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Cuomo Addresses Democrat Rural Conference, Niagara Falls NY

By Bea McManis

Genesee County was well represented at the Friday night session of the Democrat Rural Conference in Niagara Falls with 12 members attending. 

Andrew Cuomo sparked a gread deal of interest and let the Rural Conference know how much he appreciated their continued support. 

“My friends, the job is not done. I believe this upcoming election is the most important for the state of New York in my lifetime, in my 52 years. And my friends, this state is at a crossroads, and I believe depending on what we do now this state will go up or this state will go down. And I’ll tell you what, this state is in drastic need of reform today,”

“The first thing we have to do is get the state’s fiscal house in order. And this is not just a question of balancing the budget.  The roaring days and the big income we’ve had in the past decade is over.  We need to look beyond the budget, hoping that the money will come back next year won’t work.”

“It’s going to be a reorganization. It’s going to be a restructuring,” he said. “There are 1,000 state agencies. But by the way, nobody really knows for sure.”

“Property taxes are going through the roof. Property taxes are driving people from their homes, literally, There are 10,521 local government entities in New York.  “You know what my friends? We can’t afford 10,521 governments anymore. That’s what it comes down. It’s not just about balncing a budget. It’s about changing the way we do business, rolling up your sleeves.”

“The second thing we have to do is clean up the mess in Albany.  We have to clean up the disgrace that is the legislative process. We have to clean up the gridlock. We have to dlean up the waste. We have to clean up the delay. Enough is enough, my friends. This government works for the people, and it has let the people down.”

“In this Democratic Party, there is no place for government corruption, period. This government has betrayed the public trust.

“The government is only as good as the level of trust people have, and this government has violated the trust. We also this year, have to hear and understand the concerns of the people in this state, and understand that in this political environment, I’ve been all over the state and everywhere you go, people are afraid.”

He spoke about “activist groups” that he said will seek to try and divide New Yorkers who are, by and large, “afraid.” The tea party has already begun to attack Cuomo and were present, in front of the Crowne Plaza with signs supporting Paladino. 

As an aside, it was interesting watching how the tea party group (of about 15 people) worked the media.  They had an organizer with a bull horn.  Anytime he saw someone standing in front of a camera for an interview, he would direct his 15 people to run over and picket behind the person being interviewed.  First they would all run to one corner, then be directed to the opposite corner. Then back in front of the hotel. 

“They’ll try to take divisions and exploit division.  They’ll use the fear to separate. Our message has to be the exact opposite: we won’t hear about dvision, we are about unity and unifying this state like it’s never been unified before. That’s who we are. Let them try to divide us.”

I took particular notice of the 10521 governments in New York State because this has been a topic of discussion on thebatavian quite often.  A real reason to take a look at consolidation.  Included in that number were state, county, city, town and village governments along with utility districts.

Governor Patterson hosted the opening reception, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand the banquet for about 500 guests, and Cuomo hosted the dessert.

The straw poll will take place today, Saturday. 

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