Friday, July 22, 2005

Ferrer's Flexibility With Social Issues

The title does not suggest that Fernando Ferrer is a waffler. However, as the leading Democrat in the New York mayoral race, he has curiously been the author of rather devisive quotes on the issue of abortion. Reports Exegenis: "I have problems with unlimited abortions. You know? Everytime a mother hiccups, it's not a reason to abort a child." Ferrer said this in 1996, when, according to Exegenis, he was running as the pro-life and pro-death penalty Democrat in New York.

This decade old statement has been subject to speculation in light of recent accusations against the mayor for his contributions to NARAL, the leading pro-abortion lobby, who announced their support for Bloomberg yesterday. Interestingly enough, Ferrer decided to use NARAL's endorsement of his opponent to his advantage,sending out lists of anti-abortion Republicans that Bloomberg had given campaign contributions to, such as Alabama senator Richard Shelby (formerly a Democrat), and Vito Fossella, the chairman of the mayor's re-election committee.

It's tough for Ferrer to come out looking good in this one. What he's doing isn't scandalous, it just happens to be transparent. It's hard to convince the voters of New York, who understand the radical significance of a NARAL endorsement, that the mayor isn't true to his pro-choice stance. It's also difficult to portray Bloomberg as a flip-flopper when he, unlike Ferrer, has never gone on the record as anything but staunchly pro-choice. In exchange for NARAL's support, Bloomberg, who has also given donations to President Bush, promised to only support the confirmation of John Roberts if the judge established himself in favor of Roe v Wade.

These candidates seem to be bogged down in allegiances. The question is, are they the right ones?


At 3:11 PM, Blogger dkreiss said...

Bloomberg has actually earned NARAL's endorsment, and quite fairly. In April, Bloomberg commited $3 million in public funds to emergency contraception and family planning services. This is a big NARAL issue. He has also been quite active behind the scenes at lobbying Pataki to sign the bill making EC available "behind the counter."

NARAL's policy is to endorse the pro-choice incumbent, regardless of party (hence, Lincoln Chaffee always gets the nod.) Ferrer's bigger problem (and I am a registered Democrat) is that he has a long track record of shifting in the political winds.


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