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OPINION: A Recall Election & the Ramifications In New York

By Will Barclay


Voters in San Francisco [recently] chose to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin for his ineffective, soft-on-crime approach to his job. Unfortunately, New Yorkers currently do not have that option with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as the state Constitution does not provide for recall elections. For this reason, I have joined Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and my legislative colleagues to call for a constitutional amendment (S.9484) to provide for such a remedy here in New York.

 The role of district attorney is to ensure the public is safe and has the highest possible quality of life in the community where they reside. New Yorkers have been robbed of this basic concept thanks to the willful ignorance of DA Bragg. Since January, I have stated that the Manhattan DA should not be allowed to hold that office. Among the crimes he refuses to prosecute are resisting arrest, theft of services, and obstructing governmental administration. He has also ordered prosecutors in Manhattan to stop seeking prison for a number of criminals and downgrade felonies in instances of armed robbery and drug dealing.

 What Bragg and other [left wing] prosecutors are doing, and what cost DA Boudin his job, is an irresponsible substitution of political ideology for sound prosecutorial practices. This has no place in our government.

 As a result of liberal Democrats’ weak, ineffectual criminal-justice policy and neglect at the prosecutorial level, New Yorkers have never been so unsafe. Consider some of the horror stories coming out of New York City. In recent weeks, we have seen a 16-year-old girl stabbed in the back by a stranger while walking into a juice bar, a 52-year-old woman shoved onto subway tracks by an unknown assailant, a 67-year-old Asian woman punched in the face near her home in an unprovoked hate crime, a 48-year-old man shot and killed by a random assailant while riding the subway, and the especially horrific murder of an 11-year-old girl shot by a teenager on a motorized scooter.

Continuing down this path will make it exponentially harder to reverse course later. What happened in San Francisco was a significant rebuke of the misguided approach to criminal justice that Democrats have adopted [across the country] as a pillar of their agenda. And hopefully, it may be a sign that common sense is returning to the issue of public safety. Recall elections are a powerful step toward fixing the problems plaguing our streets. I call on all my colleagues to consider the importance of this measure and do what is necessary to keep our state safe. If Gov. Hochul won’t, we must.        

William (Will) A. Barclay, 53, Republican, is the New York Assembly minority leader and represents the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses most of Oswego County, including the cities of Oswego and Fulton, as well as the town of Lysander in Onondaga County and town of Ellisburg in Jefferson County. 

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