Kathy Hochul says her opponents and the GOP are being “disloyal” about crime


Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday accused Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of using the hanging to cynically attack crime concerns, but also acknowledged that the issue is rooted in honest concerns among voters who will decide her political fate next week. .

“We are dealing with people’s feelings here. And I understand that. I’m a mother You are hardwired to care for the safety of your children and your family. So voters need to know that we have a plan. We’re working on it,” Hochul said in an interview on “CNN This Morning,” while again calling the GOP’s crime-fighting plans “irrational.”

Hochul has in recent weeks doubled down on more prominent efforts to fight crime, especially in New York City, where he – like any New York Democrat – needs to win big to secure a statewide victory. Governor and New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently announced an increase in police, city and state transit authorities in the subways, and has expressed his support for law enforcement on the campaign trail. The Democrat’s new emphasis comes amid some uncomfortably close polls in the governor’s race. No Republican has won statewide office in New York since 2002.

While acknowledging that crime is a real and important issue for voters, Hochul blasted Zeldin for intimidation and vowed to crack down on it, citing Republican support for repealing gun laws.

Asked why Zeldin’s lines of attack seem to have been politically fruitful, Hochul was blunt.

“Because they are being dishonest about it. They’re not having a conversation about real solutions,” Hochule said, before talking about Zeldin’s vote against a bipartisan gun bill in Congress.

Hochul also sought, as many local Democrats have, to give the issue a broader scope, pointing to rising crime rates nationwide. In New York City, it’s a mixed bag of data, with some crimes rising — including violent crimes — while others are falling.

“That’s not going to give anybody any comfort,” Hochul said. “It says we still have a problem, I understand that, but let’s talk about real answers and not just give everybody all these claptrap.”

During the interview, Hochul rhetorically accused Republicans of being “tough on crime, but soft on guns.”

“That doesn’t add up,” he said, “and I want voters to know that.”

A Democrat who ascended to the governor’s office after Andrew Cuomo resigned in August 2021 amid a sexual harassment scandal, Zeldin called it a sign of his “naivety” with an order to repeal the state’s controversial bail reform law, he said. there is no clear data linking criminal justice reform legislation, which is designed to reduce the number of suspects held in pretrial detention, to an increase in crime.

The law has been scaled back twice since Cuomo passed and signed it. But there have been additional calls to go further or remove it from the books altogether. That, however, is unlikely to happen with Democrats in control of the state legislature.

Adams, who has opposed the law – giving GOP opponents ammunition – pushed for a special legislative session this year to deal with it, but Albany leaders rebuffed it.

Hochul said he supports more tweaks, in addition to some he already helped push, but supports his goals.