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Bay Ridge Interpol Entreats Readers to Sign John Kennedy O’Hara Petition

August 24, 2010

Banner from the John Kennedy O'Hara Website at freejohnohara.com

Brooklyn reform blog The Bay Ridge Interpol is asking its readers to support the cause of John Kennedy O’Hara.

I believe this story is very important and thought we would share it with you.

Here is the substance of their piece is below (and I strongly encourage you to visit their website on a regular basis):

Ballad of John Kennedy O’Hara

They called him”Mad Dog” because he was tenacious. In the early 1990’s, John Kennedy O’Hara would run for office just about every year, lose, brush the dirt off, get up and try again the following year. Naturally, his political foes wanted the then young, upstart lawyer squelched. Mainly, because the pertinacious O’Hara wouldn’t play ball with the hacks who dealt power like poker chips in smoky backroom deals deep inside Brooklyn. See, but back in the old days, insurrectionists like O’Hara would get their knees busted by Plug-Uglies on Election Day. These days, you stand before a crooked judge, get thrown off the ballot on an arcane technicality and end up broke from the legal fees. See, these days, the Plug-Uglies don’t have sticks, they have law degrees and hands in pockets across every aisle. And in the dark world of inside baseball, things can get pretty vindictive.

o as the story goes, John O’Hara ran against Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes. People say Charles doesn’t enjoy being tested and isn’t afraid to crush his challengers.

Soon after the race, O’Hara was indicted by his opponent Hynes, for a crime that the Daily News called a “prosecutorial jihad”. O’Hara was basically charged with registering to vote, and, well, voting. He didn’t vote twice in the same day, or vote from a false address or anything you might think would warrant a “charge”.

O’Hara’s only crime was that he had two apartments in the same neighborhood (Sunset Park) he’s lived in for his entire life, and the one he voted from was not his “principal and permanent” residence.

Tried three times for the same seven felony counts, O’Hara was facing almost 30 years in jail simply for exercising his right to vote! Did we mention he was disbarred from practicing law, fined 20 grand and ordered to do 1500 hours of community service? Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, the last person to be tried for “illegal voting” was Susan B. Anthony in 1873.

O’Hara’s story has been chronicled in Harper’s Magazine, in scores of articles in the New York Times and in every major daily, and even overseas in the pages of magazines like the New Zealand Herald. Watch video interviews here and a documentary trailer here to get a better undertanding of the story.

Today, because of the dangerous precedent created by the People v. John O’Hara, anybody with two or more homes can face prison time if they vote. This includes students in dorms and homeless people living in shelters.

This petition asks the Governor Paterson, pursuant to Article IV, section 4 of the New York State Constitution to correct this injustice with an executive pardon for John O’Hara, who stands today a convicted felon and a disbarred lawyer.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue, it’s about justice. Please take a moment to sign the petition and visit John’s website.

***

I hope everyone will investigate these events further and that justice will be given to John Kennedy O’Hara.

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2 Comments
  1. McCabe permalink
    August 26, 2010 5:50 pm

    Pardon my good friend O’Hara now, Mr. Governor!

  2. On Par With Von Karajan’s “Serenade for Strings” by Tschaikovsky permalink
    August 26, 2010 10:13 pm

    It is a mark of true genius to be able to accomplish, without any knowing purposeful effort directed at the specific result, a masterwork. The folks at Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn deserve to get the full credit that’s due –

    “ALL HAIL, Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn!”

    Your blog’s August 24, 2010 re-posting of “Bay Ridge Interpol Entreats Readers to Sign John Kennedy O’Hara Petition” caused a predictable reaction by Craig Eaton’s hate blog, “The Jig is Up Atlas”. However, who would have expected a level of virtuosity that could only be described as truly sublime. TJIUA’s August 26, 2010 piece “ More Corrupt Politics from Jonathan Judge and Michael Harris!!” was an exquisite tapestry of perfect notes that will be seen as a gift for the ages.

    Whereas I can only claim an occasional ability to play Eaton’s trolls like fiddles, your work was like beholding that of a maestro on par with the late great Herbert Von Karajan, directing an orchestral string ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for String Orchestra”, Op. 48.

    To all at Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn, Bravo!
    And particularly to Dagny Taggart, beloved maestra, Bravissima!!!!
    To all of the trolls at TJIUA, you were a magnificent orchestral sring ensemble making music to our ears.

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