Progressives in New York facing headwinds on law and order

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Progressives in New York facing headwinds on law and order

It’s the Chesa effect.

The recall of San Francisco’s soft-on-crime District Attorney Chesa Boudin, could spell doom in the Aug. 23 primaries for Big Apple progressives, experts told The Post.

“People want protection from crime and if they are the victims of crime they want to see justice done,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist.

Boudin was elected in 2019, promising a hands-off approach to prosecution — which promptly ushered in a crime wave. Over the past year, homicides rose more than 11 percent, rape was up 9 percent and thefts spiked over 20 percent in the Golden Gate City, police data shows.

Meanwhile, major crime categories are up this year in the Big Apple by a staggering 38.4 percent, police data show. But New York has no mechanism for recalling public servants — the Empire State’s criminal justice crusaders will have to contend with the voters, and that is where experts say police defunders and other soft-on-crime progressive candidates may face a summer reckoning.

“In the 60s there was this bumper sticker, next time you need help, call a hippy,” Sabato said.

Ana María Archila 

In a different year Ana María Archila could have been someone who rode a progressive wave. The activist and political outsider became a leftist cult figure when she confronted then GOP Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator in 2018 over his plans to vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Ana María Archila
Archila is saddled with many of the same positions and progressive baggage that doomed Boudin.
G.N.Miller/NYPost

Archila’s primary challenge for Lt. Governor has racked up big ticket progressive endorsements including Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Westchester), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn), New York City Comptroller Brand Lander and a bevy of lefty Albany legislators. Her opponent, Antonio Delgado, a mild-mannered moderate and former upstate congressman, is little-known statewide and was only appointed to the position when his predecessor resigned after being indicted on federal bribery charges.

But Archila is saddled with many of the same positions and progressive baggage that doomed Boudin.

“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety,” she said in a 2020 tweet quoting a Twin Cities’ activist. “@NYCMayor @NYCCouncil your turn!”

Antonio Delgado
Delgado is a mild-mannered moderate and former upstate congressman.
Lev Radin/Sipa USA

“There is simply no evidence to support rolling back bail reform,” she said in May, blasting efforts to roll back the law as an “attempt to further criminalize Black and brown New Yorkers.”

There’s no polling in the race, but insiders says she’s missed the moment.

“She hasn’t caught any fire despite having lots of endorsements and having campaigned for a much longer time than Antonio Delgado and the messaging that she is running on is not the messaging of where we are now,” said Chris Coffey, CEO of political consulting shop Tusk Strategies.

Alessandra Biaggi

Another titanic progressive vs. moderate clash is brewing in upstate New York, where Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will face off against far-left state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi for a seat representing the Hudson River district that includes Newburgh, Beacon and Poughkeepsie.

Maloney, a Clinton White House veteran, is an established incumbent who has served in Congress since 2013.

While Maloney has some baggage on crime issues — including his opposition to cash bail and a nettlesome tendency to hire police-haters into his office — he has pushed back against the movement to “defund the police” which many members of his party embraced during a period of BLM riots after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

In May, Maloney announced $900,000 in funding for his district to beef up police, and blasted defund efforts as “nuts.”

Progressives are pinning their hopes on Biaggi to take him out and she has already received the backing of the state’s most famous defund the police champion — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Biaggi has been a proud defund the police advocate in the past and once called cops “soulless.”

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx
Progressives are pinning their hopes on Biaggi to beat Maloney.
AP Photo/Hans Pennink
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
Maloney is an established incumbent who has served in Congress since 2013.
Ron Sachs – CNP

Locals say the district is moderate and the carpetbaggers would not be welcome.

“The Democrats here are pro police,” Scott Reing, the recently departed chairman of the Putnam County Democratic Party said. “If Alessandra Biaggi — who doesn’t live here — comes in with that kind of rhetoric it’s going to fall on deaf ears.”

Brittany Ramos DeBarros

Former Staten Island Congressman Max Rose has found himself in the unique position of being a frontrunner and an underdog in the same race.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros
Ramos DeBarros is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Facebook/Brittany DeBarros

While new district lines have given his GOP rival Rep. Nicole Malliotakis a distinct advantage in the general election, voter discontent among progressives will likely give him a leg up in his Democratic primary race against veteran and burlesque dancer Brittany Ramos DeBarros.

“He is a calm presence and people are very frightened right now. Rose is the order candidate and she is not,” said longtime Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “In that district, people are concerned about quality of life issues and crime and a more stable environment because things are out of control. If you want stability you vote for Rose.”

As a card carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she has called prisons “a racist tool to put down whole populations” in a tweet advocating on behalf of Palestinian terrorists. Her campaign website promises “care, not criminalization” and other saccharine criminal justice bromides. She has vowed to refuse campaign donations from police and correctional unions.

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