The Orthodox Union doesn’t endorse candidates. So you can understand the zeal of OU leaders in getting the word out about what they see as a misleading statement from a supporter of attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman.
The organization’s leaders met with both Schneiderman, a Democrat state senator, and Dan Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney. The pro-Schneiderman ad featuring a press release about the meeting didn’t say he won the non-profit group’s endorsement, but the OU felt it came a bit too close. Here’s the statement they released today:
“A recent campaign advertisement by a third party supporter features the OU press release above a statement detailing how many Jewish leaders or institutions have endorsed him. This implies the OU is among the endorsing institutions, which it is restricted from doing as a charitable entity and would violate the OU’s status as a tax-exempt nonprofit.”
“We believe this was an error by a campaign supporter that while hopefully unintentional, is both glaring and embarrassing. We have contacted the campaign and asked them to instruct their supporters to pull the ad, as well as contacting Jewish media outlets and asking that in deference to the OU’s nonprofit status, they refuse to run the ad."
It’s not clear who paid for the ad and where it was intended to run. A copy obtained by The Jewish Week didn’t specify the sponsor.
In a statement, Schneiderman spokeswoman Alix Anfang said: "While the OU correctly said in its statement that this ad was done by a supporter, as opposed to the campaign, we have asked that it be pulled immediately out of respect to the OU’s position."