Crowley, Queens Dems back Rice for Attorney General
by David Bonilla
Aug 10, 2010 | 3103 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Attorney General candidate Kathleen Rice now has a powerful backer in Congressman and Queens County chairman Joseph Crowley.

Crowley announced his support for Rice, currently Nassau County district attorney, on the steps of Borough Hall on August 5.

“District Attorney Rice has the experience, the passion and the drive to continue Andrew Cuomo’s good work,” said Crowley. “I have no doubt that she will be a great attorney general for Queens and for all of New York.”

Rice, whose parents lived in Queens before moving to Nassau County, said the borough “isn’t just a microcosm of the world, it’s a microcosm of New York State.”

“Every community you can find in the Empire State is represented here,” she added.

The press conference was attended by dozens of elected officials and community leaders, all of whom expressed their support of Rice’s bid for attorney general.

“Having the support of the Queens Democratic Organization and all of these leaders here today gives me the most diverse coalition of supporters of all the candidates running for attorney general,” said Rice.

Since defeating longtime Republican incumbent Denis Dillon in the race for Nassau County district attorney in 2006, Rice has taken a tough stance on a variety of issues, among them drunk driving.

She created a system wherein those convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide or assault have to serve hard jail time. Later this month, all state residents convicted of drunk driving will have to install an ignition interlock in their cars as part of Leandra’s Law, which makes it a felony to drive while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 16.

“We have to have the courage to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’,” Rice told reporters at a media roundtable after the press conference.

The device will effectively stop a car from turning it on if the driver is under the influence.

Rice also launched the Economic Crime Bureau, which deals specifically with white-collar crimes. She said that “people in [the] immigrant community are especially susceptible to these kinds of crimes, like predatory lending.”

Should she be elected, Rice intends to bring more diversity to her office, and better services to New York’s sizable immigrant population.

“I think it’s important to make an office like the attorney general’s diverse, so I would like to have more assistant attorney generals who speak various languages,” she said.

Although virtually unknown outside of Nassau County, Rice’s stock is growing rapidly. After announcing her candidacy last February, she has raised upwards of $5.5 million - more than the other four candidates for the democratic primary.

If elected, she will be New York’s first female attorney general.

“I’ve always wanted to be a voice for the voiceless,” said Rice. “I want to bring trust between the community and their elected officials.”

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