Midterm election news and polls

Midterm election news and polls

Both campaigns in the tight race for New York’s 17th Congressional District are condemning a last-minute robocall purporting to represent “grand rabbis” in a message that appears to be aimed at exploiting tensions between the district’s Orthodox Jewish and non-Jewish residents.

Last minute call claims:

“On behalf of our great rabbis, we urge you to vote Sean Maloney for Congress. Sean has a proven track record of advocating for our community in Kiryas Joel. He has fought against surrounding towns and villages that have tried to block the expansion of multifamily housing in our community. He has ensured is tens of millions of dollars to build low-income housing in our community. He promised our leaders that if elected he would do the same for the communities of Rockland County, please show your support and vote for Sean Maloney for Congress.”

Maloney is currently the congressman for New York’s 18th congressional district, which includes Kiryas Joel, a largely ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, but New York’s congressional map has been redrawn for the 2022 election. Maloney is running to represent the newly drawn 17th congressional district which includes Rockland County, another county that has a large Jewish community.

In Orange County, where Kiryas Joel is located, tensions exist between the Orthodox Jewish community, one of the poorest communities on paper in the US, and the surrounding neighborhoods. 2018 community separately from the city of Monroe after years of lawsuits and zoning conflicts. Doc Maloney helped bring Kiryas Joel community money for local infrastructure projects, there is no evidence that he supported the community in zoning struggles.

A copy of the robocall was got CNN. The call was first reported on Sunday by The Forward, a Jewish publication. According to the anti-robocall app Nomorobo, the number associated with the calls made roughly 100,000 to 150,000 calls Sunday night to phones in the 845 area code — the area code for parts of the county Maloney represents, including Rockland County.

The message reviewed by CNN did not identify who paid for the call in its introduction and did not provide a callback number, which violates Federal Communications Commission rules for automated dialing or pre-recorded political campaign voice calls. The number from which the calls were received is no longer a valid number.

A spokesman for Maloney called the call “anti-Semitic slander.”

“This robocall is in no way associated with or endorsed by our campaign,” Mia Ehrenberg, Maloney’s spokeswoman, told CNN.

Maloney’s opponent, Republican Rep. Mike Lawler he told The Forward the call was “absolute nonsense,” adding, “I don’t condone it,” and his spokesman Bill O’Reilly told CNN, “This is not from us.”

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