank G-d, I've never lost a race.
Hamodia: You're one of the most vocal politicians in support of commuting the sentence of Jonathan Pollard. Do you see yourself in the future willing to speak out on his behalf?
Weiner: One of the reasons I want to be mayor is that there's no bigger (platform) than the one you have when you're mayor of the City of New York.
Hamodia: In what sense?
Weiner: Well, in this sense: You have relatives in Michigan or California or Floridacall them up and ask them who the two senators are from New York. They'd have trouble. Then ask them who the mayor is - they always know who the mayor of New York is.
...Recently there was a fine against the Arab Bank, which is here in New York City, for laundering money that was going to terrorists. Now, I stood up and said we need to seize the assets of the bank for the victims of terror and close them down and tell them to leave New York.
I can say that. I can get some attention and there's an article in the newspaper this big (making a small gesture). When you are the mayor of New York people hear it.
I have been fighting for Jonathan Pollard my entire career in politics. If the mayor of the City of New York stands up and says next time the attorney General is in town 'I want to have a meeting with him because I want to talk about Jonathan Pollard,' believe me the mayor of New York has a great deal of influence. Not what you say always happens but you have a voice on things that other people don't.
The United Nations is technically a tenant of the city of New York. If the mayor stood up the next time they had a ceremony talking about an expansion and said 'that's outrageous. This is the most anti-Israel institution man has ever created,' it would elevate their record to the front pages of the newspapers.
So, the message is yes, when you're the mayor people hear you
(Now,) the argument over Jonathan has moved over time. First there was this allegation that he had a photographic memory and the information he had could still be used. Then they stopped arguing that and said that his lawyers couldn't see it because it was no longer relevant. Well, if it's not relevant, then what's the difference? ....
End of excerpt.