Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. — who’s running for New York governor — on Sunday blamed the state’s crime spike on a political “pro-criminal push” and bail reform laws.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Zeldin decried the crime increase — and the policies that helped fuel it.
“The pro-criminal push with the laws has been a key impact,” Zeldin said.
“Then it's compounded when you have district attorneys like the Manhattan [District Attorney] Alvin Bragg refusing to enforce laws across the board,” he charged. “And you also have some judges who are far left and lax where they're releasing people even when they do have the discretion” to order jail time.
Zeldin pointed to his own harrowing brush with a man who tried to assault him during a campaign event in July.
“I’m really grateful that there were six, seven, eight people who very quickly subdued this guy,” he said.
“And within five, six hours, he was released back out on street because of New York's cashless bail laws,” he lamented.
“It was July 21 when that attacker came to me on stage, released right back out on the street,” he remembered. “Only reason why the U.S. Attorney was able to jump in and charge him federally was because I'm a member of Congress. But if I'm not a member of Congress, that person isn't detained. And on top of it… you had a lot of people taking video… or you end up with much less desired outcomes as far as the criminal justice system goes.”
Zeldin also slammed the leaders of the teachers’ unions in New York.
“People who are running teachers' unions, they're Democratic operatives in New York,” he charged. “We have a lot of great teachers. …and thank God they're willing to take on the assignment of teaching in some of the worst-performing schools in New York.”
“We have a lot of people stuck in generational poverty in poor performing schools,” he continued. “That's why we need to lift the cap on charter schools, educational savings accounts, tax credits for school choice.”
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, he said, is “not speaking up on behalf of our kids.”
“Instead, she's doing what the teachers' union is demanding of her. But most of us, we're New Yorkers and especially New York parents, I'm one of them, we have to fight for the future of our kids' education,” he asserted.
According to Zeldin, he’s winning everywhere except the Big Apple.
“Outside of New York City, the rest of state, we're winning,” he said. “The New York City suburbs, upstate, we're winning.’
“Inside New York City we just have to keep campaigning hard these last three months to get our numbers up,” he added. “We like where we are, but we have to work hard. You can't — and this is not just in New York, it's across the country. People out there, they think there's going to be a red wave and we're just going to ride a wave in. No, you have to create the wave.”
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