First Freedoms' Kevin Barry FBI: Please Investigate Potential Corruption in Religious Freedom Repeal Vote
Note: Below is an excerpt from First Freedom's article by Kevin Barry that we ask you to please review, click to their site , read and watch the video. New York lost the Religious Vaccine Exemption this summer. Other states are following suit. Including my own state of Connecticut, where Kevin Barry is speaking this Saturday.
July 8, 2019
Kevin Barry, Esq.
First Freedoms, Inc.
PO Box 1816
New York, NY 10113
Honorable Christopher Wray
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Dear Director Wray,
I am the President of First Freedoms, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing and defending the fundamental protections of the US Constitution, state constitutions, various federal and state laws, and religious and other rights enumerated in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Among those rights is, of course, the right to religious freedom and free exercise. I write to ask you to open an investigation into possible public corruption of a June 13, 2019 vote which occurred in the New York State Assembly Health Committee (the “Committee”). On that date, the Committee voted on a bill to remove the religious exemption to vaccination, which had been law in New York since 1963. The Assembly Members sitting on the Committee voted 13-13. This outcome meant that the bill should not have passed out of Committee, preserving an important religious right for 20 million New Yorkers. However, after significant irregularities described in more detail below, the vote was altered to 14 in favor and 12 against. This unusual vote change allowed the bill to pass out of the Committee and led ultimately to the bill becoming law that same day. Please click HERE to read in full. Thank you.
I request that the FBI investigate the questionable circumstances which led to this vote repealing a religious freedom statute in New York State.
There were several irregularities surrounding the June 13th vote. Please see the video link here: “FBI - PLEASE INVESTIGATE NY STATE’S CORRUPT VOTE TO REPEAL A RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” https://vimeo.com/345081341. This video footage was recorded by observers in the Committee room at the time of the Committee consideration of the bill.
Among the irregularities in this vote:
- At 1:50 on the video, the vote is tallied at 13-13. The bill should have died in the Health Committee at this moment. However, Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried did not announce the 13-13 result. Why did Chairman Gottfried not announce the result of the 13-13 vote?
- Among the “NO” votes was freshman Democratic Assemblymember Nadir Sayegh. Instead of announcing the 13-13 outcome, killing the bill, Chairman Gottfried sits silently while Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the most powerful Democrat in the Assembly, takes steps to alter the outcome of the vote. At 2:02 on the video, after the 13-13 vote takes place, Speaker Heastie summons Asm Sayegh to a private conversation. Immediately following his conversation with the Speaker and apparently relying on something told to him by Heastie, Sayegh changes his vote to “YES,” reviving the bill and ultimately removing a religious right from New Yorkers. What was discussed during Asm Sayegh’s and Speaker Heastie’s conversation?
- At 3:02 on the video, having just spoken to the Speaker and changing his “NO” vote to a “YES,” Asm Sayegh gives a speech attempting to explain his vote change. In direct contradiction to his “YES” vote, he says “As a student of Constitutional law, I have always protected individual rights and religious rights” and also “parental choice is very important to me”. Was Asm Sayegh’s speech about respecting religious rights, while changing his vote to take away religious rights, ordinary political doublespeak or something more sinister? [It is important to note that when this bill reached the full Assembly, Asm Sayegh again voted “NO”, further evidencing the dubious nature of his “YES” vote in the Committee.]
- At 3:40 on the video, Chairman Gottfried immediately announces the manipulated 14-12 vote, allowing the bill to pass out of his Committee. Why did Gottfried announce the altered 14-12 vote immediately and remain silent after the 13-13 vote? Was Chairman Gottfried promised something for his role in manipulating the vote, and if so, what was he promised and by whom? Were Gottfried’s actions ordinary party politics or something more sinister?