It’s Baaaack: ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Becomes Campaign Issue In Race For Weiner’s Seat
Jillian Rayfield, TPM | August 12, 2011, 6:00AM
If you thought the controversy over New York City’s Cordoba House Islamic Center was long over, Republican NY-09 candidate Bob Turner wants you to think again.
On Thursday Turner released his first TV ad in the special election to replace former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), who resigned over inappropriate photos sent over Twitter. Turner’s ad references the September 11th attacks, and accuses his Democratic opponent David Weprin of being among those who “want to commemorate the tragedy by building a mosque on Ground Zero.”
The Cordoba House project, dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque” by opponents, was an issue in New York — and elsewhere — in the run-up to the 2010 elections. But the fury over the project peaked with anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller’s rally against it on September 11th, and then largely died out by the time November rolled around.
But with the 10th anniversary of the attacks coming up next month, there’s apparently still some life in this controversy.
As the New York Daily News points out, Bob Friedrich tried a similar tactic when he challenged Weprin for his Assembly seat in the Dem primary. “Its common sense not intolerance,” a Friedrich mailer read.
An August Siena poll showed Weprin leading Turner 48%-42% in the lead up to the election on September 13.
Late Update: Weprin’s campaign responded to the add with a statement Thursday:
As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, it’s shameful that Bob Turner is trying to use the tragedy for his own political gain. I knew people who lost their lives that day and Bob Turner dishonors their memory by politicizing the attacks on New York.