We the People: Week of October 4


President Obama is surging in Florida, has a lead in Ohio and is battling even in Virginia against Willard Romney. The people, in the end, haven’t been duped by empty promises and fear tactics.

Tim Pawlenty, co-chair for the Romney campaign, just jumped ship to join a banking lobby group. Who will be next to desert the sinking ship? When his secret contempt for 47 percent of Americans became public, Mr. Romney must have realized it would be difficult to convince voters that he really cared about them and would work hard for them.

There is a majority of “Romney” class voters in all the battleground states. It is telling that our Republican representatives never denounced the vile comments of their candidate in the strong language it warranted. This reminds us that they do not support adequate gun regulation, equal pay for equal work or middle class tax relief.

The “Romney” class includes senior citizens, soldiers, workers, the disabled and Medicare recipients. The Republican philosophy of greed will reward corporations and take from American workers. Marty Golden and Michael Grimm may not be embarrassed to continue to support this class-baiting plutocrat, but the American people have awakened.

Speaker Boehner categorically stated that he would oppose any negotiation to reduce the deficit with President Obama in 2013 if it contained a tax increase. He has no ideological problem when Raytheon, General Dynamics, Exxon/Mobil or Halliburton gets tax relief or government support.

It is time for Republicans to explain to the American people how they will reduce the deficit while maintaining or increasing defense spending and reducing tax revenue further. These beliefs do not make sense. So they rely on finger pointing and playing fiscal chicken with the American economy. The people should give President Obama legislators he can work with to get something done for the people.

Mayor Bloomberg just gave the Republican State Senate Committee a gift of $1 million. This money could have purchased an anti-crime security camera system in Brownsville like one being installed in Borough Park. Brownsville, with more than 60 shootings in 2012, needs anti-crime help more than State Senate Republicans need money. The federal government has recognized the crisis in that neighborhood and has given a grant to fund violence prevention programs in that part of Brooklyn.

The free flow of illegal guns in New York City has fueled a Wild West atmosphere there which will spread to all parts of the city. Children who dodge bullets whizzing around them and step over the bodies of classmates gunned down in playgrounds are desensitized to violence and take that attitude to the schools they attend every day.

The victims of gun violence are not just the immediate victims and their families but all of us. We will get no help with gun control in the Republican-controlled State Senate. We need a plan like the Safe Streets Safe City program implemented with great success in 2000 or Operation Pressure Point which eradicated heroin dealing in the East Village in the 1980s.

Those plans required police officers on the corners and out in the streets. A greater NYPD presence on the streets would reduce the use of stop and frisk tactics because the “beat” officers would know the citizens in the neighborhood and know when something was wrong without patting down everyone.

Remember to get out, vote, get friends to vote and encourage young people to vote because if we do not vote, we get what we deserve.

Brian Kieran is an attorney who works as a Principal Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Kings County and is a Democrat.

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