Whoever said crime doesn’t pay apparently never imagined California.
The state that’s already leading the country in opening its doors to illegal aliens and hosting hordes of homeless people in near-lawless conditions has taken things to the point where programs are in place to literally pay criminals not to commit crimes.
And in Fresno, the argument now seems to be only over who’s going to pay for it.
According to KSEE, an NBC affiliate in Fresno, City Council members on Tuesday debated adopting a program called Advance Peace that “helps gang members abandon the gang lifestyle by offering stipends and other incentives.”
Some people might think that “stipends” sounds awfully close to paying protection money.
But those people clearly aren’t California public office holders with their eye on the public till.
Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias, for example, calls it an “investment.”
“The way the program works is a community organization and community leaders identified these individuals, sign them up for mentorship programs for job programs, monitor them make sure they stay out of trouble,” Arias said, according to KSEE.
Hard as it might be to believe, Arias is a Democrat — one of a wave of Democrats elected last fall that gave the party a majority on the City Council, according to a Fresno Bee report from November.
(The paper also made a big deal of the fact that it was a Latino Democrat majority, but let the liberals dwell on the labels. It’s the party we’re talking about here.)
By contrast, Councilman Garry Bredefeld — a Republican, believe it or not — doesn’t think spending public money to pay off members of gangs is a great idea.
He told KSEE more cops and dispatchers would be more effective. (Raise your hand if you think he might have something there)
According to KSEE, there are similar programs already in place in Stockton and Sacramento.
In Stockton, the money comes from private donations, the station reported.
Sacramento funds its program with a mixture of private and public money, KSEE noted.
So in Fresno, City Council members are debating whether taxpayers should be footing the bill so gangbangers can get some folding money without committing crimes (or maybe lowering themselves to get a job or something).
Arias thinks it would be a wise use of the public finances – though he only wants the city on the hook for half the money.
“If they [Advance Peace] can reduce losing one child to a drive-by in the community, it’s worth the investment,” Arias said, in true Democrat fashion.
(They do everything for “the children” except wanting them to survive nine months in the womb).
“Personally, I’m tired of having to set up scholarship funds for the victims of drive-by shootings,” he told KSEE.
So, apparently preemptively setting up a kind of scholarship for potential drive-by shooters — by paying criminals not to commit crimes — is the way to go.
The details of the Fresno proposal were still being worked out, and a vote on the proposal is scheduled for Thursday, but Arias told Fresno Bee columnist Marek Warszawski (an unabashed fan of the program) that he has the votes to go ahead.
(That would be that Democrat majority the Bee touted back in November.)
So, it looks like Fresno is going to join its California sister cities in coming up with a way to appease its criminal element by literally paying it not to commit crimes.
In a sane, adult world, that would be called paying extortion — and its dangerous futility would be obvious.
In the Golden State these days, dangerous futility is apparently the price of doing the public’s business.
Crime doesn’t pay? California’s making more of a mockery of that with every passing day.
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