NY Gov. Kathy Hochul: Repealing Cashless Bail Won’t Get Rid of Violent Crime

Melanie Arter | November 4, 2022 | 3:51pm EDT
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New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a "Get Out the Vote" rally with US Vice President Kamala Harris and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York City on November 3, 2022. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wouldn’t say Friday whether she would sign an executive order repealing cashless bail, as her opponent Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) pledged to do, because she said that doing so is not “a real solution” to violent crime.

During an interview on “CNN This Morning,” Hochul was asked Friday why Republicans are winning on the issue of crime.

“Because they're being dishonest about it,” the governor said. “They're not having a conversation about real solutions. What we have done is take 8,000 illegal guns off the streets. We made sure that no 18-year-old can get their hands on an AR-15.
“We’ve made sure that our red flag laws are tough, and there’s background checks, whereas Lee Zeldin has opposed every part of that, even voting against the first significant gun safety legislation in three decades in Washington. He didn't even show up to help support our police officers with funding for them in Washington. So they can say all they want, but the facts are on the other side. We've done a lot to get guns off the street,” she said.

CNN’s Don Lemon pointed out that violent crime is up seven percent in the state, and he called it “concerning” when you see news about what’s happening on the subways and on the streets. He said, that is “a real factor” that cannot be denied.

“No, I'm not denying that,” Hochul said. “I'm just saying the way the Republicans' ad campaign is, and if they're going to say they're tough on crime but soft on guns, that doesn't add up, and I want the voters to know that. We leaned hard into working with Mayor Adams on getting more cops and cameras and care for people who are severely mentally ill who have been on the subway. 

“So I was not talking about this in an election environment. We did this back in January and have had a sustained approach to bring state resources to help local law enforcement, which is something I’m proud of. That hasn't happened before. The governor and the mayor of New York never cooperated in the way that we are now, and it's going to take some time,” the governor said.

“I know the voters understand, but nationwide crime is a problem. Our numbers are better in New York City. Violent crime is up, but we look at murders and shootings and they're down about 3%, but that's not going to give anyone any comfort. It says we still have a problem. I understand that, but let's talk about real answers and not just give everybody all these platitudes,” she said. 

When asked if she would issue an executive order repealing cashless bail, the governor said, “Again, that is such a simplistic approach. It negates the fact that it’s about how we support law enforcement. He wouldn't support funding for police. I tripled the amount of money for law enforcement. We're supporting violent disrupter programs. 

“To say that you’re just going to change one part of the system, it shows a naivete that is not going to be a real solution. So we did make targeted changes to the bail laws covering gun cases and repeat offenders. That has all just be in effect for a few months now, because of what I was able to accomplish in the budget,” Hochul said.

“I'm always willing to look at it again, but the data is not showing that that is the cause of this. There are individual cases, but compared to pre-pandemic and when this was passed, I don't think there's a real disparity, but that doesn't matter. We're dealing with people's feelings here, and I understand that. I'm a mother. You're hard wired to care about your children and your family's safety,” she said. 

“So voters need to know that we have a plan. We're working on this, and just putting up ads that say you have the answer when you really don't, when you don't think we should be getting guns off the streets, you want to give guns to every teacher, you want guns in the subways, that is irrational to think that’s going to make people safer,” the governor said.

“I just think people need to know really what's on the line here is someone who’s been working in the trenches, rolling up her sleeves, getting the job done and not just running around the state, saying all you have to do is repeal a bail law and all the crime will disappear. I think the people are smarter than that,” Hochul added.

When asked whether women she has encountered on the campaign trail prioritize abortion or the economy and crime, the governor said that women are not “monolistic,” but she said that they are “deeply troubled” that Zeldin is pro-life, believes life begins at conception, and opposes exceptions for abortion in case of rape, incest, and to protect the health of the mother.

Women cannot be described as a monolistic group. We all have our particular issues, but overall women do feel deeply troubled that someone running for governor, Lee Zeldin, is devoutly against their right to choose. His name is currently on legislation that says life begins at conception, opposes abortion for rape, incest, even when the life of a mother is at stake. That is his position. 

He wants to say nothing has changed since the Dobbs position in New York. That's because I'm the governor and he's not. I understand the power of the governor and there are many ways he could subvert women's right to choose if he became the governor, but that’s not the only issue. 

Mothers are concerned about education, how they’re going to save up for their kids’ college, how they’re going to pay for the tank of gas, how they’re going to cover the costs of food on the table, so there are economic issues, and we’re leaning hard into job creation. Lee Zeldin voted against the Inflation Reduction Act. 

He voted against the Infrastructure Act, which is bringing thousands and thousands of jobs for New York. I'm using money from that to pay for potholes in his district, and he didn't even vote for it, so there's a lot of areas where more work could have been done. 

She said that Zeldin has opposed giving people good paying job and investing in them and their kids’ education.

When asked why the gubernatorial race between her and Zeldin is so close, she said that the energy on the ground is “not being captured in the polls.”

It doesn't manifest itself earlier, but it’s all coming to bear. You only need to peak on Election Day, but I do think there's anxiety out there. You talk about the economy a lot, and we understand that. We understand that. I think it's a combination of coming off a tough couple of years of the pandemic. 

People are feeling anxious about the price of everything going up - all their groceries and rent, and it's a frustrating time, and I understand that, but I want them to know the Democrats actually have real results as opposed to just the Republican rhetoric, and that's really what our campaign is coming down to. 

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