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The Corruption at the Heart of Moreland Commission Goes Far Beyond Watergate
A Joint Statement by Howie Hawkins and Ramon Jimenez
The Green Party was the main critic of the Moreland Commission when it was first created in July of 2013. Our warnings, unheeded as they were, have unfortunately proven true.
"The Green Party said it was doubtful that the Commission would do much to prosecute elected officials for corruption, despite the tidal wave of cases against state legislators in the last decade brought by US Attorneys, not countyDA’s. The Commission is just another bully pulpit for the Governor to talk but not act on ethics and campaign finance reform in the state legislature – something he was not up to the task of pushing through during his first three years in office.
"Cuomo’s own fundraising needs to be a principal target of the newly appointed Moreland Commission, starting with his enormous contributions from the gambling industry, the nearly $30 million he has secured for his re-election, and the $15 to $17 million in unreported funding he raised to support his agenda. The Commission needs to place donors under oath to determine whether they were seeking favors in exchange for their contributions."Read more
Hawkins says New York Should Adopt Single Payer, Medicare for All
(Syracuse, NY) On Medicare's 49th birthday, Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called for New York to enact an improved and expanded Medicare for All program, also known as single payer.
"New York must treat health care as a human right. The state's own study showed that we would reduce overall health care costs by nearly $30 billion annually by 2019 if we had a single payer health care program rather than the insurance mandates of Obamacare," noted Hawkins.Read more
An Open Letter from Howie Hawkins for Governor and Brian Jones for Lt. Governor to New York Teachers
An Open Letter from Howie Hawkins for Governor and Brian Jones for Lt. Governor to New York Teachers - Green Party
The battle for the future of our schools is heating up. On one side are powerful and wealthy figures who see our public schools as a potential source of profit. On the other side are parents, teachers, and students who are fighting to defend and improve our public schools.Read more
Jimenez: Schneiderman Fails to Prosecute Corruption, Asleep on Moreland
(Bronx, NY) Ramon Jimenez, the Green Party candidate for Attorney General, criticized Eric Schneiderman today for his ongoing failure to prosecute corruption.
The Green Party last week raised the question of why Schneiderman had not played an active role in protecting the Moreland Commission from interference by the Governor.
"We are glad that others are now asking the same questions about Schneiderman's complicity in Cuomo's efforts to prevent an independent investigation into political corruption. Unfortunately, this just part of the pattern of Schneiderman avoiding prosecuting those with political power," said Jimenez, a graduate of Harvard Law School who provides legal services to low-income residents of the Bronx.Read more
In response to the Israeli war in Gaza, the Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones, the Green Party candidates for Governor and Lt. governor of NY released the following statement:
We denounce Israel's ongoing slaughter of the people of Gaza. Each day brings news of a rising death toll, with it a nearly 80% civilian casualty rate. This can hardly be considered an accident when Israel has targeted and bombed at least 46 schools, 56 mosques, and 7 hospitals. Gaza's only Power Plant was bombed 3 times in a single night. Its water supply and sewage systems have also been targeted.
As Governor and Lt. Governor of NY State, we can -- and will -- support the efforts to Boycott, Sanction and Divest from Israeli firms. New York State must divest from it's financial relationships with the State of Israel until it ceases the systematic and ongoing violation of Palestinian human rights. This is a policy the Green Party of the United states has supported since 2005.Read more
Hawkins: Minimum Wage Board should Support $15 an hour, end tip deduction, take action on wage theft
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called today for the newly appointed minimum wage board to raise the wage to at least $15 an hour.
The minimum wage board was announced today after Cuomo had delayed action for more than 14 months, despite being directed by lawmakers to provide a hike to food tip workers excluded from last year's minimum wage deal.
Today's New York Times article on the Moreland Commission is a disturbing documentation of the ongoing efforts by Governor Cuomo and his staff to prevent an independent investigation into corruption at the State Capitol. Mr. Cuomo's behavior, including deceiving the public as to the workings of the Commission, falls far short of the minimum ethical standards for the highest elected official in our state.
Even the Commission's one watered down report stated that state government is “a pay-to-play political culture driven by large checks." Cuomo is the kingpin of that domain, as his $40 million plus election war chest highlights. Cuomo and his staff however ensured that key issues that would reflect badly on him were stricken from the report, especially information that investigators had learned about the powerful Real Estate Board of New York and its political donations.
While we are encouraged that the US Attorney has picked up investigations dropped by Cuomo's disbanding of the Commission, this story makes clear the urgent need for an independent criminal and ethical investigation of the activities of Mr. Cuomo, starting with the enormous amount of massive campaign contributions he has raised during his tenure. This investigation needs to examine the funds that Governor has raised - and spent - for various party and independent committees that he has controlled, as well as the potential misuse of public funds to promote his candidacy.Read more
Press Conference for Green candidates at the
Green Party's 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota
Statement by Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor of New York
30 years ago right here, at Macalester College in St. Paul, I participated in the first national meeting called to organize a Green Party in the United States. I have been a Green Party organizer ever since.
Four years ago I was the Green candidate for Governor of New York. I finished 3rd out of 7 candidates.
This year I am polling more than four times higher, with 6% in the last two polls. That would be the highest vote for an independent progressive gubernatorial candidate in New York history. We are closer in the polls to the Republican candidate, Rob Astorino, than he is to the Democratic incumbent, Andrew Cuomo.Read more
Hawkins: NY Should Provide Sanctuary to Refugee Children
Yesterday Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, held a news conference where he supported the efforts by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Bishop Robert Cunningham of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse to provide accommodations for child refugees from violence in Central America. This evening he will be participating in a community meeting in Syracuse in support of the refugees.
“It is sad to see some quarters pit taking care of our children against taking care of these refugee children. We ought to take care of all children,” Hawkins said.
“Children are fleeing the end results of U.S. intervention in Central America, from neoliberal economic policies like the North American Free Trade Agreement to the Drug War to military spending. The poverty and violence they are escaping is a glimpse at our future if we continue to follow the economic policies promoted by Cuomo and Astorino,” Hawkins noted in urging New York to provide sanctuary to these victims.Read more
Questions the Media Should Ask Candidates Teachout and Astorino About Education
Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor, released “Eight Questions the Media Should Ask the Candidates About Education” in response to rumors of a joint press conference between Republican candidate Rob Astorino and one of Andrew Cuomo's primary challengers, Zephyr Teachout:
1. Do you support weakening teacher tenure?
Howie Hawkins: I support teacher tenure.
2. Do you believe the state should do more to promote charter schools, including co-location?
Hawkins: I oppose charter schools as another form of education privatization.
3. Do you think segregation is a major problem in NYS Schools, and if so, what would you do to correct it?
Hawkins: Yes. Segregation is a major problem. We need to invest in more public and affordable housing in the suburbs and cities: scattered-site, mixed-income, mixed-race, clean energy positive, carbon negative – this is a program not only for desegregation in schools, but also for jobs, housing, energy and residential race and class desegregation.
4. Do you support replacing high-stakes testing of students, teachers, and schools with qualitative, collaborative assessments of students and teachers?
5. NYS schools are cumulatively underfunded by $9 billion. Would you commit to fully funding schools, especially in poor inner city and rural districts, and how would you fund it?
Hawkins: Yes, we can fully fund our public schools by raising taxes on the wealthiest 5% and keeping the stock transfer tax rebate.
6. Should New York provide free universal school meals to all students?
7. Do you support free tuition at CUNY and SUNY?
8. Do you support amending or repealing the Triborough Amendment to to give school districts more leverage with teachers unions in negotiating salaries and health care and pension benefits?