Weiner, Anthony

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WEINER, ANTHONY (1964– ), U.S. congressman. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Weiner attended Brooklyn Tech High School, then earned his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1985. Following graduation, he relocated to Washington, d.c., to work for U.S. congressman Charles *Schumer, serving in various positions, including budget director, press assistant, and foreign affairs assistant. Weiner returned to Brooklyn as Schumer's district office liaison and later became his chief advisor.

In 1991, following a New York City charter revision that created new City Council districts, Weiner ran in the newly created Forty-Eighth District. He was elected, becoming at 27 the youngest person ever elected to the New York City Council. Weiner served on the City Council until 1998, winning reelection by large margins and earning a reputation as a gifted speaker and a leading consumer advocate. He chaired the Subcommittee on Crime in Public Housing.

In 1998 Charles Schumer vacated his seat in Congress to run for the U.S. Senate, and he endorsed Weiner's campaign to fill the Congressional seat. After winning the hotly contested Democratic primary, Weiner easily won election over his Republican opponent, Louis Telano. Weiner has since served as the representative of the Ninth District of New York, winning three successive reelections.

Weiner serves on Congress's Judiciary Committee, where his legislative efforts have included an increase in funding for dna testing to solve crimes, as well as measures to protect women from sexual predators. He was a sponsor of the "cops" program to increase police presence on city streets nationwide.

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, d.c., Weiner was appointed to the Homeland Security Task Force, the only Task Force member from New York. He worked to pass legislation that would increase the flow of information between state and federal authorities, and to overhaul building collapse investigations. In 2004, following conflicting statements from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security regarding the likelihood of an impending al-Qaeda attack, Weiner called on President Bush to clarify the chain of command, stating that the conflicting statements suggested "an intelligence community in disarray."

In 2005 Weiner ran for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City, coming in second to Fernando Ferrer. When it initially appeared that the results might force a runoff election, Weiner withdrew and endorsed Ferrer, purportedly at the urging of high-ranking Democrats, including Schumer. Though absentee ballots in fact placed Ferrer's results over the required 40 percent, Weiner's withdrawal was seen as a politically savvy move that could serve him well in the next mayoral race.

[Dorothy Bauhoff (2nd ed.)]