Conservative Party

Long Stepping Down As Conservative Party Chairman

Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long announced Monday he would step down as chairman of the party he’s led for more than 30 years.

“As I step away from my current role, I continue to stand with you as a proud member of the Conservative Party of New York,” Long wrote in a letter to party members.

The party has had its influence wax and wane over the decades he’s led it. No Republican has won statewide without the Conservative Party’s backing. At the same time, the party has sought to fulfill its goal of pushing Republicans further to the political right in an increasingly Democratic state.

Republicans lost their last vestige of statewide power in November, losing control of the state Senate in a landslide.

Conservative Party leaders praised Long’s tenure.

“His word has always been his bond,” said Livingston County Chairman Jason McGuire. “Chairman Long has been a personal mentor to me and many members of this party as we seek to advance conservative principles in New York. All I can say is, Semper Fi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your service to our state and the nation. Conservatism is indebted to you, sir.”

Conservative Party Blasts Outside Income Cap

Count the state Conservative Party among the dissenting voices when it comes to the pay raise and outside income limit for state lawmakers set in motion Thursday by a special commission.

Chairman Mike Long in a statement on Friday morning knocked the increase, which will be phased in over three years to $130,000 by 2021, and the limitation on outside income as “un-American.”

“America has always been a country that rewards hard work and if you choose to be an elected official there is no reason to restrict your ability to earn outside income. In fact, the Founding Fathers designed a part-time legislature in order for legislators to understand the consequences of the laws they passed,” Long said.

“Without outside employment, legislators become insulated in their world, thereby, unable to fully understand the ramifications of the legislation they pass.”

The cap on outside cap would be 15 percent of what a legislator’s public salary; a similar provision exists for members of Congress.

The recommendation by the commission, which has the force of law if lawmakers do not counter it by the end of the year, will be spelled out further in a report to be released on Monday.

Conservative Party Links Molinaro To Trump

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro has struggled to distance himself throughout his uphill statewide campaign from President Donald Trump, who is not terribly popular in his Democrat-dominated home state.

Right from the get-go, Molinaro repeatedly noted that he didn’t even vote for the controversial presidential candidate back in 2016, instead writing in the name of former Rep. Chris Gibson, a self-professed political pragmatist who once considered – and then rejected – a run for governor himself.

But Molinaro’s efforts to cast himself as a fair-minded fiscal conservative with middle-of-the-road social views, unlike Trump, have been stymied by his Democratic opponent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is relishing running against the president and linking him to the Dutchess County executive at every available opportunity – even going so far as to cast Molinaro as a “Trump mini-me.”

There are, however, a group of New York voters for whom Trump is not the enemy, but rather a hero. And these voters, many of them members of the state Conservative Party, need to turn out for Molinaro in next month’s general election if he is to have any hope of not losing in a landslide to the governor, who is leading by a wide margin in public opinion polls.

The state Conservative Party, which has endorsed Molinaro, also has an interest in getting its base to the polls, since retaining its ballot status rests on its ability to attract at least 50,000 votes for the Republican candidate on its line. The more votes he gets there, vis-a-vis other minor party candidates, the better placement the Conservatives get on the ballot for the next four years.

So the Conservatives are doing what Molinaro won’t – even can’t – willingly following Cuomo’s lead in linking him to Trump, but casting that connection as a positive, rather than a negative.

The party has released a new radio ad, entitled “Hallelujah,” urging “those who stood with the Conservative Party and voted for President Donald J. Trump to continue to stand with the Conservative Party and vote for Marc Molinaro for Governor on the Conservative line.”

Here’s the script:

This is what a typical liberal hears when Donald Trump speaks…

“(Yelling and screaming over horror score)”

But this is what a conservative hears…

“Glory, glory hallelujah!”

If Trump infuriating his enemies is music to your ears – – and you don’t mind making the liberals scream yourself – – this November stand with President Trump.

Cast your vote on the Conservative Party line, Row C. Your vote means more on the Conservative Party line.

Almost 3 million voters across the state backed Trump for President. Maybe Andy Cuomo thinks they have nowhere to go this election.

He’s wrong.

See, the Conservative Party unapologetically backs Trump. And when you vote Marc Molinaro for Governor on the Conservative Party line, you make a statement.

This election, vote Molinaro for Governor on the Conservative Party line, Row C. Send a message that you stand with President Trump because there’s more to do to make America great again.

TRUMP: We gotta get it done!

Paid for the State Conservative Campaign Committee.

Interestingly, this ad only focuses on the governor’s race, on which the Conservative Party’s future depends.

It makes no mention of, say, the battle for control of the state Senate, in which the Republicans are fighting mightily to retain their slim control of the majority in a supposed blue-wave election year – an effort that the Conservatives arguably also have a stake in.

There’s also no mention of the battle for control of the House, which the president himself has been focused on, stumping for candidates in key red states across the nation. The president hasn’t in recent months, paid much attention to his home state, though soon-to-be-former House Speaker Paul Ryan was scheduled to be in key upstate districts this week, and Vice President Mike Pence has also made appearances.

Trump himself last appeared upstate in August, when he attended an event to benefit Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, a staunch supporter of the president, who is locked in a tight re-election battle with Democratic Assembly Anthony Brindisi.

Fitzpatrick, Ortt Top Conservative Party Rankings

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick and Sen. Robert Ortt topped the rankings of the state Conservative Party’s annual ratings released on Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick, a member of the Assembly from Long Island, scored a perfect 100. Ortt, a western New York Republican, scored 85 percent.

The Conservative Party reviewed bills on spending, crime, education, regulations and reproductive issues in the 2018 legislative session.

“We believe that it is necessary to keep the public informed of key votes and let the taxpayers be aware of how elected officials spend our money,” said Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long. “Every bill is considered, and then we narrow the number to give voters a fair assessment of what transpires in Albany.”

The overall rating in the narrowly divided state Senate was 55 percent, the same as the previous year. The average score in the Democratic-led Assembly was 42 percent.

The full rankings can be found here.

Conservative Party Backs Farley For Senate

The state Conservative Party has endorsed Republican Chele Chiavacci Farley for U.S. Senate, taking on Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand, the party on Tuesday announced.

Farley, a first-time candidate and director at Mistral Capital International and a former state Republican Finance chairwoman, was praised by Conservative Party officials. She faces an uphill climb against Gillibrand, who is better known and better funded.

“From Conservative judges to healthcare reform and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure, this is our time to transform America and make a long-term difference,” she said.

“Unlike Senator Gillibrand, I will never forget that the first job of a United States Senator is representing the needs of their state. After the summer of hell for subway and rail commuters in the metropolitan area, I will deliver the funding we need to fix our mass transportation system and protect commuters.”

The Conservative Party has won statewide before, with Sen. James Buckley winning a three-way race in 1970.

The state GOP committee is expected to endorse Farley on Friday.

Long: Don’t Blame Democratic Wave On Con Con

A confluence of factors led to the defeat of Republicans in key races on Tuesday, Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said in an interview, disputing the theory a push to reject the constitutional convention may have also played a role.

“I would not blame it on one given thing,” he said. “In some cases the candidates have to take responsibilities for how they lost.”

The Conservative Party, along with a range of right-leaning groups such as the Rifle And Pistol Association and abortion opponents, opposed the convention referendum, which was soundly rejected in a landslide by voters.

But it was also opposed by public labor unions, whose members generally vote Democratic. Republicans lost races in Westchester and Nassau counties on Tuesday, unseating incumbent Rob Astorino and losing the Nassau County executive seat as well.

“I think it’s a mixed bag,” Long said. “I think everybody can hang their hat for taking credit for various reasons or taking blame for various reasons.” New York is a blue state. Donald Trump didn’t win

Blaming the con con on GOP loses ignores the re-election of Republican Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Long said.

And he pointed to other factors: An anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats in a blue state and local-level issues, such as corruption in Nassau County government.

“Does that drive some of the progressives out as a war cry? Yeah, I guess so,” Long said. “The con con vote was really big. Ed Day in Rockland County — he won. That vote was big up there, too. Take a look at Jack Martins’s race. That wound up being very, very close. If anything in that case you can blame the corruption issue in Nassau County. In each case there’s a special reason why one can hang their hat on con con.”

Meanwhile, Long said there is not front runner yet in the Republican nomination for governor. Astorino on Thursday through a spokeswoman ruled out running a second time for governor next year against incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Republicans Marc Molinaro, John DeFrancisco, Brian Kolb and Harry Wilson are considering bids for governor next year. Having the support of the Conservative Party is considered key for any Republican victory statewide.

Long said all would be invited to speak to the party’s annual gathering at the start of the new year.

“There are no front runners yet,” he said. “If they all stay in place that they’re considering running — they all will be invited to speak at the conference and we’ll start trying to crystalize where we are.”

Conservative Party Urges Yes Vote For Proposal 2

The Conservative Party on Tuesday urged voters to back proposal 2 on the ballot next week that would add a constitutional amendment that would strip those convicted of felony corruption of receiving their pensions.

The amendment would give discretion to judges in cases when handing down punishments.

“Simply put, a public official at any level could be subject to losing part or all of their pension if they commit a felony related to the work they are hired to do,” the party said in a support memo released Tuesday. “The Court would make the decision, after consideration of undue hardship to the family and the seriousness of the crime.”

The Conservative Party is opposed the first proposal appearing on the ballot — whether to hold a constitutional convention. Some con con supporters and opponents — including those who back proposals 2 and 3 — worry the push to oppose the convention referendum would lead to a cascade of no votes down the ballot. The third proposal would create a land bank for development in the Catskills and Adirondack Park.

“The Conservative Party has been quite vocal regarding its opposition to the first statewide proposal that asks if a Constitutional Convention should be held,” the party stated. “Part of the reason we are opposed to a Constitutional Convention has to do with the fact that it is possible to amend the NYS Constitution without holding a very expensive convention.”

Senate’s Overall Conservative Rating Falls

The state Conservative Party this week released ratings of the 213 members of the Assembly and Senate, finding the overall rating for the Republican-controlled Senate have fallen over the last year.

The Senate is narrowly controlled by Republican lawmakers with aid from Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, who conferences with the GOP. The Independent Democratic Conference, a seven-member group, remains a key bloc in the chamber.

Overall, the Senate’s conservative rating fell from 69 percent in 2016 to 55 percent this year.

The party in calculating its ratings consider legislation on spending, crime, education, and abortion and pro-life related measures.

“We believe that it is necessary to keep the public informed of key votes and let the taxpayers be aware of how elected officials spend our money. Every Bill is considered, and then we narrow the number to give voters a fair assessment of what transpires in Albany,” said Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long.

The most conservative members of the Senate included a four-way tie among Republican lawmakers: Sens. Fred Akshar, Kathy Marchione, Sue Serino and Jim Tedisco. Each earned an 80 percent rating.

In the Assembly, five Republican lawmakers tied with a 92 percent score: Kevin Byrne, Joe Errigo, Michael Fitzpatrick, Christopher Friend and Steve Hawley.

The full ratings can be found here.

Conservative Party Decries Cuomo Immigration Executive Order

Not surprisingly, the state Conservative Party is speaking out in opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new executive order that prohibits state agencies – including law enforcement officers – from asking individuals about their immigration status unless required by law to do so.

State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said the governor’s effort actually “undermines the very essence of what made New York State the Empire State,” because it seeks to protect people regardless of whether they are in the country legally.

In Long’s opinion, the immigrants who are the backbone of this state came to the country legally, and those who don’t go through the proper channels to come here should not receive special treatment.

“They stood in line and respected the rule of law,” the chairman said of legal immigrants. “New York’s Ellis Island welcomed and processed almost 40 percent of the legal immigrants that have come to America.

“We are proud of being a melting pot of legal immigration,” Long continued. “It is illegal immigration that we oppose; when you enter illegally you make the statement that the rule of law does not apply to you.”

“Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order gives immigrants who have entered our beloved country illegally his blessing to disregard the rule of law and allows illegal immigrants to reap the benefits created by a society that is based on the rule of law.”

Conservative Party Endorses Malliotakis

The New York City chairmen of the state Conservative Party on Wednesday endorsed Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis for mayor, citing her work as a “vocal advocate for conservative principles and policies.”

The endorsement for Malliotakis comes three weeks after she entered the race for the Republican nomination for mayor, facing businessman Paul Massey.

“She’s stood tall with law enforcement, especially the NYPD and she instinctively realizes that the root cause of crime is criminals,” the chairmen said in a joint statement. “She’ll fight to ensure that New York City keeps Rikers Island open and will stand arm to arm with New Yorkers to block any efforts to locate city jails in our neighborhoods.”

The party added Malliotakis backs the expansion of charter schools and a measure designed to provide a tax incentive for those who make donations that benefit private and parochial schools.

The Conservative Party in the last race for mayor, in 2013, backed Republican Joe Lhota, who at the time face John Catsimatidis in a Republican primary.