Streams

The Debate Debate in the AG Race

Monday, June 21, 2010 - 11:56 AM

WNYC

One of the most important parts of any campaign is getting opponents to answer the questions you want them to. It’s the debate about the debate, if you will.

In the attorney generals’ race, the debate debate is about Rockefeller Drug Law reform, which each of the five Democratic candidates say they support. The question now is, who supported it when? And did everyone really support it?

Eric Schneiderman’s strategy in the race is to argue that Kathleen Rice didn’t support it early enough, and therefore, is too conservative for the Democratic primary.

Joining him in that line of attack is Richard Brodsky, who, with Schneiderman, are key critics of Rice in a New York Times story. One key feature of the Times story: Rice’s remarks to the Westbury Times where in November she said she would “reserve judgment” on the law’s changes.

Ouch.

In response to the Times story today, Schneiderman’s campaign sent out a statement saying various news organizations have agreed to his call to host a debate, with Rice, exclusively on this issue.

Rice’s campaign says they will debate (they participated in a forum this morning, actually) but consider Schndierman’s call for a debate exclusively on this issue (or any one particular issue) something of a campaign stunt.

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Comments [2]

You know what is tiresome? Kathleen Rice's little campaign trolls seeking all the negative stories about her and trying to attack the other candidates. What a pathetic campaign run by a pathetic candidate.

This debate DOES matter, but Democrats want to elect a democrat. Kathleen Rice was a REPUBLICAN -- that's right -- a LIFELONG REPUBLICAN until just 6 years ago!!! That's why this debate matters. Its the central criminal justice issue of our time, and she sided with the REPUBLICANS. She is WRONG for NYers, and the worst candidate in this race. I'm a Dinallo supporter, but Schneiderman deserves a ton of credit for Rockefeller reform. It was his bill. For Rice to try and say she supported it is ridiculous; for her to try and say anything negative about Schneiderman on the subject is absurd and disingenuous. Cuomo is aleady backing away from her because she is a weak candidate. Luckily, it will only be a matter of time before she has to drop out!

Jun. 21 2010 11:01 PM
Paul Innis

This debate is tiresome. How about Schneiderman get on with issues that currently matter. Of course Rice had reservations about the Rockefeller Drug Law. Senators who can't pass a budget were taking away discretion from prosecutors that they felt they should have and giving the discretion to unaccountable judges. That was the issue. According to what I've read Rice didn't need the Senate to pass a law to have low-level drug dealers diverted into programs. And her Hempstead initiative is the most progressive diversion program in the nation. You reporters who are writing about this clearly have an agenda. As a black man, it is ironic to see the four white guys trying to beat on the woman.

Jun. 21 2010 08:58 PM

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