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Barron, foe of gays and Israel, hit by MoveOn.org

By Eric Goldschein

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

MoveOn.org, a stronghold of left-wing causes, has found a leftist politician it doesn't like. And he happens to be running in Brooklyn's new 8th Congressional District.

"There are some people who don’t belong in elected office," MoveOn said in an email to its subscribers. "Charles Barron is one of those people."

"[W]hat Barron doesn’t want you to know is that rather than actually trying to fix problems, he’s spent his career specializing in divisive, offensive, and just plain outrageous statements and behavior."

MoveOn chafed at positions taken by Barron — a former Black Panther — on gay rights and Israel, as well as his support of such African dictators as the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. 

Some of the Barron quotes cited in the email include:

  • On gay rights: “I don’t consider it a civil rights issue of our time.”

  • “The biggest terrorist in the world is the government of Israel.”

  • “I want to go up to the closest white person and say, ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health.”

Barron declined to comment on MoveOn's statement. "We don't have any information for you at this time," a spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle.

MoveOn.org has endorsed Barron's rival, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. The Jeffries campaign also declined to comment.

The 8th C.D. combines East New York, Canarsie and Brownsville — neighborhoods that make up Barron's home base as a city councilman, where he enjoys plenty of support among blacks and Latinos — with parts of Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Brighton Beach, which are typically more moderately Democratic and also have large populations of young whites, Hasidic Jews and gays.

The Democratic establishment was initially confident that Jeffries, which it supports, would easily win the race. But concern grew after Barron was endorsed by retiring incumbent Rep. Ed Towns — a former rival — and by District Council 37. The unusually early Democratic primary — next Tuesday, June 26, instead of on a customary September date — and the fact that the district lines are new, make handicapping the race difficult.

MoveOn.org started as a 1998 email petition to Congress, asking the legislative body to "censure [President Bill Clinton] and move on" during the president's Monica Lewinsky scandal. The website now raises millions of dollars for liberal Democratic candidates across the nation, and champions progressive causes.

June 19, 2012 - 3:29pm


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