By Ken Lovett (NY Daily News)
July 4, 2016
Here is an expanded version of the second item of my "Albany Insider" column from Monday's editions:
The political action committee created by an upstate investor who was a victim of child sex abuse has endorsed four more Democratic state Senate candidates.
Gary Greenberg created the PAC to help try and flip the Senate to Democratic control after the GOP-led chamber refused to take up legislation to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.
"All the endorsed candidates have strong backgrounds in their commitment to the safety of children," Greenberg told the Daily News via email.
Greenberg’s Fighting for Children PAC is backing Peter Magistrarale’s longshot bid against Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County).
The PAC also is backing Jim Gaughran over veteran Nassau County Republican incumbent Carl Marcellino, Adam Haber for the Nassau County seat being vacated by GOPer Jack Martins, and Democrat Chris Eachus over longtime Orange County GOP state Sen. William Larkin.
"This should not be a partisan issue and senators from both parties should support it," Gaughran said. "When I hopefully get to the Senate in January I will immediately file this as my first bill and will co-sponsor this legislation with whomever is ready to stand up for justice and to protect our kids. There is no need for a lengthy debate on this. Everyone knows what it is about and the new legislature should pass this right away in January".
Greenberg, who was abused as a child in 1966 by a hospital aide while visiting his sick father, said Eachus, an Orange County legislator, recently put in a resolution in support of the Child Victims Act.
Previously, Greenberg announced he PAC will be helping Democrat Ryan Cronin in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon, also of Nassau County.
The endorsed candidates will all get financial contributions from the PAC and volunteer help, Greenberg said.
“It is time a tidal wave hit Albany by electing candidate's with ethics and high moral values to the NYS Legislature--candidates who care about justice for victims and taking predators off the streets,” Greenberg said.
Asked about the PAC's endorsement of the five Democrats, Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said that “no one has worked harder or done more to protect women and children from dangerous sexual predators than Senate Republicans."