A Non-Issue in NJ9? Pascrell Stood up for Rubashkin Well Before Rothman

To date, more than fifty Congressmen signed letters to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he review the circumstances surrounding the arrest and prosecution of Sholom Rubashkin. The first to sign was then-Congressman Anthony Weiner who penned his letter August 13, 2010. Letter number twelve came less than three month later from Congressman Bill Pascrell.

The non-Jewish Pascrell was the first New Jersey Democrat and second NJ Congressman (following Republican Chris Smith) to write a letter to Holder. Pascrell is up for a Primary against Congressman Steve Rothman, who is now in the same district with Pascrell due to the new maps. The Jewish Rothman wrote his letter to Holder in early January 2011, indeed only two months after Pascrell, but also only after 31 other lawmakers including lead Democrats such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel had already sent their letters.

For now however, Rubashkin is a non-issue in the context of the heated race in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District.

Many believe Rothman has the upper hand in Primary. His supporters are informing Jewish voters in the district that Pascrell was one of 54 Democrats to sign a joint letter to President Obama asking that he force Israel to ease its controls of Gaza.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the Republican Nominee for this seat.

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