Time passes quickly and campaign promises too often get bogged down and never get implemented. This is understandable because most campaign promises require enactment of a new statute or of a Constitutional amendment, both of which are out of the control of any one legislator as well as the Governor or elected Attorney General. Accordingly, to maximize the potential of the NYS Attorney General position, it is imperative that the Attorney General obtain for the residents of New York whatever benefits exist under existing law. These benefits are formidable. Many if not most of the problems can be solved under existing law, but it is more convenient for politicians to hide behind the slow process of creating new laws and the delay before any tangible benefits could be expected. By the time that any benefits could be expected from new laws, the legislators passing such laws are no longer elected representatives, in many cases.
Because I recognize that providing fast results is important, I have created a list of "issues" or "campaign promises" that I feel I can implement as NYS Attorney General, without having to ask for any enabling statutes, rules or Constitutional amendments. Thus, I will not be able to blame the Speaker, Legislature, Governor or someone else for any failure to perform.
If you look at my issues, you will find that most of them can be done by the NYS Attorney General directly, such as by conducting an investigation or grand-jury investigation or by bringing an enforcement lawsuit. Most of the other issues can be implemented by towns and villages, and to that extent as Attorney General I am undertaking to try to convince towns and villages to implement my programs for them. Any failure in accomplishing this would be a joint failure by me, in not being able to convince local officials to do the best for their town or village, and by the local officials who are unable to do the right thing for their voters, possibly out of ignorance or failure to understand, but possibly to protect vested interests from getting hurt.
Every change hurts someone. For example, if a town or villages sets up a college equivalency program where tuition could be $1 per 50-minute hour of instruction, or $16/week of full-time instruction, various high-tuition colleges will suffer a loss of tuition and student loan payments. Paying $50,000 a year to attend an Ivy League or other high-cost college (which works out to $100 per hour of instruction - $50,000 divided by approximately 500 hours of instruction during 2 full semesters) is almost irrational, at a time when employers are paying less, seeking to terminate their long-term employees, and high-paying jobs are very difficult to obtain.
Accordingly, part of my job as NYS Attorney General would be to educate people on their options, and help them make wise choices for themselves and their community.