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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why New York state must maintain a balance of power
(Page 2 of 2)
Other taxes would undoubtedly go up, too. You can start in New York City. If Mayor Bill DeBlasio gets his 1 percent tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers, this will only motivate more top earners (and spenders) to flee, taking their money and businesses to another state. Is this what we want? The answer is no.

When any one party has a supermajority at any level of politics, it is a political injustice. When the balance is upset, we’ve seen scandal and corruption. Things began to turn around in 2008, when Republicans captured the majority in the State Senate, and Rockville Centre’s own Dean Skelos was named majority leader. With Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats in the governor’s office and controlling the Assembly, a system of checks and balances began to develop. The big-government liberal Democratic machine was seemingly slowing down.

Together, Cuomo and Skelos have created a responsible government and a working relationship that is above partisan politics. Albany has gone from a political laughingstock to once again being a well-respected center of government.

With the November elections approaching, the state GOP is in danger of losing the reins of the State Senate. Long Island is a crucial battleground for the GOP, as Republican State Sen. Chuck Fuschillo announced his retirement and fellow Long Island GOP State Sen. Lee Zeldin will run for Congress against an incumbent Democrat. Right now, the 63-member Senate is controlled by a coalition of 29 Republicans and five Democrats who vote together. In order to keep control, the GOP is going to have to fight.

The State Senate is the last bastion of Republican power in New York state. It has been able to block liberal legislation like new rent regulations, outrageous minimum wage increases and tax hikes on the wealthy. We need to hold these two seats on Long Island, and even pick up two more to increase the strength of the coalition.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.

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