Courier Life Letters to the Editor for week of 10/5

The President doesn’t take orders from third world nation, our letter writers say

Brooklyn Daily

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo (“A Britisher’s View”) should get one thing straight. The president of the United States — any president of the United States — does not take orders from a third world schnorrer nation that is totally dependent on American taxpayer aid, welfare, and tax-free donations (“Presdient Obama remains clueless on radical Muslims,” Sep. 27).

If the Israeli prime minister doesn’t like the current president, that is too bad. He shows respect to the office which is not at his beck and call, and does not obey orders from one whose source is Sheldon Adelson and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Israel really has no pride, self-respect, or shame.

Remember, Shavana, If there was no Israel, America would thrive, and if there was no U.S., Israel would be extinct. America first, last, and always.

Let Mitt know that we want an independent leader in the White House, not Adelson in the Oval office.

Henry Ranz

Homecrest

Hynes and Vitogate

To the editor,

A scandal grows in Brooklyn when the district attorney plays politics.

In 2011, when District Attorney Charles Hynes stated, “Vito is a good guy,” it was clear to the people of Brooklyn that their district attorney would never investigate any corruption regarding Lopez.

The press shifted their hopes to district leader Lincoln Restler as the knight in shining armor who would battle the Lopez political machine. People felt that their hopes were dashed as preliminary results showed that Lincoln might have lost in a closely contested race, but corruption isn’t fought by district leaders. That job rests with one person, Charles Hynes.

“Vitogate” all could have been avoided if Hynes had been doing his job.

It goes unsaid that to run for district attorney you must engage in political activities. But unlike most elected positions, your political hat must be removed once you’re on the job. One of the district attorney’s roles is to prosecute political corruption, which means maintaining an arms-length relationship with politicians and party bosses.

Throughout his 22-year career as district attorney, Hynes has never taken off his political fedora. Instead, Hynes has developed cozy relationships with those who could help him politically, including Vito Lopez.

When the Lopez scandal erupted, Hynes side-stepped instead of taking action, and asked the court to appoint another prosecutor to handle the case in his place. The sole reason he cited for his recusal was that he had received political support from Lopez in his campaigns for district attorney. But clearly, there was more to Hynes’ relationship with Lopez which rendered Hynes unable or unwilling to do his job than just some prior political support. How do we know?

Almost a decade ago, Hynes investigated and prosecuted Lopez’s predecessor, Brooklyn Democratic boss Clarence Norman, trying Norman four separate times, even though Norman supported Hynes multiple times in his races for attorney general, governor and district attorney. Welcome to the inconsistent politically-infused style of prosecution that has defined Hynes’s legacy.

This is not the first time that Hynes has permitted his prosecutorial discretion to give way to his self-serving quest to retain the position he has held since the Cold War. In 2001, when Judge John L. Phillips decided to run against him, Hynes used the courts to have Judge Phillips declared mentally incompetent. In 2003, when civil rights attorney Sandra Roper was preparing to run against Hynes for the second time, she found herself subject to felony criminal charges initiated by Hynes’ office.

So it is not surprising that Hynes, who had two chances to investigate his political confederate Vito Lopez before 2012, turned a blind eye.

In 2005, Hynes refused to investigate a complaint from community leaders that alleged Lopez was voting from a sham address in Brooklyn while he was living in Queens. Conveniently, Hynes prosecuted John O’Hara for a similar charges in three separate trials in the late 1990s after O’Hara ran against a political ally of Hynes.

In 2010, Hynes recused himself from a city Department of Investigation probe into Lopez’s Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Center, which revealed that Lopez’s girlfriend and campaign treasurer were receiving a combined salary of over $1 million.

Earlier this year, Hynes came under fire when the media exposed his policy of not disclosing the names of pedophile defendants from Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. This aberrant position, which sent shockwaves throughout the law enforcement community, shields pedophiles while sacrificing children. This position was clearly motivated by Hynes’ desire to appease the powerful rabbinical figures who delivered a much-needed voting block for him.

As a former prosecutor, I have seen first-hand the critical importance of pursuing justice with no regard for special interests. That is because a district attorney should never play politics with people’s lives. District Attorney Hynes clearly thinks differently. As a result, the virus that began with Lopez in Bushwick has now spread to Albany. So goes Lopez, so should Hynes.

Abe George

The writer is a candidate for the Brooklyn District Attorney race in 2013.

‘A’ for D’Angelo

To the editor,

I am writing to let you know how very pleased I am with the education my daughter is receiving at David A. Boody Junior High School.

It all starts with our most competent and hardworking principal Dominick D’Angelo. It is so impressive to see how he helps his students meet the challenges of middle school.

Principal D’Angelo motivates his middle school students, instilling in them the qualities they will need to become the leaders of our youth. He never seems to be off duty. He is truly a credit to his profession.

Principal D’Angelo has my complete respect and admiration. I particularly appreciate his concern and sensitivity towards all his students. I would like to pass my thanks on to him because he deserves major recognition for his tremendous efforts.

David A. Boody’s Magnet Program offers a superior academic program, along with many outstanding educators who are committed to all their students.

He is to be commended for his outstanding work and dedication. His motto is “Eyes on Excellence.” He has my sincere thanks and appreciation. I am sure others feel the way I do.

Lisa Wadler

Midwood

Undebatable pols

To the editor,

Too many incumbent elected officials on the federal, state, and city level follow the infamous Rose Garden Strategy of ignoring their respective challengers — by refusing to participate in any public debates until the last minute. They end up agreeing to one or two knowing full well that their election is already preordained.

All incumbent elected officials start out with an advantage. During any term of public office, incumbents have daily television, radio, and newspaper exposure, press conferences, newsletters, guest columns in newspapers, and speaking engagements on a regular basis. Don’t forget the perks of public office, including announcements of member items (many of which taxpayers consider local pork-barrel projects) which are used to raise name recognition and assist in greasing the wheels of re-election.

In the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, candidates who refused to participate in debates would be subject to critical newspaper editorials. They ended up losing any chance of newspaper endorsements and usually were defeated.

In the 1980s, a new Rose Garden Strategy emerged. Incumbents refused to debate lesser-known, under-funded opponents. They had no interest in providing a free forum for challengers to get their message directly out to voters.

Too many newspapers and good government groups failed to speak up and shame these incumbents into participating in open forums and debates.

They don’t want to provide their respective unknown and under-financed opponents with free forums to explain their positions on issues of the day. It is your local community newspaper which provides a forum at no charge, affording under-financed and lesser-known candidates a chance to communicate their views on issues of the day to voters.

Let us hope that enlightened newspapers such as yours call for an end of incumbents and officially designated organization candidates use of the infamous Rose Garden Strategy in future elections. Intelligent voters deserve frequent debates prior to both the primary and general election, as opposed to canned TV commercials.

Candidates who refuse to participate in debates should be subject to critical newspaper editorials.

They should forfeit any chance of endorsements by media outlets.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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