'• en. ;an Specter - pulled away from Lynn Yeakel
re: At weeks.
New York Attorney General Bob Abrams is trying to unseat
Sen. Al D'Amato.
New York: State Attorney General Bob Abrams,
The Kasten-Feingold race revives one of the most
recently won the Democratic primary after a gru-
controversial questions in Jewish politics today: is it
primary tussle, is fighting hard to unseat Sen.
better to support a powerful, well-connected incum-
D'Amato, the conservative Republican who
bent who is a standout on the single issue of Israel
brushes with scandal.
or should Jewish voters and funding groups give eqilal
has strong support in New York's
weight to a rang( ,f domestic issues?
community, and many pro-
Pro-Israel politi r ai. action committees are going all-
the Jewish community
out for Mr. Kaset_-T,., a fact that has incensed some Jew-
his pro-Israel activities
> ish activists in Wisconsin who insist that Mr. Feingold
is more in sync with Jewish positions on an array of
Illinois: Carol Moseley Braun, who hopes to be-
the first African-American woman in the Sen-
If Mr. Feingold wins — and the polls currently show
won strong Jewish support, based mostly on
him with a commanding lead — Wisconsin will have
positions on domestic issues.
two Jewish senator:, (Democrat Herb Kohl is the oth-
Braun, despite some earlier run-ins with
er) — an oddity in a state where the population to-
over comments she made during a
tals only .7 percent.
trip to Israel, has laid out a platform on the Middle
ermsylvania• Republican Sen. Arlen Specter East that sounds like it was written in the offices of
was widely assumed to be in serious politi- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Her opponent, Rich Williamson, a conservative
cal trouble a few months ago in his campaign
who served in the Reagan administration, has
against challenger Lynn Yeakel, who seemed
Ms. Braun for her sponsorship of a
poised to exploit the anger many women felt
Legislature resolution honoring
z) as a result of Mr. Specter's harsh questioning of Ani-
recent reelection campaigns
the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court
Oregon: One of Israel's most venerable friends in
2 -wish, was also considered
Senate, Sen. Bob Packwood, a Republican, is
terable because of his sympathetic response to
in a very close race with Rep. Les AuCoin, who
Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein before the invasion
a good record on Middle East issues.
Packwood's leadership on the issue is a key
But Ms. Yeakel has run what many political pro-
pro-Israel community, pro-Israel lead-
fessionals consider an amateurish campaign. In the
Clinton's strength in Oregon could
Jewish community, she has also been dogged by ques-
for the challenger.
tions about her involvement in a Bryn Mawr, Pa.,
Owens, a Democrat, has given
church that has sponsored forums on the Middle East
run for the Senate slot being
that were blatantly biased against Israel.
Pro-Israel PACs have pulled out all the stops in
has sought to make
supporting Mr. Specter; cur -, ontly, the race is too close
in Middle East
Israel supporters are solidly behind Rep. Les Aspin in his race
against Mark Neumann.
politics, and he has used his personal connections with
Syria's Hafez al- Assad on behalf of Syrian Jews. Cur-
rently, he is in a close race with Republican Bob Ben-
IN THE HOUSE
ver in the House, things are much more un-
settled. Recent polling data results suggest
that the electorate's hostility to incumbents
is particularly focused on House members,
thanks to the House bank and post office
scandals. In the Senate, Democrats are expected to
gain ground; in the House, with incumbency poten-
tially the kiss of death, the Republicans are expected
Pro-Israel forces are watching a handful of impor-
tant races. And near the top of the list is Rep. Les As-
pin's tough battle for an 11th term.
Wisconsin: Mr. Aspin, chair of the House armed
services committee, has been a strong advocate for
military cooperation between Israel and the United
States. He is being challenged by Mark Neumann, a
homebuilder and staunch conservative who has crit-
icized Mr. Aspin's support for $10 billion in loan guar-
antees for Israel. Mr. Neumann is outspending the
incumbent — and Israel's supporters are supporting
Mr. Aspin to the hilt.
Connecticut: Democratic Rep. Sam Gejdenson,
another leading Jewish incumbent, is poised to take
on a critical leadership role in the next Congress — if
he survives an electoral challenge from Ed Munster,
a Republican state senator who has capitalized on
hostility to a state income tax.
Mr. Gejdenson, who is currently leading in the polls,
will be the second-ranking Democrat on the House
foreign affairs committee, the important committee