Submitted by Master Admin on Thu, 08/26/2010 – 2:33pm.
The editorial board of The New York Times has endorsed State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, who represents parts of Manhattan and the Bronx, in the Democratic primary for attorney general of New York.
In backing Mr. Schneiderman, 55, over his four Democratic rivals for the job, the board cited his advocacy on issues like revising the state’s Rockefeller-era drug sentencing laws and the expulsion of a colleague, Hiram Monserrate, from the State Senate this year after Mr. Monserrate’s conviction on assault charges.
The primary is Sept. 14.
“We endorse Senator Schneiderman in the Democratic primary because of his sound judgment, legal expertise, political independence and long history of fighting for government reform,” the board wrote in Saturday’s newspaper.
The paper’s endorsement was avidly pursued by most of the Democratic candidates, who viewed it as a seal of approval that would carry particular weight in a crowded primary with no clear front-runner, dominated by voters from New York City and its surrounding suburbs. (The only Republican candidate in the race is Daniel M. Donovan Jr., the Staten Island district attorney.)
But it may carry particular value for Mr. Schneiderman, a sitting state lawmaker seeking a promotion in a year when voters appear deeply disenchanted with incumbents in general and Albany in particular.
In a poll last month by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 81 percent of registered Democrats said they had not decided whom to vote for in the race. And Mr. Schneiderman, who has made tougher ethics enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign, has faced criticism from rivals, notably Kathleen M. Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, that he is too enmeshed in Albany and too much the political insider to do the job effectively.
That concern was clearly also on the mind of the board, which cited Mr. Schneiderman’s willingness to resist his own party leadership on issues like reducing pension costs and tightening campaign finance limits.
“Given the sump of Albany politics, we still thought long and hard about whether any member of the Legislature could be entrusted with this job,” the board wrote. “Mr. Schneiderman has demonstrated beyond a doubt his commitment to cleaner and more transparent government