Readers Write: Calling out Phillips’ hypocrisy on sex offenders

The Island Now

Thank you for holding incumbent Sen. Elaine Phillips to account for her hypocrisy in your June 29 piece by Rebecca Klar (“Phillips: Cuomo pardons give hall pass to sex offenders”).

 Ms. Klar rightly pointed out that, while Phillips seemed exceptionally comfortable accusing another politician of enabling sexual predators, she has consistently refused to support the Child Victims Act.

 While Phillips may point to her co-sponsorship of a weaker bill recently introduced by Sen. Catharine Young as proof that she is not derelict in her duty, it seems convenient that Young waited until the very end of the legislative session to write the alternative bill.

By the time Young’s bill had left committee, Sen. Thomas Croci had returned to active military duty, splitting the chamber equally between those caucusing with Democrats and those caucusing with Republicans.

This allowed Majority Leader John Flanagan to scuttle a floor vote on Young’s bill and blame it on supposedly intransigent Democrats.

 Even if you buy that weak excuse, it doesn’t explain why Republicans, like Phillips, Flanagan and Young, didn’t tackle this issue a year ago, when Croci was still available to vote and the Independent Democratic Conference was still caucusing with Republicans.

The obvious and embarrassing answer is that all Senate Republicans, including Phillips, care more about shielding traditionally conservative groups from criminal and civil liabilities than they do about providing justice for those sexually abused or assaulted as children.

This can even be seen in the content of the Young bill, which would divert $300 million currently allocated to law enforcement and other programs into a victims’ compensation fund. 

The bill would not force child predators or the organizations that enabled them to contribute a single penny to the fund, even if they were found liable in a court of law.

 To be brutally honest, if control of the Senate weren’t hanging in the balance, Young never would have even written the alternative bill, and all Senate Republicans, including Phillips, would have continued actively ignoring calls for reform.

 For any of your readers who live in Phillips’ district and are just as disgusted by her inaction as I am, please make sure to show up to your designated polling station on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and vote for Phillips’ Democratic opponent, Anna Kaplan. 

I know Nov. 6 seems like an eternity from now, but, in actuality, it is only four months away.

 If you won’t be in town on that day or are prevented from visiting your polling station due to a disability, please request an absentee ballot from the Nassau County Board of Elections. 

If you have questions or need assistance, the board can be reached at (516) 571-8683.

 If you are eligible to vote, but haven’t registered, please do so now. 

In addition, if you have children who are of legal voting age and reside in the district, make sure they register to vote.  If they will be away at college on Election Day, help them request an absentee ballot.

 Phillips depends on voter apathy to stay in power.  Let’s rob of her of that advantage and make our voices heard.

 Matthew Zeidman

New Hyde Park

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