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Kelly, Klein on Team Barack?

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:33 p.m.
Our President-elect has to sift through a large number of candidates to populate his staff. Are Klien and Kelly really the best options?

"Kelly believes in extraordinary rendition and that countless Black men shoot themselves in the back, hang themselves, beat themselves with night sticks, etc. No, we don't want Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and we don't want Chancellor Joel Klein anywhere near President Obama's cabinet."

Word on the street, the Net and other places is that former New York Police Commish William Bratton (appointed under Mayor Rudy Giuliani) also wanted to be considered by President-elect Obama's transition team for Homeland Security. Meanwhile, Kelly supporters point to his experience in not only being police commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but his time running U.S. Customs during the President Bill Clinton administration.

Bloomberg's office said, "We decline comment." David Cantor from the Department of Education said the same, as did the press office of the NYPD.

Retired Detective Marquez Claxton however, did not mince his words. "The vetting process should effectively eliminate Ray Kelly from consideration. Starting with his complete failure to reform the Haitian Police Depart- ment, followed by his lackluster performance as U.S. Treasury undersecretary, followed by the numerous employee discrimination and racial profiling lawsuits that were filed during his tenure as U.S. Customs Commissioner, to the segregated power structure and the excessive stop and frisks of innocent muted response to the killings of unarmed individuals during this current Ray Kelly NYPD administration, Ray Kelly shouldn't be on anyone's short list for appointment." The Queens native, who is planning to run for City Council next year, added, "If the Ray Kelly apologists, promoters and cheerleaders examined his actual record, they would see that his successful crime-fighter tag is more spin and public relations than anything else. Additionally, Ray Kelly has publicly expressed disdain for federal law enforcement agencies and his overzealous self-promotion has strained relationships between the NYPD and the federal authorities."