By Gary Tilzer
There is a belief in the NYC growing progressive political movement that elected officials have to get rid of the entire criminal justice system, which acts as a safety net for all New Yorkers. They cite it’s unfair to minorities, many who get trapped in the system with no hope of escape. Those that favor defunding the police or limiting bail to all but the most serious crimes, become silent when asked about the causes of rising crime, shootings in the city’s poor neighborhoods and bodegas, which includes the murder of Burger King worker Kristal Bayron-Nieves and one year old Davell Gardner shot in a Brooklyn park in 2020. Those that oppose the progressive crime reforms are silent on the innocent, mostly minorities, trapped in jail and those that can be saved from the criminal justice system. Both sides never discussed the broken criminal justice system beyond the narrative slogans they follow. The progressives want to shut down Rikers Island prison. Those opposed to them have found a new symbol, the clumsy ideological driven new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, blaming him for every crime committed since January 1st, 2022.
DA Bragg Wanted to Make It Clear About His Ideological Mission, Instead Has Become A Target for Ignoring Public Safety
DA Bragg made himself a target by making a statement on his first day in office, when he ordered his staff “not seek a carceral sentence” for anything short of murder or deadly assault (“carceral” being progressive double-speak for prison). Also, he says minor crimes won’t be prosecuted at all. Those that follow criminal justice were shocked because the new DA could have accomplished his hyper-lenient policies quietly over the cause of normal business.
Bragg, 48, is a former federal prosecutor and is one of several progressive DAs to win elections in large cities with the help of money from George Soros, who helps elected prosecutors who behave more as defense attorneys than prosecuting DAs. Other DAs on team Soros include Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, and Kim Foxx in Chicago.
DA Bragg in record time has made himself the target of those that follow the NY Post and Daily News. The NY Times which endorsed Bragg for DA last year’s Democratic Primary is hiding in the witness protection program, as their partners in running NYC, CEO Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership whose members run the worlds finance, banking, real estate systems, is taking the lead in going after DA Bragg. The Partnership members living in their Park Avenue bubble know as much about what to do about the city’s progressive movement, as two of their members know about winning football games, the owners of the Jets and Giants. The Jewish Voice wrote after last year’s Democratic Primary, Do Real Estate Barons Know How to Protect City Hall and Albany? Or Will Left- Wing Team AOC Take Over?
The Partnership is asking for a meeting with Bragg, who has already met with the new NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. The DAs public relations office put out a spin that everyone has misunderstood his day one memo, which went against the late NYPD’s Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Maple’s proven method of saving New Yorkers’ lives, Broken Windows. Other members of the Partnership are looking into a recall election, to remove Bragg. Recalling Bragg even if it is possible will do nothing to stop Albany that refuses to reform a new law that eliminated bail for most crimes and refused to grant criminal judge’s discretionary power to hold violent criminals in jail. Recalling Bragg will not stop a City Council that voted to defund the NYPD last year. More left-wing progressives are sitting on this year’s new council and the buzz is that many more are running for Assembly and State Senate seats this year. We also have a new Brooklyn Borough President that wants the NYPD to erase their gang database and a new NYC Comptroller that wants to eliminate metal detectors at the city school. The big secret is it is New Yorkers who voted for elected officials, like DA Bragg looking to dismantle NY’s Criminal Justice System. How and why did this happen?
The NY Election Law is All About Empowering Incumbents
States like NY that do not have recall elections create powerful elected officials, even when they are corrupt or do not represent the public will, as we have all witnessed over and over.
Nobody is quite sure how to get rid of elected officials in NY. Some think the governor can remove or bring up on charges the DA for dereliction of duty. One paper wrote that any citizen of NYC can submit an application to the Appellate Division of the NY Supreme Court to remove an elected official. All the Republican candidates for governor are running on the platform of removing DA Bragg, it is part of their talking point for every city appearance. Gov. Kathy Hochul who faces left-winger public advocate Jumaane Williams and Congressman Tom Suozzi who is running in the Democratic Primary, has the most immediate problem with DA Bragg. There is even a petition drive to recall Bragg. Former State Senator Vander Beatty who went to jail for election fraud tried to start a campaign to recall Mayor Koch when Koch closed one of Vander’s fake poverty programs, but he was laughed out of court.
Albany Incumbents have Been Bullying NY’s Voters by Setting Up Voting Rules and Systems that Assure Their Reelection for Decades
There is no support in Albany to give New Yorkers the ability to vote in a recall election or term limits, which would give the voters a chance to limit elected officials power and make them more accountable to public opinion. In fact, Albany is supporting voting changes that increase the incumbent’s reelection chances and make them more powerful, which in a one-party state like NY is dangerous to its democracy & our safety.
After promising independent redistricting for 20 years and ignoring a 2014 vote to change the state’s constitution to require Independent redistricting, Albany will allow one-party to draw safe seats for its Democratic incumbent members. In Addition, the State Senate just passed a bill to expand absentee ballots (which was not approved by the voters as amendments to the state Constitution in November), adding drop boxes, strengthening early voting, and limiting corporate money in campaigns. Allowing no excuse for absentee ballots and drop boxes in one-party NYC will result in targeting or harvesting votes making it easier for incumbents to get reelected. Only 3.4% of the voters in the city voted during the 10 days of early voting in the 2021 primary. How do you strengthen the low turnout which has been going on for decades in NY? Corporate money no longer goes to candidates, it goes to their campaign consultant lobbyists and to the PACs they both control, which support incumbent elected officials.
Albany Preventing Nonpartisan Elections is Continuing Voter Suppression of 2 Million of NYC’s Moderate and Conservative Registered Voters
“DA Alvin Bragg was elected overwhelmingly by the people of Manhattan.” Since when is under 30% of voters overwhelming?” – Jennifer Harrison, Victims’ Rights NY PAC
The reason DA Bragg was elected is that the NY voting system allows a DA to be elected in an eight-way split in the Democratic Primary with 32% of the vote; the low-turnout in General Election in most races does not change the outcome. The second-place winner in the Democratic Primary Tali Farhadian Weinstein received 29% of the vote, ran a positive campaign with a lot of heavy weight endorsement, that included Hillary Clinton, AG Eric Holder and several congressional members. 39% of the voters voted for the six other DA candidates, all except Elizabeth Crotty ran as progressives. Bragg, who campaigned at Manhattan political clubs by reducing guns clearly, was not the most left-wing candidate in the race. The third-place finisher, Tahanie Agouti who received 10% ran a much more left-wing activists’ campaign than Bragg. Aboushi wrote on her website that she would “Change the Face of Our Justice System, by ending mass incarceration and investing in our communities, build schools instead of cages, and change the role of the District Attorney to uplift the communities harmed by the prison-industrial complex.”
The problem is multi-candidate races like Bragg’s primary, is without run-off it’s more a game of chance than issues and candidate qualifications. Some voters vote along ethnic racial lines and endorsements, where mostly candidates use progressive or law and order talking points that are put together by consultants. Voters have little information on who they are voting for and more importantly candidates get elected with a plurality of the vote, which could mean they do not represent the community view and values. Run-off elections among the top two finishers give voters a better opportunity to gain information about who they are voting for. Elections without run-offs helped incumbents, political machines and limits the public’s input in who gets elected. Bragg won with less than a third of the vote, because Albany wants a voting system that makes it almost impossible to defeat incumbents, it had nothing to do with Bragg’s race.
Another problem that the Bragg’s primary highlights is that NYC primaries heavily favor left-wing candidates. About two million moderate and conservative registered voters in NYC are blocked from voting in the only election that counts, the Democratic Primary. If NYC had nonpartisan elections, voters not registered to vote in a party (1.2 million) or are members of the Republican Party (500,000) would reduce the power of left-wing progressive to win elections. Kathryn Wylde and her three-hundred-member Partnership would not have to meet with DA Bragg if NY had nonpartisan elections, but the consultant lobbyist and power brokers they lunch with for years make millions off of NY’s broken election system the way it is.
A Perfect Storm Caused by A Broken Election System Designed to Protect Incumbents Elected DA Bragg Put New Yorkers in Danger
Albany incumbents also like the fact that few vote in NY’s elections. Most voters and media understand that the real election with few exceptions are the Democratic Primaries, there was even a failed attempt last year to re-register NYC moderate voters to vote in the mayoral primary. Only 20% of the registered voters in Manhattan voted in the General Election for DA. Only about 10,000 more voters voted in the Manhattan DAs race in the General Elections than in the primary, despite the fact that 384,660 more non-democratic party registered voters were eligible to cast their ballots. 30% of Manhattan Democratic registered voters (877,577) voted in the Democratic Primary for DA. The Republican candidate received only 15% of the vote in the General Election, besides efforts by DA candidate Thomas Kenniff warning the voters about Bragg progressive left-wing views on law enforcement.
The Democratic Party in control in Albany counts on voters voting for all the democratic candidates on the ballot, a tradition started a long time ago when most of the candidates on the ballot were chosen by the local democratic club; many of the voters in those days received favors from the club in times of need. Only nonpartisan elections with run-offs would get voters to pay more attention to who they are voting for. The Democratic Club are long gone, but the ineptitude of the city’s Republican Party to fill the void, has given the ideological voters a good opportunity to win as the only opposition to incumbents. Jewish Voice: AOC & the Progressives’ Interlocking Directorates are the New Bosses of Brooklyn & the 2022 City Council
A majority of the people who live or work in Manhattan want to reduce crime, their objectives seem to conflict with their new DA. The Partnership knows many of the boroughs rich, middle class and businesses are voting with their feet, moving to places like Florida or Texas rather than deal with the high crime, and high taxes and NY’s new wave of elected officials have a tin ear, thinking their ideological beliefs are more important than public safety and want to reimagine government while ignoring or not knowing the history on the governing that made NYC the greatest city in the world.
Prey on the Innocent
NYC’s elected officials have to do more than function as professional mourners after each atrocity, they must protect the innocent.
The progressive internet chatter increases every time a mentally ill person pushes someone on the subway, that the city has to do more to help them. They ignore the fact that there are more outreach programs to help those poor souls than ever. Ms. De Blasio alone received over a billion dollars to help them. The sad fact is that the mentally ill ticking time bomb, who have been in and out of jail, were institutionalized before the Willowbrook and other mental health institutions were shut down in the 1970’s. Since then, until recently, they were locked up in the mental ward in the Rikers Island prison. After the movement to empty the city’s prison and Albany’s bail reforms, those suffering from serious mental illness have been allowed to interact by our elected officials with the public on our City’s streets and subway. Those elected officials that in the past ran NYC understood that the ticking time bomb of mentally ill sick must be separated from innocent New Yorkers like 19-year-old Kristal Bayron-Nieves, helping her mother pay the bills and Michelle Alyssa Go using the Times Square subway station.