Republicans invoke ‘Ground Zero mosque’ in fight for Anthony Weiner’s seat
New York Republicans have sent out a flier in the days leading up to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks accusing Democratic candidate David Weprin of supporting “a mosque at Ground Zero,” according to Politico.
Weprin, a member of the New York State Assembly, is facing off against Republican candidate Bob Turner in the special election for New York’s 9th Congressional District. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) resigned from the seat after he lied about sending sexually suggestive images and messages to women over the Internet.
One side of the flier shows an image of the proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan superimposed over the Ground Zero site. The other side shows Weprin next to President Barack Obama, with a quote from Weprin saying, “I support the right of the mosque to build.”
The planned Islamic center, called Park51, caused a conservative uproar last year. It was modeled after the Jewish Community Center on the upper West Side and would contain a gym, pool, daycare facility, amphitheater, culinary institute, and 9/11 memorial.
“They have an absolute right to build on that site,” Weprin said last year. “But if they could work out an accommodation with the 9/11 families and find an alternative site, that would be preferable.”
Conservatives dubbed the proposed center the “Ground Zero mosque,” which started a national controversy. The building is not a mosque and would be located two blocks from the World Trade Center site.
Turner, creator of the The Jerry Springer Show, has a six-point lead over Weprin, according to a Siena Research Institute poll released Friday. A surprising lead in the district, which has not been represented by a Republican since 1923.
The special election will be held on September 13.