Monday March 19, 2018 Cynthia Nixon, a New York City actress and activist for many causes, announced her intention to run for governor of New York State. Within days our current governor made a hard turn to the left to counter his new opponent and to appear even more progressive.
Given the history of accomplishments from our governor, it is hard to believe he needs to go any further left. In the past eight years he has achieved liberal ambitions of; the ban on fracking for natural gas, legalized same-sex marriage, raised the age of criminal responsibility, free tuition at state universities, the SAFE ACT, allowing state prisoners access to free computer tablets and much more. No, he doesn’t need to go any further. But he can. And he is.
Over the past year those in law enforcement, and our families, scowled at Governor’s decision to commute the sentence of a murderer, whose name isn’t worth mentioning, who was convicted of killing Police Sergeant Edward O’Grady, Officer Waverly Brown and armored car guard Peter Paige during the October 1981 Brink’s Robbery in Nyack, New York.
Last week our governor circumvented the legislature to further pander to the criminal class by granting felons on parole the right to vote, all while slapping the face of law-abiding citizens. In his explanation for why he changed this law and the necessity to skip the senate and assembly with an executive order the governor said “it is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have re-entered society”.
The fact is, those on parole are still serving their sentence for a felony conviction. They have not yet fully paid their “debt to society”. Parolees are under very strict rules, giving up some of their constitutional rights when allowed to leave prison early to enter supervised discharge. If a parolee with no voting rights was such an egregious and “unconscionable” error, why did our governor wait nearly eight years to act? I can tell you why; he now has the potential of 35,000 new primary voters who are doubtful to register with the GOP.
The governor’s most recent pro-criminal action will allow another convicted cop-killer to vote; a killer who is scheduled for parole this very week. This particular cop-killer was convicted in 1979 for the killing of two NYPD Officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini, the latter shot 22 times. When the governor was asked for his thoughts on this particular case, he said he thought the parole board made a bad decision. He hid behind his words saying the parole board “is an independent board” over which he has no control.
However, the NYS parole board is composed of 14 individuals, 11 of whom our current governor appointed. One of the 11 is Tana Agostini. Prior to her appointment to the parole board, Ms. Agostini was best known for falling in love with and marrying convicted murderer Thomas O’Sullivan. This love affair began while O’Sullivan was still behind jail bars and Agostini worked on the state assembly’s committee overseeing the prison system. There should now be little doubt why such startling decisions are coming from this parole board.
As the Democratic gubernatorial primary day approaches, we can expect to see more unnecessary progressive decisions from our governor. What should concern all of us is the decision allowing parolees voting rights was made in April. The Democratic Primary Nixon isn’t until September. It is frightening to think what more the gov. will do if the polls show Cynthia Nixon drawing any closer.
We’ve already been told pre-trial bail for people arrested for such offenses as drug crimes is a bad thing. Any day now we can expect to hear it is egregious and unconscionable that illegal immigrants in New York State are denied a driver’s license from DMV. We may hear in the coming weeks that it is a good idea to let 16-year-olds vote. Those are the same 16-year-olds who the governor said are too immature to know right from wrong.
The New York State political world won’t collapse because a parolee votes. An executive order that emanates to stop a true injustice to a group of people is almost an acceptable use of executive power. Conversely, an executive order delivered to potentially obtain more voters during a contested race smells as bad a four day old fish.