Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Steve Levy for Governor II

I e-mailed three GOP activists whom I respect inquiries about Steve Levy. Two of them have interviewed Levy. As well, I had suggested to one that he ask about Levy's position on the Wicks Law. Here are their responses.

I. First, while I have not checked all of the candidates thoroughly, I have given some thought to Levy, and I certainly think that he would do a better job than Lazio. I also believe that with adequate financing that he would not drag down the rest of the ticket the way Lazio will.

Regarding the Wicks Law

Second, as a very young man, I was a commercial banker. One of my best customers , was the owner of a steel company who at times was forced, because of economic conditions, to operate in New York City. One of his fixed costs was a 15% markup to handle the graft required to operate in NYC.

A year or two later, I ended up as President of a conglomerate which included a major highway and heavy construction contractor which operated primarily in southeastern New York and the NYC Metro Area. In time I learned that the bids were all fixed, and indeed all of the estimates were done by one of our "competitors". In on the fix were all of the asphalt and concrete producers, as well as corrupt union officials who all ended up with a piece of the "action". It was my understanding that the cost to the taxpayers was normally 15% or more of the total bill!. And of course, as you know, state government contracts require the highest prevailing labor rate to be charged.

While I have no knowledge as to current conditions in the "highway" business, I suspect that the same conditions prevail to this day.

II. As a member of the State GOP Committee and more importantly a VERY concerned resident of this state, I am supporting Steve Levy. He met with us two weeks ago and I was very impressed.

As a resident, and putting all politics aside, I have no faith that Lazio or Cuomo would do anything to turn this state around. I believe Levy is our only hope to get us back on track. Without him I am certain that in 2014 when my youngest daughter graduates from high school I, too, will be leaving for greener and cheaper pastures.

My honest two cents.

Follow Up (after I stated that I was afraid that Levy might appoint Democratic staffers)

I agree that the fact that he’s a Democrat is worrisome, but rumor has it ... (deleted on request)...

I also liked Chris Collins, the Republican County Executive from Erie County, but his dreams of the governorship imploded after some anti-Semitic remarks. Too bad because he was a great candidate and has taken a hard line approach to government and turned things around in Erie County. He would have been a terrific candidate for the GOP, but he apparently suffers from foot in mouth syndrome like too many wannabe politicians!

III. I did have a chance to question him on a mouthful of issues including Medicaid waste and fraud and the mammoth public unions that control the state. He answered the Medicaid question adequately and although pressed for time...I did get to ask him if he would repeal Wick's Law. His answer to this was most comprehensive. He gave a detailed explanation of Wicks Law, similar to your description...He said he would fight to repeal Wicks and has been advocating for the same. He gave an example from his tenure in Suffolk of negotiating a contract with public construction unions I believe, where Wicks was suspended, and they did not have to abide by it.

Although I did not agree with him on 100% of the issues, he was upfront and honest and did not try to squirm and conceal some of his more "liberal" leaning agenda, such as promoting the US to take the lead in a "Green Revolution" (it's in his plan to reform the state economy on his website) to provide a boost to the economy which he believes is the next revolution following industrial and information technology, for which we gave him hell! I respect him more for talking straight and not being disingenuous about his disagreeable issues. All in all, I would support him as a man who excels and has a proven track record on fiscal issues like balanced budgets and standing up to special interests and public sector unions. I believe he has the ability to beat Cuomo and I want to ask others who feel the same to write to State Chairman Cox pronto and their County Chairmen of both the Conservative and Republican Parties, since he needs their lines in order to win.

I haven't heard any others except for Rick Lazio and one other fellow who recently dropped out. But I believe I have a good knack for spotting good people...I have also recently seen some other candidates who have impressed me, such as Michael Faulkner running for Congress in Harlem against Charlie Rangel, and Dan Maloney running in CD#4 (Nassau)against Carolyn McCarthy. There are more than a handful of other impressive figures who I believe have the integrity not to cave in to special interests, (like unions, wall st, etc.) that have impressed me. But I could be wrong on them.

However I believe there are the beginnings of a new type of leader emerging among Tea Party, Repub. and Libertarian circles. People who identify with the Constitution and have taken the plunge and are going into politics to serve their country and the people, since they have seen the ruin that radical Marxism and political cronyism can bring to our great nation through our current crop of leaders, and yes, I'll admit it, past Republican presidents and congresses as well are just as guilty.


Jennifer said...

Mitchell - I think you're so right! I don't agree with Steve on everything, but he always backs up his opinions with reason, so I appreciate him for it. No matter his party, he'll be a far better choice than Lazio or Cuomo for governor.

Raquel Okyay said...

Mitchell - I saw Mr. Levy speak at a Nassau/Queens 912 group meeting. He was very good on most issues, not so good on some.

I got into a little debate with him over cap & trade, if I had another hour I think I could have convinced him that global warming is a hoax, this is good.

All in all, I will agree with you, he makes a better candidate than Lazio, or as some say, Mr. Pataki-lite.