Legislative Gazette: Wall Street now has two candidates in its pocket


Howie Hawkins says that both Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio represent Wall Street, while he is the only one representing average working New Yorkers. 

by Sarah L. Evans
June 07, 2010


Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins has some harsh words for both his Republican and Democratic opponents now that the two main parties have solidified their tickets for November.


Hawkins says both Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio, the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, respectively, both represent Wall Street and not the average worker in New York.


While he agrees with Cuomo on the need to stop gerrymandering of district lines as well as instill stronger ethics laws and independent oversight of lawmakers, Hawkins said there needs to be more fundamental changes, including the elimination of member items and the utilization of a proportional representation election system.


"Cuomo's fiscal cuts and corporate welfare proposals will reinforce a vicious circle of debt and depression. Reduced public spending when private sector business and household demand is depressed will further depress the economy, reduce tax revenues and lead to more public spending cuts to balance the budget," said Hawkins.


Hawkins said that Republican nominee Rick Lazio represents Wall Street as well and that his recent nomination to run gives financiers and corporate leaders two candidates.


"Boss Tweed always felt that the voters should select the winner — as long as he got to select the candidates. Mr. Lazio has made millions in fees from Wall Street since his last statewide race," Hawkins said.


He said the rich should pay more in taxes which could be used to fund schools, parks, health care and other public services.


"The problem is that for decades we have given huge tax breaks to the richest 5 percent and especially the top 1 percent that owns 70 percent of all financial assets. If the rich paid their fair share of taxes, we would have a budget surplus, not a deficit," Hawkins said.


Cuomo has promised to clean up Albany by reforming ethics laws and creating an independent ethics commission, disclosing outside income sources and clients, and decreasing the amount of power a company or individual has over a legislator, according to his campaign platform.


But Hawkins said, "Andrew Cuomo is not going to clean up Albany anymore than Mario Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer, or David Paterson did."


Hawkins criticized Cuomo for barely touching environmental issues in his 250-page campaign platform.


Hawkins is calling on Cuomo to refuse corporate donations during his campaign.

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