Our Views: Mudslinging in the 4th C.D.

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With less than two weeks to go before the primary in the 4th Congressional District, the mud is flying. 

Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), who is running against Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, has accused his opponent of going soft on the men arrested for soliciting prostitutes in her “Flush the Johns” campaign.

As part of her RESET program – which stands for the Real Effects of Sale, Exploitation and Trafficking – first-time solicitation defendants would be required to complete a two-hour class on the effects of human trafficking and perform  35 hours of community service in exchange for a plea to non-criminal disorderly conduct charge.

Abrahams called the offer “mystifying and irresponsible.” He added that the deal was politically motivated.

“Inside deals are exactly what is wrong with Washington, let’s make sure that we don’t send another political wheeler and dealer there,” he said.

We think the legislator doth protest too much – at least on this issue.

Rice already humiliated the alleged Johns at the time of their arrests by giving their names to the press. For some this caused professional embarrassment and left them with a lot of explaining to do at home.

 Rice’s month-long “Flush the Johns” sting resulted in the arrests of 104 alleged johns from throughout Nassau County and its surrounding areas. 

 Abrahams wrote, “Kathleen Rice claims to be a protector of women from exploitation, but if this were the case she should prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

This is nothing more than campaign rhetoric. 

Prosecuting 104 cases would have tied up an enormous amount of resources in the district attorney’s office at considerable expense. 

As far as we know, the sting did not involve children or women who appeared to be forced into offering their services.

Rice has made a credible effort to stop human trafficking and to help the women involved in prostitution escape from this degrading experience.

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