Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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October 30th, 2020

Vote Meagan Galligan for District Attorney – Frank LaBuda is Clearly the Wrong Choice

Meagan Galligan is one of the best if not the best trial attorney in Sullivan County. She became our Acting District Attorney after former DA Jim Farrell was elected County Court Judge. She now wants to represent us for the next four years as our Chief Prosecutor and she has earned our vote.

Galligan is running on the Democratic, Conservative, and Independence lines is also endorsed by many popular Republicans. She is being challenged by former retired Democratic County Court Judge Frank LaBuda who switched political parties and won the Republican primary in a squeaker

It would be a tremendous move in the wrong direction for Sullivan County if LaBuda wins on Tuesday. Voters must vote on qualifications and who would best serve the people of Sullivan County and not on name recognition.

Meagan Galligan is not a politician – She is a successful trial prosecutor who has earned the job of District Attorney thanks to her outstanding accomplishments in the Courtroom.

Anyone listening to and watching recent debates between Galligan and LaBuda will know firsthand why we need Meagan Galligan as our District Attorney.

Meagan Galligan has a plan thanks to her thinking out of the box to fight drug abuse and addiction in Sullivan County. She wants to fix what is not working. She has earned the respect of our law enforcement community, legal community, clergy, educators, and community leaders not because of politics, but because she is the best candidate for District Attorney.

Frank LaBuda wants us to believe he has been this big warrior on the battle to fight drugs. He points to his role running Sullivan’s County’s Drug Court. He fails to answer why he was fired from presiding over it by New York State and why it was turned over to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Schick.

He also wants to pretend that he was the person responsible for bringing the DARE program to Sullivan County. Thanks to Lori James and her outstanding research he was proved wrong. He had nothing to do with bringing the DARE program to Sullivan County and he knows it.

Frank LaBuda has lied and misled the people of Sullivan County time and time again throughout the campaign. He wants us to believe we are not safe in our homes and we are filled with high crime. In reality, total index crime in Sullivan County is down over 42 percent, burglary is down over 55 percent, and violent crime is down over 27 percent since 2007.

He wants us to believe that he is battletested. In fact, we need someone who is courtroom tested, and that is Meagan Galligan.  

LaBuda claims he had an epiphany at the end of January.  He said he could no longer identify with the Democratic Party and therefore changed his enrollment to Republican. What Hypocrisy!  Pure Bull!

The truth is LaBuda and his surrogates back in December were working hard trying to get liberal Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint him District Attorney. Some even ran to Harriman to speak with Cuomo when he was there for the opening of the new traffic pattern near Woodbury Commons – It didn’t work!

They arm twisted their high-level Democratic connections throughout New York State to persuade Cuomo to appoint LaBuda – That Didn’t Work!

LaBuda and his surrogates tried even harder to get the Sullivan County Democratic Committee to support him. And, according to Galligan offered her a deal not run against him. That didn’t work either!

So then, and only then, did LaBuda change his Party enrollment. Don’t be fooled. Switching parties was a political stunt. Just like he switched parties in 1981 to run against Republican District Attorney Steve Lungen. LaBuda is nothing more than a political opportunist.

Let’s not stop there. LaBuda wanted to run on an Independent Line and he filed petitions that were tossed out by the Board of Elections because they were filled with fraud. During the debates he attacked the Board of Elections for not allowing people to vote after polls closed. Is this the type of person we want as a District Attorney? Someone with no apparent regard for the law? Someone who submits petitions riddled with fraud.

He claims as County Court Judge he was never involved in backroom politics. Hogwash! Him and his wife Kathleen have always been part of Sullivan County’s political cesspool. Doesn’t anyone find it strange that the person who ran for DA against Republican Jim Farrell when Steve Lungen retired, and the person who ran against Republican Jim Farrell for County Court Judge both come from Mamakating and have personal close ties to LaBuda?

One must wonder – Why after such a long career as our County Court Judge would LaBuda, a man in his senior years, even want to be our District Attorney? Is it because of pure greed or a power grab?  Does he need more money from the taxpayers? He already gets a huge pension.

In fact, after his last reelection bid for County Court Judge – He retired so he could collect a pension and his full salary. When he took office, he could no longer be an Acting Supreme Court Justice due to his double dipping taxpayer money.

One must ask – Does Frank LaBuda really have the fire in him to be our District Attorney? Does he really have the drive to prosecute our most important criminal cases?

Ask any lawyer how long they had to wait for him to arrive daily in the courthouse and about his total disregard and respect for our Judicial system. Ask any lawyer about his extended vacations and refusal to hold trials on Friday using outrageous excuses like the Sabbath begins on Friday.

Others say LaBuda, who made headlines with the ATV incident involving running over his brother Peter and seriously injuring him, is running for District Attorney because of settling political agendas and personal vendettas.

In fact, former popular and respected District Attorney Steve Lungen wrote a blistering attack on LaBuda detailing how dangerous it would be if he were elected. Lungen fired LaBuda as his Chief Assistant.

Labuda is hoping his issuing pistol permits while on the bench is one of his roads towards victory on Tuesday. Simply put – LaBuda is looking for payback from these people. Like Labuda, Galligan is a strong advocate of our second amendment.  So, the issuing of pistol permits is a non-issue. Any judge would issue pistol permits after the necessary background checks. And, the District Attorney has nothing to do with the issuance of a pistol permit.

Bail reform is another tactic he is using in his campaign. The truth is – even before the law was enacted, LaBuda was abiding to it prior to leaving the bench back in December.

What is most disturbing in this campaign for DA is that LaBuda is using photos of himself as a Judge on the bench. Do we need to remind him that he is not running for a judicial position?

Putting all the rhetoric aside, electing a District Attorney should be nonpolitical.

We deserve the most qualified person to be our Chief Prosecutor. There is a reason why so many people have embraced the candidacy of Meagan Galligan – Not only is she the most qualified person for the job – But she is a real Sullivan County success story.

A product of New York University and Georgetown University Law Center, Galligan landed a job in the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office when she returned home – leaving a high salaried prestigious New York City Law Firm.

Steve Lungen saw her talent when he hired her back in 2008.  As did Jim Farrell. Galligan was promoted to Chief Assistant District Attorney in 2016 not because of politics, but because of her outstanding and much praised ability to successfully prosecute our most important criminal cases.

She even won on appeal many of her trial successes.

There is good reason why law enforcement including Sheriff Michael Schiff and all our PBA’s and Police Chiefs such as Simmie Williams and Scott Kinne as well as four of our most respected former members of the judiciary Anthony Kane, Burt Ledina, Perry Meltzer, and Tom Nuttycomb have embraced the candidacy of Meagan Galligan.

Simply put, Meagan Galligan has successfully prosecuted some of our most serious felony offenses, including homicide, sexual offenses against children, violent robbery, narcotics conspiracies and trafficking, weapons possession, and use. She has worked in our trial court and our appellate courts. She leads the new child advocacy center focusing on abuse of children.

She is on hand 24 hours a day for pre-arrest investigations of serious offenses, including oversight of all applications for search warrants and eavesdropping authority. Will Frank LaBuda really be available 24/7 for us? Does he even care?

Sadly, there are those who are attempting to politicize certain headline cases such as that of former Judge Isaac Kantrowitz. Meagan Galligan has a heart. She knows the pain the family is going through, but she also knows the law and the law must be changed.

Labuda who claims to have experience prosecuting homicides fails to mention his botched domestic violence double homicide prosecution of Bobby Nolan when he was an ADA. After Nolan was acquitted, he killed again by murdering his new wife. So much for his bragging of his record.

Sullivan County needs new leadership and change. Meagan Galligan represents our future. She has worked hard, excelled on the job, and not only deserves to be our next District Attorney, but has earned it.  She has a proven record and vision for the future. We can be certain that Meagan Galligan will always do the right thing as our Chief Prosecutor.

Thank you – Frank LaBuda for your years of public service in Sullivan County. It is time to move on. Enjoy your retirement from the bench, enjoy your many retreats in foreign countries. But – becoming District Attorney is Just Plain Wrong and would be a giant leap backwards for Sullivan County.

Vote for Meagan Galligan for District Attorney.

Early voting is ongoing at the Sullivan County Board of Elections in Monticello.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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