Anthony Weiner: Wikis

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Anthony Weiner


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1999
Preceded by Charles Schumer

Born September 4, 1964 (1964-09-04) (age 45)
New York City
Political party Democratic
Residence Forest Hills, Queens, New York City
Alma mater SUNY, Plattsburgh (B.A.)
Occupation Congressman
Religion Jewish

Anthony David Weiner (pronounced /ˈwiːnər/; born September 4, 1964) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing New York's 9th congressional district since 1999. The district includes parts of southern Brooklyn and south central Queens. In Queens, the 9th includes the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Maspeth, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Rockaway Beach, and Woodhaven. Its Brooklyn section includes Flatlands, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Midwood, Mill Basin and Sheepshead Bay.

Weiner defeated Republican Louis Telano in the 1998 U.S. House election, by a margin of 66%–23%. He was re-elected in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008, never receiving below 65%. In the House, he is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Committee on the Judiciary. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of New York City in the 2005 mayoral election.

A graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, Weiner was an aide to then-U.S. Representative Charles Schumer (1985–91) before serving as a member of the New York City Council from 1992 to 1998.

Contents

Early life

Anthony Weiner was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Morton (a neighborhood lawyer) and Frances Weiner (a math teacher at Midwood High School).[1][2] One of three children, he has two brothers, Seth (d. 2000)[3] and Jason. The family lived for a time in Rochdale Village, a large cooperative apartment complex that was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy, before returning to Brooklyn, where they lived in the Park Slope neighborhood.

Weiner failed the entrance exam to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School by one point, and entered Brooklyn Technical High School instead. After graduating from high school in 1981, he attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he played hockey. He originally sought to become a television weatherman, but his interests soon turned towards politics and he became very active in student government. Weiner and Jon Stewart, the host of the Comedy Central program The Daily Show, were roommates after college, and Stewart has donated political campaign contributions to Weiner.[4]

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Weiner then worked on the staff of then-Congressman and current Senator Chuck Schumer from 1985 to 1991. First working in Schumer's office in Washington, D.C., he was sent to the district office in Brookyln in 1988 after Schumer encouraged him to become involved in local politics.

New York City Councilman: 1992–1998

Weiner, winning a six-way primary and four-way general election, was elected to the New York City Council in 1991.[2] At 27, he was the youngest person ever to serve on that body up to that point.

Over the next seven years in the City Council, Weiner initiated programs to tackle "quality of life" concerns. He started a program to put at-risk and troubled teens to work cleaning graffiti. He spearheaded development plans for historic Sheepshead Bay that led to a revival of the area and when supermarkets started leaving the neighborhood, Weiner worked to reverse the trend.

As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Housing, he fought to increase federal funding for public housing, to ban dangerous dogs from projects, and to add more police officers to the beat. His investigation into the cause of sudden and fatal stairwell fires made him front page news; he exposed dangerous practices that eventually led the city to replace the paint in developments citywide.[2]

U.S. Congressman: 1999–present

In 1998, midway through his ninth term, his former boss, Schumer, opted for an ultimately successful campaign for the United States Senate. Weiner ran for and won the Democratic nomination to succeed Schumer, which was tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic 9th. He has been reelected four times, with almost no opposition. He is only the fifth person to represent the 9th since its creation in 1920 (it was numbered as the 10th from 1920 to 1945, the 15th from 1945 to 1953, the 11th from 1953 to 1963, the 10th again from 1963 to 1973, the 16th from 1973 to 1983, the 10th again from 1983 to 1993, and the 9th since 1993).[5]

In late July 2009, Weiner succeeded in securing a full House floor vote for single payer health care when Congress returned from its August recess, in exchange for not amending AAHCA in committee markup with a single-payer plan.[6]

In April 2008, Weiner, a self-styled champion of the middle-class, created the bi-partisan Congressional Middle Class Caucus.[7] Weiner received an "A" on the liberal Drum Major Institute's 2005 Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues.[8]

Weiner is known to be one of the most "intense and demanding" members of Congress, oftentimes working long hours with his staff fact-checking documents. As a result, he has one of the highest staff turnover rates of any member of Congress.[9]

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Committees

Domestic policy

Weiner is an avid advocate of the United States National Health Care Act, which expands Medicare to all Americans.[10][11] He has remarked that while Medicare has a 4% overhead rate,[12] private insurers put 30% of their customer's money into profits and overhead instead of into health care.[13]

Weiner believes that a public option “gets you some of the way”[13] towards reducing costs, and has set up a web site, countdowntohealthcare.com, to push for the public option in HR 3200. Weiner has derided the Republican party as "a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry, teaming up with a small group of Democrats to try to protect that industry".[14] Weiner attracted wide attention when, on February 24, 2010, he proclaimed in front of Congress: "Make no mistake about it, every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry."[15] [16]

Weiner is a supporter of abortion rights. In 2003, received a 100% rating from NARAL, and consequently a 0% rating from NRLC. He voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which would have made it a crime to perform partial birth abortions.[17] He was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which places limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in the context of the November 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act.

Foreign policy

Weiner voted for the authorization to use force in Iraq in 2002, which he later said he regretted. In a conversation with talk show host Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor, Weiner proposed a withdrawal from Iraq.

Weiner has been a critic of Columbia University's professors who have made anti-Israeli remarks some have claimed are anti-Semitic.[18] In May 2006, Weiner stirred controversy in his attempt to bar entry by the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations.[19] He claimed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not represent the PLO, and implied that this was because the group is listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Weiner further stated that the delegation "should start packing their little Palestinian terrorist bags." Weiner went on to claim that Human Rights Watch, the New York Times, and, in particular, Amnesty International are biased against Israel.[19]

On July 29, 2007, Weiner and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced that they would seek to stop a $20 billion arms deal that the Bush Administration had negotiated with Saudi Arabia. The lawmakers objected to the deal because they do not want to provide "sophisticated weapons to a country that they believe has not done enough to stop terrorism," also noting that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Weiner made the announcement outside of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Washington, stating that "We need to send a crystal clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that their tacit approval of terrorism can't go unpunished." Weiner and Nadler intend to use a provision of the Arms Export Control Act to review the deal and pass a Joint Resolution of Disapproval.[20]

Local NYC issues

Weiner was one of the first elected officials to oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to introduce congestion pricing policy in New York City.[citation needed] The congestion pricing plan is modeled on the London congestion charge, a fee for motorists entering Central London. The London plan is credited by some with a 17% reduction in traffic and a 35% increase in vehicle speeds in the central business district of London, although its detractors question the figures.[citation needed]

In June 2008, Weiner sponsored a bill that would increase the number of H-1B visas available to foreign models. Weiner argued that increasing the number of visas would help boost the fashion industry in New York City.[21]

FEC violations

The Federal Election Commission had two cases (MURs, or Matters Under Review) concerning Weiner. Both cases have the same name, Friends of Weiner. MUR 4995 resulted in a $47,000 fine ("civil penalty") against Weiner because of financial misconduct in one of his reelection campaigns.[22] MUR 5429 involved a $28,000 loan that Weiner's parents made to one of his campaign committees.[23]

2005 and 2009 Mayoral campaigns

Weiner failed in his attempt to win the Democratic nomination for the New York City mayoral election, 2005 against three other Democrats. Weiner started out last in many polls, but gained ground in the final weeks of the campaign. His publicly announced campaign strategy was to come in second in the Democratic primary election with enough votes to force a runoff election, win that runoff, then campaign against the then-Republican candidate, incumbent Michael Bloomberg. When the initial returns came in, Fernando Ferrer had 39.95%, just shy of the 40% required to avoid a runoff, and Weiner had 28.82%. In a legally non-binding statement, Weiner then withdrew from the race and endorsed Ferrer, citing the need for party unity. Eventually, the runoff was declared unnecessary as absentee ballots put Ferrer over the 40% mark in the official 2005 primary election returns. Weiner denied rumors that various high-ranking New York Democrats, such as Schumer and then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, had urged him to concede.

Before the New York City Council voted to extend term limits for Mayor Bloomberg and the city council, Weiner appeared to be a candidate for mayor of New York City in 2009.[24] He later backed away from a potential race against Bloomberg, saying he would make a decision in the spring.[25] He formally announced his decision not to run on May 26, 2009 and endorsed Democratic candidate Bill Thompson.[26]

Personal life

Weiner is engaged to Huma Abedin, a longtime personal aide of Hillary Clinton, to whom he proposed on May 23, 2009.[27] Weiner is a friend of Ben Affleck, whom he met while Affleck was researching the role of a young and ambitious politician on capitol hill in 2008.[28] "We got into a chest-to-chest shouting match over Obama-Clinton within about four minutes. Literally, people were outside the office wondering if they should go in and separate us," Weiner has said about one of their first encounters.[7]

References

  1. ^ "Anthony Weiner for Mayor". Web.archive.org. 2005-05-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20060524005422/http://mayor.anthonyweiner.com/blog/show/37. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Anthony Weiner — New York's 9th District". Weiner.house.gov. http://weiner.house.gov/about.aspx. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  3. ^ Burger, Timothy J. (2000-05-23). "SETH WEINER, 39, BROTHER OF CONGRESSMAN, KILLED". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2000/05/23/2000-05-23_seth_weiner__39__brother_of_.html. 
  4. ^ "Jon Stewart Federal Campaign Contributions Report". Newsmeat. 2006-08-14. http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Jon_Stewart.php. Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  5. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum. "Political graveyard". Political graveyard. http://politicalgraveyard.com/geo/NY/ofc/usrep.html. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  6. ^ Slome, Jesse (2009-08-03). "Congress Will Vote On Single Payer Health Care Plan". Huliq Citizen News Review. http://www.huliq.com/7109/84430/congress-will-vote-single-payer-health-care-plan. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  7. ^ a b Dovere, Edwards-Isaac (2008-07-04). "Anthony Weiner, Seriously". City Hall News. http://www.cityhallnews.com/newyork/article-263-anthony-weiner-seriously.html. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Congress at the Midterm: Their 2005 Middle-Class Record". Drum Major Institute. http://www.drummajorinstitute.com/congress/drum-major-voting-summary.php?name=Weiner&state=NY&database=house. Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  9. ^ David W. Chen,"Congressman Pushes Staff Hard, or Out the Door", The New York Times, July 23, 2008
  10. ^ Anthony Weiner (August 19, 2009). "Weiner Defending the Public Option on Hardball". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFseWGXCWDE. 
  11. ^ Anthony Weiner (September 24, 2009). "Weiner Fights for Single Payer on the Floor". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9kLN1CzKDg. 
  12. ^ Catlin, Aaron and Cowan, Cathy and Heffler, Stephen and Washington, Benjamin and the National Health Expenditure Accounts Team, (2007). "National Health Spending In 2005: The Slowdown Continues". Health Affairs 26 (1): 142–153. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.26.1.142. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/1/142.  – Exhibit A
  13. ^ a b Anthony Weiner (August 18, 2009). "Weiner Leaves Scarborogh "Speechless" Part 1". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LX0nPFKkow. 
  14. ^ Anthony Weiner (October 16, 2009). "Weiner Discusses Health Reform on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss4O1fbLk3o. 
  15. ^ http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/b68g6/new_york_democrat_anthony_weiner_says_the_gop_is/
  16. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBqtyvn7OVw
  17. ^ "Anthony Weiner on the Issues". Ontheissues.org. http://www.ontheissues.org/NY/Anthony_Weiner.htm#Abortion. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  18. ^ "High Bias". 2004-11-22. http://opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110005928. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  19. ^ a b "Congressmember Weiner Gets It Wrong On Palestinian Group He Tried To Bar From U.S.". Democracy Now!. 2006-08-30. http://www.democracynow.org/2006/8/30/congressmember_weiner_gets_it_wrong_on. 
  20. ^ Klaus Marre, "Lawmakers vow to stop Saudi Arabia arms deal," The Hill, July 29, 2007.
  21. ^ "Weiner bill looks out for models". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/10997.html. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  22. ^ "For Immediate Release". Fec.gov. 2001-01-05. http://www.fec.gov/press/press2001/010501murs.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  23. ^ "Compliance Cases Made Public". Fec.gov. 2004-09-16. http://www.fec.gov/press/press2004/20040916mur.html. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  24. ^ Brooklyn Congressman Won’t Quit Mayor’s Race
  25. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/nyregion/12weiner.html?ref=nyregion
  26. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/nyregion/27weiner.html?ref=opinion
  27. ^ "Rep. Weiner engaged to Hillary Clinton Aide". New York Post. 2009-07-12. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/item_T6Ik623jgPvLGqcQdgO7mL;jsessionid=609B843752FA84B44BEB70E2CCE58B79. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  28. ^ "The Curious Friendship of Weiner and Affleck". The New York Times. 2009-05-06. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/nyregion/07affleck.html. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
New district
New York City Council, 48th District
1992–98
Succeeded by
Michael C. Nelson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles Schumer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

1999 – present
Incumbent

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