I am a strong believer in the importance of setting the record straight. I do not ignore inaccurate or incomplete statements about me or my record. For example, on August 26 I read a blogger''s article mentioning me in a way I did not appreciate. The blogger, who is associated with Columbia University, wrote:
"For good measure, Ed Koch a conservative Democratic former mayor of New York who frequently supports Republican candidates has also written in support of the proposed Islamic Center."
"You refer to me as a conservative Democrat. I refer to myself as a liberal with sanity. Would you please list the substantive issues where my support or opposition of them can fairly be described as conservative in view?
I have indeed crossed party lines about two dozen times in my political career of more than 50 years while voting for thousands of Democrats. One Republican by the way was John Lindsay for whom I voted twice. Another Republican was George W. Bush in 2004 when I announced that while I did not agree with him on a single domestic issue, I supported his willingness to stand up to Islamic terrorism. The soft position of the Democrats and John Kerry on that issue compelled me to cross party lines. I also supported Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Republican, in three elections: when he ran against Mark Green, Fernando Ferrer and Bill Thompson. As Jack Kennedy once said, "Sometimes party loyalty asks too much.
Also, my position on the building of the mosque near Ground Zero is different than Mayor Bloomberg''s position. He apparently does not believe that an effort should be made by anyone to convince the supporters of the mosque to move the location for sensitivity reasons. My position is that the feelings of 70 percent of all Americans on the issue, and particularly the family members of those who died and the survivors of the catastrophe, should be considered by the Muslim supporters of the mosque. They oppose the mosque on that site, because the terrorists who killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 were Muslims. However, if the Muslim supporters conclude that they see no sensitivity issue and seek as they allege to build a mosque as a bridge on that site, their rights should be protected and enforced.
Further, no one acting on behalf of government should seek to dissuade them. Finally, I also believe that everyone, regardless of which side of the issue they support, has a right to peacefully protest. All of these rights are protected by the same First Amendment. Is my position liberal or conservative in your lexicon?"
No reply to date. I''ll keep you posted.