Recently, both Republican gubernatorial candidates, Rick Lazio and Steve Levy, appeared in northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County. They delivered major addresses to the assembled gatherings of people who came to hear them.
Lazio spoke before the Nassau Queens County 9-12 Project, a Tea Party affiliate, March 31 at the VFW Hall in Albertson, L.I., before more than 200 people. Levy spoke before the Queens Village Republican Club April 8. Both candidates focused on the difficult economic and financial problems of the state government.
Lazio spoke about how citizens are moving out of Long Island, causing a loss of population which means less tax revenue. He said, “People are voting with their feet.”
As a member of the Suffolk County Legislature before he was elected to Congress, Lazio voted against raising taxes. Regarding the present state government situation, he believes we must draw the line on spending.
In terms of dealing with public employees unions, he indicated everything is on the table when it comes to negotiating contracts. He further indicated he has never voted to raise taxes and he would not raise taxes as our governor. He intends to put both spending and budget caps in place.
Lazio said, “We are becoming an entitlement society.” He wants to change the situation in New York where there is no residency time required to receive welfare benefits. He criticized state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for not taking a stand on national health care and not speaking out about moving the 9/11 terrorist trial out of New York City.
Lazio also supports term limits. He would as New York governor work on shrinking the size of the work force that does not require legislative approval.
Levy in his presentation spoke about his experience as the Suffolk County executive. He said that in that position he managed a budget bigger than 11 states. He indicated he had a proven record of accomplishments.
In six years there had been no general tax increases in his county. He believes taxes hurt the middle class the most. He also wants a spending cap put on the state government and changes in the state pension system. Levy pointed out that in Suffolk County he had gotten $36 million in concessions from unions. He intends to save New York state from bankruptcy. He would put a freeze on public sector wages and benefits.
As for his potential Democratic opponent, Cuomo, Levy mentioned Cuomo had never had to balance a budget as he had done as a county executive.
Returning to fund-raising, he said the Republican Governors Association will contribute $8 million to $10 million to his campaign. He believes if he is the Republican candidate for governor, he has the ability to raise the necessary funds to run a winning race, whereas his main opponent, Lazio, would have a lot of difficulty in doing so. Levy believes he has the necessary background and experience in an executive government position that his opponent lacks.
Both candidates gave excellent presentations and were well-received by their audiences.
During the next few weeks, the governor’s race will be taking center stage in the 2010 election process. It may turn out to be one of the most important gubernatorial campaigns in the history of New York state.
©2010 Community News Group
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