“I said that and I meant it,” Hassig wrote, in a statement emailed to North Country Public Radio. “It is my opinion that Gloria Mattera is an American elitist bitch.”
The clash follows a blow-up within the Green Party that began last Thursday, when Hassig argued at a candidate forum in Wanakena that immigrants working on North Country dairy farms should be rounded up and deported.
“I would like to see them get their asses kicked out of here,” Hassig insisted, after describing migrant and seasonal workers as “Mexicans” who don’t speak English.
On Friday, state party co-chair Gloria Mattera issued a statement calling his statements about non-American workers “disturbing and reprehensible.”
“Mr. Hassig has placed himself outside the Green Party’s platform and its values,” she wrote. “Hassig petitioned to be on the Green ballot line, but we do not consider him a Green candidate.”
Hassig has threatened to sue the Green Party for libel.
In his latest statement, issued late Sunday, the St. Lawrence County environmental activist said that he spoke with state Green Party officials over the weekend, claiming that Mattera “hung up on me when I started to describe the utter lack of knowledge that she demonstrated concerning the care and milking of dairy cows on factory farms.”
Hassig says that following that exchange he called back and left his message.
The Green Party has stripped Hassig’s name from their list of candidates running for public office in New York state and has included a statement denouncing his candidacy on the front page of the party’s website.
Hassig has a long record of behaving erratically, but until Thursday’s forum had appeared to be moderating his rhetoric and behavior during this year’s congressional campaign.
In the only public poll of the race, conducted in September, the Siena Research Institute found that Hassig was winning support from 6% of voters in the 21st district.