(INN).As candidates throughout the nation gear up for what promises to be heated battles in the upcoming November mid-term elections, our regional candidates, some hitherto unknown to the public, are setting the stage to challenge the agenda of the Obama administration. Susan Kone, an attorney from Manhattan is the GOP candidate for the 8th congressional district which covers parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan's upper west side. She is taking on the incumbent Jerrold Nadler (D) who has held this seat since 1992. Ms. Kone describes herself as a "grassroots candidate" who gives voice to the frustrations of New Yorkers who staunchly oppose the policies emanating from the current administration. Israel National News sat down with Ms. Kone to discuss her policy positions.
Fern Sidman (FS): Will You be debating Mr. Nadler?
SK: I have proposed a series of debates between Mr. Nadler and me so that his insensitivity gets replaced with insights—open discussions. I believe the people of the 8th Congressional District want Mr. Nadler to agree to debate any and all issues, candidate-to-candidate, in free, fair forums, open to the press and public. Unfortunately, Mr. Nadler has stonewalled my invitation. This is yet another example of his insensitivity to the feelings and views of the vast majority of his constituents. It is in our community’s interest to have an open discussion of the many pressing issues that confront us so that each citizen can make the most informed decision as possible on November 2. However, given his abysmal record on the issues - including jobs, the economy, taxes healthcare and Israel - he knows that it is not in his political interest to debate and so he has opted out. This is a primary reasons I am running against Mr. Nadler - unfortunately, somewhere along the line it became all about him and not about us.
Mr. Nadler has been insensitive to the feelings of those of us in the community - including the families of the victims of September 11 and the brave first responders - who oppose the proposed mosque at Ground Zero as a poor and insensitive choice of location. He has called them “shameful”, “hateful” and “divisive” and had labeled their “hurt speech” as “hate speech”. He has also been insensitive to the lack of jobs; increasing tax and regulatory burdens, declining incomes; future-threatening gargantuan deficit, increase in poverty; increases in healthcare costs and decline in quality and availability; and this Adminstration’s poor treatment of Israel and our other democratic allies.
FS: You recently launched an ad campaign entitled “Think Jerrold Nadler is Pro-Israel -- Think Again?” What were you getting at here and what was the purpose of the campaign?
SK: One of the largest and most diverse Jewish communities in the world reside in New York’s Eighth Congressional District. I believe that my race against Mr. Nadler is a referendum on President Obama’s policies toward Israel. Mr. Nadler was the primary surrogate of the Administration who misled the Jewish Community that this Administration would be a strong friend to Israel. He has continued to abide this Administration’s mistreatment of, and insensitivity, to Israel.
Not long ago, Former Democratic New York City Mayor Ed Koch was right on point when he asked insightfully: “Where are the voices of Jewish Congressmen to protest Obama’s hostility to Israel? “ My campaign centers on the fact that while Mr. Nadler was extremely vocal in defending the taxpayers’ continued funding of ACORN and the right of developers to build a Mosque near Ground Zero, for almost two years, he has stood silent while Barack Obama has pursued the most anti-Israel policies of any President in U.S. History. He stood silent as Prime Minister Netanyahu was humiliated at the White House.
He stood silent as we continue to legitimize and appease the holocaust-denying, genocide preaching, human rights abusing regime in Tehran. He stood silent as this Adminstration singled out Israel’s purported nuclear program for inspection without mentioning Iran’s. He stood he stood silent as the President of the United States used the harshest possible diplomatic language against Israel over its the issuance of routine zoning permits in its capital city of Jerusalem while ignoring, on that same day, Fatah naming a square in its capital city of Ramallah after Dalal Mughrabi who murdered 37 Israelis and Americans in cold blooded terror attack. He stood silent as the Administration rejoined and legitimized the so-called Human Rights Council of the United Nations which has been silent on repression from regimes from Havana to Caracas to Pyongyang and Tehran-- while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel.
We also wonder why Mr. Nadler, through his personal PAC, Jerry PAC, helped finance the campaign of Loretta Sanchez of California who signed the infamous J-Street sponsored pro-Gaza “Letter of 54” demanding that Israel ease pressure on the terrorist group Hamas which controls Gaza and had been incessantly launching rockets targeting Israeli civilian populations for months on end.
FS: Can you win?
SK: Yes I can! One need only look at the justified discontent in this country with entrenched politicians such as Mr. Nadler to know that we can persevere. No one thought Scott Brown could win the “Kennedy Seat” in Massachusetts - so do not deny that Susan Kone can win the so-called “Nadler Seat” in New York.
As we campaign on the streets everyday the energy is palpable - the momentum is clearly on our side. We have had studies done which indicate we are within a winnable margin. I need people to believe in our country -- to believe in our people -- and to believe we can achieve an historic victory on November 2. I would urge your readers to make certain they get out and vote -- this election is critical -- the stakes are way too high to stay on the sidelines.