3 months, 4 weeks ago Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon
Covers Twitter tracks after backing controversial piece
From Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon:
Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is in some hot water with the Jewish community after his campaign tweeted—and then quietly deleted—several messages urging backers to read an article comparing black Republican voters to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis.
Chicago Sun Times readers were stunned last week to find that writer Neil Steinberg has penned a column comparing black supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis against their brethren.
“As a general rule, individuals will sell out the interests of their groups in return for personal benefit,” Steinberg wrote in his column, which claimed that Rauner is buying off the black community and its leaders. “It isn’t just a black thing. Jews collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go.”
Quinn’s camp praised the piece and tweeted it out to supporters several times. The tweets were deleted after local Jewish community officials quietly communicated their outrage to the governor.
“If Rauner is willing to throw his own money away like this, what’s he going to do when he gets his hands on ours?” read one now-deleted tweet from Quinn’s campaign account.
The campaign also retweeted—and then deleted—a missive from Steinberg promoting his piece.
Both tweets were captured by the website Politwoops, which archives political tweets for posterity.
Some in the Chicago Jewish community say that they were outraged by Quinn’s support of the Nazi rhetoric, which was disseminated over Passover, the holiday marking the ancient Jewish people’s release from slavery.
“Coming during Passover just a few days after the [anti-Semitic] shootings in Kansas, this kind of rhetoric was beyond outrageous,” said one local Jewish community insider. “Community leaders immediately contacted the governor’s office and urged retraction.”
Sources say that the heads of several major Jewish organizations personally registered their outrage with Quinn.