WPCNR Friday Night Final. By Shivaun Dipshan.
Friday, July 05, 2002. 3:00 PM E.D.T.: It’s obvious from the amount of support that Adam Bradley lined up within the last week, that the White Plains, New Castle, Harrison Democratic politicians want a new Assemblyperson, one that represents their needs.
Overwhelming Support from Democratic officials.
Assembly candidate Adam Bradley has received a tremendous amount of support for his candidacy. The reason: down-district Democratic leaders are ready for change; they want a representative who is going to support their needs.
Already Bradley has received the support of 13 Democratic elected officials as well as every member of the White Plains Common Council, including the White Plains and Harrison party committees and the Matusow stronghold, the New Castle Democratic Committee.
His popularity among the citizens of White Plains is rapidly growing because of his dedication to represent the people of White Plains, something that supporters say his opponent, Naomi Matusow has not done.
White Plains Council President Ben Boykin said, “I support Adam because we need a representative who will be attentive to the needs of each community in the district and I know Adam will be that person.”
Issue of Sales Tax
Matusow, a 10-year Assemblywoman, has been opposed to the extension of the White Plains ½% sales tax, despite the fact that elimination of the sales tax would result in a 30% increase in property taxes.
If the sales tax were abolished, then property owners would be faced with a $10 million loss in revenues. This could result in the laying-off of 100 police officers and firefighters.
The White Plains Labor Coalition, which represents approximately 2,000 public sector union employees, unanimously endorsed Bradley within the last week.
“The members of our organization rallied to Adam Bradley after discussing the sales tax and other issues with incumbent Naomi Matusow. Ms. Matusow is firmly against the continuance of the sales tax in White Plains,” said Duncan MacRae, the White Plains Labor Coalition Chairman.
In an interview with WPCNR, Matusow she explained that she is against the sales tax because she believes it impedes economic growth. However, she has stated that she would never stand in the way of it getting passed.
“I’ve never stymied it, nor would I,” she said.
Malmud On Board
“Adam will be a forceful advocate for increased state aid to our schools and communities and will fight to keep our property taxes low,” Councilwoman Rita Malmud said.
Matusow has told WPCNR that state school aid is predetermined by formula by the state, but she is open to individual presentations requesting aid for specific projects, from the school district and the city.
Bradley Stunned by Opponent’s Opposition to Drug Laws.
Matusow has also voiced her opposition to the reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, which Bradley openly supports. He has voiced his concern about her failure to support the repeal of what he describes as “out-dated, draconian drug laws” that severely punish and often incarcerate first time, non-violent drug offenders instead of offering them access to treatment.
Bradley sees these laws as being costly because they wreck young lives and families and waste tax dollars. His concern is that incarceration of first time non-violent drug offenders is more costly to taxpayers than rehabilitation programs.
“Our communities deserve a real Democrat, not someone who votes with Republicans against important Democratic bills and positions. I was appalled to see my opponent vote against reform of the Rockefeller Drug laws. I promise to consistently support the values that Democrats are elected to uphold,” Bradley said.
Hold on, Says Matusow.
Matusow, on the other hand, thinks that the term “non-violent” is used quite casually since rape in the 2nd and 3rd degree is constituted as “non-violent”. Manslaughter in the 2nd degree is also distinguished as being “non-violent”.
Matusow, along with the New York State District Attorney, also believes the facts indicate that the typical drug offender in prison is a drug dealer and a repeat offender. In a press release sent out by the New York State District Attorney’s office, it was stated, “roughly 97% of drug felons sentenced to prison were charged with sale or intent to sell.” Furthermore, “77% of those in prison are second or persistent felony offenders.”
“I want to make sure that people who are out are not a menace to others. I’m not willing to take that chance. I am concerned about these laws releasing violent felons who plea-bargain to non-violent statuses,” she said.
Bradley Disappointed by Her Stance on Indian Point Evacuation Plan
Many supporters of Bradley have voiced their disappointment about the way Matusow handled the evacuation plan of Indian Point. “The evacuation plan in place is deeply, deeply flawed, because it underestimated by 80,000, the people in the 10-mile zone. It’s flawed because it underestimates the amount of traffic outside the 10-mile zone,” Bradley said.
Matusow’s lack of attention to the plan may have ended up costing her the trust of many voters in her northern stronghold in the 89th District, New Castle.
“I was extremely disappointed by Assemblywoman Matusow’s silence regarding the deeply flawed Indian Point evacuation plan, at a time when other leaders were speaking out on this important issue of public safety. Our families need to be protected and our public officials need to tell the truth about the Indian Point evacuation plan,” New Castle Town Board Member Barbara Gerrard said.
Maureen Keating Tsuchiya, Co-Chair of the New Castle Democratic Committee, in explaining the endorsement of Bradley over Matusow, last week said, “…he energetically reaches out to all Democrats and Republicans in each community, building the necessary bipartisan consensus to resolve the current challenges facing our county and state.”
Other leaders who have endorsed Bradley are County Legislators George Latimer, Martin Rogowsky, Harrison Town Board member, Patrick Vetere, and former Harrison Board members, Bruno Strati and Elizabeth “Jimmi” Pritchard.
Bradley pointed out how it is unusual for him to receive such tremendous support in a primary race against a ten-year incumbent:
“I am proud and grateful for this extraordinary broad outpouring of support and I promise to represent our families and communities with vigor and integrity. I will redeem this promise by improving state aid to our schools, by telling the truth about Indian Point and by effectively serving my constituents in Albany.”
Ms. Matusow, in an interview previously with WPCNR, said that though Bradley has secured the support of Democratic Committee leaders, this does not necessarily extend to the rank and file Democratic voters who will be voting in the September 10 primary. She believes her voters know her record and will support her as they have in the past.
For the upcoming election Matusow is planning to gain more support by going out to the community and talking to people in their homes. She expressed her willingness to discuss any issues with citizens. “I am always happy to talk to people”, she said.