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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hispanic Pastor Promises to Repeal Metzitzah B'peh Regulation

While the mayoral candidates, other than Bill de Blasio who's a proud progressive, on the Democratic and Republican side are touting their liberal social views but fiscal conservative policies,There's one guy out there, unnoticed, that is the opposite of all. Erick Salgado, a Hispanic Pastor backed by Reuben Diaz Sr., presents himself as a social conservative and a fiscal liberal. Oh, and he's running in the Democratic primaries for mayor of NYC.

“We are Democrats; we don’t want to do this in another party, we want to do this here in this one,” he explained to Politicker's Hunter Walker and Colin Campbell. Accompanied by "several Orthodox Jewish political operatives who came in and out of the room throughout the conversation," the messages he is trying to get accross, what he espouses in his church regularly  are markedly different from the philosophies of the other Democrats and even the Republicans in the mayor’s race. All of the five major mayoral candidates are pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage. Mr. Salgado stands out; he has made a name for himself railing against “mortal sins,” including abortion and homosexuality.

Eric Slagado is “the only one conservative Democrat in the race,” said Gregory Davidzon, an influential Russian-language media mogul and power broker, who's the de facto acting campaign manager. "Our goal [is] to make sure that people know you more and more. Know your positions. Know you’re the person,” he added.

Joseph Hayon, an Orthodox Jewish activist and a former Republican Tea Partier, who is now a enthusiastic support of Salgado, was particularly emphatic about the Christian candidate’s interfaith appeal. Speaking to Politicker,  Hayon cited Mr. Salgado’s stance on Mayor Bloomberg’s restrictions against the controversial circumcision suction process and a host of other policy issues that appeal to religious Jewish voters. “Erick Salgado will do everything he can to make sure that the circumcision regulation (Metzitzah B'peh) will be repealed,” Mr. Hayon told the Politicker guys.

“He said he would repeal it. He’s going to be 100 percent on the issues that we care about. Most issues that Orthodox Jews care about will not affect Gentiles. Circumcision does not affect Gentiles. [The Women, Infants and Children program] having kosher grape juice, that’s not going to affect Gentiles. Yes, marriage is going to be something that affects them, that’s probably the only thing. And abortion [and] vouchers,” Hayon added.  

Mr. Salgado conceded gay marriage, abortion and religious education are all issues largely beyond the purview of City Hall. At the same time, Mr. Salgado said he has identified some potential policies the mayor could pursue to address some of these issues. “As mayor, I cannot prohibit abortion because, you know, that would depend on the federal government, but there’s a lot of things we could do,” explained Mr. Salgado. “They’re running a program with the morning after pill, giving a young child 12 or 13-years-old the morning after pill without the consent of the parents. In minority communities, when you see the statistics of abortion in African-American communities, it’s almost sixty percent and Spanish [communities], fifty percent,” said Mr. Salgado. “I believe there’s an agenda to limit us over here. They are killing us and what am I supposed to do? Allow all of these liberals to go over there and continue killing my people? No, I’m standing up and I’m going to prevent this from happening.” 

Believe it or not, Mr. Salgado is the only Latino Democrat running in any of the citywide campaigns this year, including for mayor, comptroller and public advocate. Mr. Salgado believes this demographic advantage (around 28% of the electorate)  and the fact he is not a “career politician” will help him succeed beyond his nascent religious coalition. 

"Not a single rival campaign operative we talked to takes him seriously, but should the Democratic primary come down to a mere handful of votes, Mr. Salgado could potentially play a decisive role as a spoiler. Or, should no candidate meet the 40 percent vote threshold necessary to avoid a runoff, Mr. Salgado’s supporters could be a tangible part of the run-off coalition," the Politicker guys write.

The building coalition may not be enough to win him a place in Gracie Mansion, they conclude. "But his campaign’s blueprint is certainly an interesting strategy that may make an appearance in other local races."

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