Cox to County Chairs: Cuomo Managing New York’s Decline

Cox to County Chairs: Cuomo Managing New York’s Decline


Contact: David Laska


ALBANY, NY… NYGOP Chairman Ed Cox delivered the following remarks at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the New York Republican Party today:

New York needs jobs.

But New York has a governor with neither the experience nor the guts to spend his political capital on the necessary steps required to create jobs.

As HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo wrote the rules that forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to people who could not pay them back. He calls it “social justice,” and I have no doubt that he did it with the best of intentions.

But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Those loans were at the core of the financial collapse that created the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, New York has been losing jobs and people to more growth-oriented states for more than fifty years. Sixty years ago, we had 45 Congressional seats; now we only have 27, having lost two more in the 2010 census.

As Andrew Cuomo himself has noted, “we’re literally hemorrhaging jobs and people.”

At a time when New York desperately needs pro-growth reforms to attract businesses and create jobs, what have Andrew Cuomo’s priorities been? Progressive taxes, gay marriage and infringing upon New Yorkers’ 2nd Amendment rights.

That may be good politics for Cuomo’s progressive base and his political ambition, but on the most important issues to New York as a whole, jobs and the economy, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver.

On the economy, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver. New York is still the most regulated, most taxed, least business-friendly state, with the highest debt per capita and the least personal freedom in the Nation.

On taxes, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver. He has already increased taxes once and he’s poised to do it again.

In December 2011 he raised taxes on some of New York’s most productive citizens by extending an income tax surcharge, and his new budget proposes extensions for two more taxes that were set to expire, including an “assessment” on electric, water and gas bills across the state. As he himself said:

“It’s a new tax. It was supposed to sunset. If it doesn’t sunset, it’s a tax.”

Governor, you raised taxes once to make New York the leader in progressive taxation and to varnish your progressive credentials, and now you’re proposing to raise taxes again. This may be good politics for you, but it’s accelerating the departure of capital and jobs from our state.

On mandate relief, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver. Ask any County Executive or local leader and they’ll tell you how unfunded mandates from Albany can eat up as much as 80% of a county budget. So the Governor commissioned a Mandate Relief Council, and the New York State Association of Counties submitted a comprehensive list of 239 recommendations. The Council enacted two.

On Medicaid, the most burdensome mandate, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver. He promised reform, but New York still spends more on Medicaid than Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida combined.

On public pensions, another crushing mandate, he has failed to deliver. His watered-down reforms might earn him political points, but they’re too little too late to impact New York’s job-killing, budget-busting problems. Or, like Rob Astorino said, “it’s like crack cocaine. You’re going to get a quick high today, but you’re going to end up in the gutter.”

On development of our vast natural gas resources, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver: he’s too afraid of the political consequences to make a decision either way. Meanwhile, the jobs and infrastructure needed to harvest natural gas are taking root in Pennsylvania. Divisional headquarters and metal bending are being done in Pittsburg, not Buffalo. Over 57,000 jobs have been created in Pennsylvania alone since 2009.

On ethics reform, Governor Cuomo has failed to deliver. Cuomo had to publicly chastise his own Joint Committee on Public Ethics in order to get them to investigate Speaker Sheldon Silver’s unethical and illegal cover-up of sexual abuse at the hands of members of his caucus. Five months have passed, and they still haven’t acted.

New Yorkers are looking for real solutions to our economic crisis, and Republicans are ready to lead because we know what New York needs: we need to lower tax rates to promote economic growth; we need to stop punishing investment capital; we need real mandate relief to pave the way for lower property taxes; we need to refocus our jobs training programs to community colleges; and we need to give our youth in struggling inner city and rural school districts the choice to attend independent schools that do twice the job for half the price.

But instead of focusing on job creation, Andrew Cuomo spent his political capital curtailing New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights. And now Barack Obama is doing the same thing.

The President was reelected thanks in part to an economic sugar high: growth in the 3rd quarter of 2012 surged from 1.3% to 3.1%, just in time for the election. That sugar high had a huge impact in New York, where Obama got a 63% vote share at the top of the ticket.

By all accounts, we should have lost big down-ballot, especially with six of our seven Republican members of Congress being vulnerable freshman who, to a greater or lesser extent, had been redistricted into new districts by nonpartisan judicial redistricting.

Yet we only lost net one congressional district thanks to a multimillion-dollar Get Out The Vote effort backed by the national committees and implemented by you and ourselves in ten congressional districts.

We have also kept our leadership position in the state senate and had some extraordinary local wins all across the state, from the Brookhaven Supervisor in Suffolk County to the Comptrollership in heavily Democratic Erie County.

So we survived a tough election year the stronger and better for it, with the sophisticated tools that we need to grow the party from a solid foundation that even Barack Obama’s reelection could not destroy.

And now, that 3rd quarter economic sugar high that I mentioned has collapsed into negative growth in the fourth quarter.

And many top economists believe it isn’t getting better any time soon. And in those immortal Clintonian words, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

My fellow Republican leaders, working from this strong Republican foundation, which since the 2009 elections has moved us from two congressional seats to six congressional seats, from being a minority in the State Senate to being in a leadership position in the State Senate, and led us to extraordinary gains on the local level in many of your counties, we can look forward to significant victories this year and beyond.

Together, the Republican Party will make sure that New York remains the financial, cultural, media and educational capital of the world.

One of those national organizers that played such a crucial role in our Get Out The Vote operation this past year has joined our staff as our new Political Director. We’ll hear more about our organizational efforts from Joe Uddo in just a bit.

In 2013, we will continue to reach out to minority communities, who share our strong family values, and know that Republicans are right on the most crucial civil rights issue of our time: access to a quality education for every child. Our Coalitions Director Ore Jacinto will talk about our outreach efforts.

Our new Communications Director David Laska will go over our communications operation, and discuss how each of you can help to ensure that our pro-growth message reaches every corner of New York by utilizing both traditional and new media.

And of course, we’ll need to finance all of this, so our Finance Director Jason Weingartner will give a fundraising update.

Following Jason, Senior Advisor to the Chairman Tony Casale will update you on the legislature, election law and party rules.

But first, for a report on the 2012 victory program and election results, please welcome our Executive Director, Michael Lawler.



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