The Roman Catholic State Assembly representative of the 30th Assembly District covering parts of Maspeth, Middle Village, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, and Woodside is on a full-fledged rampage to protect child abuse committed in our public schools, or otherwise on property controlled by city government.
How? An Assembly bill she is sponsoring, A02596, has as its purpose the singling out of the Catholic Church for financial abuse by the trial lawyers who contribute so heavily to her election campaigns. This bill is an effort to pay the trial lawyers for loyal support.
The Markey bill does nothing to help victims of sexual abuse that occurred in tax supported public schools. A victim of sexual abuse by a tax paid teacher or administrator must notify the city within 90 days through a notice of claims. What if 91 days pass? Too late. Too bad! Tell the victim that he or she should have attended a religious school, or an organization like the Boy or Girl Scouts.
Only then can the victim sue for money damages for claims as far back as the 1930s or 1940s. Naturally, there will be no surviving witnesses, or documentation, or evidence of any kind. But, hey, there's money to be extracted from a victim of claims impossible to defend against.
Answer this question honestly: Do you want the IRS to notify you when you are 65 years old that a tax return you submitted when you were 21 has been recently examined and the IRS has determined that you now owe back taxes, plus penalty, plus interest for all those years?
You likely answered NO! You could never prove your innocence after all those years. You would want a statute of limitations law to protect you from ancient claims you can no longer defend against.
A statute of limitations law sometimes protects the guilty (look at Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, also the head of the IRS); he failed to pay taxes for a number of years. He paid only the amount that occurred inside the statute of limitations. He shrugged off the remainder.
He understands that statutes of limitation were enacted to protect us from accusations of violations that occurred in the past.
Markey's bill is bad law and must be rejected. You don't need to be Catholic to be offended by such a bigoted bill. You and your beliefs could be next.
Church’s Tax Exempt Status
One more point. If this bill had merit, it wouldn't be necessary for Markey to threaten the tax-exempt status of the Brooklyn Diocese for using their First Amendment right to vigorously oppose it. But, she did. So, we have to wonder just what is the need to threaten those who peacefully oppose a bill that would do great damage.
A further demonstration that Markey's bill has a deep anti-Catholic intent is the fact that its State Senate Co-Sponsor is State Senator Thomas Duane (D-29th District, Manhattan). Duane is committed to full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered New Yorkers and the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), which added the term “sexual orientation” to the list of specifically protected characteristics in various State laws.
Duane is a tenacious advocate for gays. And, Marge Markey has him co-sponsor a bill to bring child predators to court? Much like having Massachusetts' Congressman Barney Frank in charge of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
If you also oppose this bill, as well as the use of threats against those who do oppose it, notify your elected representative in Albany to inform them that this bill must be defeated and never again revived!
**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.