Press Release  | 10/14/2004

Drug Policy Alliance Vindicated: Frivolous Lawsuit Filed by Republicans, Supporters of Albany D.A. Paul Clyne Dismissed

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Ruling is Latest Defeat for Politically Connected Incumbent: First He Lost Democratic Primary to David Soares, Now his Team Loses in Court
Albany Establishment so Frightened of Soares

Today, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) was cleared of any wrongdoing in a suit filed by supporters of District Attorney Paul Clyne and the state's Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Malone dismissed all charges against DPA and the David Soares campaign.

"It's Soares versus a sore loser," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "This was a frivolous lawsuit intended to derail the Soares campaign. The voters spoke loudly when they defeated Clyne in the Democratic primary, but the Albany political machine didn't like what they heard."

Voters shocked the county's political establishment on September 14th, when they overwhelmingly supported former assistant D.A. David Soares against his former boss, Paul Clyne, by a 62% to 38% margin. Since this stunning upset, Clyne has broken with the Democratic Party and is currently running as an independent. In addition to Clyne and Soares, the Republican candidate in the race is Roger Cusick.

Clyne--a member of an Albany political dynasty-- is a longshot candidate, as Albany votes overwhelmingly Democratic, and he no longer has the Democratic party line. Since his defeat, one of Clyne's camp's first moves was to join forces with the Republican and Conservative parties to file a lawsuit against Soares and DPA.

"Looks like Clyne has gone from legitimate candidate to attack dog of the Albany political establishment," said Michael Blain, director of public policy for the Drug Policy Alliance. "He's a lifelong Democrat, but he seems willing to sabotage that party in order to protect that establishment from an independent prosecutor who has taken a strong stand against official corruption."

Tony Newman at (212) 613-8026 or Elizabeth M

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