Mike Lawler is a friend to local law enforcement. Don’t be fooled

March 15, 2024

Opinion | Lohud
By Carl Fulgenzi

I was shocked to read the recent column by David McKay Wilson that tacitly attacked Rep. Mike Lawler for voting with all but one of his New York House colleagues to keep the government open and funded.

State and local law enforcement actually received over $58 million in additional funding in the bipartisan spending package, including in the 17th District, but that’s hardly covered in Wilson’s column.

Instead, Wilson chose to hone in on FBI and ATF budgets, claiming that there were massive cuts which would lead to drastic impacts on the day-to-day operations of the agencies.

The fact is — that’s just not true.

Over $620 million of the $654 million in cuts to the FBI came from eliminating one earmark that was secured by former Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama. That means roughly 95% of the cuts were from that single construction earmark being trimmed. I don’t know about the rest of the Hudson Valley, but for me, eliminating a $620+ million earmark for a building to a federal agency with a massive pre-existing budget to help enact spending cuts seems like common sense.

Runaway federal spending has caused a massive spike in mortgage rates, credit card rates, inflation, and more since Joe Biden took office. I, for one, appreciate Lawler working in a bipartisan way to try and reduce spending.

But even while reducing spending, Lawler has been delivering the goods for our district.

For Fiscal Year 2024, Lawler was able to bring back almost $36 million in funding for projects all across the 17th District, including in Mount Pleasant.

Lawler was able to secure over $800,000 in funding to help us update our Police Department’s dispatch system – a critical upgrade that will help our cops protect our community and respond even quicker to calls.

Mondaire Jones, Lawler’s predecessor, has an incredibly questionable track record as it pertains to supporting law enforcement. Jones, who has been vocally supportive of the Defund The Police movement, failed to secure any community project funding for local law enforcement in his two years in office. Despite his public claims otherwise, Jones has called for the defunding of the police, supported ending qualified immunity, advocated for convicted and even incarcerated felons voting, and supported cashless bail.

My son left the NYPD because he was not allowed to be a Police Officer, a job he truly enjoyed when he started.

I think the contrast for voters is quite clear.

Lawler supports our cops locally, supports municipalities and police departments with funding, and wants to lock up criminals.

Jones wants to defund the police, let felons vote from prison, enact cashless bail nationwide, and make our communities less safe.

People should vote accordingly in November.

Carl Fulgenzi is supervisor for the town of Mount Pleasant.