Manhattan’s D.A. Race Points to the Left’s Overstep

Early voting starts today for the November 2 New York City municipal elections.

The most important race in this election cycle is the Manhattan District Attorney’s race, because the winner in this most important of all our nation’s D.A. offices will determine, in the enormous coming travails, whether this once-great city will survive or perish.

One might think that the mayor’s office would be the key to Gotham’s survival, but I would argue that since the Manhattan District Attorney (not the mayor) is the chief law enforcement officer, then the crises we’ll likely face in the near future will be either exacerbated or ameliorated by policies the District Attorney imposes.

The Democratic ticket for mayor and Manhattan D.A. is fronted by Eric Adams and Alvin Bragg, respectively. Both men represent themselves as moderates so as not to alarm the already rattled voters, but both are effectively Marxist radicals. Adams has gotten a pass on his self misrepresentation by the corrupt media that has been all too eager to help him cover his tracks. 

Adams’ history as a former police officer allows him to claim an ability to repair the disastrous criminal justice policies of the outgoing de Blasio Administration, but an examination of his actual record shows that as a founding member of “100 Black Men In Law Enforcement” his career was dedicated to criticizing the N.Y.P.D. for racism. After leaving the police force, he became a full-time politician and rose to Brooklyn borough president by adopting and promoting the entire litany of delusional leftist causes. His mayoralty would be a continuation of the insane de Blasio policies that most New Yorkers are sick and tired of enduring.

Bragg is another radical passing as a moderate with the protective cover of a sympathetic media. As an Assistant New York State Attorney General he’s proud of his quixotic waste of taxpayer dollars as one of the legion of legal bureaucrats fruitlessly investigating the imagined crimes of Donald Trump. More importantly, he is one of the many villains who defended last summer’s violent riots, murder, rape, looting, and arson.

Bragg is a “no bail” advocate (which means turning violent recidivist predators loose immediately after arresting them) and espouses the kind of “prison reform” that set over 70,000 hardened criminals free from this city’s jails last year to prey upon the hapless citizenry.

Most elections in a democratic republic are designed to install public servants who address the concerns of the legitimate voters. To the degree that we have free and fair elections, this year the voters’ prime demand would be public safety (and when I write “safety,” I don’t mean safety from the “unvaccinated”). 

The Left’s increasing extremism across the board has led to such public dissatisfaction that Democrats actually might not win (assuming the aforementioned “free and fair elections”). My informed sources, including cognoscenti in both parties, point to a wealth of anecdotal evidence of voter discontent. Furthermore, in every mayoral election here in living memory, various big media outlets (both print and broadcast) have commissioned and released polling results, at least for the mayoral race. This year there’s been nothing of the sort. Savvy analysts have concluded that the polls look so bad for the Democratic slate that they have been quietly suppressed.

When we examine the D.A.’s race in this light, the Republican candidate, Thomas Kenniff, may not look like such a long shot after all.

To put the Republican ticket into proper perspective, let’s start at the top. Curtis Sliwa would make a far better mayor than Adams; he’s the founder of the well-known, even revered, Guardian Angels, a classic volunteer organization dedicated to crime prevention through non-violent overwatch—a grassroots effort so successful over its 30 odd years of existence that in NYC alone, its members number in the tens of thousands and it’s spawned offshoot organizations all over the world. Sliwa’s administration of this nonprofit has been able and uncorrupted; his name recognition is also serious political capital. But his campaign has been hampered by abysmal mismanagement. Run by the usual cadre of Republican Party hacks, it’s been beset by a slew of unforced errors. 

Sliwa has espoused a Universal Basic Income (a welfare type program guaranteeing every resident a monthly stipend). This is an idea that’s been tried overseas many times and it has never worked. This stab at socialism is not enough to attract leftist Democrats; does not enthuse moderate Democrats, and has disaffected stalwarts in his own party causing a quiet departure of many crucial district leaders. In spite of this undisciplined messaging, the mayoral race might still be a tight one.

Down the ticket, the City Controller’s race is a catastrophe because the Republican candidate is a nameless pol who was not elected to the nomination, but appointed to it by the party bosses. As a result, Republican votes will be rightfully syphoned off to John Tabacco, the City Controller candidate running on the Conservative and Independent ballot lines. Tabacco was denied a chance to win the Republican nomination in a primary election marked by unfortunate and possibly illegal intramural party chicanery.

So two of the top three positions in the race depend on voters resentful toward the seemingly dominant Democratic Party juggernaut and a profound concern for public safety.

Enter Thomas Kenniff, potentially the unicorn candidate in a unicorn election year because he might very well be the crossover candidate who inspires Democratic Manhattan voters to split the ticket and vote Republican in the D.A.’s race.

Why should they do that? Because Kenniff is running a single-issue campaign based solely on reforming the D.A.’s office and cleaning up the crime crisis. He’s not an ideologue or a partisan. He has no interest in, nor will he discuss, any policies not directly related to law enforcement. He believes in promoting racial equity in policing; supports inclusion and fairness in the judicial process; and has a sympathetic understanding of defendants’ rights as a result of his years as a criminal defense attorney in his private law practice.

He is a compelling, indeed charismatic, candidate whose military service in Iraq gives him a no-nonsense approach leavened with an easy smile and a wry sense of humor.

The Kenniff campaign is well suited to courting moderate Democrats and even the brand name media—normally uninterested in paying any attention to Republican candidates—are giving him respect.

When the dust settles next month, the city’s leading law enforcement officer will likely contend with an unprecedented epoch of turmoil. Aside from the persistent economic challenges we face, there will be a fresh catastrophe. The looming supply chain crisis, coupled with a Weimar-level hyperinflation will make imported goods unavailable and consumer products prohibitively expensive. The city’s food stocks are dependent on a daily resupply that could very well cease before Christmas. The 2020 summer riots were manufactured and financed by big money disruptors and perpetrated by paid activists’ in BLM and Antifa. But next time around, those shock troops will be augmented by an enraged army of welfare dependents whose food stamps won’t be able to conjure Fanta and Twinkies from empty supermarkets (and there might even be an absence of fuel oil for the heat and hot water in their buildings).

Who are you going to want in charge under those dreadful circumstances?

About Douglas Dechert

Douglas Dechert, a lifelong Manhattanite, was on staff of the New York Post for 10 years and was a columnist at Hamptons Magazine, Gotham Magazine, and He has been associate editor at Men’s Health magazine.

Photo: ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

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