CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Published August 29, 2003, issue of August 29, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Issa the Enforcer?: Rep. Darrell Issa, the San Diego Republican who has been spending millions of his own money promoting the recall of California’s Democratic governor, Gray Davis, is emerging as a power-broker among the several Republicans running to replace Davis.

Issa, who himself bowed out of the governor’s race earlier this month, will keynote a mid-September California Republican Party confab, where he will talk about “the process the party should go through to ensure that a fiscal conservative” gets its support, he told the Forward in a telephone interview. Issa said that several of the candidates — including Arnold Schwarzenegger, state Senator Tom McClintock and Republican candidate Peter Ueberroth — have “the right message,” but about a week or two after the September 12 to September 14 parley, after each candidate gets “recognition” for his ideas, Issa will “weigh in” for consolidation using the “numbers available” at the time.

Calling himself an “honest broker,” Issa said, “I’m in an enviable position. I get credit for starting this revolution and get a ring-side seat to watch it.”

After the October 7 recall election, Issa, who is of Lebanese descent, will turn his attention back to fostering peace in the Middle East — one of the foremost reasons he gave for exiting the gubernatorial race. The congressman, who has a pro-Israel voting record and has visited the region several times on informal diplomatic missions, said he would reinforce to Lebanese and Syrian leaders that they must not allow any missiles to be lobbed into Israel from over their borders, as happened recently.

Issa said that the White House was not playing “good cop, bad cop” on the Middle East when House Majority Leader Tom DeLay recently went to Israel and made statements about the road map that were to the right of the positions of both President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon: “Nobody is more of an individual than Tom.”

* * *

Aiding Edwards: The presidential campaign of North Carolina Senator John Edwards has hired a New York director: Terrence Tolbert, the chief of staff of Assemblyman Keith Wright, who also worked as the field director of the unsuccessful 2002 gubernatorial bid of then-state Comptroller Carl McCall.

* * *

Mideast Maneuver: After we reported last week that former Vermont governor Howard Dean was catching some flak on the left for his pro-Israel stances, Dean was heard to be tilting left on the Middle East in remarks caught on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

“We have to get the Israelis out of the West Bank, but we can’t get them out of the West Bank if a bomb goes off like it did yesterday,” Dean said, according to a report by The Associated Press.

“Palestine,” Dean said, “is the best hope for peace in the Middle East, partly because Palestinians have experience with Israeli democracy and involve women in their political life,” the newswire reported. “Compared to the citizens of many Arab nations, Palestinians… have a better understanding of democracy than anybody else,” Dean said at a Manchester house party.

* * *

Nadler’s Nod: Dean has picked up the endorsement of Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who represents heavily Jewish sections of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Nadler rejected the conventional wisdom among centrist Democrats that a Dean victory in the primaries would spell disaster for the party in the general election. “I have decided to support Governor Dean because I believe he is the Democrat with the best chance of defeating George Bush,” said Nadler in a statement released by the Dean campaign. “Howard Dean is motivating huge numbers of Democrats to re-engage in the political process — Democrats frustrated by the backwards policies of the Bush administration and angered by the failure of parts of our party to lead in opposing those policies and in promoting a progressive Democratic vision for our country. He is also bringing thousands of new voters into the process — people who have never taken any political action.”

Nadler’s endorsement was being interpreted within New York political circles as a blow to Senator John Kerry, who is in a battle with Dean for liberal votes.

* * *

New York Story: The political machine of the New York state Assembly is tripping into gear for the presidential candidacy of Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. Lieberman’s New York campaign, whose chairman is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, just gained Silver aide John Wellspeak as a senior adviser. Lieberman, whose been spending a lot of time in Iowa and South Carolina lately, visited the Empire State last Thursday for an exclusive get-together organized by Staten Island Assemblyman (and Richmond County Dem chief) John Lavelle. There are more than 100,000 registered Democrats on the island, and Lieberman’s moderate image is expected to sell well in the heavily Catholic New York City borough.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.