White House race dom­i­nates Se­nate de­bate

Schumer and Long also trade barbs about Wall Street con­nec­tions

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kyle Hughes NYSNYS News

SCH­ENEC­TADY >> The two can­di­dates in this fall’s U.S. Se­nate race in New York held their only sched­uled de­bate Sun­day at Union Col­lege, with much of the fo­cus on the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s Wall Street ties.

Demo­crat Schumer said he was “ap­palled” by the FBI re­open­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s emails so close to the Nov. 8 elec­tion, while GOP chal­lenger Wendy Long said Schumer has got­ten mil­lions in cam­paign money from “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street firms such as Mer­rill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.

“I think, ac­tu­ally, a good nick­name for him would be the se­na­tor from ‘The Big Short,’ “she said, re­fer­ring to the Michael Lewis book and movie about the 2008 fi­nan­cial melt­down.

In most re­cent Fed­eral Elec­tions Com­mis­sions fil­ings, Long re­ported she has just $143,283 in cam­paign on hand and owes $322,080. In July, Schumer re­ported hav­ing raised $27.5 mil­lion.

Schumer said he op­posed Wall Street moguls when their ac­tions hurt the mid­dle class and said the fi­nan­cial sec­tor sup­ports hun­dreds of thou­sands of jobs in New York. “There’s a whole lotta peo­ple on Wall Street not happy with Chuck Schumer,” he de­clared.

Schumer called GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Donald Trump “ap­palling” and said “he’s just not fit to be pres­i­dent given his ac­tions.”

That prompted Long to say Trump’s vul­gar com­ments were no worse than the racist and misog­y­nist jokes told by Amy Schumer, the celebrity who is a cousin of the se­na­tor’s. Long also brought up the 2009 in­ci­dent in which Schumer called a flight at­ten­dant a “bitch” for ask­ing him to turn off his cell­phone so the plane could take off.

“When we talk about vul­gar lan­guage or say­ing dif-

fer­ent things to women, Donald Trump apol­o­gized for use of that lan­guage, just as Sen. Schumer apol­o­gized for the very bad lan­guage that he used to that very nice air­line flight at­ten­dant who was just try­ing to do her job and telling him to turn off his cell­phone,” she said.

Long said Trump’s Demo­cratic crit­ics were hyp­ocrites. “If we just lis­ten to the Howard Stern show and what, for ex­am­ple, Amy Schumer talks about on the Howard Stern show or some of her stand-up rou­tines with the racism and the misog­yny.”

Long also pointed to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign­ing with rap­per JayZ, men­tion­ing his sex­u­ally ex­plicit and vi­o­lent song “H.A.M.”

“Nei­ther Amy Schumer or Jay-Z or Howard Stern is run­ning for pres­i­dent,” Schumer shot back. “I don’t think most Amer­i­cans would think they’d make [a] good pres­i­dent ei­ther.”

The two also clashed over the Cit­i­zens United Supreme Court de­ci­sion that per­mit­ted cor­po­ra­tions to spend huge amounts of money on po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns. Schumer said First Amend­ment free-speech pro­tec­tions should not ex­tend to busi­nesses.

In keep­ing with the un­der-the-radar strat­egy of Schumer’s cam­paign, the

de­bate was aired live at the same time as the fifth game of the World Se­ries and was only view­able by Time Warner Cable sub­scribers in parts of up­state New York and New York City.

Schumer, who turns 66 in Novem­ber, is seek­ing his fourth six-year term in the U.S. Se­nate, where he is in po­si­tion to be­come the next ma­jor­ity leader if Democrats gain con­trol of the up­per house of Congress.

Long, 56, is a trial lawyer in New York City and is a for­mer law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Jus­tice Clarence Thomas. She ran against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gil­li­brand, D-N.Y., in 2012, get­ting just 22 per­cent of the vote, the most lop­sided de­feat ever for a candidate

for statewide of­fice in New York.

Schumer is a grad­u­ate of both Har­vard Univer­sity and Har­vard Law School. He has never prac­ticed law and has held elected of­fice since the age of 23, when he ran for As­sem­bly in his Brook­lyn dis­trict. He later served for years in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and, in 1998, un­seated in­cum­bent U.S. Sen. Al­fonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., af­ter win­ning a Demo­cratic pri­mary by beat­ing po­lit­i­cal trail­blazer Geral­dine Fer­raro, the first woman vice pres­i­den­tial candidate of a ma­jor party.

Long is a Dart­mouth Col­lege grad­u­ate who at­tended law school at North­west­ern Univer­sity and also stud­ied at Har­vard Law School.

POOL PHOTO BY NATHANIEL BROOKS, N.Y. TIMES

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, left, and Repub­li­can chal­lenger Wendy Long de­bate at Union Col­lege in Sch­enec­tady on Sun­day.

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