Marc Molinaro is running for governor because he believes New York’s government has run amuck––in more ways than one.
Speaking at a SCOPE meeting Thursday night at the Carlisle Town Hall, the Republican gubernatorial candidate targeted Andrew Cuomo and vowed to be nothing like him.
Mr. Molinaro’s visit came just a day after Governor Cuomo declared “America was never that great,” mocking President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.”
Mr. Molinaro took the Governor to task.
“He should be ashamed,” he said. “To disrespect what this nation has accomoplished in 240 years. . .it has always been exceptional.”
Mr. Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, hadn’t planned to seek the nomination, but friends and family convinced him otherwise. (See related story.) on page ?
Mr. Cuomo’s performance was a factor, too.
Mr. Molinaro pointed to corruption in Albany, noting that seven or eight of the Governor’s associates have been indicted or disgraced.
“. . .And he says, ‘I never met them,’ ” Mr. Molinaro said. “He’s lying.”
Rooting out corruption is a major issue for him. Mr. Molinaro proposed an independent agency––not tied to the Governor’s office or legislature––to investigate.
“I don’t care where it goes or who it looks at,” he said.
Responding to questions from the audience of about 70, Mr. Molinaro said he’d reverse Albany’s practice of pushing state programs on local property taxpayers.
Vowing to slash state spending, he believes in zero-based budgeting; all state departments would start at zero and would have to justify their line items in the state budget.
The state budget process of “three men in a room”––the Governor and Assembly and Senate leaders––would stop.
“They’re not more important than anyone else,” Mr. Molinaro said. “I want to work with everyone, people who honestly want to solve problems.”
And while he didn’t offer a policy on economic development Thursday night, Mr. Molinaro criticized the Governor’s.
“Cuomo gives money to insiders,” he said. “That’s not economic development. It’s theft.”
Albany also hasn’t helped farmers much, Mr. Molinaro said, adding that the Governor should use his influence to improve national farm policy.
The Governor should, he added, open New York City markets––especially schools––to New York farmers.
“New York City is the biggest buyer in the world,” he said. “Why aren’t we using it?”
On education, Mr. Molinaro doesn’t support Common Core and said local administrators, teachers and families should have more control.
“We’re educating kids for jobs in other states,” he said. “Let’s educate them to keep them here.”
Although he was speaking at a SCOPE meeting––Shooters Committee on Political Education––Mr. Molinaro touched only briefly on the Safe Act, despised by many.
Governor Cuomo rammed through the Safe Act “in the shadow of a tragedy,” Mr. Molinaro said, and while it would be difficult to repeal, the act might be taken off the books in stages.