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City Politics Forever Changed By 9/11

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The September 11th attacks not only changed Lower Manhattan, but also how local leaders think about politics. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Ten years after the attacks on the World Trade Center, 9/11 still shapes the politics and public policy of New York. Security issues have taken center stage. Civil liberties, some say, have taken a back seat.

"Security has become such a dominant concern. It really changes the narrative for how people align themselves politically with respect to what used to be left-right positions on crime and personal security and personal freedom," said David Birdsell of Baruch College.

Even on the local level, politicos say leaders are often selected with safety in mind.

"When people are running for Congressional seats, there is a feeling of who can best defend this country," said Political Consultant George Artz.

Elected officials say the attacks are still used as a political weapon.

"Rudy Giuliani and George Bush just waved a flag and said 9/11 and used it as a partisan issue. That's happening much less now, and I hope much less in the future," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

But some 9/11 references are still considered off-limits.

In the 9th Congressional District race to replace Anthony Weiner, Republican Bob Turner unleashed a campaign spot earlier this summer that showed the smoldering Twin Towers.

The ad blasted his opponent David Weprin's position on the Lower Manhattan mosque.

Meanwhile, an ad put out by Democrats last week depicting a plane crossing the Manhattan skyline also didn't go over well. And it's unlikely to change anytime soon.

"Nine-eleven does come into races, but it's principally about the way people deal symbolically with 9/11," Birdsell said.

"It's certainly a factor in peoples' minds and that's why people will question the next mayor who your police commissioner will be," Artz said.

Ten years after the September 11th attacks, it's unclear when 9/11 won't factor into New York City politics.

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