Op-Ed: New York’s bail reform disaster is about to become a major election issue

CNBC | 1/17/2020 | Staff
rach-rachrach-rach (Posted by) Level 3
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In case you need to be convinced how big a political issue this could become, remember that violent crime stories are visceral in many ways. They often involve life and death, and can be easily painted in terms of “good guys” and “bad guys” with very little gray areas in between.

Crime stories also have a rare ability to energize otherwise non-politically active Americans. Ask anyone who lived through the urban crime waves of the late 1960s through the 1980s to confirm that.

Something - President - Trump - Advantage - Crimes

If all of this sounds like something tailor-made for President Trump to take advantage of, you’re right. While he hasn’t commented on any of the crimes committed by any of the released offenders this year, he did preview the situation in a tweet last November:

Remember that Trump has already made a wedge issue out of sanctuary city policies and crimes committed by illegal immigrants. His decision to pinpoint those issues as a candidate helped him win over Republican voters in the 2016 primaries. But Trump could find even more bipartisan support by highlighting these no bail-related crime stories, which are already affecting Democratic elected leaders and their voters.

New - York - Democrat - Governor - Andrew

That’s even true for New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was most responsible for the bail reform bill passing last year. He stated earlier this week that he thinks some changes should be made to the law. But he didn’t say how or when. On the much more urgent side of that fence are six Democratic state senators from suburban Long Island, who now say they’ve made changing the bail reform laws their top legislative priority for the upcoming session. That’s a dramatic about-face for a party that celebrated the bail reform law it passed just 10 months ago as a paragon of economic and racial equality.

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