Sept. 13 will be Primary Day. It will also include several special elections in Queens, especially the race in the 9th Congressional District for the seat formerly held by U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner. About 70 percent of the district is in Queens and 30 percent in Brooklyn. Republican Robert Turner is facing Democrat David Weprin. Turner ran against Weiner last year and received a respectable 40 percent of the vote in a district that is heavily Democratic.
In a recent interview with Turner, he spoke about some current issues. He indicated he is not a politician but a businessman who has been successful in the television industry. He also refers to himself as a citizens’ candidate trying to straighten out the “mess in Washington.”
He believes the three main issues of the campaign are jobs, the economy and the deficit. When asked if he is elected what would be the first bill he would introduce as a member of Congress, his response was that he would begin the process to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit federal spending so the national crisis we just experienced with the federal government will not happen again.
Regarding Medicare and Social Security, he opposes privatization or any changes in those plans. He would like to see a bipartisan group of lawmakers review these systems to initiate ways of preserving them.
Pertaining to President Barak Obama’s calling for Israel to return to its borders prior to the 1967 war, Turner is strongly opposed to that. He called the president’s position on this critical issue unrealistic. Turner believes Israel as a sovereign nation should set its own policy regarding borders and should not be dictated to.
Turning to terrorism, Turner believes there should be a more proactive campaign against radical Islam, similar to the fight against Communism during the Cold War, especially when Ronald Reagan was president. As for troop deployment in Afghanistan, he wants more input from our military commanders before these kinds of military decisions are made.
As for his views on capital punishment, he favors it and believes these kinds of laws should be on the books as a matter of justice in dealing with capital crimes.
On voting procedures in federal and state elections, Turner emphasized that election laws have to be obeyed and enforced. He also favors the use of photo identification at polling sites. Regarding the problem of illegal aliens, he believes our immigration laws must be enforced.
He is happy and grateful for the endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch.
Turner believes he has a major disagreement with his opponent, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) on economic problems, our stagnant economy and promoting a pro-business attitude in dealing with these matters.
In summarizing his campaign, Turner said, “This is an extremely important campaign that will be seen beyond the 9th Congressional District of New York. It will be looked upon across the country as a referendum on President Obama’s policies.”
This special election will achieve a lot of interest nationally, considering the serious difficulties our nation faces at this time. Special elections can be difficult to predict, since there is usually a low voter turnout compared to November general elections. There is the question of the amount of financial resources the Republican and Democratic congressional campaign committees put into the race.
Turner’s opponent has the advantage of having served on the City Council and is now serving in the Assembly, although he lives outside the congressional district by a few blocks and Turner has lived in the neighborhoods of the district all his life.
This campaign will attract significant interest in the weeks ahead.
©2011 Community News Group
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