Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins along with activist and perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader discussed issues at the heart of Hawkins’ campaign at a news conference in Albany today.
Hawkins said that, as a part of his “Green New Deal” he wants to impose a sales tax on stock transfers. The tax would amount only to one-twentieth of 1 percent of each transfer and bring in an estimated $16 billion. New York state sales tax is currently 4 percent, and most counties have 4 percent sales taxes.
The California-born candidate for New York’s highest seat said he wants to borrow the banking system of North Dakota for the Empire State. His proposed bank would be managed by a publicly elected board.
“Today New York businesses that can’t get credit and consumers need a public bank,” said Hawkins. “We can free local businesses from a predatory Wall Street.”
Nader said that although third-party candidates rarely win in elections, their campaigns often yield positive results.
“This is for voters who want to vote for their conscience,” said Nader.
In addition to his platform and proposals, Hawkins discussed Monday night’s gubernatorial debate at Hofstra University. Hawkins said that he thought it was a good initial debate, letting him and the other minor-party candidates get some recognition along with the major party candidates who are “selling themselves like Coke and Pepsi,” he said.
The downfall of the debate, according to Hawkins, was the lack of time available to get to all of the issues he wanted to get to. He said at least two more debates are needed.
— Jacob Fischler, Gannett Albany Bureau