BACKGROUND: Diederich, 64, of Stony Point, is a retired Army lieutenant colonel where he was a lawyer in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is seeking the Reform Party ballot line for attorney general. He was awarded the Bronze Star. He lost an election to be Rockland County district attorney but remained active in local Democratic politics. He has refused to take any corporate campaign donations to help show his independence.
ISSUES: His practice in and out of the Army included civil rights cases and he said he would pursue cases that protect individual rights and the environment as top priorities. He said he would attack Albany’s pay-to-play culture by eliminating the ability of special interests to provide benefits to legislators: “Corruption is a cancer, because it causes people to lose faith in democracy.” Citing his Army duties after the 2001 terrorist attacks, he said he would fight cyberterrorism and misinformation spread via the internet. He said he will take on corporations as well as the president, if necessary, as he seeks to end what he calls the culture of impunity today.