Bill Pascrell, Democratic incumbent Congressman from New Jersey’s 9th district, recently threatened his Republican opponent, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, saying he will “have to suffer with the people he’s getting the money from.”
Referring to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who have emerged as two of the largest Republican donors, Pascrell continued saying, “We know their record. We know they’re being investigated. If he wants to take money from them, fine,” NJSpotlight.com reported.
Boteach, an Orthodox Rabbi who is probably best known for his book “Kosher Sex,” received a major monetary boost from the Adelsons when they donated $50,000 to the Patriot Prosperity PAC, supporting Pascrell’s Republican opponent.
“I treasure the Adelsons’ support. They are among the most generous and sophisticated political donors in the country,” Boteach, who made Newsweek’s list of 50 most influential rabbis, said upon hearing of the donation.
In response to Pascrell’s threat, Rabbi Boteach issued a statement saying, “I find it bone-chilling that a sitting Congressman would threaten his opponent for simply engaging in the democratic process. It is one thing for Bill Pascrell to try and intimidate me and my supporters. It is completely another to threaten unspecified retaliation in the form of ‘suffering’ for simply exercising First Amendment rights. We expect harassment of political opponents in Iran and the former Soviet Union. We certainly don’t expect an elected official in New Jersey to act in this manner. The Adelsons are the foremost Jewish philanthropists in America. It is particularly troubling that a sitting Congressman would threaten people who have done so much good in the world.”