Blogs > Saratogian Newsroom

The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, February 28

The other Green man of the 21st *Updated*

Donald L. Hassig is one of two men running for the Green Party line in the 21st Congressional District. He was unavailable when I wrote about the primary, the candidacy of Matt Funiciello and the divergence of Hassig and the Green Party the last time he ran for that seat. 

Unlike his Green Party competition, Hassig said he doesn't believe he can win this election. "I'm in it to win it in 2020," he said, echoing himself in 2012 when he first ran for Congress. "I'm not going to win. No Green Party candidate is going to win. The purpose of this campaign is to get media attention on the issues." He said without his influence, "Fracking would have never been discussed at all (in 2012)."

Don't tell that to Funiciello, though, who said "This isn't an issues campaign. I'm in it to win it."

Here are Hassig's major campaign issues, as he relayed them to me:

1- Stop hydrofracking in the US entirely. "If we don't have a healthy environment, no matter what else we do we're sunk."
2- Free healthcare for all Americans.
3- Free education to all Americans through graduate school. "It's such a basic necessity. People shouldn't have to incur huge debts and drag them down. Our country can afford this."
4- Free organic food for all Americans. "Our country shouldn't be just about getting people what they have to have, but about giving the country wonderful things."
5- He wants to pay for the last three with taxes on "financial instruments... Any time you are making money off of selling money."
6- A jobs program that promotes more teachers  (for the free education) more doctors (for the free healthcare) and more farmers (for the free organic food).
7- Get out of the World Trade Organization and renegotiate Free Trade agreements.

As for other political issues Hassig has seen: in 2012 when he ran for the seat, Hassig was denounced by the Green Party for comments he made on immigrant labor on North Country farms, particularly dairy farms.

“I do not want Mexicans on the farms of St. Lawrence County, or the farms of Clinton County, or the farms of Washington County — any of these farms,” Hassig said, according to North Country Public Radio.

"I'm not a racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body. I didn't think about racism (when I said it). I said it straight from the heart. The reason I said 'I would like to see them get their asses kicked out of here' is because it is not good for the American people, for American farming and for American cattle."

He said dairy farming is a complicated business and when the boss speaks English but the workers only speak Spanish, it can create issues. "I do not approve of immigrant laborers who do not speak English working on American dairy farms."

Plus, he said, it takes jobs way from Americans.

 But he said he forgives the Green Party for denouncing him, despite it being "pure bad behavior, (since) they weren't interested in my explanation."

*Update*

Originally, the blog post stated:

As for his Green opponent, Funiciello, Hassig said he is the product of the Green Party becoming elitist. "There is a caste system here in America," he said, and the Green Party is putting a business man over a "grassroots activist."

But Hassig said that is not what he meant.

"I said that the Green Party leadership, meaning Gloria Matera, Michael O'Neil, and Peter LaVenia did not like me because they were elitists and I was a person from the lower levels of American society.

 I do not have any reason for believing that Matt Funiciello was recruited by the Green Party leadership to enter the NY-21 race. I certainly did not say that the Green Party was putting a businessman over a grassroots activist. Your article makes me appear to have a negative attitude toward Mr. Funiciello. I have a positive attitude toward him."

He did, in fact, have a positive attitude toward Funiciello when I spoke to him. He also said he believed the Green Party establishment was becoming elitist, however, at one point he also said Green voters were more likely to support Hassig, as a "grassroots activist."

*End of Update*

The state's Green Party co-chair said the party will not be endorsing either candidate before June 24 primary.

Meanwhile, Funiciello said he doesn't believe Hassig was a serious candidate, since he dropped out before the 2012 election to endorse Democrat Bill Owens.

"That was a mistake," Hassig now says, and that he did it at the time because Owens' opponent (and current candidate) Matt Doheney was "such  total fracking cheerleader" and he considered Owens "the lesser of two evils."

Despite the two Green candidates' differences, they both agree the Green primary will be good for the party. "I like the idea of more Green issues being brought up and more people talking about them," Hassig said.

Labels: , , , ,

2 Comments:

Blogger Donald Hassig said...

In this blog post, Mr. McCarty states the following.

As for his Green opponent, Funiciello, Hassig said he is the product of the Green Party becoming elitist. "There is a caste system here in America," he said, and the Green Party is putting a business man over a "grassroots activist."

I did not say this or anything like it. I said that the Green Party leadership, meaning Gloria Matera, Michael O'Neil, and Peter LaVenia did not like me because they were elitists and I was a person from the lower levels of American society.

I do not have any reason for believing that Matt Funiciello was recruited by the Green Party leadership to enter the NY-21 race. I certainly did not say that the Green Party was putting a businessman over a grassroots activist.

March 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM 
Blogger Lucian McCarty said...

Mr. Hassig, I beg to differ on your statement "I didn't say this or anything like it" and I already posted your comments above.

March 4, 2014 at 3:44 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home