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Donohue faces Weiner on Conservative line

Though voters will not head to the polls for days, Alfred Donohue, the registered Democrat running on the Conservative ticket for the 9th Congressional District, has already conceded he will not likely defeat U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills).

“It’s not realistic to say I would win,” said Donohue, a resident of Marine Park in Brooklyn. “I don’t think I stand a chance unless there’s a big change in the way things are going.”

Donohue, 75, ran against Weiner, 44, in 2002 and garnered about 30 percent of the vote. This time around, Donohue has conducted no fund−raising, has no Web site and said he is running on the Conservative line because “there would be no way my ideas would get through on the Democratic side.”

“I am very pro−life,” said Donohue, born and raised in Brooklyn. “I’m the father of 10 children. I am against Social Security being used for immigrants coming into this country legally or illegally.”

Weiner, also born and raised in Brooklyn but who now lives in Forest Hills, has been praised by groups like NARAL for his support of the abortion pro−choice platform. A large number of senior citizens live in the 9th District and Weiner has prioritized protecting Social Security and other government programs that benefit senior citizens.

The American Conservative Union has given the Weiner’s voting record 0 points out of 100 points. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action have handed him 95 points out of 100 points.

“Anthony Weiner has been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it, tackling a series of looming challenges — from home foreclosures to stagnant wages to skyrocketing health care costs and lost retirement security,” Angie Hu, a spokeswoman for Weiner’s campaign, said via e−mail. “Rep. Weiner believes we need to lean into these problems to keep New York City the capital of the middle class.”

After 65 percent of voters handed the seat to Weiner in 2002, while he received 70 percent of the vote in 2004. In 2005, Weiner lost a bid for mayor, and he said he plans to run for the position again in 2009. Weiner served in the City Council from 1991−98, when he was elected to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D−N.Y.) former congressional seat.

Both Weiner and Donohue have cited terrorism as one of their major concerns. After the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Weiner was appointed to the federal Homeland Security Task Force. He has since supported strengthening the flow of information between state and federal authorities investigating terrorist threats.

“I feel we should be extra vigilant and close our borders,” Donohue said. “But I’m not against people coming in legally.”

The candidates also differ on their stances on Iraq, with Donohue favoring no timeline to pull troops out of the country and Weiner, who originally voted for the Iraq War in 2002, arguing for a timeline.

“I think we should remove our troops when the Iraqi army can protect its own people, which I think should be soon,” Donohue said.

Donohue is for offshore drilling “to reduce dependence on foreign oil,” but Weiner voted for a moratorium on offshore drilling. Additionally, Weiner supports preserving Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge instead of drilling there as President George W. Bush and other Republicans have called for.

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