Posted at: 10/08/2012 4:02 PM
| Updated at: 10/08/2012 4:48 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
ALBANY - Peter LaVenia, 31, hasn't been getting much attention.
His name is not known in the district and despite electoral efforts over the past couple of decades, his Green Party affiliation isn't very well supported either.
LaVenia and the Greens want to shake up the American two-party system.
"I support a system of proportional representation," LaVenia said. "You get seats in the legislature based on the percentage of votes that your party gets. So if the Green Party receives 5 percent of the vote it would get 5 percent of the seats in the legislature."
Incumbent state Sen. Neil Breslin doesn't think much of the idea.
"I think it would be utter, sheer chaos if that happened here," Breslin said. "We have two major parties. They generally have worked exceedingly well in the United States and I'm proud of the system that we work under."
Both Breslin and LaVenia want an increase in the state's minimum wage.
Both oppose pay raises for legislators.
LaVenia criticizes Gov. Cuomo and Breslin for taking large campaign contributions. Breslin says it doesn't affect his votes.
Bottom line, LaVenia says he'd do things differently even if his overall governing philosophy is on the same side of the spectrum as Breslin.
"One of the reasons why we don't have reform is because it's too easy for people in the legislature to keep things the way they are because obviously they rarely lose elections and they get a lot of campaign money from the very people that I'd like to exclude," LaVenia said.
Breslin responded, "I've been in favor of publicly financed elections for the entire 16 years I've been in the Senate. It would give challengers equal footing."