New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Post It’s time for the City Council to stop playing thought police by Post Editorial Board

It’s time for the City Council to stop playing thought police

When it comes to tolerating dissent or even unapproved wave-making, the New York City Council is starting to look a bit like the old Soviet Politburo.

The latest: Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) saw his land-use subcommittee shut down, apparently because he’d been asking too many uncomfortable questions about the mayor’s affordable-housing and tax-break deals.

Kallos himself didn’t suffer. By all accounts, he’s happy that he wound up being elevated to helm the Contracts Committee, where his brand of oversight won’t ruffle colleagues’ feathers.

But this follows the expulsion of Kalman Yeger (D-Brooklyn) from his seat on the Immigration Committee, simply because he tweeted that “Palestine does not exist” — which, in the sense of an actual state, happens to be true.

But he was still sacked for being “hateful” and “divisive,” with most of the council voting to make good on a decision Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) had already announced.

Meanwhile, Robert Holden (D-Queens) quit the very same committee, complaining that it’s so extremist and intolerant of different viewpoints that it won’t even allow representatives from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to address it.

Yes, the same people who call Yeger intolerant are OK boycotting federal officials. (Then again, many of them are on board the “Abolish ICE” bandwagon.) And never mind the risk that the feds might start withholding funds in retaliation.

Back in February, Johnson abolished another committee, focused on for-hire vehicles. It’s not that it didn’t have plenty to do — the wave of yellow-cabby suicides shows there’s big trouble in the industry. But its chairman, Ruben Diaz Sr., refused to apologize for claiming (on a Spanish radio show) that the council is “controlled by the homosexual community.”

Diaz is still awaiting disciplinary action by the Standards and Ethics Committee over his remark. (Johnson admits Yeger broke no rules.)

How far will the council’s thought police go? Yeger and Diaz’s comments had nothing to do with their committees’ work. (Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks, by contrast, are highly germane to her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.)

Yes, members serve on committees at the speaker’s pleasure; Johnson has every right to use his power to maintain discipline. But trying to impose groupthink is neither wise nor right. Democratic institutions are supposed to respect differences of opinion and expression.

Speaker Johnson shouldn’t abandon democratic principles to pander to the politics of the moment — or to please the other side of City Hall.

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