During the last decade, NY State has had more politicians of both political parties convicted and thrown out of office for misusing public authority than the next worst five states combined. The list includes prominent Democrats and Republicans. Both engage in the same exact “pay to play” culture and both depend on legalized bribery to raise funds and perpetuate their careers. I support a sweeping public finance law which will disconnect the process of seeking political office from major monied interests. Only through such reform and the prosecution and punishment of those who exploit their position for personal gain will public corruption be abated in our State. I am accepting no large campaign contributions from anyone and no corporate funds at all. I detest the misuse of public authority and will strengthen the Public Integrity Unit to extirpate corruption from State and local government. I owe no allegiance to a single political boss and that will never change. I can and will fight corruption head on and without fear or favor.
All of my grandparents emigrated to this country as did the extended families of a vast majority of people in our State. We regenerate our society and culture by enthusiastically integrating people of different backgrounds and nationalities. Immigration is as essential to America as is patriotism. I am utterly repelled by those who want to close our borders, dismember families and deport parents back to countries many fled due to profound economic hardship and/or political oppression. We lack the resources to adjudicate each of these cases and I support an amnesty program for all who have come, legally or not, and respected our laws upon their arrival. I do not want to destroy lives because we have and have had a broken immigration system. I want to encourage all to contribute to this wonderful State.
PROTECTING WORKERS SAFETY AND RIGHTS
New York officers non-unionized private sector workers no protection. Many have visited my office with horrific stories of arbitrary terminations. Many have been fired after revealing corrupt practices at their companies or for trivial reasons. I support legislation which will alter the “at will” nature of employment in New York. Just as most union members can grieve and arbitrate dismissals and show that no just cause premised that adverse employment action, so must non-union workers have this protection. I also pledge to re-double efforts to protect worker health and safety. Accidents at the workplace are too common often with disastrous effects. Greater enforcement is required and the AG should play a pivotal role in insuring safer workplaces.
CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL
I have spent 40 years as a civil rights lawyer. When I started, civil rights was about racial discrimination. Sadly, we still face far too much of that. But now, our laws protect many from discrimination. Yet, our Attorney General’s office is a weak actor, not avidly enforcing these laws and leaving that expensive process to individuals who are often foreclosed access to the courts. The New York State Division of Human Rights is a wildly dysfunctional agency, dilatory to the extreme. I will insure that our state’s civil rights laws are enforced and will encourage aggrieved persons to contact my office for assistance.
AN INDEPENDENT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Currently, Attorney Generals run as part of a slate of candidates affiliated with major political parties. The successful candidate is beholden to that political party and this inevitably and necessarily limits his or her pursuit of political corruption. S/he is also primarily engaged in defending often unconscionable actions committed by State agencies and their manager/employees. I will not knee-jerk defend state agencies when they engage in actions which violate our laws and endanger civil rights, public health and safety and the environment. Instead, I will deliver this message to those agencies and their managers: Clean your act up and do not expect my office to defend the indefensible. Likewise, I will foster settlements with the victims of state sponsored “bad acts,” not torture them with years of litigation. To deliver on these promises, I cannot be and will not be beholden to political deal-makers. I harbor no further political ambition and will run the AG’s office in a manner calculated to extirpate both corruption and bias of every sort.
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One of the most critical functions of the next Attorney General is to ensure that our means and methods of powering our state do not kill us in the process. Our President has recklessly repudiated the Paris Climate treaty. New York has chosen to reject fracking. However, we are witness to the construction of a massive fracking infrastructure which fosters dependence on unsustainable energy sources and diverts resources from our real challenge – the development and mass use of energy from alternative, sustainable resources. I do not view this issue as divorced from the role of the Attorney General. Instead, protecting the health and welfare of our environment will require innovative legal strategies which I will champion.
© 2016, DesignWorks/SOS. All rights reserved.
10,000 People Fundraising Campaign:
Only donations of $180 or less will be accepted. Please send contributions to: Sussman for NY State AG, P.O. Box 1005, Goshen, NY 10924