OpEd: Rocah Campaign Launches ‘Baseless Attack’ on Scarpino

By David A. Alpert

Mimi Rocah’s campaign recently alleged that stating she worked under the Bush and Trump Justice Departments politicizes the service of a prosecutor. They made this charge even though their campaign materials and the candidate herself constantly remind people that she worked for the Obama administration. This baseless attack is the latest example of a pattern in which Rocah rejects facts and either viciously lashes out at the messenger or spreads outright lies in an attempt to refute them. This behavior is the mark of a dangerous prosecutor and the people of Westchester deserve better.

Westchester voters do not know who Mimi Rocah actually is. She has never served in elected office so has never undergone the scrutiny that candidates must necessarily go through so voters can make informed decisions. The only real information people have about her is that which she provides in her campaign materials, which conveniently overstate and propagandize her ties to President Obama. What these materials fail to say is that Mimi Rocah began serving the Southern District of New York at the beginning of President Bush’s first term, and she served there dutifully throughout the disastrous Bush presidency, according to her biography on the Pace University website. She also worked under President Trump for most of his first year in office. She had ample opportunities to leave the Trump Justice Department throughout that year. She could have left after the Muslim ban, but she decided to stay. She could have resigned after her boss Preet Bharara was unfairly fired, but she decided to stay. She could have left after Trump declined to reject white supremacy and neo-nazis after Charlottesville, but she did not. At any point during that year, she could have rejected Trump’s hateful rhetoric and stopped enabling his outrageous politicization of the Justice Department by resigning, but she stayed. Democratic voters deserve to know this.

I understand telling people about her service in the Bush and Trump Presidencies may not be beneficial to Ms. Rocah, but facts are facts. Intimidating and smearing people who report them is gravely concerning. Temperament is one of the most important characteristics that voters must consider when choosing a District Attorney, as an overzealous prosecutor can destroy lives, break up families and ruin communities. Throughout this campaign, Mimi Rocah has shown her true colors, and they don’t match the values of Westchester Democrats at all.

Alpert, a Mt. Vernon resident, is the vice chair of the New York State Democratic Committee and the former chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee.