NY Times - Endorsement Sweep in the Comptroller’s Race

In many statewide campaigns, a single newspaper’s endorsement generally does not make much of a difference. But Harry Wilson, the Republican candidate for comptroller, is hoping that a triumvirate of them can make more of an impression.
Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Harry Wilson, the Republican candidate for comptroller.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Carl P. Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor.
In a new advertisement, Mr. Wilson, who has been trailing the incumbent comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, left, in the polls, highlights the endorsements he picked up this weekend from the city’s three major newspapers — The New York Times, The Daily News and The New York Post.
Using a picture of a broom and calling it “a clean sweep,” a narrator reads the most glowing phrases from the editorials, with The Times praising Mr. Wilson’s talents and expertise, The News declaring that he could be “a force for reinventing state government” and The Post hailing him as “an astute tough-minded outsider.”
The advertisement is reminiscent of one that State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, ran during the primary, when eight well-known Democrats read parts of an endorsement from a Times editorial.
Mr. Schneiderman, of course, ended up winning.
Mr. Wilson’s advertisement will begin appearing soon in New York City. It is notable because it is only 15 seconds long, or half the typical political advertisement’s length, and therefore costs half as much — a strategy that was employed by William C. Thompson Jr., in his bid to unseat Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg last year.
But the advertisement could not come at a better time for Mr. Wilson, a former hedge fund manager, who is still largely unknown to most voters, according to recent surveys.
When asked about the advertisement, the DiNapoli campaign did not address the endorsements directly. Instead, it released a statement reprising its criticisms of Mr. Wilson for failing to live up to his promise of releasing his tax returns.
According to Mr. Wilson, this was the first time that a candidate challenging an incumbent statewide had earned a sweep of the three major New York City newspapers since 1976, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan achieved tripartite backing in his campaign for United States Senate. DAVID W. CHEN
An Orthodox Apology Over a Rabbi’s Tactics
The political alliance between Carl P. Paladino and Rabbi Yehuda Levin lasted three days. But the aftershocks of their breakup seem to be rippling across the pond of New York politics.
First, Mr. Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor, severed the relationship bypublicly apologizing for remarks he made condemning homosexuality at a meeting with Rabbi Levin’s congregation on Oct. 10. Then Rabbi Levin, who teaches that homosexuality is the spiritual cause of earthquakes and other disasters, withdrew his support from Mr. Paladino, left, who he said “folded like a cheap camera.”
After that, the leader of the largest Orthodox group in the United States, the Orthodox Union, offered an apology to the archbishop of New York because Rabbi Levin had chosen the sidewalk in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to proclaim his disappointment with Mr. Paladino.
Rabbi Levin insists the latest apology was unnecessary. “I went to St. Patrick’s because I consider the Catholic Church the big boy on the block in the battle against homosexuality, abortion and the breakdown of the family,” he said. “I just wish the church would speak up a little and instruct its adherents about church policy. Stop being so politically correct!”
In an interview, Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said: “Most New Yorkers know what our position is on marriage and sexuality. We proclaim it quite clearly. At the same time, we’re not going to get dragged into a political debate.”
Although the church says that discrimination against anyone is unacceptable, it has condemned the practice of homosexuality in harsh terms.
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the Orthodox Union, said he called the office of the archbishop, Timothy M. Dolan, to apologize not so much for what Rabbi Levin said, but for where he said it. “It’s a free country. You can say what you like. I just thought it was wrong for a clergyman to make a statement on the steps of another person’s faith,” Rabbi Weinreb said.
Like Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism generally deplores homosexuality. PAUL VITELLO

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