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Letter: Senator Johnson Please Be Brave

Our State Senator Craig Johnson has a second chance to show us he is a “brave warrior” for good, clean government. In August 2009 I was very disappointed when he did not condemn the Democrat Party’s chicanery in the state’s senate chamber involving two Democrat senators – Monserrate and Espada – that shut down state government for almost a full month. Since that time, Monserrate has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault on his fiancee, Karla Giraldo. Court-watchers “in the know” say the penalty would have been far harsher except the victim, with 40 stitches in her face, would not cooperate with the Queens DA and testify against Monserrate. (Ain’t Love Grand?) Shortly, thereafter, Brian Foley, a young, first term state senator from Suffolk County demanded that Monserrate quit or face expulsion from the senate. New York’s federal senators, Schumer and Gillibrand called for Monserrate’s resignation. Newsday, in an editorial of Oct. 21, recommended that the senate clean up its house or face voter reaction. Then, on Oct. 26, I saw a picture in Newsday of our Senator Johnson, with a tough look on his face, standing next to Foley. I hoped that the picture showed Johnson joining Foley in seeking Monserrate’s removal. However, when I read the article I was disappointed. It had nothing to do with the effort to dump Monserrate. The article related to the Native American Seneca Nation’s complaints that Johnson was “hostile to the nation’s interests” and involved the sale of cigarettes on the nation’s reservation 400 miles north of Long Island. Instead of fighting with the nations’ chiefs and braves in the far north, Johnson must publicly and loudly join the outcry seeking Monserrate’s removal and better government for all citizens. If he ever expects to be a “chief” in the future, he must be “brave” now.

Alan J. Reardon