The back and forth between Democratic attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman and Republican Dan Donovan continued in earnest today, with four days to go until the election.
Schneiderman, a state senator, again went after Donovan, Staten Island district attorney, on abortion and about an allegedly mob-connected construction company that sought New York City contracts. He also released a “plan to work toward an energy future without the Indian Point nuclear power plant” in Westchester County. Meanwhile, Donovan spent some time campaigning with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani today.
Schneiderman said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have petitioned the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to deny the owner of the plant, Entergy Corp., to renew Indian Point’s operating license. Schneiderman said he would continue the office’s opposition to re-licensing Indian Point; encourage the development of clean energy sources; work with power companies, businesses and government to reduce energy demand; and pursue other measures.
“It is simply irresponsible to permit the re-licensing of a dangerous, obsolete nuclear plant with a long history of safety violations and no viable escape route in the event of an accident or terrorist attack,” he said in a statement. “Now more than ever it is critical that we develop alternative clean energy sources to protect the people of this state from harm and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
Giuliani campaigned with Donovan, Staten Island district attorney, at Grand Central Terminal in New York City today and sang his praises during Donovan’s last weekly campaign call with the news media.
“He has already as district attorney shown the independence that is going to be necessary to deal with one of the most corrupt governments in the United States,” Giuliani said, referring to Albany. “It’s a disgrace.”
Giuliani said Schneiderman is “part of the problem. He’s not part of the solution,” and called him a “typical Manhattan limousine liberal” who would advocate for criminals over victims. On the other hand, Donovan is one of the most well-regarded DA’s in the state, Giuliani said.
The Schneiderman campaign responded with criticism of Donovan’s record, saying the district attorney is changing the subject because murder and rape rates in Staten Island have increased during his tenure.
“By contrast, Eric Schneiderman has been a national leader in cracking down on gun violence, led the effort to close crack houses, and threw a colleague of his own party out of the Senate after he was convicted of domestic violence,” spokesman James Freeland said. “And just this week Eric was endorsed by three of the four biggest newspapers north of New York City, who all said that Eric is the leader with the record, integrity, and substantive plans to continue the work of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.”
Donovan would not disclose how much money his campaign received during a big-ticket fundraiser in New York City this week, which was attended by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He said the campaign exceeded its goal and received enough money to carry it through Tuesday. Schneiderman, who won a five-way Democratic primary, has been better funded throughout the campaign.
The Schneiderman camp continued to hammer Donovan on the issue of Donovan’s receiving an award from a crisis pregnancy center on Staten Island while he worked for the borough president for helping the center obtain grants. The center assists women who want to carry babies to term and doesn’t provide abortion services. Donovan has not disclosed the source or amount of grants. Schneiderman is pro-choice; Donovan is pro-life but has said he would enforce current law, which gives women a right to choose.
Schneiderman has gone after Donovan about an alleged mob-connected company that sought to get a contract with New York City. The campaign cited an e-mail from Bernard Kerik — a former New York City police commissioner who is serving jail time for fraud — that said Donovan was helping it get city contracts. Donovan was chief of staff to the Staten Island borough president at the time.
Giuliani said on the phone call that the company was found to be unqualified for a city contract because it hadn’t sufficiently demonstrated it was free of organized crime. But the Schneiderman campaign contends the company received $73 million in city contracts before being shut down.
The Donovan campaign has attempted to tie Schneiderman with alleged misconduct on the part of state officials, including senators, in awarding Aqueduct Entertainment Group the original contract to build video-lottery terminals at Aqueduct in Queens. The revelations were in a recent report from the state inspector general. AEG’s contract was previously withdrawn and another company was awarded the job. Schneiderman has said he was one of a few senators who voted against relaxing the contract process for awarding the Aqueduct contract and had no involvement with AEG.