Rep. Anthony Weiner (D)
Elected: 1998, 6th term.
Born: Sept. 4, 1964, Brooklyn .
Education: S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh, B.A. 1985.
Elected office: NY City Cncl., 1991-98.
Professional Career: Aide, U.S. Rep. Charles Schumer, 1985-91.
The congressman from the 9th District is Anthony Weiner, a Democrat elected in 1998. He grew up in Park Slope section of Brooklyn, the son of a lawyer and a teacher. Weiner (WEE-ner) went to college upstate at the State University of New York-Plattsburgh, where he became interested in politics. He majored in political science and ran for student government with the slogan “Vote for Weiner—he’ll be frank.” After graduation, he went to work as an aide to Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer. In 1991, Weiner was elected to the New York City Council; he was only 27, which made him the body’s youngest member ever. In 1997, as Schumer prepared to run for the Senate, Weiner began running for the House. In the Democratic primary, he faced two members of the Assembly and another councilman. This was mainly a battle of organizations and endorsements, and in the final weeks, Schumer endorsed Weiner. The primary was so close that the results weren’t certified for two weeks. In a turnout of 45,000 voters, Weiner won with 28.1%, to 27.5% for the runner-up. He won the general election easily.
|Anthony Weiner (D-WF)||112,205||(93%)||($524,607)|
|Alfred Donohue (C)||8,378||(7%)|
|Anthony Weiner (D-WF)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (100%), 2004 (71%), 2002 (66%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (66%)
In the House, Weiner usually votes with liberals but styles himself a moderate on issues dealing with business and crime. Like his mentor, Schumer, he has a lust for the media limelight and is always eager to appear on cable talk shows. On issues, he is particularly interested in pro-consumer legislation and, given the many senior citizens in his district, in policy affecting the elderly. On foreign policy, he is a staunch defender of Israel and has been active in recent years in opposing U.S. foreign aid and arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing Saudi support of terrorists.
In 2007, he got a seat on the influential Energy and Commerce Committee. In 2007, he sponsored a bill creating an online registry of sex offenders’ e-mail addresses. And in 2008, the House passed his bill to reduce illegal cigarette sales and ensure the collection of tobacco taxes after contraband sales were suspected of helping to finance international terrorism groups. He sought to protect local pharmacies from the invasion of chain drug stores by permitting them to negotiate collectively with insurance and drug companies, and he sponsored legislation to bar pharmaceutical firms from owning a controlling interest in a pharmacy benefit management company.
In 2005, Weiner sought the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor and tried to build an outer-borough base that focused on the needs of working people. He called for a new football stadium in Queens and for a 10% cut in income taxes for people earning less than $150,000 that would be financed by a tax increase on millionaires. In the September primary, Weiner finished second, with 29% to Bronx borough President Fernando Ferrer’s 40%. Weiner generated political goodwill by choosing not to seek a runoff. Republican Michael Bloomberg then trounced Ferrer to win a second term. In 2007, Weiner was planning to run again for mayor in 2009, but scrapped the idea after Bloomberg got the City Council to extend the eight-year limit on elected city officials, giving Bloomberg the chance to run for a third term.