Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon Fires Staffer for "Jewish Money" List

Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon of New York Facebook

Mike McMahon
Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon of New York
Facebook

A Democratic representative from New York has fired his campaign spokesperson after she gave a newspaper a list of what she called "Jewish money" going to his Republican opponent.

In an effort to show that Republican challenger Mike Grimm has received most of his financial support from donors outside of New York's 13th district, Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon's re-election campaign gave the New York Observer a list of more than 80 Jewish donors to Grimm.

The list was entitled "Grimm Jewish Money Q2."

At least half a dozen of the donors on the list live on Staten Island, which is part of the 13th district.

"Where is Grimm's money coming from," Jennifer Nelson, McMahon's campaign spokesperson, asked the Observer. "There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees."

Nelson told the Observer she did not know how the campaign's finance team compiled the list, but she said that finance director Debra Solomon is Jewish and "knows a lot of people in that community."

Politico reports that McMahon has fired Nelson and apologized for her comments.

"These comments were entirely inappropriate and there is no place for this kind of behavior. I was outraged by these unfortunate remarks which were unauthorized and are in no way indicative of my beliefs or of my campaign," McMahon said. "I am proud to represent an incredibly diverse community and to enjoy an incredibly diverse base of support. Any comments that could serve to divide our community along religious or ethnic lines have no place in our community or my campaign. I sincerely apologize for her comments, and as she has since been terminated from our campaign, there will be no such incidents in the future."

Grimm said the list was an outrage.

"The fact that a U.S. Congressman would separate out any group by religion or even by ethnicity is nothing short of outrageous," he told the Observer. "This goes beyond politics."

The 13th district went to John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, and both McCain and his 2008 running mate Sarah Palin have endorsed Grimm, the blog RedState points out.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Campaign 2010

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.