Former Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner is rebooting his public image and political ambitions after inappropriate Twitter messages ended his congressional career two years ago, but that is not the only shameful incident in his past. As Weiner considers a run for New York City mayor, Steve Kornacki took time on Sunday’s Up with Steve Kornacki to examine an ugly incident from Weiner’s 1991 City Council campaign that should give New York voters pause.
When a Hasidic Jewish man accidentally killed a 7-year-old black boy in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, long-simmering tensions between the two communities erupted into riots. Against that backdrop, Weiner’s campaign distributed a mailer playing to white, middle-class voters’ racist fears and tying his Democratic primary opponent to Mayor David Dinkins, the city’s first African-American Mayor, and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
At the time, his campaign did not admit to being responsible for the campaign mailer, but after Weiner won the primary and his political future was assured, he came clean and suffered no lasting consequences for making such “an ugly appeal to voters’ worst nature,” as Kornacki put it.
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