Chairman Kassar’s weekly wrap up discusses Buffalo’s India Walton, the Ben & Jerry’s controversy and the NYS Senate GOP’s call for bail reform analysis.

Buffalo Mayoral Hopeful Has Questionable Background

The Buffalo News reported on Tuesday that the home of India Walton was the subject of a police investigation in 2018 after numerous complaints of a drug operation surfaced.

A police report obtained by The Buffalo News showed that officers investigated the complaints in the fall of 2018. Police sources said the suspect from Walton’s home was Anson Whitted, who served more than 12 years in state prison for selling cocaine, assault and possession of a weapon.

Walton doesn’t deny Whitted’s presence in the home acknowledging he was a frequent guest who occasionally stayed there.

The owner of the home whom Walton was renting from demanded she move out of the house after receiving numerous complaints about constant visitors consistent with drug trade activities.

The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist scored a stunning upset over longtime incumbent Buffalo Mayor Myron Brown. Walton, an outspoken advocate for defunding the police, is endorsed and supported heavily by the far left Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America Party.

Ben & Jerry’s Boycott

Ben & Jerry’s announced on Monday that it would stop selling ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territory, the decision has sparked a wave of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, and leading to mass boycotts that include long time vendors ending contracts with the ice cream company and stores pulling the product off their shelves.

“#Benandjerrys has now decided they know more about Jerusalem than the Israelis. If Ben & Jerry’s wants to have a meltdown & boycott Israel, OK is ready to respond. Oklahoma has an anti-boycott of Israel law in place,” @SenatorLankford (R-OK) Twitted Wednesday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and State Comptroller Glenn Hegar echoed a similar sentiment, threatening to add the company and its parent, Unilever, to a list of organizations that boycott Israel, making it ineligible for investments from the state’s pension fund.

While Ben & Jerry’s no longer feel comfortable doing business with Israel, they continue to feel comfortable doing business with China. I suspect Ben & Jerry’s will soon find their sales to have cooled off following what will be a significant boycott of the brand all over the world.

Senate GOP Calls for bail reform analysis

New York State Senate Republicans this week called on officials to conduct a review of whether the changes to New York’s bail laws are linked to the rise in violent crime throughout the state over the last few months.

Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt sent a letter to the Office of Court Administration and the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, asking if the sharp rise in shootings in New York City in 2020 compared to that of previous years have any correlation with the states soft on crime bail reform legislation.

“The recent surge in shootings and violent crime all across the state have confirmed our worst fears — so called criminal justice ‘reforms’ passed under One-Party Rule are a danger to all New Yorkers,” Ortt said. “Shootings are up. Hate crimes are up. While the Governor’s recently declared state of emergency finally acknowledges what the Republican Conference has stated all along, that violence in our cities is a serious problem, it ignores the very policies and rhetoric he has embraced in the past two years: bail reform, discovery reform and a war on our police. It’s time for the Governor to acknowledge the consequences of his actions, and that begins by examining his own state data — not ignoring or whitewashing it,” he continued.

In 2021, murders have increased by more than 3% in New York City while shooting incidents have increased by 22%. Startling numbers when you consider we are just now entering the time of year in which crime spikes.

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