In a ridiculous puff-piece for something called the “CEO Buffalo: the Center for Employment Opportunities in Buffalo,” Buffalo News reporter Lou Michel breathlessly informs us: “‘They love the routine. They like getting up in the morning and working, cashing the check at the end of the day and going home,” [Jeff Conrad, director of CEO Buffalo] said.”
Oh…did we mention who “they” are, as in “they love the routine”? Uh, that would be criminals. Paroled convicts. Felons. Scumbags who have stolen, bludgeoned, defrauded, raped and murdered their way into New York State’s prison system.
The article, accompanied by a well-lighted photo of Conrad and a grinning Ralph F. Smith, doesn’t really ponder the terror that the clients of this million-plus-dollar employment center put in the hearts of their victims. It just dryly notes that Smith, for one, “served three years in prison on a robbery conviction.” But Lou Michel doesn’t bother to ask Smith’s victims what they think of Smith’s new found opportunities.
So, who’s paying for this program? Well, you, of course. New York State’s dimwitted governor, David Paterson, just kicked $1.2 million over to CEO Buffalo to support its efforts to find cushy jobs for the criminal set. Of course, this $1.2 million for scumbag criminals comes along at precisely the same time Paterson is looking to ram through more income tax hikes, cut school aid, and tax every single ounce of non-diet pop you drink. But, hey, at least Ralph F. Smith “likes getting up in the morning and…cashing the check at the end of the day.” That’s what’s really important.
So, where did this idiotic idea come from, anyway? Well, the Erie County Democratic Party, of course. Denise O’Donnell, a Democrat Party hack from Buffalo, who is married to doughy State Supreme Court Justice John O’Donnell, was the visionary behind this soft-on-crime senselessness. Like her useless husband, O’Donnell is getting fat off the taxpayers with a government job her felon friends should consider applying for: she’s the Assistant Secretary to the Governor for Criminal Justice in the Paterson Administration.
Call us old-fashioned, but we always kinda figured that the Assistant Secretary to the Governor for Criminal Justice was supposed to be the sort of person who didn’t care to see criminals coddled.
Of course, in the idiots at CEO Buffalo, she has plenty of kindred spirits: “CEO Buffalo pays each worker minimum wage for four days of work a week, and on the fifth day the workers rotate into the office for employment grooming aimed at moving them into the private sector with lessons in job interviewing techniques and resume writing.”
“‘They work four days a week out in the field, and on the fifth day, they meet with the job coach, and she tries to find out what barriers would prevent them from succeeding in finding employment,’ said Conrad.”
Um, we’re going to go out on a limb and guess that the biggest barrier preventing them from succeeding in finding employment is that they’re criminals. And as an aside, do they really need help in resume-writing and job interview techniques? Because in a just society, they’d be filling out applications for the kind of jobs they are qualified for: dishwasher at Denny’s, grocery bagger at Tops, things like that. Why? Well, because THEY’RE CRIMINALS. THEY’RE BAD PEOPLE.
When George Pataki became governor, one of his first acts was to restore the death penalty to New York State. New York sure could use a governor with such a clear-eyed understanding of crime and punishment again.