Candidate Hassig disowned by state Green Party after remarks about migrant workers
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 12:21 pm

The state Green Party has disowned congressional candidate Donald Hassig of Colton after remarks made about migrant workers at a candidates' forum in Wanakena Thursday.

As reported by North Country Public Radio Friday, Hassig called for foreign workers on farms in the North Country to be rounded up and deported.

"Hassig blasted migrant workers for not speaking English and, he alleged, mistreating livestock," the NCPR report said.

“I would like to see them get their asses kicked out of here,” Hassig was quoted as saying.

The state Green Party leadership issued a statement Friday that they were pulling any support from the activist candidate.

After the party statement made the rounds, Hassig was uncontrite, demanding an apology from the party.

"I said that this factory farm labor practice was wrong because it was likely to lead to poor care of the cattle. I meant what I said. I have many years of experience in taking care of dairy cattle," Hassig said.

"Hassig’s comments have nothing to do with the Green platform," the Green Party statement said.

“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.

Party Secretary Peter LaVenia said that Hassig's comments were contrary to the party's stance.

"We stand by those values, and not the hateful words preached by candidate Hassig,” LaVenia said.

Party co-chair Michael O’Neil said, "“We need a Green New Deal, not the persecution of migrant workers, to address unemployment in New York and across the country."

Hassig got on the Green Party ballot line by way of a party petition to run for the 21st Congressional District seat now occupied by Plattsburgh Democrat Bill Owens, who is also challenged by Watertown-area Republican Matt Doheny.

Hassig's campaign has caught the attention of the press primarily for arrests -- such as one recently dismissed in Parishville court for trespassing at a public park when he refused to leave after being asked to do so by the park director -- and for his unusual campaign style of singing and dancing at venues across the huge North Country district.