Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NARAL's Late Term Ethics

We're wondering if the media will pick up on the latest Wayne Barrett expose on the questionable ethics of AG candidate Eric Schneiderman? What has gotten our attention this time is the underhanded nature of the relationship between Schneiderman and NARAL-a group that is apparently a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Schneiderman campaign:

"NARAL New York just produced a video and hosted a press conference for Eric Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate for attorney general. NARAL has yet to even endorse Andrew Cuomo, the sitting attorney general who is running for governor. Yet it is governors who shape abortion policy; New York attorney generals have virtually no effect on it.To compound the paradox, Schneiderman is running against a moderate Republican, Dan Donovan, who is pro-life except in cases of incest and rape and vows to "take the appropriate action against anyone who tries to interfere with a woman's right to choose." Cuomo is opposed by Carl Paladino, who is against abortion even in cases of incest and rape, vows to cut funding for abortion groups and calls abortion a "fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life." Why?

As always in politics, it's about the Benjamins: "Irwin Schneiderman, the candidate's wealthy father, has been a board member of NARAL for at least a decade, was once its chair, and also served as the treasurer of its political action committee, stepping down from his NARAL posts in April, according to Samantha Levine, the abortion rights league's spokeswoman. Levine concedes that the senior Schneiderman has been the single largest donor to its political action committee, giving at least $75,000 in the last 6 years. In fact, Schneiderman was the only donor to each NARAL PAC through different two-year cycles, and has accounted for 50 percent of its Women's Health PAC's funding since 2004 and 47 percent of the total raised by the second PAC."

This is-pay attention all you Espada attack dogs-a corrupt bargain; and is reminiscent for us of the relationship between certain environmental groups and our Carbon Big Foot mayor. Put simply, by being on the Schneiderman pad, NARAL has, in our view, forfeited any right to speak on behalf of this issue during the current election cycle. And as far as its hose pet Schneiderman is concerned, we now know why Sir Eric is trying to make abortion a center piece of his AG campaign-we certainly know it isn't aggressive law enforcement; apparently an anathema to the very liberal senator.

But this goes beyond the appearance of impropriety in its quid pro quo nature: "Asked why Schneiderman resigned from his NARAL positions this spring, Levine said: "Because he was not going to be on the board when we made our endorsement in the attorney general race." NARAL endorsed Schneiderman in July, bypassing a pro-choice woman, Kathleen Rice, who was backed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and other pro-choice groups."

NARAL, in getting into the Schneiderman bed is exposing the hypocrisy of some of these so-called good government groups that inveigh against special interest corruption. By its action, the group encourages us to look closely at the Republican candidate whose father apparently hasn't bought off anyone.

But, as the NY Post reports this morning, NARAL isn't the only spacial interest that Schneiderman has jumped between the sheets for-the trial lawyers are making the confines of the political bed narrow indeed: "Eric Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, is pushing legislation that would be a gift to trial lawyers and an attack on Wall Street, critics charge. The state senator from the Upper West Side has introduced a bill that would let private lawyers file securities-fraud lawsuits against New York firms on behalf of investors in mutual funds or the state pension fund."

What all of this means to us is that our view of  our own state senator remains a jaundiced one-precisely because we can't find a single instance where Eric has supported any business interest-not a single one. With NY State in the throes of real economic hard times, we don't need a litigious anti-business zealot in the top law enforcement position. Protecting the reproductive rights of New York women is fine to do; but not when it is, at the same time, done at the expense of the state's tax payers and small businesses.