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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, September 23, 2017

As New Yorkers gear up for yet another primary and general election season their voting choices for mayor, city council, public advocate, borough president, district attorney and comptroller remain overwhelming on the Democratic side of the proverbial aisle. While this should come as no surprise to any died-in-the-wool New Yorker who understands that their city has gained a reputation for maintaining a solid blue presence since its governmental formation; it is also clear that not everyone residing in the Big Apple has signed on to the progressive, liberal agenda that has dominated the political stratosphere.

It appears that well intentioned Republican/Conservative candidates vying for elected office often hit a dead end when it pertains to getting their message agenda across to voters. Speculation has run rampant on the abysmal failure of the Republican party to provide succor to their candidates with sufficient financial and communications support. One thing however is for certain. Republican candidates, their donors and the party they represent have consistently spurned the assistance of one their natural allies in the battle for liberty and individual freedoms. The right-wing and conservative Jewish media for one is not convinced that that the alleged inability of Republican candidates to achieve victory at the polls is a fait accompli.

For well over a decade, the Jewish Voice and other Jewish publications whose readers have a clear comprehension that the Democratic agenda runs counter to their belief system and often stands in opposition to the welfare of their communities have striven to publicize Republican candidates and their message. In return, not only have the candidates virtually relegated the influence of the Jewish media to the trash heap but have lost sight of the fact that its pages are read by prominent opinion makers who hold tremendous sway within the political hierachy of the city.

Case in point: In early 2011, the Jewish Voice heralded the candidacy of Republican contender for the US House of Representatives, Bob Turner. As a media executive for over for decades, Turner had virtually no experience in navigating the often turbulent vicissitudes of the political landscape in New York City. He was challenging a Democratic candidate who not only had name recognition but had the unflagging support of the city's powerful unions. Both men were vying for the Congressional seat in the 9th district (Brooklyn and Queens) that was vacated by disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner subsequent to the maelstrom of negative press he was receiving because of his bizarre exploits.

Running against the former Deputy Superintendent of Banks and Secretary of the Banking Board for New York State and former New York City council member David Weprin would be no easy task for political neophyte Bob Turner. But with the continual assistance of massive media exposure by the Jewish Voice, on September 13, 2011, Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin 52–47 in the special election battle for Weiner's seat—becoming the first Republican to represent the area in more than 80 years.

In the last New York City mayoral race that saw public advocate Bill deBlasio sail to victory in a contentious race, the Jewish Voice had vocally endorsed and regularly publicized the candidacy of former MTA chairman Joe Lhota. Due to the incisive coverage given to Lhota, he won the Republican nomination and beat supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. While Lhota did not win the mayoral race, pundits across the political divide have acknowledged the fact that the exposure Lhota was given in the Jewish and Conservative media, helped catapult him to the GOP nomination.

Congressman Michael Grimm (R-SI) is a name that we may all be familiar with but not for the reasons that we would hope. The disgraced Republican congressman and former FBI agent, businessman, attorney, and U.S. Marine was charged by federal authorities with 20 counts of fraud, federal tax evasion, and perjury in 2014. Prior to the revelation of these shocking charges, Mr. Grimm was not only a pillar of the community but a congressman who truly cared about his constituents in Staten Island and Brooklyn. He labored assiduously to ensure that legislation was passed to help the communities that he served. Mr. Grimm’s campaign was given the “wind beneath its wings” by the maximum visibility provided by the Jewish Voice.

Other New York area Republican candidates whose messages have been promulgated in the Jewish and conservative media include Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive. Astorino was one of the founders of 1050 AM ESPN Radioin New York City, and worked as the station's executive producer, and as executive producer of The Michael Kay Show. He is also a television host on the MSG Network.

Astorino served as a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators from 2003 to 2005, when he launched an unsuccessful bid to unseat Westchester County Executive, Andrew Spano. In 2009, he was elected County Executive as a Republican, defeating Spano. In 2013, Astorino defeated Democratic challenger Noam Bramson, mayor of New Rochelle, for reelection. In 2014, he was the Republican nominee for Governor in that year's gubernatorial election, but was defeated by incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

John Catsimatidis, the Greek-American billionaire businessman and radio talk show host had decided to throw his hat in the ring in 2013 when he ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican. Although he lost his bid for the Republican nomination, he did appeal to voters who wanted to see a drastic change in New York City politics. Throughout the course of his campaign, articles that spotlighted his positions of the issues as well as interviews appeared on the pages of the Jewish Voice.

He is the owner, president, chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery chain in Manhattan, and the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company with about $700 million to $800 million in holdings in New York, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Catsimatidis also owns the Hellenic Times, a Greek-American newspaper based in Manhattan and hosts a talk-radio show on WNYM.

Republican Congressman Daniel "Dan" M. Donovan, Jr. represents Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn in the 11th Congressional District of New York in the U.S. House of Representatives. He succeeded Michael Grimm after the latter was brought up on corruption charges and subsequently found guilty. Donovan was elected on May 5, 2015 during a special election and sworn in on May 12, 2015.

A relative unknown in political circles at the time he was seeking office, it was the Jewish and conservative media, namely, the Jewish Voice, who offered Donovan a platform for his views which resulted in the name recognition that helped him get elected.

Other candidates such as New York State Senator Marty Golden who represents Brooklyn's 22nd Senate District, former New York State Senator David Storobin who represented District 27 and Nachum Caller, a real estate attorney who had run for city council in 2010 and thereafter for state assembly against the popular incumbent Dov Hikind had also reaped the benefits of exposure in the Jewish media .

The lingering and gnawing questions that remain in the aftermath of their dismal showings at the polls are why these candidates did not create viable relationships with the kind of media and audiences that were quite receptive to their messages.

According to Jewish Voice publisher David Ben Hooren, the Republican party of New York State "has pretty much resigned themselves to the belief that Republican candidates for any elected office can never really make inroads, which I believe is patently false. As a veteran in the Jewish publishing industry, Ben Hooren says that he has seen "many electable Republican candidates fall through the cracks because they ignore the most powerful soapbox at their disposal and that is the media that creates their image."

Ed Cox, who is currently the chairman of the New York Republican State Committee and the son-in-law of former President Richard M. Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon is someone who comes to his position with impeccable credentials including an impressive family lineage. Yet according to Ben Hooren, Cox has "not moved off the dime" in helping to shape the New York Republican Party into a formidable force to be reckoned with. "As someone who regularly attends political functions and gala dinners in the New York area, I can tell you that Ed Cox is a fixture at these events. He does well when it comes to glad handing influential people but his work in creating important alliances with the Jewish media can only be termed negligible."

Ben Hooren adds, "In a city of this size, New York is rife with support for Republican candidates whose views mirror those of many voters. If the top brass at the Republican committee continue on the ill advised track of not utilizing friendly press to their benefit, they are doomed to perennial failure. The ones who are really the victims here are the people of New York City and beyond. They are the ones who will be condemned to walking around with the proverbial Democratic albatross around their neck and that is the real tragedy."

By: Crystal Rosenblatt