Common Sense: Week of October 4


State Senator Marty Golden, whom I serve as chief of staff, has introduced an important piece of legislation (S-7839) designed to take “community guns,” which are often used by gangs, off the streets.

Sometimes, gang members in hopes of protecting themselves from prosecution will “stash” a gun at a location known only to members of the gang. This gun will be used in numerous crimes by different members. Of course, under the present statute, only one person runs the risk at any given moment of being caught carrying the illegal gun.

This has been a method gang members have used to help them get around the Police Department’s stop and frisk program. The purpose of the bill is to give law enforcement and prosecutors a tool to tie the illegal gun to members of the gang even if they were not caught using/carrying the illegal gun.

The bill has been praised by prosecutors and police.

Several Assembly members have expressed interest including Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis.

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The recent Siena College poll of the 11th Congressional District indicated that Congressman Michael Grimm should coast to a fairly comfortable re-election victory. A 10 point lead for Grimm, this close to Election Day, with most voters decided and the congressmember having a strong 50 percent favorable rating, is bad news for any opponent, let alone Mark Murphy, who seems to be having trouble getting any traction according to Siena.

Regardless, Congressmember Grimm’s campaign is taking nothing for granted. It is on the streets, in the mailboxes and on the airwaves. The congressmember himself, since first being elected, has kept a high profile in Brooklyn.

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Congratulations to Mike Long who was re-elected the chairperson of the New York State Conservative Party at a convention held last week at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. Mike has been the state chairperson of the Conservative Party longer than anyone else and is the senior state chairperson of the state’s five official parties.

Fran Vella-Marrone was elected to her first full term as treasurer of the state party. Fran, a well-known community leader, has been active with the Conservative Party since high school. She also serves as the vice chairperson of the Brooklyn Conservative Party.

And I am pleased that I was re-elected one of the party’s six state vice chairpeople.

The convention was followed by a reception in which U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long criticized Kristen Gillibrand for supporting President Obama on budget and tax issues which have done little to reverse the ongoing economic woes and high unemployment.

Terrie Healey, who served as Mitt Romney’s lieutenant governor, spoke on behalf of the presidential candidate. Healey, who holds a doctorate in International Affairs, is the campaign’s senior foreign policy advisor. She used her remarks to dissect the president’s foreign policy piece by piece and warned that the Obama administration has hurt America’s standing in the world.

An interesting side note is that Healey lived in Brooklyn for seven years in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

State Senators Marty Golden and David Storobin as well as Assemblymember Malliotakis attended the reception.

Jerry Kassar is the chairperson of the Kings County Conservative Party. He is a longtime community activist who has served as an officer or member of many organizations. He works for the state of New York.

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