Monday, February 1, 2010

Mayor Nick Valentine, My Kind of Leader!

Let me preface this blog by saying that in no way do I support the idea of trying the accused 9/11 terrorist scumbags in a Civilian Court.

This has to be far and away one of Lord Falderal’s more stupid notions. Justice should be delivered through the military courts as the attack on the twin towers was an Act of War, not civilian mass murder. The argument should end there.

However, it looks like there may be no escape from holding the terror trials in civil court unless Congress can be effective in cutting the funding for such a travesty. The only question is in what city will the trials take place.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made it clear the trials are not welcome in Manhattan given the cost of security, hype and potential danger to the citizens of the Big Apple. He estimated the cost of security alone to be upwards of $200 million. Great use of our tax dough, huh? Providing security for terrorists. Lovely.

As one would imagine there aren’t a lot of Mayors jumping up and down to host the trials in their cities. To the average thinking American it would seem a foolhardy enterprise to actively seek such a thing.

Enter Nick Valentine, part-time Mayor of Newburgh, NY.

Newburgh, NY is one of those charming Hudson River Valley towns forgotten by time and society. It is rich with history not forgotten, but neglected as so many historical Hudson River towns are. There is no real industry left in the town and it has suffered the effects for quite a few decades. This is a polite way to say that in essence the place is very poor and run down.


Most people from the Northeast know Newburgh only as a highway sign they see on their way either west to Pennsylvania, or East to New England. The town’s main landmark which isn’t really in the town at all, is the I-84 Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, a formidable span which on a clear day allows you a slight view of Manhattan 60 miles to the South.

One thing Newburgh has is a shiny new state-of-the-art courthouse that is super secure, and being only 60 miles from Manhattan, convenient to any and all players in say, a terror trial! Newburgh also falls into the jurisdictional requirements of a civilian murder trial. Add in a close proximity to West Point and a Federal Prison a mere 27 miles away and you have a great recipe for a terror trial venue!

Hizzoner Valentine knows this better than anyone and has taken his case to bring the trials to Newburgh public; hitting as many news shows and media outlets as he can.  

This is a real leader and visionary.

Now, I have no idea how the Mayor really feels about the core subject; whether or not the trials should take place in Civilian Court or not, but I do know one thing, he is definitely looking out for his town and that is admirable. Valentine did say at first he wasn’t very keen to the idea of the trials being held in Newburgh, but upon reflection changed his mind. To me, the Mayor is taking advantage of a shitty situation in order to give Newburgh an economic jump-start.

Nick Valentine is a businessman in addition to being the part-time Mayor. He owns a tailoring business right across the street from the courthouse and understands the nuances of simple economics. That is something most government officials lack, in addition to morality and ethics. Most politicians get ethical bypasses at birth!

Newburgh would benefit greatly financially from the terror trials through a wide variety of income streams. There is the obvious onslaught of media types who will bunk down for as long as the trials take, pumping their dollars directly into the local economy, there is the Federal money that will go into ramping up security and then there is the International attention that could spike tourism both during and after the trials.

Are there risks? Of course there are, the very same ones that would apply to Manhattan as the trial venue. Terrorist attacks could ensue, violence from protestors and any of the other sundry items that lay the foundation of the argument for not having these trials in civil forums could occur. But, one would hope these are calculated risks and will be mitigated by the security funding.

No doubt the good Mayor has taken these risks into account and as a small businessman realized the reward in the long term is well worth the risk. Anything worth doing always involves some kind of risk.

I haven’t the foggiest clue whether Mayor Valentine is a Republican or Democrat, and I don’t care. I do know that Mayor Nick Valentine is a breath of fresh air in this climate of bad government. He is doing the right thing for the people who voted him in by trying to draw attention to their plight. Even if they don’t get the trials, which they probably won’t given the inability of the Falderal Administration to give in to common sense, at least he hung it out there for everyone to see.

Surely, there are lots of folks who think this Mayor is crazy including some of his constituents, but those are people who fail to take in the big picture and they are part of the problem not the solution.

Good Luck Mayor Valentine, and citizens of Newburgh.

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