A.G. Debate Heats Up: Who Will Really Clean Up Albany?

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from political conversations on WNYC.  With just a couple of weeks to go the issue of which candidate for Attroney General is most likely to root out corruption in Albany continues to dominate the debate.

On the Brian Lehrer Show, Republican Attorney General candidate Dan Donovan said that his Democratic opponent, Senator Eric Schneiderman's time in Albany would make him "incapable" of investigating his colleagues independently:

We didn't always need a prosecutor as our attorney general...but at this time in our history with the issues that are facing this state, we need a prosecutor who is independent of the governor's office. I'm not saying that you can never be a legislator and be the attorney general, but right now in our state's history, it demands a prosecutor in that position.

In previous debates, state Senator Eric Schneiderman has pointed to his central role in expelling fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate from the State Senate, after his crimnal conviction on a doemstic violence charge, as an exmaple of his independence.

Donovan says the next Attorney General can't be perceived as having a political agenda:

I think what New Yorkers are hungry for right now is some independence, someone who has no ties to Albany, no ties to those special interests, who has conducted himself in a non-partisan way. Leading the Staten Island DA's office, I bet you if you ask Staten Islanders they wouldn't know if I'm a Democrat or Republican the way we've conducted ourselves.

He calls himself a "centrist" and a "moderate," but also says it's time for a Republican to chime in:

I think the people of our state need a balance in governement.  I think we've been lacking that. One party has been ruling our state government for too long and that's part of the corruption and dysfunction that we're facing now. I think traditionally New Yorkers are ticket splitters and they realize that we need a Republican watch dog in the Attorney General's office.

Listen to the entire conversation on the Brian Lehrer Show.