As a former supporter and wanting to return to being a supporter of Bob Turner, I wrote an open letter in which I outlined the steps that Bob Turner had to undertake to win the Orthodox Jewish vote. I noted in my open letter that Bob Turner lives in Breezy Point and that it is a segregated community. I proposed four steps that Bob Turner needed to take to win the Orthodox Jewish vote. They were as follows:
1. Bob Turner needs to go to Israel now. He needs to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Israeli officials to discuss the needs of the Jewish State. He should take a tour of the West Bank and the border towns and see the threat to Israel, up front and personal;
2. Bob Turner should meet with the leading Orthodox Rabbi’s and lay leaders in Israel and the United States to discuss the needs of his future constituents and garner their support;
3. Bob Turner has to appoint orthodox Jews as his top campaign aides. The lack of having Orthodox Jews as high level campaign staffers in his campaign is very telling to the Jewish community and the reason for the disconnect between Bob Turner and the Orthodox Jewish community;
4. Bob Turner has to start personally campaigning in Orthodox areas in a serious fashion. He can not leave it to campaign staff, surrogates or the media. Orthodox Jews are smart, they want to see the man, not an artificial message. If you are serious about the Orthodox vote, then go out and meet the people;
After this article hit the web, Bob Turner’s campaign manager, Bill O’Reily replied that Breezy Point is not segregated community any more than Little Italy is. That is a ridiculous statement, belied by the fact that Breezy Point is controlled by a Cooperative Board that has successfully insured that not a single African-American, Hispanic, Indo-Carribean or religious Jew lives in Breezy Point. This, despite the fact, that it is a gated community which is rated one of the safest and beautiful neighborhoods in the city. For a man who wants to represent a district that is Jewish, Indo-Carribean, Hispanic and African American and is counting on the their support, this is hypocritical. It is simple, vote for me, but I don’t want you as my neighbor.
Mr. O’Reily further responded that Bob Turner had previously visited Israel, so he didn’t have to go again. He doesn’t know when Mr. Turner visited Israel, only that he was once there. In my open letter to Mr. Turner, I did not divulge to my readers the events that led up to my advice for Mr. Turner to visit Israel. Now the time has come for the truth to come out. When Turner got the nod to be the Republican candidate, I discussed with Mr. Turner the need to burnish his Israel image. I offered to go with Dr. Joseph Frager and Bob Turner to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, political leaders and Rabbi’s. His response was that of someone who has no idea about Jews or Israel “I was there already.” Bob Turner just doesn’t understand Jews and especially Orthodox Jews and their aspirations.
Curiously, none of the other points I raised was even disputed by Mr. O’Reily, a telling statement by itself.
After my open letter to Bob Turner, Turner did make a single foray into the Jewish Community by going to the Catskills this past Sunday. I’m certain, given his track record, that this is the first and last time that he will campaign in an orthodox setting.
Bob Turner has never been involved in any Jewish organizations and is completely ignorant of the needs of the Jewish community. I am not faulting him for his lack of knowledge, it is simply that in his seventy years on this planet he did not have to deal with Jewish causes or Israel. Yes, he now claims he is an ardent supporter of Israel and Jewish causes, but when has he ever done anything that proves that this is true. He doesn’t personally campaign in Orthodox Jewish areas. Even after my open letter to Bob Turner, Turner has refused to place a single Orthodox Jews in the top echelon of his campaign. Indeed, besides Ed Koch, who endorsed Turner out of revenge for Saul Weprin’s, David Weprin’s father, for his failure to endorse Mr. Koch in Mr. Koch’s race for governor, not a single Rabbi, religious Jewish politician or lay-leader has endorsed Mr. Turner. The lack of endorsements is telling. Mr. Turner talks a good game and knows the right phrases. As Mr. Turner admitted to the Daily News in the April 12, 2011 edition, he blatantly panders to every audience and tells them what they want to hear, but he doesn’t really believe what he says.
To date Mr. Turner has done an excellent job in pandering his message to the Jewish community, but his actions and non-actions speak louder than words. Bob, we get the message, you are pandering to us.
By Asher E. Taub, Former Republican Candidate for NY CD-6
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.