In a statement issued a few moments ago, Don Hassig threatened to sue the Green Party of NY for libel, after party leaders distanced themselves from his House candidacy in the NY-21 district race.
“I demand that you immediately retract your statement and publish an apology. If you do not retract the statement and publish the apology before midnight tonight, I will commence a libel suit,” Hassig wrote, in a letter sent to NCPR.
Green Party candidate Don Hassig has doubled down on his claim – rejected by the Green Party of New York — that foreign farm workers who speak little or no English shouldn’t be allowed on North Country farms.
Commenting on NCPR’s news page, Hassig wrote:
“…those who want to see foreign, non-English language speaking workers employed on dairy farms are those who care nothing for the welfare of the cattle.
“The Democratic candidate, Congressman Owens is a lawyer. He knows nothing about cattle. The Republican candidate is an investment banker. He knows nothing about cattle. I have worked with cattle for much of my life. I am the one that knows how uncaring and just plain abusive it is for factory farm owners to employ farm workers that do not speak English.”
Following NCPR’s report this morning that Donald Hassig is urging the deportation of “Mexicans” and other foreign workers in the North Country, the Green Party is formally distancing itself from the St. Lawrence County candidate.
Speaking last night in Wanakena, Hassig said he wanted to “see their asses kicked out of here” and accused non-American workers of stealing jobs from North Country residents.
In a statement, the Green Party of NY State formally denounced Hassig, calling his comments “disturbing and reprehensible.” The intra-party dust-up is drawing attention in the Watertown Daily Times an the Albany Times Union. Full statement from the Green Party below:
(Brooklyn) – The Green Party of NY State denounced Donald Hassig, GP Congressional candidate in District 21, for his comments regarding immigration and farm workers at a forum in Wanakena, NY on Thursday night. Green Party officers said Hassig’s comments have nothing to do with the Green platform or the 4 Pillars of the international Green movement: Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice, Ecological Wisdom, and Nonviolence.
“Donald Hassig’s statements are disturbing and reprehensible, and have nothing to do with Green Party values. Contrary to Mr. Hassig’s statements, the party has long been a champion of immigrant rights and a just immigration policy. With his statements, Mr. Hassig has placed himself outside the Green Party’s platform and its values. Hassig petitioned to be on the Green ballot line, but we do not consider him a Green candidate,” said party co-chair Gloria Mattera.
“The Green Party has long supported the rights of migrant farm workers, including fights to help them win increased wages, union rights, and
citizenship. We want to build a New York that welcomes diversity and tolerance, and the first step towards that is protecting and helping the most disadvantaged, especially immigrant workers, from persecution and abuse. We stand by those values, and not the hateful words spoken by candidate Hassig,” said party secretary Peter LaVenia.
“We need a Green New Deal, not the persecution of migrant workers, to address unemployment in New York and across the country.
Don Hassig’s views are completely against the principles of Green Politics and the Green Party of New York State. We call on Greens to condemn the suggestion of violence against migrant workers and instead work in solidarity to confront the global trade policies that induce so many to travel far from their families under dangerous circumstances for such precarious employment,” said party co-chair Michael O’Neil.