BLUE ON BLUE: Why a DC Crime Bill is Creating Big Problems for Democrats
Senate Republicans are trying to put the squeeze on Democrats ahead of an expected vote on legislation next week that would undo parts of a District of Columbia crime bill.
The bill would eliminate most mandatory sentences, lower penalties for a number of violent offenses, including carjackings and robberies, and expand the requirement for jury trials in most misdemeanor cases.
The legislation was unanimously approved by the D.C. City Council, which then overrode a veto by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in an overwhelming 12-1 vote.
The GOP House passed a resolution of disapproval that would block the implementation of the law. It’s that resolution the Senate is expected to vote on next week — and it is likely to pass despite the Democratic Senate majority and the party’s usual support for D.C. home rule.
At least Republicans got to “squeeze” this time instead of “pounce.”
More seriously, on DC’s Democrat-enabled shoddy home rule, Republicans are acting like the only adults in DC — and yet The Hill’s Al Weaver frames it as a bind the GOP somehow put the Dems in.
LIFE IN THE BLUE ZONES: Bob McManus: Black Democrat DA tells the truth on crime, but progressives won’t listen.
David Soares is district attorney of Albany County, NY — where politics is paramount, where facts seldom matter, and where apostasy isn’t tolerated.
No surprise, then, that Democrat Soares — an eloquent contrarian — is on the outs in the Democrat-dominated capital city.
Soares is black, which historically wasn’t an asset in his county’s Irish-Catholic, machine-dominated political environment.
He was elected DA in 2005 with the backing of the noxious disruptor George Soros — much to the dismay of local safe-streets advocates.
But Soares takes his oath of office seriously. He most certainly is no Alvin Bragg — a Soros acolyte so caught up in hard-left, racialized ideology that he might just as well be the local public defender.
Indeed, Soares was among the first to warn against the now-notorious criminal justice “reforms” in 2019.
David Soares has been dissed by Albany Dems for his condemnation of the state’s bail reform laws.
It seemed obvious then that easing up on violent criminals would generate more violent crime — but it took bravery to say so, and Soares appears to have courage in abundance.
He’s now demanding reforms of the “reforms,” and his heresy — he’s a black, progressive Democrat arguing persuasively that innocent black New Yorkers are the principal victims of the 2019 changes — has been noted. Especially by the black progressive Democrats now running the state Legislature, who apparently has had enough of his impudence.
Earlier this month, in a late-Sunday-night telephone call, the DA was disinvited from testifying against the 2019 “reforms” at a joint legislative committee.
Or so says just about everybody but a Senate flack, who over the weekend told Albany newspaper columnist Chris Churchill that Soares had never been invited to speak in the first place. “There is absolutely no truth to this claim,” the flack said.
Maybe. But if that’s so, then why the weekend phone call to tell Soares that he actually wasn’t welcome? What is true is that Soares prepared testimony for the event, which included this stark message to the lawmakers:
“You may not have heard this hard truth,” he wrote. “These reforms have had their most devastating impact on black and brown communities. If you take an honest look at the data — the increases in crime, the victims of those crimes and the location of the most violent crimes — the connection is quite clear.”
This is true in the city of Albany – where there were 19 murders last year, mostly in marginal neighborhoods and with virtually all of the victims black. (Adjusted for population differences, that’s the equivalent of 1,700 murders in New York City.)
And, of course, it’s true in Gotham, where the Manhattan Institute’s Hannah Meyers reports not only sharp increases in murder since the “reforms,” but also equally disturbing proportional changes among victims.
“In 2017, 55.7 percent of the city’s 292 murder victims were black,” she reports, “a disturbing number in a city that is only about one-fifth black. By 2021, more than 66 percent of the 488 murder victims were black.”
There’s much more to New York’s crime surge than murder, of course. And victims come in all colors and from all walks of life; they include subway mugging targets, retail merchants caught up in an ongoing shop-lifting epidemic, senior citizens just out for a walk — and even the MTA, now losing in excess of $250 million a year to fare-beaters.
Certainly lax prosecution is also a factor. Manhattan DA Bragg is an exemplar of boneheaded, ideology-driven law enforcement, and it shows.
But the blame ultimately resides in Albany — where the mere presence of David Soares is a rebuke to the ideologues perpetuating the crisis. Sure, it’s easy to shut him out of the conversation that doesn’t change one overriding fact.
Which is the blood of innocents, in ever-increasing amounts, is on the hands of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaking Carl Heastie and even Gov. Hochul herself. That’s the message of David Soares, now a man speaking profound truth to corrupt power — and paying the apostate’s price.