Newly elected Republican-Conservative Congressman Bob Turnerreceived 67 percent of the vote in the Brooklyn part of hisdistrict against Democrat David Weprin. Turner was a bettercandidate, with a better campaign and several solid issues workingfor him.The issues taken together added up to one thing – send PresidentObama a message that you have had enough by electing Bob Turner.Your issue could have been taxes, spending, jobs, health care orIsrael. Frankly, in Bob Turner, the people are getting just such amessenger.Interestingly, Bob Turner — who ran a strong race last year forthe same seat against then-Congressmember Anthony Weiner — had ahard time getting the Republican nomination this time around. Afterreceiving the Conservative Party nomination, some QueensRepublicans had another candidate in mind. Brooklyn RepublicanChairperson Craig Eaton and State Chairperson Ed Cox needed toapply considerable pressure to ensure Turner’s Republicannomination.Turner was outspent better then three to one in a district withoverwhelming Democratic, albeit conservative, enrollment.Individuals like State Senator Marty Golden who campaigned heavilyfor Turner, Ed Koch and Assemblyman Dov Hikind really played keyroles in equalizing the odds.Weprin himself made several monumental mistakes that the Turnercampaign was quick to capitalize upon. In discussing the federaldeficit at a Daily News editorial board meeting, Weprinincorrectly stated it was $4 trillion instead of $14trillion.Weprin angered a large Queens civic association by canceling on aMonday night debate using Sunday’s Hurricane Irene as an excuse.Turner — who lives in Breezy Point and had evacuated — was ableto find the time, making Weprin look even worse. And there weremany others.Bob Turner was sworn in as a Congressmember in the U.S. Capitolless then 48 hours after his victory. Now he will get down to workin a Congress that has more then its fair share of problems toaddress. We should all wish him the best.
* * *The 9/11 march sponsored by Councilmember Gentile and the annualceremony sponsored by State Senator Marty Golden on the 69th StreetPier were well attended, fitting and emotional tributes to victimsof that horrible day.The many, many poster drawings created by local children that linedparts of the march was a new addition that will hopefully berepeated in the future. The pier event was the largest in manyyears with almost 1,000 people attending a program that includedprayers, music, speeches, a 21-gun salute, Taps, the release ofnine then 11 balloons, a screen displaying the names of all thevictims and a spotlight shining into the sky. Bill Guarinelloexpertly acted as the master of ceremonies and Xaverian High Schoolprovided the music.All this occurred with the Freedom Tower lit red, white and blue,dominating the site once known as Ground Zero, clearly visible fromthe pier. The 10th anniversary will not end the pain and sadness wehave felt this past decade. However, the opening of the memorialand the new buildings does in my opinion mark the end of thebeginning of our grief and an important point in a never-endinghealing process.