As the sexting scandal surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn) continues to unfold, the embattled congressman’s political future has come under intense scrutiny from pundits and pols alike.
But should he retain his seat and run for an eighth term in 2012, Weiner’s fate ultimately rests in the hands of voters who live in the 9th Congressional District — some of whom told the Chronicle this week that, regardless of his online indiscretions, they would cast their ballot for the 46-year-old Forest Hills resident.
“I just judge him for the job he does,” said Walter Wolff, 90, a World War II veteran who lives in Rego Park and has voted for Weiner in past elections.
Wolff said he “can’t control other people’s sex lives,” and that “the whole thing is none of my business.” And, he noted, “I will vote for him again.”
Marcia Brown, 48, of Forest Hills indicated she would as well, characterizing Weiner’s actions as “men being men.”
“He didn’t break the law; he was only flirting,” she explained.
Asked if she thought Weiner still had a chance in the race for City Hall, Brown said yes, “because his policies are good. He just needs some good therapy.”
Jeff Cipolla, 40, a registered Democrat from Forest Hills who also has voted for Weiner, said the events of the past two weeks were “unfortunate, but no one’s business,” and that thus far it seemed he hadn’t broken any laws.
“I tend to go by their professional record, not by their personal indiscretions,” asserted Cipolla, his dog Mason at his side in MacDonald Park. “I would vote for him next time, provided his professional record holds up.”
As for the mayoralty, Cipolla said, “I don’t think [Weiner] will take a shot as soon as he’d like, but I think he will down the road, when all of this disappears.”
Janet, a Forest Hills resident in her 60s who did not provide her last name, called Weiner “immature” and “foolish,” but added that she “probably would vote for him again.”
Still, Weiner’s political prognosis was not completely clear in Forest Hills on Tuesday as new revelations continue to emerge. Past supporters such as Chris Daniggelis and Dale Kaplan were admittedly disappointed in his actions.
“I can say with certitude that if [Weiner] runs for anything I wouldn’t vote for him,” quipped Danigellis, 76, a registered Republican who doesn’t “go straight party line,” and has pulled the lever for Weiner in previous races. “I think he got caught up in the Hollywood part of politics.”
Kaplan, 68, a registered Democrat who recently moved to Forest Hills from Manhattan, was emotionally impacted by Weiner’s admission on Monday afternoon.
“I’m bereft; I was crying all night,” she said. “He was a strong voice for Medicare, and now that voice has been silenced.”
Convinced the Democratic congressional leadership would soon force Weiner out of Washington, Kaplan wondered if he should ever again be voted into a position of power.
“If that urge is so strong, how could you trust that person to run the government?” she asked. “It doesn’t show common sense. They all think they’re going to get away with it.”