Howie Hawkins for Governor - Green Party
www.howiehawkins.org - www.gpny.org
For Immediate Release: October 22, 2010
For More Information:
Howie Hawkins, 315 425-1019. 315 317-5084 (c)
Mark Dunlea 518 860-3725
Hawkins Says it is time to Clean House in Albany; Corruption is endemic among Democrats and Republicans
Hawkins Says Aqueduct Deal was Horse S**t; Smelly Horse Track Deal Means It's Time To Clean The Albany Stables
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said that the Inspector General's (IG) shockingreport on the rigged bidding process for choosing a video lottery terminal operator at the Aqueduct race courseshows the rampant corruption in the state government in general and in the Democratic Party in particular.
"It's time to throw da bums out and get some new parties in there. The Democrats and Republicans compete to sell themselves to the highest bidder,mainly with campaigncontributions butsometimes with outright kickbacks. They treat the state treasury as their personal piggybanks.They refuse to pass any meaningful campaign finance reform or ethics legislation. They always promise to clean it up once elected but they never do. Both parties are rotten to the core," stated Hawkins.
A recent Gallup poll found that fifty-eight percent of Americans believe a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic Parties do a poor job of representing the American people.
The IG concluded that Democratic Senate Leaders John Sampson and Malcolm Smith, along with former Senator and Spitzer staff person Carl Andrews (and AEG lobbyist), all actively engaged in improper wheeling and dealing during the bidding process, selling short the public interest in exchange for their own personal and financial interests. This was assisted by Governor Paterson, who was missing in action; playing a more activerole weretheGovernor's bodyguard Davey Johnson (under indictment fordomestic violence)and Larry Schwartz, the Governor's Secretary who runs the government on a day to day basis (e.g., firing DEC Commissioners). Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was criticized for going along with the misbehavior.
This follows on the heals of the recent guilty plea by former Democratic State Comptroller Alan Hevesi for political corruption involving the state retirement funds.
Democratic Senator Pedro Espada has been charged with looting $14 million from a non-profit he controlled.
According to recent media exposes, Brooklyn Democratic Party leader and Assemblymember Vito Lopez used his influence to build his own multimillion non-profit empire with public funds, including paying a million dollars in salaries to his girlfriend and campaign manager.
Mr. Lopez's predecessor as Brooklyn leader, Clarence Norman, has already been convicted and sent to jail, along with many other Democratic state officials. This includes former state Assemblymember Brian M. McLaughlin from Queens, convicted inMarch 2008 to racketeering charges that included using embezzlement, fraud and bribes to take millions from taxpayers, labor unions and contractors, even from a Queens Little League team.
Former Democratic Senator Hiram Monserrate (who was booted out of office earlier this year after his conviction for domestic violence), was indicted this weekon federal corruption charges for allegedly using a nonprofit in his district to bankroll his first run for state senate. Bronx City Councilman (and former State Assemblymember) Larry Seabrook is facing similar charges and Espada's predecessor, Efrain Gonzalez, is now in prison after being convicted on similar charges.
Almost 5% of the New York State Legislature have been indicted or convicted in recent years, including the most recent Republican Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.