Long Island Life and Politics endorses Lee Zeldin for governor. Here’s why.
In the early 1990s, many observers concluded that New York City was simply ungovernable. Over two thousand murders a year. Porno theaters and prostitutes identified Times Square. Squeegee men intimidated motorists as they drove out of the tunnel. Homeless people took over the subways and public parks and made them their homes.
But then the fed-up voters did something unthinkable. They voted for change and put in office Republican Rudy Giuliani in a Democrat-only city.
Refreshing new policies led to Disney replacing porn in Times Square, the homeless taken out of the parks and subways and placed into shelters, and the murder rate dropping tenfold — all of which led to the Renaissance of New York City.
Remarkably, decades later, all of these gains were wiped out by a neo-Marxist Mayor, Bill de Blasio, who ended “broken windows policing” and “stop and frisk” while slashing the police budget by $1 billion and eliminating the undercover police unit.
At the same time, a socialist-leaning progressive bloc in the state legislature enacted foolish measures that basically ended bail for violent offenders and reduced incarceration for violent felons under 18 years of age.
This dismantling of public safety was signed off with glee by the Cuomo-Hochul team.
And now we’ve had crime soaring at the fastest rate in history.
Former governor Andrew Cuomo could be an unlikeable, arrogant bully at times, but he did have leadership skills. His successor, Kathy Hochul, appears to be a pleasant person, but this isn’t a garden party. New York needs a strong governor to stand up to the socialist proclivities of the state legislature’s progressive wing. Hochul either doesn’t have those skills or doesn’t want to use them.
She is a governor with no agenda to deal with New York’s woes. It appears her only plan is to coast along and run out the clock until Election Day by claiming she is not the arrogant Cuomo. Her motto seems to be don’t rock the boat, play nice with the special interests, such as the teachers unions and the Al Sharpton crowd, while not alienating the radicals in the state legislature.
The Legislature’s Democratic caucuses are tinderboxes in which everything is seen through the woke prism of race. A crazy person who throws a commuter onto the train tracks is not responsible for his bad actions, but rather is seen as the victim who has been led to do such a heinous act because of the racist institutions that exploited him.
Hochul could’ve used her vast gubernatorial powers to push back. She consistently failed to do so. The one time she flexed her Governor’s muscles was to hold up this year‘s budget — not to demand changes to the bail laws — but, rather, to ensure that she secured half a billion dollars to subsidize the construction of a football stadium in her hometown.
Under the Cuomo-Hochul era, New York lost more people to cheaper, safer pastures than any other state in the union. Hochul’s opponent, Congressman Lee Zeldin, makes an interesting point when he states that a governor of New York must be able to complete this sentence that asks: “New York has more people fleeing its state than any other state in the nation, because ….”
It appears Hochul cannot finish that sentence other than to say good riddance to those who leave.
New Jersey Democratic governor Phil Murphy made the callous remark that those who thought New Jersey was too expensive should just get out. Cuomo and Hochul have said similar things over the years, telling conservatives that they “don’t represent our values” and should leave the state.
On almost every issue that matters to New Yorkers, Kathy Hochul has been on the wrong side of sanity, while her opponent, Lee Zeldin, offers sensible solutions.
Hochul deflects from the real problems by only highlighting the need to control guns. But we’ve always had millions of illegal guns circulating in the state. That hasn’t changed over the last three years. What did change was that the criminals in the past were fearful of carrying these guns because they’d be put in jail. When that deterrent was eliminated due to Hochul‘s policies, crime increased dramatically. Hochul is just fine with New York being the only state in the nation prohibiting judges from considering the dangerousness of the criminal in setting bail. Zeldin has promised to return discretion to the judiciary and to reverse the under age 18 get out of jail free card for violent offenders.
On spending and taxes:
The Cuomo-Hochul team has overseen the largest spending increase in state history, and that’s even before the pandemic. Since 2019, the state budget remarkably increased from $170 billion to $220 billion. Hochul’s only redeeming moment was seeking a bit more in reserves than her freely spending Legislative counterparts. Zeldin understands that spending controls are needed to end the exodus of New Yorkers to other states.
Hochul has backed the de Blasio theory that the homeless have a civil right to take over sidewalks, subway platforms, and public parks. Zeldin supports the more logical Giuliani-Bloomberg policy of providing mental health services and shelter for the homeless, but not allowing them to take over these public facilities.
On the migrant crisis:
Hochul supports the sanctuary state concept, and her only pushback has been to say that this is a federal problem that warrants New York getting more money. On the other hand, Zeldin has called on the federal government to finally secure the border so the migrant crisis does not become exponentially worse.
On the dismal state of education in New York:
Hochul focuses only on bragging about the amount of aid she has funneled to the schools, though we have seen through history that this does nothing for student performance. She has been a captive of the teachers unions and has blocked the expansion of charter schools, which are the only successful avenue for underperforming Black and Hispanic students to learn the basics. Zeldin strongly supports the expansion of charters.
Hochul wants to break the bank by spending another $4 trillion on climate change projects of dubious worth, while banning our ability to buy a gas-powered vehicle. And worst of all, she foolishly banned fracking in western New York, which would have been a boom for the economy there and lowered our electric bills.
Hochul unnecessarily extended the shutdown of our economy and our schools and won’t rule out mandating that all students receive the COVID shot or be banned from school. She said nothing as Cuomo sentenced thousands of seniors to their deaths by forcing virus-positive patients into nursing homes.
Zeldin wants accountability and a top-to-bottom investigation of the nursing home scandal. He promotes vaccines, but will leave the choice to the individual.
If there was one vulnerability that Zeldin had other than his association with unpopular (in New York) former President Trump, it was his stance on abortion, now that the Supreme Court placed the matter back onto the states. The vast majority of New Yorkers want to keep abortion legal in the first trimester, but illegal in the last. Hochul is closer to public sentiments on the first trimester, but shows her extremism by supporting abortion, even into the ninth month. Zeldin wisely announced just a week or two ago, that, if elected, he will not change New York’s abortion laws. It’s possible that may be enough to neutralize the issue for many swing suburban voters who will make the difference this election.
New Yorkers found out in the early 1990s that they couldn’t expect change unless they were willing to take the risk and vote for change. Voting for those who created this mess will just give you more of the same. That’s why Long Island Life and Politics strongly endorses Lee Zeldin for governor.