Anthony D. Weiner, Democrat
, representing New York
's 9th district in the U.S. House Of Representatives
, is one of the youngest members of that body. He has been referred to as the 'club kid' congressman.
Weiner's boyish chiseled face and slicked hair are that of a New York archetype, the Italian-looking Jewish man. This is extremely appropriate considering his district, which includes southern and coastal Brooklyn, and central and coastal Queens. It is easily the most heavily Jewish congressional district in America, and the most heavily Italian. There are also pockets of more diverse areas, including my neighborhood, Windsor Terrace/Kensington.
Weiner was born in Rockaway, Queens in 1964 and raised in Brooklyn. He attended Brooklyn Tech High School and college at SUNY-Plattsburg (so far fitting the club-kid profile very nicely!). He decided on a career in politics after interning in Charles Schumer's congressional office. In 1991, at the age of 27, Weiner became the youngest person ever to be elected to the New York City Council, and was elected to fill Schumer's vacated seat in the House in 1998.
Weiner is a very intelligent person, having gone 'undercover' as a house painter to get dirt on lobbyists, but he is rather covert about his cleverness, instead fueling and enjoying the 'party boy' reputation. He made no secret of using Napster on his government-supplied computers, and supposedly enjoys working on his cars and hanging out in trendy Manhattan spots.
Weiner's voting record is a mixed bag, reflecting the uniqueness of his district, an urban one that is heavily Democratic, yet middle class and socially moderate. He considers himself tough on crime, a moderate environmentalist and civil libertarian, heavily pro-Israel and pro-gun control, and a supporter of government social programs. He is not extremely progressive on issues such as trade.
His 2000 re-election brought out some interesting ethnic infighting and the silly nature of party politics in New York City. Weiner was challenged in the primary by Noach Dear, a Hasidic Jew, who hoped to ride to victory over the 'club kid' on the strength of the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish vote, which is very large in the district, probably larger than the secular Jewish vote. After losing in the primary, Dear ran against Weiner in the general election on the Republican and Conservative party tickets, neither of which had supplied a candidate to that point.
Weiner was selected by The Forward, a newspaper read by the conservative Jewish community, as one of the 50 most influential Jewish Americans.
Telephone: (202) 225-6616
Office: Room 222 in Cannon House Office Building