The online liberal powerhouse MoveOn has come out against Charles Barron, a controversial New York City Council member whose candidacy has also drawn fire from everyone from Jewish groups to senior Washington Democrats.
The move by MoveOn is surprising because Barron's opponent is a relatively moderate Democrat, Hakeem Jeffries.
Here's the email from the group:
Dear MoveOn member,
There are some people who don’t belong in elected office. Charles Barron is one of those people
Barron is running for Congress from New York’s new 8th District, and with very few voters expected to show up for the primary on June 26, he has a legitimate chance of winning. Retiring corporate Democrat Ed Towns has endorsed Barron to spite his political enemies and Barron is furiously working to hide his inflammatory record.
But what 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. Here’s just a sampling:
“Out there, they don’t know that [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi was our brother. People say ‘Didn’t he kill all those people?’ I say, ‘I don’t know anything.’”1
When asked about the gay rights movement, Barron said, “I don’t consider it a civil rights issue of our time.”2
“The biggest terrorist in the world is the government of Israel.”3
“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.”4
Barron explained his opposition to gay marriage by saying, “I believe simply in an institution of marriage between a man and a woman. My wife and I believe that. We support every other thing regarding gay rights and we support everything but the marriage thing. We don’t want to have people impose their values or beliefs on us and we’re not imposing ours on you.”5
Barron invited Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe to speak at City Hall despite the fact that, “Amnesty International holds President Mugabe and his government responsible for the attacks against opposition politicians, against members of civilian society, against African farm workers and for creating an environment of fear and intimidation.”6
This is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from the most offensive tea partier. Those tea partiers, frankly, don’t belong in Congress. And neither does Charles Barron.
Can you pass on this email to make sure no voter in the 8th District is fooled by Barron’s recent attempts to whitewash his record?
Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Levana, and the rest of the team
1. “Qaddafi Eulogized in Bed-Stuy,” The Brooklyn Ink, November 4, 2011
2. “Charles Barron opposes same-sex marriage, fake entries on his Wikipedia page,” Capital New York, November 28, 2011
3. “Backgrounder: Charles Barron,” Anti-Defamation League, Accessed June 13, 2012
4. “Vote for Hakeem Jeffries,” New York Daily News, June 10, 2012
5. “Charles Barron opposes same-sex marriage, fake entries on his Wikipedia page,” Capital New York, November 28, 2011http://www.moveon.org/r?r=276370&id=43645-17193658-N1t1%3DHx&t=5
6. “Metro Matters; Mugabe’s Visit Has Council Speechless,” The New York Times, September 16, 2002