Former Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., says he's running to become New York City’s Borough President of Staten Island to give a “voice” to small business owners, and to push back on defund the police efforts and “insane” bail reforms.
In an interview Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “John Bachman Now,” Fossella trashed the defund-the-police movement that swept through some cities after protests over the killing of George Floyd — and lamented a spike in city crime that's come in the wake of New York City bail reform.
“We need to step back into the arena and start pushing back against these insane laws that keep criminals on the streets and keep innocents people on their homes because they're afraid to go out,” said Fossella, the longest-serving Republican member of Congress in Staten Island history.
“I don't buy into what they call reform,” he said, lamenting the reform that does away with bail for those charged with low-level crimes, limiting a judge’s discretion in the matter.
I think it's an atrocity. I think that the people of Staten Island deserve to live in the safest community and in the country and we want to bring that about and we're gonna push back and fight back against these in insane policies that really will only lead the innocents, people being harmed and hurt,” he said.
Fossella also blasted Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, who helped push for a city budget of $88.1 billion in July 2020 that includes shifting roughly $1 billion away from the New York Police Department.
“The other side wants to say this is a good thing like defunding the police,” he said, calling it a “silly proposition.”
“The police department in New York City, we're blessed to have the greatest police department in the world because of its sophistication, because of the tens of millions of people who come here,” he said.
“They have to be on their guard and trained. They keep us safe. And you want to take the money away from them and take them off the streets” with defunding, he added.
Fossella went on to decry the coronavirus closings that kept small businesses on Staten Island shuttered.
“I’m running for borough president of Staten Island because I felt that there wasn't sufficient voice for those [small business] people,” he said.
“The government works for the people, not the other way around. Small businesses of the engine of our economy, and they were given the back of the hand by government [at] the local and state level and we were dying on the vine. They were losing their life savings — the employees who want to work the owners who want to deliver services of provide food or beer at the bar…. Those people deserve a voice.”
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