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Unsolicited “Weprin defied Jewish Law” text messages don’t violate US law

by Jonah Lowenfeld

September 8, 2011 | 1:04 pm

The New York Post is reporting that Democrat David Weprin, an orthodox Jew running in New York for ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat, is spending more than $260,000 on TV ads as part of his campaign against Republican Bob Turner.

The race between Weprin and Turner is close—9 points separate the candidates, according to the New York Daily News—and the fight is being waged over all media, including unsolicited text messages to New York-based cell phones.

“David Weprin defied Jewish law and betrayed our values by voting to impose gay marriage in New York,” a text message sent from the email address “txt@aicpac.com” to an unknown number of recipients on Sep. 6 read. “Do NOT vote for Weprin.”

The group behind the text message, Americans in Contact PAC, is a group that supports Republican candidates. Its acronym is very similar to that of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which is the country’s largest pro-Israel lobby. (The similarity temporarily tripped up one blogger.)

According to the Forward, Turner “has gained some traction by seeking to link Weprin to President Obama and his perceived lukewarm support of Israel.”

Since 2005, the Federal Communications Commission has prohibited the sending of unwanted commercial emails messages to wireless devices, but that ban does not extend to messages about candidates for public office.

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