What does Assemblyman Hikind support?
From the NY Jewish Week:
by Assemblyman Dov Hikind
(D-Brooklyn), 48th District
I am writing in response to the article by Hella Winston entitled, “Showdown Over Bills On Sex-Abuse Statute,” which appeared on The Jewish Week Web site.
In it, she wrote, “While Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who has publicly championed the cause of sexual abuse victims since last summer, was a co-sponsor of [Assemblywoman Margaret] Markey’s bill, he was also a co-sponsor of the first [Assemblyman Vito] Lopez bill. In fact, Hikind recently told the Five Towns Jewish Star that he was opposed to the window provision in Markey’s bill and is now a co-sponsor on the revamped Lopez bill. Hikind did not return calls seeking comment.”
This is blatantly untrue. At no time did I tell the Five Towns Jewish Star that I was opposed to the window provision in Assemblywoman Markey’s bill. I do support the notion of a window provision, but with some type of limitation. I am seeking a compromise between the Markey and Lopez bill, with the intention of yielding a significant change to the sexual abuse statute of limitations law as it currently exists. Ultimately, I will champion the legislation which I think will not only best aid the victims, but which also has a realistic chance of passing in the legislature.
I trust this letter clarifies my stance on this vital issue. It is my hope that this will help prevent the dissemination of any further misinformation on Winston’s part.
Editor’s Note: By his own admission in the above letter, Assemblyman Hikind is opposed to the window provision as it is currently written in Assemblywoman Markey’s bill, which we reported in the article in question. The article never stated that Hikind is opposed to a window provision in general. Hikind expressed his opposition to the window provision in Markey’s bill at a public event last month at Congregation Ohab Zedek on the Upper West Side, which was reported on in the Five Towns Jewish Star.
I interviewed Dov Hikind on March 30. I asked him specifically about his support for boith the Markey and Lopez bills. Dov said he much prefers Markey but added he has
“reservations” about aspects of Markey, and noted that he has discussed Markey with several Democratic State Senators he thought would readily support Markey and found they, too, have "reservations."
Dov refused to discuss those reservations or get into the specifics of them in any way.
However, last week, Dov told an audience of survivors and advocates last week that he objected to the window in the Markey Bill.
“It’s the one time I agree with the American Civil Liberties Union,” Dov told survivors.
The point is, Assemblyman Hikind had opportunities to clarify his "reservations" regarding Markey but did not do so – even after he told an audience of survivors and activists that he opposes the window in Markey and even after that remark was reported publicly.
What Assemblyman Hikind did with regard to the Jewish Week's reporting can be viewed as an attempt to discredit a reporter who has broken the major stories of haredi sex abuse and who has most accurately covered that issue – including Assemblyman Hikind's involvement, both good and bad.
If Assemblyman Hikind had returned the Jewish Week's phone calls, if he had spoken accurately and forthrightly about his positions, his positions would have been clearly known. But Assemblyman Hikind did not do that.
His protests – protests that contradict public remarks he made – should be viewed in that light.