Our New York State Senate is controlled by Republicans with a precarious two-seat majority, 32-30. Unfortunately, they are nearly certain to lose their majority for the first time in forty years because of their own ineptitude, and the record turnout that Barack Obama will create in minority communities.
But New Yorkers should be aware of what they'll get once the Senate is controlled by New York's Democrats. There are Democratic Members of the Senate who possess a disturbing inability to punish criminals. Paramount among them is Senator Velmanette Montgomery of Brooklyn.
Ms. Montgomery is obsessed with protecting sex predators, and that’s no exaggeration. From her voting record, she believes it's a crime right up there with jaywalking.
On May 19th, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos that would require the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to post personal information regarding every registered sex predator in New York State. Under current law, New Yorkers are prohibited from accessing any information about so-called Level 1 Sex Offenders online.
It means if one of these deviants happen to live right next door to you, there's a good chance you'll never know about it. They’re supposed to be a “low risk” to commit additional sex crimes, and exempt from the online public registry.
The Skelos bill also requires all sex predators to provide their zip codes. Zip codes enable authorities to send New Yorkers an immediate e-mail informing them a sex predator - at any level - has just moved into their neighborhoods. All it takes is a request to be notified.
This common sense legislation passed 60-1. Well, who was the only Senator to vote against it? Velmanette Montgomery.
On May 14 the Senate passed another bill sponsored by Senator Skelos that would make it a class E felony for any Level 3 Sex Offender who fails to register or report a change of address. The vote was 60-1. And Senator Montgomery was again the only Senator to vote against it.
Finally, and also on May 14, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Republican Senator George Maziarz that would make it a class A misdemeanor for first-time sex offenders to apply for a job that would allow them to have access to children in any way. Those guilty of a second violation are subject to a felony conviction.
The Maziarz bill passed 60-1. And, yes, the chairwoman and sole member of the Senate Friends Of Sex Predators Caucus voted against it.
What the hell is this woman's problem? The precious "rights" of people who commit such heinous crimes that even murderers believe they're the scum of the earth?
I attempted to find out what crime renders someone a Level 1 Sex Offender. That information is not publicly available. Why? Because the court of jurisdiction assigns the offender level. Isn't that wonderful? We have some of the most criminal-friendly judges in the country and they're making these decisions.
According to DCJS, there are 9,778 Level 1 Sex Offenders living in New York. I doubt all of them are 75-year old Alzheimer's patients who briefly opened a rain coat on Main Street.
In Senator Montgomery’s Brooklyn borough there are 636 Level 1 Sex Offenders. But she doesn’t want her northern and central Brooklyn constituents to know that one of them may be living in an apartment right next to them.
If you’re a Level 1 Sex Offender and decide apply for a job teaching second graders, Senator Montgomery has no problem with it. Since it’s just dandy that Level 1 Sex Offenders can become teachers, perhaps Ms. Montgomery should track one down on her own and ask him to do some babysitting for her family or friends.
And if you fail to register she also doesn’t believe you should be prosecuted for a felony. It’s called a registry and Senator Montgomery finds no fault with failing to register.
This is beyond ludicrous.
There is no way to describe these three votes by Senator Montgomery as anything but disgusting. I wonder how many Democrats in her district were appalled enough to mount a primary challenge. We already know the answer. Zero.
If a Senate Republican cast these three “no” votes there would be a stampede to get on the ballot. The Member would also be denounced publicly by party leaders.
It becomes even more Orwellian.
Senator Montgomery is the Ranking Member on the Senate Social Services, Children and Families Committee. That means she'll likely Chair the Committee if her party wins the Senate majority. She is also a member of the Senate Crime, Crime Victims and Correction Committee.
So, New Yorkers, vote for every Senate Democrat on the ballot this November 4th if you want the demented thinking of Senator Velmanette Montgomery to sit in a position of power in Albany where she can dote on and excuse sex predators.