When the city did away with most of its stop-and-frisk policy, it left open the possibility that people would want it back if crime crept up. Well, it is creeping up.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and company are not about to do an about-face on policy to which they were highly critical. But the city has to address the uptick in crime, especially in housing projects where there is now a greater than normal amount of gun violence.
The city and state already have aggressive gun control policies, so the fix needs to come from some place else. All of this comes back to where the mayor and the police commissioner have been at odds. In fact, it is where the mayor and the speaker of the City Council have been at odds, as well.
The city could use more police officers. No matter what hostilities may exist between communities and government institutions, there needs to be a stronger police presence in these high-need areas.
The people who are often the victims of gang and drug violence and guns are the poor. Despite whatever misgivings there may be about law enforcement in parts of the city, they are the first line of defense against violent crime.
They are a resource that we need more of, especially in poorer communities. If we are not going back to “broken windows” or “stop and frisk,” we need something else.
The Messy GOP Field Just Got Interesting
The Republican field as it stands now is not strong. There are those candidates who win straw polls and then there are those who are more likely to get their party’s nomination.
When former New York governor George Pataki jumped into the presidential race, he did more for his party than he did for himself. The GOP needs an adult voice, and Pataki gives them this voice.
Even if he is not in the race for long, he represents a population of centrist Republicans that many thought were gone with the wind. A pragmatic governor who ran a relatively conservative government in the bluest of blue states, is an important candidate.
Can Pataki ultimately get the nomination? As far off as it may seem when he is polling so low, it is not impossible. In 1992, many of us expected Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton to drop out, especially when his extramarital affairs problems bubbled up. He did not drop out.
Pataki does not have that kind of baggage. He is a Republican that – in a scenario where he is the nominee – can actually put the State of California back in play. As for Pennsylvania, the Republicans have been weak in The Keystone State, so Pataki could not do worse. There are many retired New Yorkers currently living in Florida that remember the job he did as governor, which could put that state in play as well.
Pataki received the endorsement of the New York Conservative Party three times, which is not an easy line to get. He has no Senate seat to worry about so he can say whatever he wants, which he has when it comes to lobbying.
Hopefully Pataki will stay in the race for the long haul because his candidacy is what is needed to maintain a two-party system that speaks to the center of the country.