SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Green Party candidate for Governor is criticizing the two republicans in the gubernatorial race, accusing them of playing into the public's fears.
Both republican designee Rick Lazio and his challenger, Carl Paladino, have said they would take legal steps, as governor, to block development of an Islamic community center and mosque within walking distance of the World Trade Center site in New York City.
Howie Hawkins of the Green Party says the two GOP contenders are simply trying to score political points.
"Most New Yorkers are going to see through this. They are obviously trying to create religious and ethnic and racial division and get people focused on that issue instead of the real problems that are facing New Yorkers," Hawkins said.
Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo has also defended development of the community center as an issue of religious freedom and tolerance.