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N.Y. lawmakers push to strip Trump's name from state park

By Ann Marie Awad
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a pre-debate rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 14, 2015. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a pre-debate rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 14, 2015. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The "Anything But Trump" bill, a proposal to strip Donald Trump's name from an undeveloped state park in New York, is gaining ground among state legislators.

New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron introduced legislation Monday that would remove the real estate mogul's name from a 400-acre undeveloped park just north of New York City. Trump donated the land to the state after plans for a golf course fell through in 2006, but Donald J. Trump park was never completed. It was closed in 2010 due to lack of funding.

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The New York Daily News reported Squadron's bill would pave the way to rename the park.

"The rhetoric and discriminatory proposals we've seen from Mr. Trump don't belong in the presidential election, and don't belong in New York State Parks," Squadron said in a statement. "He has dishonored the state, and should not be honored with a state park named for him."

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump's campaign told CBS News the land, in Westchester and Putnam counties, was a $100 million gift to the state.

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"Mr. Trump is the front-runner for president of the United States of the Republican Party," she said. "He is a proud resident of New York who employs thousands of people. The state cannot remove his name."

In response to the proposal, Trump has asked for the land back and has threatened to take the matter to court.

Lawmakers are already positing ideas for who to name the park after if Trump's name is removed. State Assemblyman Charles Levine wrote an open letter to N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for the park to be named after Peter Salem. Salem was a Revolutionary War veteran who was a freed Muslim slave.

BuzzFeed reported Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., has also thrown support behind the legislation, calling for the park to be named for musician and activist Pete Seeger.

Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz slammed the proposal. "We should be focusing on ways to regain the public's trust and changing the name of a state park is just a pathetic, small minded, self-serving political diversion from what is important to New Yorkers," Katz told BuzzFeed.

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