Brooklyn Conservatives File Amicus Brief Supporting Assemblymembers Castorina and Malliotakis’ action to Stop NYC from Destroying IDNYC Data
Our Amicus Brief in support of Assemblymembers Ron Castorina, Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis’ action to stop NYC from destroying IDNYC data:
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF RICHMOND
In the Matter of :INDEX NO. 80258/16
RONALD CASTORlNA, JR.} and NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS
BILL DE BLASIO, in his official capacity as MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO, in her official capacity as the SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL,
STEVEN BANKS, COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION /DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, in his official capacity,
MATTHEW BRUNE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF THE NEW YORK CITY HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION/DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, in his official capacity, and
RICARDO BROWNE, EXECUTIVE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS, HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION/DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
SERVICES, in his official capacity,
For a Judgement Pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS/PLAINTIFFS’ ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
Kings County Conservative Party
486 78th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11209
By Ross Brady, Esquire
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES………………………………………………………………………. 3
STATEMENT OF FACTS………………………………………………………………………….5
The Court should grant Petitioners’ motion to prevent The Mayor, City Council, and members, who exceed their jurisdiction, from destroying data collected in the IDNYC process and thus violating the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)………………………………………………………………8
The IDNYC enabling statute and subsequently issued regulations restricting access to records and permitting their destruction violates the New York State Freedom of Information Law……………………..9
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Bradford v. Helman, 24 AD2d 937 (ls1 Dep’t 1965) ………………………………… 8
Newsday, Inc. v. Sise, 71 NY2d 146 (1987) …………………………………………. 8
Roche v. Lamb, 61 Misc.2d 633 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1969), app. dismissed, 33 AD2d 1102 (4th
Dep’t 1970), aff d, 26 NY2d 54 (1970) …………………………………………………… 9
Tartan Oil Corp. v. State Dept. of Taxation & Fin., 239 AD2d 36 (3d Dep’t. 1998) .. 8
C.P.L.R. § 7803(2) ………………………. …………………………………………… 8
Public Officers Law § 84 …………… ………………………………………………. 8
Public Officers Law § 89 ……………………………………………………………. 9
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 502 ……… .. . …………………………………………… 10
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 508 …….. … . …………………………………………… 10
15 NYCRR § 160 et seq. ……………………………. ……………. ………………… 10
15 NYCRR § 161 et seq. …………………………………………………………….. 10
NEW YORK CITY LOCAL LAWS
New York City Local Law 35/2014 … . .. . … . ……………………………………….. 6
NEW YORK CITY REGULATIONS
NYC Administrative Code 3-115(e) ……….. ………………………………………… 10
68 RCNY 6-11 ……………………… …………………………………………………. 10
Since 1962, the Kings County Conservative Party has advocated an efficient and limited government, as well as a transparent government for our nation, State and City. In the wake of the September 11th attacks on the United States, including the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and the murder of thousands of individuals, the Kings County Conservative Party has consistently supported transparent government and the ability of agencies to share data and information.
It is counterintuitive, if not madness, for the City of New York to destroy information collected to give identification documents to persons regardless of their legal or immigration status. The Administration, along with the City Council Speaker and members of the City Council seek to destroy information that is and should be available not only to agencies, but to individuals seeking information about the precise results of government programs. The effect of such destruction subverts the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
The respondents seek to pass to unelected bureaucrats in the Human Resources Administration, the ability to arbitrarily destroy information and over 1,000,000 applications and thereby stymie FOIL requests, obfuscate both persons, our elected officials and law enforcement from receiving information. Even if the respondents prevented the distribution of information only to government agencies having not learned the lessons of September 11th, the act of deleting the information prevents the fulfillment of FOIL requests.
The respondents wish to destroy information goes against the Mayor’s stated wish for transparency and the grand statements of the Council Speaker. It exceeds the authority of the respondents to delegate quasi-judicial functions such as determining what should be available via FOIL, and is clearly politically motivated as demonstrated by statements made during deliberation in the City Council. (1)
The Kings County Conservative Party supports the Petitioners’ cause of action and prays the Court rules in favor of their position and affords appropriate relief.
1 Sally Goldenberg, De Blasio to Disclose ‘Substantive ‘ Lobbyist Meetings, POLITICO, May 27, 2014, Attached to the Affirmation of Jeffrey Alfano (“Alfano Aff.”) as Exhibit A. of Petitioners’ brief;
Kate Taylor, De Blasio Pushes on Information Requests, The New York Times, Oct. 19, 2011. Alfano Aff. Exh. B. of Petitioners’ brief;
Kaela Sanborn-Hum, New York City’s Evolving Approach to Open Data, GOTHAM
GAZETTE, April 11, 2016. Alfano Aff. Exh. C. of Petitioners’ brief;
Tara Palmeir, Municipal ID law has ‘delete in case of Tea Party’ clause, NEW YORK POST, Feb. 16, 2015. Alfano Aff. Exh. D.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The facts in this matter are as set forth in Petitioners’ brief:
A. Creation of the IDNYC Program
The New York City Council (“Council”) sought to remedy a number of problems it saw
when it adopted the IDNYC program. A major problem identified by the Council was finding a
solution to provide valid identification for citizens who simply have no reason to drive cars.
During hearings contemplating the introduction of a bill enabling the Mayor to create the IDNYC
took testimony from many stakeholders before submitting the measure to the full Council. One
such witness was Mindy Tarlow, the Director of Mayor’s Office of Operations. During her
testimony before the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration envisioned a municipal
identification program relying on an administrative model similar to the State Department of Motor
Vehicles. See Alfano Aff. Ex. E attached to Petitioner’s brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the Committee on Immigration, April 30, 2014) p. 34 lines 17-25 (considering application process); p. 35 lines 15-25 (considering fraud protection for the document). During the same committee meeting, Sue Dom, a leader of Manhattan Together and Metro-IAF echoed Director Tarlow’s sentiment that a New York City Municipal Identification Card would provide a similar form of identification for her as an 80-year-old woman without the “hassle of dealing with New York Stat’s DMV.” ld. at p. 20 lines 22-25.
When the proposed legislation made it to the floor of the entire Council, Council Member
Levine articulately explained his vote in favor of the measure. The Council Member stated:
New York City is among the localities in America with the lowest rates of driver’s license among its residents. Well under 60% among adults, and it’s plummeting among young people. That number is
trending downward. This at a time when the circumstances in which we need IDs is rapidly proliferating . .. So this provides a solution for over 40% of adults in New York, a number which is growing, that do not have municipal IDs. Alfano Aff. Exh. F of Petitioners’ brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the State Meeting, June 26, 2014) p. 61 lines 13-20).
In the end, IDNYC passed, in part, based on its modeling of the practices and procedures
found in the administration of New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles ensuring the
integrity of the identification.
However, the IDNYC program contains a provision permitting the destruction of
documents submitted to the government to obtain the identification card. Identification issued
through the NYCID program expires five years after issuance. The New York City Code, however, permits the destruction of records associated with the program after two years solely at the discretion of the Respondents.
B. Contemplation of The Destruction of Public Records in Violation of FOIL
Council members identified the IDNYC enabling statute contained significant drafting
flaws. Id. at p. 42 lines 23-25 and p. 43 lines 2-4 (2) and p. 64 lines 7-19.(3) Glaringly, and identified
by then-Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio, the enabling statute permitted the destruction of public
records leading to serious concerns relating to proper policing within New York City and wherever
IDNYC travel beyond the City’s borders. See NYC Administrative Code 3-115(e), 68 RCNY 6-11, New York City Local Law 35/2014, see also Alfano Exh. F of Petitioners’ brief (Transcript of the Minutes of the State Meeting, June 26, 2014) p. 52 lines 20-25, p. 53 lines 2-25.(4)
In the weeks following the effective date of the enabling statute and accompanying rules,
the public learned the so-called drafting flaws were not included due to the speed of passage but
were part of a methodically thought out plan to circumvent open government requirements
contained in New York Freedom of Information Law.
In a New York Post article entitled “Municipal ID law has ‘delete in case of Tea Party’
clause” Council Member Menchaca bragged about the provision allowing the Respondents to
destroy public records at the end of 2016 was “In case a Tea Party Republican comes into office
and says, ‘We want all of the data from all of the municipal ID programs in the country,’ we’re
going to take the data.” See Alfano Aff. Exh. D. of Petitioners’ brief. While the article speaks about the document destruction provision of the law as a “sunset” provision, nothing can be farther from reality. The IDNYC program would not come to an end should Respondents exercise the document destruction provision before December 31, 2016. The program, instead, continues but the government records supporting the distribution of the government identification card would be destroyed.
2 Council Member Garodnick: “There are open issues here that we are delegating to the Mayor to sort out, including how to conclusively prevent fraud. I recognize the premium that is being placed on speed, but my preference for this institution would have been for the Council to work these questions out in advance.”
3 Council Member Greenfield: “[It] certainly is a complicated issue in terms of Municipal ID, and I share the concerns that some of the members have raised. I think that we could have had some tweaks to the bill. We could have had more robust discussion on the bill, and we certainly could have improvements on the bill. But we in our position as elected official[s] don’t get to vote on perfect legislation normal (sic). We generally get to vote on imperfect legislation and try to figure out the merits of said legislation.”
4 Council Member Ignizio: “It then goes on to say that we will destroy that documents that we retain, that we are tak[ing] from those that are seeking [a municipal id] …. I will vote no on this bill because I believe there are legitimate security concerns that have no[t] been adequately addressed in it, and notwithstanding the desire of my colleagues to act in a compassionate manner to ensure that people aren’t treated .. unfairly.”
C. Petitioners’ Requests To Preserve Publicly Filed IDNYC Documents
On September 1, 2016, the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial
Services (hereinafter “the Superintendent”) issued a letter to New York’s banking industry
October 20,2016, Petitioner, Assembly Member Castorina, wrote the Superintendent requesting
the reconsideration of the sentiments contained that letter. See Alfano Aff. Exh. B. of Petitioners’ brief.
The Superintendent issued no response to Assembly Member Castorina’s letter, nor was it
acknowledged in any other way. In recent weeks Mayor de Blasio announced his intention to
destroy all records associated with the issuance of the IDNYC program through his purported
authority under NYC Administrative Code 3-115( e) and 68 RCNY 6-11. See Alfano Aff. Exh. I. of Petitioners’ brief.
On November 28, 2016, Petitioners requested Respondents refrain from destroying any
government documents submitted in connection with the IDNYC program. See Alfano Aff. Exh.
J. of Petitioners’ brief. On November 29, 2016, Respondents publicly rejected Petitioners requests to preserve documents submitted in connection with the IDNYC program through Speaker Mark-Viverito’s statement to the press telling Petitioners to “go ahead [and] sue us.” See Alfano Aff. Exh. K. of Petitioners brief.
Petitioners require access to the governmental documents kept in connection with the
IDNYC program in their roles as members of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on
Banks to introduce legislation concerning the ID’s acceptance in banks governed by New York
law. To preserve these documents Petitioners filed FOIL requests with New York City’s
Department of Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (hereinafter
“New York City HRA”).
On November 29,2016, at 12:23: 11 p.m., Assembly Member Castorina submitted a FOIL
request seeking: delivery, to my office address listed above, all scanned application
materials associated with IDNYC (also known as New York City’s Municipal ID program) program maintained by HRA and any other City Agency including the Mayor’s Office in digital format. See Alfano Aff. Exh. L. of Petitioners’ brief.
Similarly, on December 2, 2016, at 6:51:06 p.m., Assembly Member Malliotakis submitted
a FOIL request seeking: delivery, to my office address listed above, all scanned application
materials associated with IDNYC (also known as New York City’s Municipal ID program) program maintained by HRA and any other City Agency including the Mayor’s Office in digital format.
See Alfano Aff. Exh. M. of Petitioners’ brief. Respondents offered no response to either FOIL request!
The Court should grant Petitioners’ motion to prevent The Mayor, City Council, and members, who exceed their jurisdiction, from destroying data collected in the IDNYC process and thus violating the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
New York State’s Freedom of Information Law, like all freedom of information laws, are liberally construed to maintain records and provide public access to documents and proceedings. The law is an effort at transparency, a goal of government espoused by many, including the Mayor, but not practiced,
The law states:
As state and local government services increase and public problems become more sophisticated
and complex and therefore harder to solve, and with the resultant increase in revenues and
expenditures, it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability
wherever and whenever feasible. The people’s right to know the process of governmental decision
making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our
society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak
of secrecy or confidentiality. The legislature therefore declares that government is the public’s
business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press,
should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Public Officers Law § 84, See also Newsday, Inc. v. Sise, 71 NY2d 146 (1987) (Freedom of
Information Law was enacted to provide the public with means to access to government records
in order to encourage public awareness, understanding, and participation in government, and
discourage official secrecy; it is to be liberally construed, and its exemptions narrowly interpreted
so that public is granted maximum access); Tartan Oil Corp. v. State Dept. of Taxation & Fin., 239AD2d 36 (3d Dep’t. 1998) (All record of public agencies are presumptively open to public inspection, and Freedom of Information Law is to be liberally construed with its exceptions
Respondents, as public officers, remain bound by New York’s Freedom of Information
Law. Respondents, consequently, must preserve rather than destroy public records as they indicate
they will do, or have already done concerning the IDNYC program. Assuming Respondents
continue to respect the Freedom of Information Law, this Court must issue an order of prohibition
pursuant to C.P.L.R. § 7803(2) preventing Respondents from venturing beyond their jurisdiction
as public officers by destroying documents associated with the IDNYC program. See Bradford v.
Helman, 24 AD2d 937 (1st Dep’t 1965) (holding a writ of prohibition acts only to forestall action
and not to review action).
Professor Siegel notes in his treatise, New York Practice, that “prohibition does not lie against strictly administrative action, but only against judicial and quasijudicial action.” Siegel, NY Prac. § 559 at 992 [5 th Ed. 2011], see also Roche v. Lamb, 61 Misc.2d 633 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1969), app. dismissed, 33 AD2d., 102 (4th Dep’t 1970), affd, 26 NY2d 54 (1970) (where city council was proceeding without or in excess of its jurisdiction, petitioner was entitled to judgment prohibiting such action). Here, Respondents’ act in a quasi-judicial capacity rendering a unilateral determination of which records should be preserved and which should be destroyed when New York State law indicates public records must be preserved with the public granted liberal access to them.
The clear language of the enabling statute and the subsequent regulations enacted pursuant
to that statute seek only to obfuscate public access to government records by failing to provide any
avenue for members of the general public to review materials submitted in connection with the
IDNYC program. See NYC Administrative Code § 3-115(e) and 68 RCNY 6-11. Respondents,
instead, focused their energy devising a methodology wherein public records could be destroyed
if the nation chose a member political party opposing their way of thinking as president., a clear violation FOIL. See Public 12 Officers Law § 89(8) (“Any person who, with intent to prevent the public inspection of a record pursuant to this article, willfully conceals or destroys any such record shall be guilty of a violation.”)
Respondents actions do not serve a legitimate governmental interest and represent actions in violation of the spirit and word of the Freedom of Information Law and are taken well beyond their jurisdiction of elected public officers.
The Court should rule that the IDNYC enabling statute and subsequently issued regulations restricting access to records and permitting their destruction violates the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
Respondents must not be allowed to subvert the Freedom of Information Law by enacting a scheme to permit agency workers to destroy documents and information. The intent and effect of such obstruction or obfuscation are contemplated and anticipated in the law.
New York’s Freedom of Information Law punishes “any person who, with intent to prevent
the public inspection of a record pursuant to this article, willfully conceals or destroys any such
record.” Public Officers Law § 89. One of the stated purposes of enacting the IDNYC program
was to provide citizens of New York City with access to identification which would ultimately be
treated similarly to a New York State Driver License issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
During floor debate, several members of the Council indicated the disparity between citizens living
in New York City that do not drive cars against those with cars. In fact, Director Tarlow from the
Mayor’s Office indicated the IDNYC program should function similar to the state Department of
Motor Vehicles. In fact, Council Members noted the similarity between the IDNYC program and
the licenses issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to allay their concerns regarding the
possibility of fraud inherent in any governmental identification program.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law governing New York State Driver Licenses contemplate both
the transmission of personal information between governmental bodies and agencies, i.e. the
Selective Service, and public access to records kept in connection with the business conducted by
the Department of Motor Vehicles. See VTL § 502 and § 508. In fact, the regulations of the
Commissioner Motor Vehicles offer extensive rules concerning the public’s access to motor
vehicle records. See 15 NYCRR § 160 et seq. and 15 NYCRR § 161 et seq. Noticeably absent
from these extensive regulations is any regulation permitting the Commissioner of the Department
of Motor Vehicles, or the Governor, from destroying any information submitted by applicants to
obtain an identification through the department.
New York City’s IDNYC program vests authority to destroy governmental documents
submitted in connection with that program in the unelected bureaucracy of New York City’s HRA.
See NYC Administrative Code § 3-115(c) and 68 RCNY 6-11.
The precedent created by the IDNYC program’s confidentiality provisions begin a slippery
slope to government not by the people but rather by executive fiat. While such a solution created
by the Council and the Mayor may have been crafted with the best intentions not meant to abridge
the rights of New Yorkers, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The Kings County Conservative Party respectfully request this Court grant the Petitioner’s its Order to Show Cause seeking 1) an Order of Prohibition preventing Respondents from exceeding the jurisdiction of their office; 2) an Order finding the confidentiality provisions of the IDNYC program in violation of New York State’s Freedom of Information Law and declaring those portions of the IDNYC program permitting the destruction of public documents by New York City HRA and limiting public access to the same null and void, and 3) for such injunctive, other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
December 30, 2016
Ross Brady, Esq. for
Kings County Conservative Party
486 78th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11209
To: New York City Corporate Counsel
100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007
Attn: Thomas Roberts
Jeffrey Alfano, Esq.
Law Office of Jeffrey Alfano
1000 South Avenue, Ste104
Staten Island, NY 10314
Brooklyn Conservatives are running a slate this election day and need your votes in the Conservative Party column from the top of the ticket all the way to the bottom. They will represent you and give a real voice and Vote to the issues and positions we share and their opponents ignore. The following is our slate and you are allowed to print it out and take it with you election day. You can also stop by and help out on Tuesday at the Bay Ridge Manor on 76th off 5th Ave. Polls open at 6am and close at 9pm.
Your Conservative candidates are:
President Donald Trump
Vice President Michael Pence
U.S. Senate Wendy Long
7th CD Allan Romaguerro. 8th CD Daniel Cavanaugh
9th CD Allan Bellone. 10th CD Philip Rosenthal. 11th CD Dan Donovan
17th SD Simcha Felder. 20th SD. Menachem Raitport
21st SD. Brian Kelly. 22nd SD Marty Golden
41st AD Ramona Johnson. 42nd AD Matthew Williams. 44th SD Glen Nocera
45th AD Boris Gintchanski. 46th AD Mikhail Usher. 47ThAD Malka Shahar
48th AD Dov Hikind. 49ThAD Rosemary Mangino. 51stAD Henry Lallave
52ndAD Daniel Ramos 59ThAD Jeffrey Ferretti 60ThAD Ernest Johnson
64ThAD. Nicole Malliotakis
Mark I. Partnow. Leon Ruchelsman. Katherine A. Levine
Reginald A. Boddie Philip J. Smallman. ShawnDya L. Simpson
Vote Conservative Party Tuesday November 8, 2016!!
Jim Kerr to Receive Jim Gay Memorial Award at Brooklyn Conservative’s Annual Reception November 2nd. Keynote Speaker David Keene
NYS Committeeman and Executive Committeemember Jim Kerr, well known not only for being emcee at many a NYS Conservative Party event, but also from decades as host of the Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning show and a storied career in broadcasting, will receive the honor of the James Gay Memorial Award at the Annual Reception of the Kings County Conservative Party on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. The award is named in memory of Conservative Party stalwart and longtime NYS and Kings County Conservative Party icon Jim Gay and is awarded to individuals who possess the character and contribute to the advancement of the principles of the Conservative Party.
In addition to bestowing the honor upon Kerr, the event will feature an address by Washington Times Opinion Editor and former American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene. Keene Chaired the ACU for 28 years and also served as the President of the National Rifle Association. He has recently published a book on the Second Amendment “Shall Not Be Infringed.” see www.davidakeene.com.
The 54th Annual Reception will be held at Hunter’s Steakhouse located at 9404 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday November 2, 2016 at 7pm. Tickets are $90pp.
You may reserve by check payable to the Kings County Conservative Party and mail to 486 78th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209.
Please also support us by taking an advertisement in our souvenir journal. You may print out this email and mail with your check for tickets and or ad(s): Return a listing up to four lines. Ad rates are:
Gold Patron Listing: $150
Silver Benefactor Listing: $125
Sponsor Listing: $100
Return the ad form and ticket request by October 18th.
American Labor Theory has Roots in London.
by Ed Farr
Public schools are indoctrination centers for the teacher’s unions. As any civics teacher will tell you, modern labor theory draws on 19th century London for its inspiration. Tales by Charles Dickens and others continue to horrify teachers and inform students.
London of the industrial revolution was a battle ground where economic freedom, or “laissez-faire economics” was discredited. It became clear that government had to step in and regulate all aspects of labor, our teachers tell us. Laissez-faire encouraged greedy manufacturers to funnel people off their farms and into tenements where they survived hand-to-mouth, suffering disease and occupational hazards only to die young and be easily replaced.
This view reflects the literature of the times. As we know, however, the view of novelists is often skewed. Dickens was a writer-celebrity, not an economist. He was good at dramatizing the problems of the downtrodden but useless at solving them. The best he and others like him could do is shout “there oughtta be a law!”
The Idiot’s Handbook of Dangerous Beliefs says that he who can proclaim the problem automatically knows the best solution. It is not true. Passing laws against social revolutions never works. It is true that horrible slums developed as people abandoned their hopeless lives in the countryside. Pleasant communities of nice little cottages also grew up near the factories though. It wasn’t all bad. Furthermore, it is not “blaming the victim” to point out that many contributed to their condition by drinking their wages and neglecting their children.
Life was rough wherever you went. Consider frontier life in North America, mining in Bohemia or sailing on a Shanghai clipper. The thing that did the most for humanity wasn’t social legislation. It was the exploding availability of useful stuff.
Think of underwear. It was one of the big innovations of the industrial revolution. Before that people wore crusty linen or nothing between skin and wool. Easy-to-clean cotton improved the lives and health of everyone, even the mill workers. So did soap, kerosene, steam, the telegraph and a million things that economic freedom delivered
No one dares speak against child labor laws. Never-the-less, one fact is observable today as it was in old London. When times are severe sometimes children are left with three choices—work, turn to crime or starve. Laissez-faire economics may not be able to rescue everyone but it will do less harm that the do-gooder who takes the first of those options away.
England was not really a Laissez-faire state. Birth control was not only illegal. It was forbidden to print information about it. There was no freedom of assembly. Labor unions were illegal. People were hanged for theft, jailed for debt and forbidden divorce by the state. The “corn laws” made food expensive or unattainable. A true laissiz-faire economy would have given people more tools to improve their lives.
The stuff we hear about 19th century London has been produced by the political left for so long we’ve come to believe it. Conservatives should be prepared to stand up to that old lie.
Disbarment Possible Against Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.
George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf has filed a complaint, accusing Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby of filing charges only to prevent civil unrest. That is to say, Ms. Mosby is charged with allowing public opinion to rule her decision to prosecute in the Freddie Gray case.
Freddie Gray was arrested and died while in police custody. At the time, the young prosecutor c chanted Al Sharpton’s quote, “No Justice, No Peace,” before the press, adding “our time has come.” She charged six officers with career-ending offenses that appeared politically motivated to many. Recently Baltimore prosecutors failed for a fourth time to get a conviction when Lt. Brian Rice was found not guilty of all the charges.
Banzhaf holds that Mosby went forward without sufficient evidence, made false public statements, withheld evidence which weakened her case, continued to prosecute after a judge found her evidence insufficient and engaged in conduct that was dishonest.
Bringing charges for political reasons is one of the worst possible abuses of office. A State Attorney has vast resources and we pay for them. She can call on an army of police, detectives and forensic experts to build her case. Defendants must counter this at personal expense. That is one reason it is unethical and unconscionable for a prosecutor to go forward with a weak case. If evidence creates reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s mind the case should never go before a judge.
It brings to mind the Duke Lacrosse case –a 2006 trial in which players on the University lacrosse team were falsely prosecuted. In the event, a stripper accused three members of rape. The media built a narrative of privileged Ivy League frat boys abusing a poor victim of race economics. It led to the resignation and disbarment of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong. It was also a costly and unnecessary disruption in the lives of the defendants. Had they been found guilty it would have been a lot worse. That was a real possibility given the public pressure for a conviction.
Prosecutors who succumb to the emotions of the moment and abandon their ethics do not deserve to practice law. The complaints against State Attorney Mosby are well founded and should set an example for all who put politics above their professional ethics.
In these times and as we keep in our thoughts and prayers those who sacrificed for our country, some who paid the ultimate price, some who never came home, and those currently serving in our military, it is incumbent upon us to show our colors. Let’s all fly our American flags on Memorial Day and everyday.
While you are at it, please join us at 81st and Shore Road for a very special commemoration and POW/MIA flag raising @ 10am Memorial Day. We will march in the Bay Ridge Memorial Day parade immediately following.
Join Us to Commemorate Memorial Day at POW/MIA Flag Raising followed by March in the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade
Friends- please join us, your neighbors, friends, scouts, elected and civic leaders, as the Brooklyn Conservatives continue our annual tradition of honoring those lost and those missing in our armed forces. We meet at the liberty pole at Look Out Point located at 81st Street and Shore Road at 10am sharp. After the commemoration and raising of new POW/MIA flag, the Brooklyn Conservatives will march in the Memorial Day Parade in Bay Ridge. Please join us for this meaningful activity in honor of those who sacrificed for our freedom.
May 30th – Memorial Day
Lookout Point – 81st Street and Shore Road
The New York City Council narrowly voted to sack the people with a plastic bag tax. State legislators such as Marty Golden, Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Dov Hikind are among those seeking to stop the city from burdening people with this regressive “tax” . Read about this tax and more in Jerry Kassar’s column: Common Sense: Bag the Tax in this week’s Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator at http://homereporter.com/common-sense-bag-the-tax/