Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

ALBANY -- Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader will campaign for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins in New York.

Nader will be in the Albany area Sept. 14 to support the liberal Green Party ticket of Hawkins for governor and Brian Jones, a teacher and actor who is running for lieutenant governor.

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The Green Party has 24,000 enrolled members among the more than 11 million registered voters in New York. Four years ago, however, Hawkins attracted nearly 60,000 votes in his bid for governor after a TV debate among all major and minor party candidates for governor.

Hawkins is an ex-Marine and veteran organizer for labor and peace going back to demonstrations against the Vietnam War. A Teamster, he works in Syracuse unloading UPS trucks.

He supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage and would ban the proposed drilling for natural gas upstate as a threat to the environment. He would also seek more school aid and free tuition to public colleges.