Washington’s top Democrats called on Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign this weekend, but the leader of New York’s Democratic Party refused to follow their lead.
State party Chairman Jay Jacobs told Roll Call on Monday that calling for the embattled New York Democrat’s resignation wouldn’t do any good.
“I understand and respect their actions, and I understand why they took them,” Jacobs said of weekend statements by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.).
“But what I have to do is work internally, if you will, to see how we can resolve this the best way possible. I don’t see any benefit of me at this time coming out with any announcement as to exactly what actions he should take,” he said.
The statement is in line with the vast majority of New York Democrats, who have been reluctant to call for Weiner’s outright resignation, despite a growing chorus of such calls from Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“It’s already as bad as it can get, and all we’re doing is adding more icing to a very distasteful cake,” Jacobs said. “The feeding frenzy’s got to stop.”
Weiner has taken a leave of absence to seek treatment, according to a statement released over the weekend following the Democratic leaders’ calls for his resignation. He said he would not resign, even as news surfaced in recent days that he had photographed himself in the Members’ gym and communicated via social networks with an underage girl.
The chairman said he has not been shy in the past about calling on Democrats to resign in certain situations. He cited, for example, the case of state Sen. Hiram Monserrate that involved assaulting his girlfriend.
“I’ve made myself clear as to how repugnant his actions were. ... I have called for Democrat electeds’ resignations when I felt the actions were so off the charts, but my participating in these calls at this time just would not be productive,” Jacobs said.
“And I think what everyone is failing to grasp, perhaps, is the human aspect of this for him and his family. We have to be mindful of that.”
Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.