Alex Friedmann is a former Sanders campaign criminal justice adviser. Friedmann helped shape the current Democrat front-runner’s policies on the issue. But should old Alex be faulted for acting on his beliefs about criminal justice reform?
The alleged incident
Now maybe it’s just an old saw but if you show me your friends I will show you your future. So let’s find out who Bernie’s friend is. It turns our Alex Friedmann has been arrested. He was Allegedly planting guns and ammunition inside a jail under construction. It was part of a breakout plan described as “evil” by police. According to WTVF, police say Friedmann was the mastermind behind a plan.
He intended to provide prisoners with weapons. You know; to help them negotiate their release from the Downtown Detention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. See any flaws in this intention? Obviously the execution left something to be desired. But that’s just Democrat leadership for you… but I digress.
“What disturbed me most is not that this was about an escape, it was all about loss of life… All designed to assist in a massive, escape plan… Mr. Friedmann, over many months had developed and implemented an extremely deliberate and, in my opinion, evil plan…” Sheriff Hall said.
Quality presidential advisors
Now Friedmann was an adviser on Sanders’ 2016 campaign. Since then he’s pretty much become a 21st century Weather Underground member. The Washington Free Beacon is reporting, Friedmann wasn’t just a low-level adviser. Nor were his ideological contributions simply limited to 2016. When Friedmann was advising the Sanders campaign he retained other interests. He was also an associate director at the Human Rights Defense Center. There he was managing editor for its Prison Legal News publication.
Sanders was and still is a socialist, by nameplate at least, in his home state. Sanders has been yammering about economic inequality for decades. But his bona fides on social issues are rather weak. At least in the arena of criminal justice reform, they were very weak. His friend Friedmann helped change that. You see Alex was one of a number of consultants who got Bernie to call for a ban on private prisons. That position has been a major part of Sanders’ criminal justice platform. It was in 2016 and it remains in his 2020 presidential campaign, as well.
A report from Human Rights Defense Center in 2015 detailed Friedmann’s work. The report reads: “Staff at U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s office consulted with several criminal justice organizations, including HRDC, for a bill he planned to introduce related to the private prison industry… Alex Friedmann participated in multiple conference calls with the senator’s staff and suggested the name that was eventually used for the bill, the ‘Justice is Not for Sale Act.”
Do a candidate’s positions reflect how they think about things?
Friedmann said that the bill didn’t achieve what it set out to do. It was intended to abolish private prisons. He told The Atlantic in 2015, “… It appears to be more for political purposes than to actually address the many problems in our criminal justice system…”
So Friedmann, whose involvement with criminal justice reform began following his 1999 release from prison. He was serving 10 years for assault and attempted robbery. He might have decided to take a more “active” approach to address those problems. Not only did Friedmann plant three guns and ammunition in the prison. He is also facing accusations of managing to get a hold of keys to open 100 doors and diagramming the facility.
He was arrested in January. In the apprehension, he allegedly was trying to eat the diagram. We’ll assume the reason for his rapid mastication attempt was not out from hunger or a fiber deficient diet. Fox News is reporting Sheriff Hall said, “Understand, this plan went far beyond vandalism. Ultimately it included planting various tools, weapons, security equipment throughout this facility. All designed to assist in a massive escape plan…”
Actions speak louder than words
Friedmann’s January arrest came after officials noticed keys missing on Dec. 30. Analysis of video from the Downtown Detention Center revealed a man dressed as a construction worker. Someone who had a resemblance to Friedmann taking a key ring. There seems to be a further recording of the same person later replacing it with two keys missing.
Friedmann was taken into custody in January. He posted a $2,500 bond. Since that time he has done a resignation from his position HRDC. On Wednesday, police announced he would be facing new vandalism charges. Ben Raybin, Friedmann’s attorney, told Fox News it is “… important to clarify that the new vandalism charge stems from alleged conduct arising last year, and not any recent actions occurring after his previous arrest… Mr. Friedmann surrendered himself immediately after being advised of the new charge…”
The keys have been returned and Friedmann is said to be cooperating. Nevertheless, the jail’s opening, which was scheduled for April, has been indefinitely postponed. Sheriff Hall, notes the sick irony behind a man with Friedmann’s mission planting firearms inside a prison. He said, “… Mr. Friedmann served time and spent a long time advocating for safe jails and prisons… You cannot have a loaded weapon inside a facility like this unless you have one intent for that weapon.” But that’s kind of the point here, isn’t it… this isn’t about “safe jails and prisons.” This is sincerity Bernie style.
Democrat leadership; what’s it supporting today?
To some within the criminal justice reform movement, jails, prisons and those who run them are the enemy. It’s not about reforming them so much as eliminating them to the greatest extent possible. Where do these “reformists” end up accumulating? On the far left of the spectrum … with candidates like Sen. Sanders. If you show me your friends I will tell you your future.
Look, there’s probably nothing to the Bloomberg campaign’s carping about violence and vandalism from Bernie’s Bro’s. It probably isn’t fair to infer a desire to break into jails and hide guns for the inmates is an indicator of a tendency toward violence. Maybe it is stereotyping to assume that birds of a feather flock together. I’m sure the perpetrators are simply misguided. The Bernie Bro’s are all really swell folks. Bernie is taking very seriously what people are doing in his name. Maybe it is just really twisted overthinking.
This is just another incident. Maybe it doesn’t implicate Sanders or his supporters in anti-social behavior. But it must tell us something. Probably this guy just made a mistake. It’s sort of like the mistake made on Steve Scalise at the ball field. Right? It’s leadership, Democrat leadership. Guess we know what action Democrat leadership is producing. They don’t have power yet. Is what is happening what you intend to follow? Alex Friedmann is a former Sanders campaign criminal justice adviser…