Published July 13, 2010
Dozens of opponents and some supporters of a mosque planned near ground zero attended a raucous hearing Tuesday about whether the building where the Muslim place of worship would be created warrants designation as a city landmark and should be protected from development.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, who has sought an investigation into the funding of the mosque, was among the witnesses who testified in support of giving the building landmark status, which could complicate plans by Muslim groups to develop a community center and mosque there.
After noting the lower Manhattan building’s history and architectural significance, Lazio said it also warranted landmark designation because on Sept. 11, 2001, it was struck by airplane debris from the terror attacks against the nearby World Trade Center. That connection to the attacks, he said, made it “a place of deep historical significance and a reminder of just what happened on New York’s darkest day.”
Lazio has called on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, his Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, to investigate the funding of the project. On Tuesday, he repeated that request and said the pace of the landmark designation process should be slowed to allow time to thoroughly investigate the matter.
Nearly 100 people attended the hearing at a college campus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Fifty-six people testified at the hearing, which turned contentious at times, with some speakers drowned out by shouts from the audience and with one man escorted out by campus security.
“To deprive this building of landmark status is to allow for a citadel of Islamic supremacy to be erected in its place,” said Andrea Quinn, a freelance audio technician from Queens who said she had worked with people at the World Trade Center.
posted at 1:36 pm on July 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
How many different ways can the immigration debate backfire on Democrats? Harry Reid may have invented a new way to shoot himself in the foot. When confronted by the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas over Reid’s block of a vote to require e-Verify for construction workers, Reid offered the standard platitude that immigration enforcement can’t be done “piecemeal” but has to wait for an overhaul of laws to replace the laws that the federal government doesn’t feel like enforcing. When pressed on the topic by the reporter, Reid insists that there are no illegal workers in Nevada (via the Boss Emeritus):
The report doesn’t offer the big quote from the interview, however (emphasis mine):
REPORTER: Why didn’t you allow for a vote?
REID: That’s the reason we need to do comprehensive immigration reform. We cannot do it piecemeal.
REPORTER: You go to the unemployment office, though, and there’s many US citizens who are unemployed construction workers and they don’t have specific jobs because, right now, some of those construction companies find it easier to hire undocumented workers.
REID: I think that any information you have in that regard is absolutely without foundation
VOICEOVER: We told Senator Reid of a Pew Hispanic Center study showing 17% of all construction workers are here illegally.
REID: That may be someplace, but it’s not here in Nevada.
VOICEOVER: But their latest 2009 numbers show that Nevada is the state with the highest percentage of unauthorized immigrants in the labor force.