Bill Pascrell, Democratic incumbent Congressman from New Jersey’s 9th district, has threatened his Republican opponent, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, with “suffering.” Referring to Boteach, Pascrell blustered: “He’ll have to suffer with the people who he’s getting the money from.”
Pascrell didn’t stop there. He attacked Boteach’s major-donors, mega-philanthropists Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: “We know their record. We know they’re being investigated. If he wants to take money from them, fine.”
Pascrell is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has power over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising actions. Pascrell is obviously threatening to use his influence to destroy Boteach and the Adelsons, simply to advance his own career.
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. I find it rich that Pascrell, who spent $2.5 million to defeat Steve Rothman just three months ago, is suddenly whining about money and politics.
But this is now common practice for the Democrats, using the Department of Justice to punish their opponents, especially the Adelsons. The Obama Administration has been after Adelson since 2010, knowing that he was likely to back the Republican nominee.
What’s good for the president, apparently, is good for his Democratic Congressmen, too.