Boteach Opponent Pascrell Threatens: “He’ll Have to Suffer”
The battle for New Jersey’s 9th district has just gotten nastier. Sixteen-year incumbent congressman Bill Pascrell recently told NJSpotlight.com that his republican opponent, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, will, “…have to suffer with the people who he’s getting the money from.” Referring to Boteach’s max donor billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, he continued, “We know their record. We know they’re being investigated. If he wants to take money from them, fine.”
Rabbi Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” perhaps best known for his book “Kosher Sex,” and his association with Michael Jackson, who he acted as a spiritual counselor to, was considered little more than a political novelty before a $500,000 super PAC donation from Adelson. But while the injection of money makes Boteach a greater threat, Pascrell still remains the odds-on favorite in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans almost 3-to-1.
For his part, Pascrell, who sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, recently spent $2.5 million to defeat Steve Rothman in the Democratic primary.
In response to Pascrell’s threat, Rabbi Boteach issued the following statement today: “I find it bone-chilling that a sitting Congressman would threaten his opponent for simply engaging in the democratic process. It is one thing for Bill Pascrell to try and intimidate me and my supporters. It is completely another to threaten unspecified retaliation in the form of ‘suffering’ for simply exercising First Amendment rights. We expect harassment of political opponents in Iran and the former Soviet Union. We certainly don’t expect an elected official in New Jersey to act in this manner. The Adelsons are the foremost Jewish philanthropists in America. It is particularly troubling that a sitting Congressman would threaten people who have done so much good in the world.”