Editor’s note: As regular Long Island Press readers know, this space is typically reserved for The Conversation, a weekly feature wherein a number of Press writers (and occasional guests) debate some issue of the day. It is not always reserved for The Conversation, though: Two weeks ago, we ran a new piece by former Press columnist Michael Martino in this space, under the same heading as his old column, Dry Martino. And this week, once again, we’re changing it up. Republican former Senator Alfonse D’Amato got his start in politics on Long Island, as public administrator of Nassau County, then Hempstead tax assessor, and later still, Hempstead Town supervisor. He climbed the political ladder, eventually serving as our U.S. senator for 18 years. D’Amato wanted to weigh in on this election’s attorney general race, and while the Long Island Press is not officially endorsing any candidates, we do want to encourage a lively and spirited debate on all the races in this year’s election. To be clear, the views expressed here are D’Amato’s own, and do not reflect those of the Long Island Press or its editorial staff.
Do you want Reverend Al Sharpton to have a say in our state’s judicial policies? No? Well, that’s exactly what will take place if Eric Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate for New York State Attorney General, is elected on Nov. 2.
On Aug. 25, Schneiderman stood on the front steps of City Hall and proclaimed that if he’s elected, the Rev. Al Sharpton and his so-called justice group, the National Action Network, “will have an annex in Albany for the first time in state history.”
Now, politicians have been known to do a lot of pandering to get elected, but to prostitute the office of attorney general for the support of a controversial figure like Al Sharpton hits an all-time low. It’s also very scary.
To make matters worse, Schneiderman called Sharpton’s endorsement the “Good Housekeeping seal of approval from the man from the House of Justice.” Our state’s justice system is too important to be imperiled by someone who pledges to use Al Sharpton as his beacon of justice.
Not surprisingly, the issue has been almost untouched by the left-wing media. Imagine if Dan Donovan, the Republican candidate, said the same thing about Pat Robertson, or another right-wing religious figure. The New York Times would have a field day! Instead, they continue to plug Schneiderman and endorse his candidacy.
Even former New York City Mayor Koch, a Democrat, endorsed Donovan!
Schneiderman should be disqualified from becoming our next attorney general. When someone running for the position of attorney general or any office of any state, says that one individual or group should have an annex in their office, they are prostituting the office. The privilege of the office belongs solely to the people. The fact that Schneiderman is already promising his cronies a voice is an example of what type of administration we will witness if he’s elected.
It is said that you can learn a lot about a man from the company he keeps. An attorney general needs good judgment; Schneiderman has demonstrated that he lacks this quality. He has a long history of allowing special interests to run rampant in Albany. Over the last 12 years, Schneiderman has formed tight ties with the powerful teachers’ and health care workers’ unions, and recognizes the Working Families Party as one of his largest supporters.
Now we can add the National Action Network, one of the largest nonprofit scams in this country, to that list. The NAN collects millions of dollars annually in so-called donations from America’s largest corporations. Despite their revenue, they have trouble paying their taxes. At one point, the group owed $1.5 million in back taxes.
Like Sharpton, Schneiderman also believes that he’s above the law. Last July, Schneiderman left the scene of an automobile accident that caused $3,000 in damage without so much as leaving a note. He only admitted his role in the accident after a witness fingered him. Apparently Schneiderman must not understand the law that when there’s an accident and the owner of the other vehicle isn’t present, it still must be reported to the police.
What did the Times do after this incident? They endorsed Schneiderman. They would make you believe he’s an angel! Let me tell you, if he becomes attorney general, watch out, because he’ll promise one thing and live a totally different way.
This isn’t partisan politics. Regardless of whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this vote is about common sense and good judgment. A vote for Eric Schneiderman is effectively a vote to give Al Sharpton and the rest of Schneiderman’s cronies’ undue influence on the attorney general’s office.
On Nov. 2, say no to Schneiderman and vote for Dan Donovan. Donovan will fight for the best interests of 19 million New Yorkers and not just the interests of a select few.