New York (Aug. 13)
The Republican Party leader of Nassau County, Long Island, has urged his party’s voters to “repudiate” a Glen Cove mayoral hopeful labelled a “bigot” by the incumbent mayor and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
According to an article in the latest issue of the Long Island Jewish World, written by contributing editor Stewart Ain, the candidate, Michael Hansen, an official contender for the Republican namination, has expressed outrage in recent weeks over “minority bloc voting” in Glen Cove city elections which, he said, keeps the “majority” of citizens out of the decision-making process.
In a letter to selected registered Republicans, Hansen said citizens of Mediterranean and Jewish decent are overrepresented. in Glen Cove politics, while Nordic and Slavic Americans are barely represented. Hansen did not indicate which specific groups of Mediterranean decent he was referring to. He defined Nordics as British, German, Irish, Scandinavian, Dutch, and French. Slavics, he said, are Russians, Poles, and Czechs. The total population of Glen Cove is 27,616, of which 3,215 are Jews.
The bulk of Hansen’s criticism seems directed against Jews. In written correspondence to the Glen Cove Record Pilot, a community newspaper, Hansen said “Zionism is analogous to Nazism” and that “We should pay” the plane fare of Jews wishing to move to Israel from America.
In a poll accompanying his voter letter, about half of Hansen’s questions dealt with issues such as taxes and sanitation. The remainder asked such things as: “Are you sick and tired of seeing your people kept out of the decision-making process?” and “Do you believe that the priorities of Nordics are different from those of Mediterraneans?”
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Hansen, not given more than a slim chance to win the election, is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Alan Parente. “He is attempting to divide and polarize this community by raising the banner of bigotry and he is going to be repudiated,” Parente said.
The ADL had urged Joseph Margiotta, chairman of the Naussau Republican Committee, to denounce Hansen to send “a warning to other bigots that they cannot use the party as an outlet for their bigotry.” Margiotta issued a statement last week in which he said it is a “deplorable situation when a candidate would use race, creed or religion as their main issue to further their campaign. I urge Republicans to repudiate his candidacy by electing Parente.”
Asked in an interview with the Long Island Jewish World if he is anti-Semitic, Hansen replied: “I am not anti-Semitic. I don’t dislike Jews. I’m in the insurance business, and some of my clients are Jewish. I treat them as I do others.”