Tuesday, May 13, 2008

David Soares and Citizen Action

I just got an e-mail for a David Soares fundraiser, and I just have to debunk the propaganda. Here are some of the claims, and my comments:

In his first term in office, David has fulfilled his campaign promises by:

Shutting down crack houses through our Safe Homes, Safe Streets Program to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods

I don't remember a campaign promise to shut down crack houses. I thought he was in favor of drug policy reform and harm reduction. How is evicting families supporting harm reduction?

Being "tough on crime and smart on prevention"

I also don't remember a campaign promise to be tough on crime. I remember he supported drug policy reform, but haven't seen that in action. More on that below.

Sticking to his commitment to "one standard of justice"

This is so laughable I don't know where to start. Okay I do. Hevesi stole over $100K and did no jail time. One standard?

Creating a public integrity unit to hold government and law enforcement officials accountable

Again, laughable. The case against the Guilderland police chief has vanished into a black hole in the "public integrity unit." A complaint was filed against another town employee and nothing has happened on that either. Have they actually prosecuted anyone?

Supporting Rockefeller Drug Law reform

This is his biggest betrayal. Under Soares, some of the ADAs insist on community service for minor marijuana cases, which is illegal under CPL 170.56. No DA's office that I know of anywhere in the greater area, and I'm talking out to Utica and down to Kingston, does this. He's worse on marijuana than other DAs. And they keep indicting small time drug dealers on felonies. Where's the reform. Soares actually has the power to do something, and he does nothing.

Promises Kept… More to do...

Right. And I forgot to mention how Soares hired Richard Arthur, a Working Families Party hack, to work in the DA's office. From everything I've seen, the guy is completely unqualified. The job is a political payoff.


veryred said...

Please provide examples of successful harm reduction strategies that have been or are currently being successfully employed.

I live in a neighborhood located in the South End of Albany that is rife with social problems - drug dealing, drug use, chronic unemployment and under-employment, child abuse, etc. . .

I also happen to be someone who lives near a "small-time drug dealer", and at this point, I'd love to see a felony conviction handed down to him.

He may be small-time in terms of volume and traffic, but he creates an unsafe environment for everyone around him.

So what's a more sensible alternative to calling the police and hoping that one of these times, he gets locked up?

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment.

I don't claim to be a "harm reduction" advocate. That is what Soares said he supported in 2004. He was deeply connected with the harm reduction movement, such as drugpolicy.org.

The successful strategy I would point to is the one we used in 1933 when Prohibition was causing all of the same problems you describe with alcohol. We ended Prohibition. The social problems were greatly reduced.

We need to end drug prohibition. Arresting and incarcerating millions doesn't seem to be protecting our children from drugs. Prohibition didn't protect anyone from alcohol either.