Jones calls for Open Debates in Lt. Governor Race after getting 12% in latest poll
Says the Democrats and Republicans are scared to publicly debate the Green Party
(New York) Brian Jones, the Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor, called today for his opponents to have more courage than Cuomo and Astorino and to agree to a series of open debates.
The Green Party pointed out that by any fair and objective standard, they should be included in any debates this fall.
A Siena College poll released last night for two conservative upstate districts (19 and 21) showed Hawkins and Jones had climbed to 12%. In previous statewide polls, where the Greens were doing better than Teachout, Hawkins and Jones were at 7%, The latest poll was conducted before the stunning results of Tuesday's primaries where 40% of the Democrats rejected the incumbent.
Jones said he especially wanted to debate Hochul and Moss about the two fake ballot lines they created for the fall election.
"Let discuss not only why Common Core is bad but how we are going to replace it. And lets discuss what we need for women equality. Starting with why Cuomo has been so opposed to making the minimum wage a living wage? Women are the majority of minimum wage workers," Jones stated.
Jones said he would also like to debate criminal justice issues. Moss is a sheriff. The Greens have called for an end to the war on drugs and mass incarceration which has legalized the oppression of people of color.
After the strong protest vote in the Democratic Party, Governor Cuomo reversed course and said he was open to debates in the general election. But he indicated that he preferred debates only with his conservative Republican challenger. Hochul did even worse than Cuomo in the primary.
"After the beating they took in the primaries for last minute progressive opponents, the Democratic Party ticket is far more afraid of the Greens than they are of Republicans who mirror their policies on many issues. Teachout and Wu demonstrated that if voters have a progressive alternative, a lot of workers, parents, educator and anti-fracking and anti-casino advocates aren't going to vote for Cuomo and Hochul. So Cuomo is happy to join with his conservative partner Astorino to try to exclude candidates willing to speak up for the 99% of New Yorkers who can't afford to buy a Governor," said Hawkins.
"The Democrats and Republicans do the bidding of the wealthy contributors. The other 99% of New Yorkers have been lacking a party that stands for them. That is what the Green Party offers this November. The voters have a right to hear what the different candidates offer rather than conspiring to limit the election to the old boys network," Jones said.
"By any reasonable fair and objective criteria, we should be included in debates," Jones said. "While we were largely ignored by the media during the primary, we are still at 7% in the polls and were doing better than Teachout. Since we launched our campaign we have attracted nearly as many contributors as Cuomo. We am running an active, serious, statewide campaign. Hawkins came in third out of seven candidates in 2010 and secured a ballot line for the Green Party without riding the coattails of another party's candidate," said Jones.
WABC-TV, New York Daily News, Univision, and the League of Women Voters of NYC have offered Gov. Cuomo and Rob Astorino a prime-time debate. In 2006, when Hawkins was the Green Party's anti Iraq war alternative to Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican John Spencer, the League of Women Voters withdrew their co-sponsorship from a WABC debate because Hawkins was excluded. The sponsors so far have failed to meet the legal standard of having clear criteria for inclusion in the debate.
Jones that he was encouraged by the 40% anti-Cuomo/Hochul votes in the Democratic primary.
"Many New Yorkers reject Cuomo's corruption and conservative economic policies. Those voters should agree with my platform to ban fracking, fully fund our schools, ending high-stakes testing, tax the rich, lower working people's taxes, and build 100% clean energy by 2030 to combat climate change, lower energy costs, and create millions of middle-income jobs in construction and manufacturing," Hawkins said.
Hawkins and the Green Party are helping to mobilize New Yorkers to participate in largest climate change march in history in NYC on Sept. 21 to demand action by the UN Climate Summit on global warming.
Hawkins and Jones call their platform a Green New Deal for New York, which features public jobs for the unemployed, a $15 minimum wage, single payer health care, and fully funded public education from universal pre-K to tuition-free CUNY and SUNY. They would increase public investment in affordable housing, public transportation, and clean energy.
"By making the rich pay what they used to, we can cut taxes for 95% of New Yorkers, increase state revenues by 20%, revitalize the public sector, and enable local governments to permanently and substantially cut our highest-in-the-nation property taxes," Jones added.