NEW YORK -- Over the last week, Democratic Attorney General nominee Letitia “Tish” James has been endorsed by some of the largest and most influential newspapers in New York State: The New York Times, the New York Daily News, Newsday/amNewYork, and the Albany Times Union.
What the papers said about Democratic Attorney General nominee Tish James:
The Times Editorial Board said that “[Tish James] has a lengthy record of defending New Yorkers from special interests … especially when it comes to tenants’ rights and the needs of vulnerable children.” The endorsement also highlighted her promise to hold Donald Trump accountable, saying the paper is “confident that Ms. James would pursue the proper state action” if Trump pardons his corrupt cronies or fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The Daily News echoed that reasoning, saying “[Tish] James would marshal the top-notch lawyers in the AG's office to defend New Yorkers from the predations of crooks and greedy companies, from wage theft to consumer ripoffs to environmental degradation … use the courts to fend off a malevolent federal bureaucracy under Donald Trump and make sure that Trump's businesses and charitable doings are above board … [and] seek to extend protections of the law to excluded and vulnerable populations...” They concluded, “James stands with the powerless. Wofford stands with the powerful. Vote for James.”
The Editorial Board of Newsday/amNewYork agreed, pointing to “[Tish] James’ muscular vision of the office as a stalwart protector of consumers and the environment, and as a national leader when the federal government fails to step up,” saying that she will “... continue the best traditions of the office … rooting out wasteful and fraudulent spending ... protecting consumers from predators and nursing home residents from abuse … directing more money from bank settlement funds to local land banks to rehabilitate zombie homes ... seizing hazardous lots and decrepit housing from banks or slumlords who aren’t keeping them up, and giving them to municipalities to develop ... [and] continuing bold lawsuits like the one Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed … against Exxon Mobil.”
The Times Union said “[Tish James] stands out ... for both her breadth of public service and her understanding of the accountability that demands,” adding that “... throughout her public career [Tish has] shown her willingness to take on the powerful. She is the candidate most likely to carry on the office's tradition as lawyer for the people.”
What the papers said about Republican Keith Wofford:
“[Keith Wofford] seems unenthusiastic about challenging financial impropriety on Wall Street ... and he appears less willing than Ms. James to challenge the policy excesses of President Trump, whom he supports … Mr. Wofford said the attorney general’s lawsuit against the president and his family over alleged misuse of their foundation was not worth the office’s time,” The New York Times Editorial Board said.
On holding Wall Street firms accountable, the Daily News Editorial Board said New Yorkers “can't count on Wofford, who says he is determined to make the state friendlier to business...” while noting that “... Wofford sounds too retiring” on holding Donald Trump and his Administration accountable.
The Editorial Board of Newsday/amNewYork agreed, saying that Wofford “sees the job as a much more limited one and would be reluctant ... to use the office to root out financial fraud on Wall Street. He’s critical of the lawsuit against Exxon. And he was dubious about the merits of the office’s litigation against Trump’s charitable foundation which claims Trump used donations for campaign purposes … It is that same minimalist view that leads Wofford to conclude there is not much the office can do about zombie homes.”
This reticence to hold powerful forces to account also troubled the Times Union Editorial Board, which said, “We're also concerned that [Keith Wofford] says the state needs to be more selective in taking on the Trump administration's environmental, financial, and civil rights offenses. That hesitancy leaves us questioning whether he would vigorously challenge the administration's excesses,” while noting that “it's hard to share his sympathies” that the Attorney General’s office has been too aggressive in policing Wall Street.