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Assessing Gov. Hochul’s First Five Months – OpEd

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New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul has now been in office for five months. It’s time to assess the issues that are of interest to most Catholics, as well as to many of the faithful of other religions. Among those issues are abortion, sexuality, crime, drug abuse, education and religious liberty.

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On these issues, Hochul merits an “F.”

Hochul is an Irish Catholic, and her disgraced predecessor was an Italian Catholic. It would be hard to find a more extreme advocate of abortion-on-demand than Andrew Cuomo, though Hochul is giving him a good run for the money.

When Texas passed a restrictive abortion law last year, Hochul could have said nothing about it—it had nothing to do with New York. But she not only condemned the law, she invited Texans to come to New York—offering to have New Yorkers pay for their trip—where they can abort their children for free.

“For women in Texas, they need to know: we will help you find a way to New York and we are right now looking intensely to find what resourceswe can bring to the table to help you have safe transport here and let you know there are providers who will assist you in this time of your need.” Sending an Uber was not ruled out.

Hochul is also a big fan of the sexually confused. Last week she announced that male prisoners who claim to be a woman can opt to be housed with women inmates. The women jail birds were not asked what they think—just the men. So much for women’s rights.

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Her budget directive on this issue smacks of mind control.

“No employee of the department shall misgender any individual in the care or custody of the department by intentionally referring to someone, including but not limited to, a transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary or intersex person, using a word, pronoun or form of address that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.”

In other words, employees will be punished if they tell the truth.

Last summer, when Hochul was Lt. Gov., she said that a surge in violent crime in Buffalo was due to illegal guns, not bail reform. Thus did she sanction the policy of letting violent criminals off easy. This explains why, when she became governor, she picked State Sen. Brian Benjamin as her Lt. Gov. He supports “Defund the Police.”

In her State of the State address, Hochul said nothing about bail reform as a driver of serious crimes, focusing exclusively on gun safety measures. When asked about the “catch and release” tactics that have allowed countless dangerous men to assault and kill innocent New Yorkers, she said she would talk to the new mayor about it, never offering an idea of her own.

The Catholic League’s headquarters is located across from Penn Station, a dumping ground for homeless men, deranged drug addicts and hardened criminals.

Hochul’s answer to the drug problem is to throw in the towel: she signed into law a bill that makes it legal for addicts to shoot up anywhere they want, sharing their filthy heroin needles with others. These zombies will only get into trouble if they don’t wear a mask. 

In her State of the State presentation, Hochul spoke about the need to improve SUNY and CUNY, the state and city institutions of higher education. She said not a word about elementary and secondary schools, as if they don’t exist.

In her budget, she awarded the public schools, which nonwhites are abandoning as fast as they can for charter schools, a 7.1 percent increase in funding; charters got an increase of 4.7%. An editorial in the New York Post accurately said that she “threw New York’s charter schools a bone in her budget plan.” Yet she has the gall to say she stands with African Americans and Hispanics.

Hochul’s State of the State speech said not a word about religion, religious liberty or houses of worship. But she did allot three pages to discuss the rights of transgender persons.

When Hochul was Lt. Gov., she was in charge of Western New York’s regional reopening (following Covid restrictions). In Phase 1, she allowed most workers to go back to work. Among those she still kept under tight wrap were religious New Yorkers—their houses of worship were still under severe restrictions.

On August 18, 2021, Gov. Hochul signed into law a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, allowing for religious and medical exemptions. Literally eight days later, she took away the religious exemption. Catholics and Jews, who comprise the vast majority of New Yorkers, were thrown under the bus.

Hochul postured herself as a moderate. She is not. When it comes to the issues of abortion, sexuality, crime, drugs, education and religious liberty, she is a left-wing extremist.

She is not operating solo. Her biggest backers are the titans of the real estate industry. Indeed, they own her. Some things never change, at least in New York.

Contact Jeff Lewis, Hochul’s chief of staff: [email protected]

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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