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OPINION

De Blasio is All Ready to Make Bloomberg Look Great

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Editor's note: Because of the Holiday Season (or, rather, the busy family-oriented evening of December 31st) this article has been republished from earlier this year. Let not your heart be troubled, as Michael Schaus will return with fresh content for your pleasure, entertainment and/ or ridicule in 2014... Some of it might even be worth publishing. The following is, however, well timed as Bill de Blasio prepares to take the helm of the Empire City.

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Looking for advice on how to improve the NYPD’s ability to keep New Yorkers safe, incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio is turning to the experts in violent crime and criminal activity. . . Ex-convicts. And not the white collar Bernie Madoff convicts. De Blasio’s transition think tank (bankrolled by the liberal billionaire, George Soros) listened to the concerns of convicted criminals when it came to the NYPD’s policies and policing efforts. The message was pretty much what one would expect from convicted kidnappers, killers, thieves, and other NYC scum: “Get Soft on Crime.”

According to the NY Post, “A group of 50 ex-cons, junkies and chronic vagrants gathered at a Manhattan ‘Think Tank’ Thursday to describe what they thought the NYPD should be doing to make their lives easier… The event, which was held in Morningside Heights, was hosted by an advisory group called Talking Transitions, run by liberal billionaire investment magnate George Soros.”

The goal of the criminally inclined symposium was to offer de Blasio tips on policing, corrections, parole policies, and other general inconveniences to a successful life of crime. I’m sure the NYPD commissioner is ecstatic about adhering to the concerns of the newly elevated criminal class.

“I like the idea of ending stop and frisk,” explained one attendee who had previously been convicted of grand larceny and identity theft. Given the nature of the 4thAmendment, I’m not inclined to promote the practice of stop and frisk. . . ButI ama bit trepidatious about swallowing the concerns of a grand larcenist without a bit of a raised eyebrow.

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And while the constitutionally questionable practice of NYPD frisking policies were a major point of concern, other issues were raised that would seem comical if written as part of a Saturday Night Live skit:

Arthur Castillo – who has been convicted for possessing stolen property and assault – complained about the NYPD’s persistent surveillance of felons. The felonious forum member opined that “newly released prisoners are watched by the police, and a lot of us don’t feel we have an opportunity to readapt to normal life because we are treated as criminals.” Um. . . Yep. You sure are treated like a criminal. That kind of “discriminatory” surveillance should be somewhat expected after you commit crimes. It seems fairly obvious that criminal elements of society feel a little “weighed down” by an increased police presence. But, in all fairness, that’skinda the point.

Castillo also called for a more “redistributive” approach to policing, parole, and prison operations. “A lot of money is spent on the prison system — it should be used to cultivate prisoner’s lives,” he explained. Does it shock anyone else that a man convicted of larceny is advocating socialism? If not legalized thievery, what is redistributive economic policy? Maybe the far-left de Blasio is just looking for some economic guidance from people who had previously turned robbing the affluent into a living.

Another member of the criminal conference expressed hope that de Blasio would “remember” all the criminals, unlike that mean-old Bloomberg. Gregorio Cruz, who was convicted of first degree manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping and criminal possession of a weapon berated the outgoing Mayor Bloomberg for having “forgotten” about the ever coveted ‘ex-convict” constituency. (As a side note, Cruz is probably lucky he decided to kill, kidnap and rob people in a city that has essentially banned self-defense. There are some corners of this country where he’d be lucky to still be breathing – let alone a member of a Mayoral transition think tank.)

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Other ex-cons suggested that de Blasio make the city easier for illegal immigrants to find work. . . Heck, why not? They’re already suggesting de Blasio look the other way on local crimes. Why not allow Federal-law-breakers to work with impunity as well?

The transition think tank will be advising de Blasio directly on this, and a number of other issues. And while it seems like lunacy to allow lunatics the chance to advise asylum management, the move is depressingly less-than-shocking. De Blasio, the City’s most left leaning Mayor in decades, ran on a decidedly socialist and altruistic platform. However, his liberal desire to paint aggressors – such as kidnappers, robbers, and violent criminal thugs – as thevictimsof society’s prosperity was never made as abundantly clear as it was last week. His deep connections to George Soros and other long-time “progressive” liberals make events such as thecriminal insight policing forum(my name for the event – not his) predictable and unsurprising.

Unfortunately the results of de Blasio’s inexperienced leftism will likely yield equally predictable (and unsurprising) results. Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of the incoming administration, is the likelihood that his incompetence and leftist tendencies will actually make Bloomberg look somewhateffectivein comparison.

It’s a sad day for New York when the Bond villain Bloomberg – who declared war on high-capacity sodas – looks like an era of reason and efficiency.

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