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“Ms. Teachout is correct to point out the problems with the conservative voting record and beliefs of Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul. Cuomo selected Hochul because he wanted a conservative that would appeal to the voters in Western NY, a majority of whom favored his far right 2010 Republican opponent, Carl Pallodino. This is just another example of Cuomo putting his short term political interests ahead of what best for New York State residents,” said Hawkins.Read more
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, today called upon Zephyr Teachout, one of three Democrats running for Governor, to support open debates that includes Hawkins and Randy Credico.
Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate badly trailing in the polls, yesterday said that he and Teachout were negotiating to do a TV debate since Cuomo won't debate Teachout (or Credico) during the Democratic primary.
"If you want to portray yourself as a good government candidate, then you should support inclusive debates, not just discard your principles to get some media coverage. And with Astorino and Cuomo having so many ballot lines, guaranteeing them a spot in the general election, the reality is that any debate involving either one of them should be open to any candidate that will also be on the ballot for the general election. That had been the requirement for many years for the League of Women Voters," said Hawkins.
Astorino does not have a primary opponent, thus any debate involving him is a general election debate.
Hawkins noted that compared to Astorino and Teachout, he will be the only one "celebrating victory" on election night in November. He said that an Astorino-Teachout debate would be the equivalent of a Consolation bowl.
Hawkins said that he wanted Teachout to clarify her position on open debates, since it was Astorino who claimed to the media that such a debate was being organized.
"If a Democratic challenger was already making backroom deals with Republicans to exclude political voices, then they would be more qualified to hold office as a Democrat in Albany than anyone could have anticipated," noted Hawkins.
Hawkins noted that the League of Women Voters guideline said that sponsors of debates, including the media, need to develop criteria for debates before inviting the candidates. Hawkins has been getting 7% in the polls whereas the pollsters say they don't include Teachout in voter preferences because she is doing so poorly that she had no chance in the primary. Astorino has been polling so poorly that he is more of a threat to set the record for the lowest vote total ever for a Republican gubernatorial candidate than he is to defeat Cuomo.
Hawkins said that since Credico is a professional impersonator, he could also mimic Cuomo if the sponsors wanted a debate with the five major candidates.
(State Fair, Syracuse NY) Howie Hawkins, the Green Party for Governor, said today that one of the reasons he supports a ban on hydrofracking of natural gas is to protect water supplies and farmland.
Hawkins participated in a rally against fracking at the State Fair today.
Hawkins said as Governor he would promote strong regional food systems, increasing markets for New York farmers and help family farmers. He said while Cuomo has promoted himself as a supporter of local food, his administration has often resisted efforts to increase the state purchase of local foods.
“Farmer and consumers are natural allies. The government should represent the interests of farmers and consumers instead of the corporate oligopolies of the food and agriculture industry. Giant vertically-integrated food and agricultural corporations stand in the middle of marketing, processing, wholesaling, distributing, and retailing to make monopolistic profits by squeezing both farmers and consumers. Much can be done to more directly connect famers and consumers and minimize middleman costs,” said Hawkins.Read more
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD JUSTICE
Food is a necessity and a fundamental human right. All people have a right to sufficient, safe, and nutritional food. Those who produce it have a right to a fair return for their labor. Food should be produced in an ecologically sustainable manner.
New York is a major agricultural state: 1st in yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream; 2nd in apples, wine, maple syrup, and cabbage; 3rd in milk, corn for silage, and grapes; 4th for tart cherries and pears. Most New York farms are family farms, with a 200 acre average that is about half the national average. Milk production accounts for nearly half of New York's agricultural sales.
New York's cities and farms depend on each other for food and markets. But less than 10% of NYS food production is sold direct to consumers.
Farmer and consumers are natural allies. The government should represent the interests of farmers and consumers instead of the corporate oligopolies of the food and agriculture industry. Giant vertically-integrated food and agricultural corporations stand in the middle marketing, processing, wholesaling, distributing, and retailing to make monopolistic profits by squeezing both farmers and consumers. Much can be done to more directly connect famers and consumers and minimize middleman costs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that more than two million New Yorkers, 12% of the population, do not have enough money to meet their basic nutritional needs. Over one-third of New York's residents have incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and may be eligible for federal food assistance programs such as SNAP. But these programs do not adjust for New York State's higher costs for housing, utilities and food.
A strong agricultural economy is the basis for revitalizing rural economies, repopulating rural communities, and supplying our cities with healthy food. Agriculture provides the value added that fuels commerce in the towns. It should fuel the expansion of clean green manufacturing based on biodegradable food, fuel, and fiber feedstocks. Agriculture maintains the rural landscape that is the foundation for tourism and recreation, including hunting and fishing.Read more
"The murder of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson must be investigated and prosecuted aggressively, but the crisis won't end with the punishment of an individual police officer," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York (http://www.howiehawkins.org). "Out-of-control police who respond to minor violations with overwhelming force, toleration of racist cops, siege-like conditions in some cities and city neighborhoods, and record-high incarceration -- all of these are evidence of a growing police state." (See Mr. Hawkins' statement: "Ferguson, Militarization, Federal Jurisdiction in Police Brutality," August 20,http://www.howiehawkins.org/ferguson_militarization_police_brutality)Read more
Hawkins Challenges Astorino, Cuomo to Stop Ducking Debates
(Syracuse, NY) "If Rob Astorino is so committed to having Andrew Cuomo debate Zephyr Teachout in the primary, why is he so opposed to debating me in the general election? After all, I am polling a little better than Teachout, and I am closer to Astorino in the polls than he is to Cuomo. Rob is more interested in getting some media coverage than he is in debating issues and letting voters know where the candidates stand," said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor.
Hawkins has pulled 7% in two recent polls, which would be the highest vote ever for a progressive third party candidate for Governor in New York history. Hawkins finished 3rd out of 7 candidates in the 2010 election, winning permanent ballot status for the Green Party.
Jones Pledges to Take Action against Wage Theft if Elected, Hold Bosses who Steal Criminally Liable
(Albany, NY) Brian Jones, the Green Lt. Governor candidate, said today that the State Labor Department and Attorney General needed to crack down on the epidemic of wage theft. Jones spoke at the monthly rally of the Coalition for a Real Minimum Wage Increase in front of the State Labor Department at 77 Varrick St. in New York.
"Too many bosses know that Cuomo has told the Labor Department to side with employers rather than workers. So they feel free to steal their wages, more than a billion dollars a year. A Hawkins-Jones administration will enforce the laws against wage theft, including putting bosses who steal behind bars," said Jones.
"One of the clear messages from Cuomo's decision to shut down the Moreland Commission once they wanted to investigate his campaign contributors is that Cuomo is for sale. Companies know that if they make a campaign contribution they can get the Cuomo administration to be their friends. Low-income workers don't have the money to play this corrupt game," added Jones.
The Hawkins-Jones team polled 7% of the vote in the Quinnipiac poll released today. That would be the highest vote ever for a progressive third party gubernatorial candidate in NYS, and reflects the party’s growing support among labor and worker organizations.Read more
Statement on Ferguson, Garner, Syracuse, Militarization of Police
Staten Island, Syracuse, Ohio, and Ferguson. Garner, Grant, Crawford, and Brown. Add these locations and names to the long list of young black unarmed men (and women) who are racially profiled and injured or killed at the hands of Police Departments around the country. From every corner of the US there are daily reports of police brutality and misbehavior.
As Chris Hedges recently wrote, being the object of unwarranted deadly force by police officers is part of what it means to be black and poor in America. But no matter how much blacks raise their voices against indiscriminate police violence “the killings keep coming.” The police have always been the primary means of social control. But now we are witnessing the increasing militarization of the police force, with tanks and tear gas rolling through the streets of Ferguson.
The poor, especially people of color, are unjustly targeted and victimized by our criminal justice system. From stop and frisk and broken windows, to police misbehavior, to the lack of adequate defense, to sentencing disparities, and post-conviction collateral consequences, the criminal justice system is deeply racist. The era of mass incarceration of mostly black and brown people is the backdrop of recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Hawkins Blasts Astorino for Endangering New Yorkers with Fracking;
Investment in Clean Energy is Best Job Creation Strategy
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, disagreed today with Republican contender Rob Astorino who said fracking of natural gas was a good way for New York to create jobs.
“Shame on Rob Astorino for endangering the future of generations of New Yorkers by advocating for an unsustainable and poisonous industrial process like hydrofracking. We could create millions of New York construction jobs and more than 50,000 permanent jobs by investing in transitioning to a 100% clean renewable energy system by 2030. Fracking doesn’t lead to jobs, other than maybe cleaning up the mess left over, "stated Hawkins.
Hawkins has consistently opposed the type of trickle-down, corporate welfare approaches to job creation that Astorino articulated today and which Cuomo has pushed over the last four years.Read more
Hawkins Administration Would Deny Permit for LPG Storage along Seneca Lake and
Challenge Natural Gas Storage Implementation Plan Submitted to FERC
Green gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins announced today that his administration would deny the pending permit applications of Crestwood Midstream and its subsidiaries to store liquefied propane gas (LPG) and expand natural gas storage in the depleted salt caverns along Seneca Lake. Local residents are protesting today against the project in Watkins Glens.
In addition, a Hawkins administration would challenge the adequacy of the implementation plan Arlington Storage Company submitted to FERC on August 12 to construct and operate a natural gas storage facility along Seneca Lake. Hawkins said the Arlington plan is not in compliance with the FERC Certificate issued May 15.
“The risks of these gas storage projects are too great,” Hawkins said. “The shores of Seneca Lake are not an appropriate location for a gas storage 'hub.' The salt caverns are too geologically unstable. It would only take one accident to turn visitors away from the region. We need to promote the Finger Lake’s booming winery and tourist economy, not threaten their existence.”
“All this natural gas infrastructure is premised on fracking and will ruin what's left of the upstate economy. I will protect the Finger Lakes and their wineries, farms, and tourist economy. I will ban fracking. I will halt all new fossil fuel infrastructure. And I will devote all new energy investments in New York to building a 100% clean energy system by 2030. That is how we will create good jobs, cut power costs, and revitalize the upstate economy,” Hawkins said.Read more