Green Party candidate may be excluded from race

SARANAC LAKE – New York 21st Congressional Green Party candidate Donald Hassig of Colton made a campaign stop to the Harrietstown Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.

Hassig may have been a long shot in past Congress races, but this election year, he might not even have a shot. The candidate told the Enterprise he may not make it onto the ballot thanks to a technicality.

“I was talking to an attorney with state Board of Elections with the office of special counsel,” Hassig said. “The decision will be made on that sometime this month.”

Hassig said he mailed the petitions before the deadline expired on April 10, but according to the Board of Elections, they did not receive the petitions the next day, which could bar him from running in the Green Party primary.

He gathered 61 signatures, enough to be accepted as a Green Party candidate.

Hassig said he might file a lawsuit because he did not see that rule on the Board of Elections website.

“In a fair world, I read every word that was there,” he said. “They’re making it so complicated. … I will sue them, if it doesn’t cost a lot of money.”

Matt Funiciello, from Glens Falls, is a first-time Green Party congressional candidate. The two Greens hope to hold a public forum on the issues, somewhere geographically in the center of the congressional district, like Long Lake. Hassig said it would not be a debate. However, if Hassig is not able to gain access to the ballot, Funiciello would be all but guaranteed the Green Party spot.

Republican Elise Stefanik of Willsboro and Matt Doheny of Watertown are running for the Republican primary. Aaron Woolf of Elizabethtown and Stephen Burke of Malcomb are running for the Democrat primary.

Hassig spoke on a range of issues Wednesday, including persistent organic pollutants (POP) and the collusion between government and corporations.

“We hear nothing about POP from our health organizations,” Hassig said. “Business goes on as usual in America.”

Hassig cited a 2010 study by the World Health Organization, recommending children not eat persistent organic pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agencies says on their website that POPS, which are synthetic chemicals, can affect reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurologic, endocrine, and immunologic adverse health effects in humans.

He said America’s food supply is kept dangerous due to corporate insiders becoming government officials, and suggests banning them from holding office.

“We should pass a law that a CEO could not have a role in government,” Hassig said.

Hassig said if that law was not held constitutional, people would need to find some way to have a “reasonable separation” between corporations and government.

The candidate also spoke out against recent wars.

“We should only go to war in defense of our country,” Hassig said. “We have to stop these wars of aggression.”