Majority of Legislature Disapproves of Sheriff Campaign Video

The Rockland County Legislature passed a resolution at the Tuesday evening meeting to express agreement with the condemnation by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of an on-line video in support of the campaign of Richard Vasquez for Rockland County Sheriff. Critics believe the video inappropriately suggests Rockland’s Orthodox Jewish community is responsible for illegal and unsafe housing issues in the County.

The resolution, sponsored by Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, criticizes the chairman of the Rockland County Republican Party Lawrence Garvey for posting the video, which the majority feels portrayed religious Jews in a negative light. Evan R. Bernstein, ADL’s New York Regional Director, said, “We find the use of an image of visibly identifiable Jews in this campaign video to be deeply troubling, highly offensive, and inappropriate, as it essentially blames the Orthodox Jewish community for the substandard and illegal housing problems in Rockland.”

Mr. Bernstein also stated, “We urge Mr. Vasquez to edit the video and make clear that the crux of his campaign-and this county issue-has nothing to do with the Rockland Jewish community.”

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 13-3, sparked an hour and a half debate. Legislators Cornell, Diaz, Earl, Grant, Low-Hogan, Moroney, Murphy, Paul, Soskin, Wieder, Hood, and Chairman Wolfe joined Schoenberger to vote in favor of the resolution.  Legislators Hofstein, Meyers and Jobson are recorded as voting against the resolution.  Legislator Carey was absent.

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