The AG Debate: The Scene In Spin Alley

Attorney general candidates Eric Schneiderman and Dan Donovan met the press after today’s heated 60-minute debate, and could agree on one thing: We are very different from one another.

“I think there are great differences between the two of us,” Donovan said to a scrum of reporters. “Our experiences are different, our ties to Albany–his having some, my not having any. There are great differences between us. I think that people are to going to look and say, ‘Who could do this job? Who could we trust? Who has the ability to do it, who has the experience to do it and who has the independence to do it?'”

And said Schneiderman, “I think the distinctions in this race are very clear. You have an anti-choice fellow who wants to take a hands-off approach on Wall Street, who doesn’t want to insist that hydrofracking not take place until after the DEC has regs. He just has a very different approach to the office, Mr. Donovan. I am a pro-choice progressive in the Andrew Cuomo tradition. I want to maintain the attorney general’s role in monitoring the financial services industry and protecting people’s pensions funds and protecting homeowners.”

Donovan was also asked about today’s poll that showed Schneiderman beginning to put some distance between the two of them. He said that he would have enough money to stay competitive, and that today’s poll showed that many voters have not yet tuned in.

“With the poll, there was 75-85  percent of the people didn’t know either one of us, couldn’t form an opinion, and 40 percent of the people said they might change their vote by Election Day, so I think it’s a measuring stick, but it probably reflects what the voter registration is right now in New York,” he said.

And Schneiderman was asked about Donovan’s contention (and one that was made in the Democratic primary as well) that he lacks the necessary prosecutorial background to be attorney general.

“I will put the depth and diversity of my legal background against Mr. Donovan’s any day of the week. My work as a deputy sheriff, to my work as a federal law clerk, as a litigator in the securities area in a big law firm, public interest lawyer, lawmaker. I have much more experience than Mr. Donovan on the issues that are the core functions of the attorney general’s office,” he said.

Schneiderman was joined after the debate by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Donovan was joined by former Mayor Ed Koch, who explained to reporters why he was crossing party lines to back Donovan.

“I have always described myself as a liberal with sanity, and I think Dan comes closer to that than Eric,” Koch said.






The AG Debate: The Scene In Spin Alley