Congressman Chris Lee gets a tour of Monroe Industries from company vice president Bonnie Webster.
Republicans hear from primary candidates at its annual fundraiser
Congressman Chris Lee gets a tour of Monroe Industries from company vice president Bonnie Webster. Photo by Michael Johnson
Livingston County Republicans united in a resounding message that was declared loud and clear from their meeting held at the Genesee River Hotel in Mt. Morris — and may well have been heard in Albany and Washington: This election must bring a change in Albany and Washington, D.C. — and Republican candidates are eager for a chance to do the job.
The Livingston County Republican Committee hosted the fundraiser at the banquet facility last Friday, Aug. 20.
County Chairman Lowell Conrad invited the party’s full slate of candidates in this fall’s election; many attended and offered their platform and message urging change.
The call for change was the predominant theme that gave local Republicans confidence that the party, county and statewide, is united in its platform at election time this November. Some of the candidates will first face the primary on September 14 to appear on the November 2 ballot.
Buffalo native Carl Paladino, candidate for governor didn’t mince words when speaking to the audience.
“I’m not politically correct,” he said. “This is a government out of control, they have been feeding at the public troth so long they know no other way,” he commented referring to the status quo in Albany.
Paladino quoted the current record of facts, including that New Yorkers pay the highest taxes per capita of any state in the country and reminded people that lawmakers delivered a budget over 120 days late.
He referred to an oversized state workforce of nearly 300,000 employees that he says should be trimmed.
“It’s an abusive government taking advantage of taxpayers. I’m going to take a baseball bat to Albany, and you’re the bat,” he said.
He promised to lower taxes by 10 percent in the first six months if he is elected governor and to cut state spending by 20 percent.
“I’m going to create jobs so our kids can stay here.”
Paladino says he is not a politician and this is his first time running for office.
“I’m one of you; I want only four years,” he commented.
Paladino is a life-long resident of Buffalo and is CEO of Ellicott Development Company, which he founded in 1973. He was named Buffalonian of the Year in 1991 and in 2008 he received the Business First Lifetime Achievement Award. He faces Rick Lazio in the September primary. Lazio did not attend the Livingston County event.
Retired CIA officer Gary Bernsten of Long Island is challenging Democratic incumbent Charles Schumer for United States Senate. Bernsten runs on a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-strong military platform.
He supports economic growth through free enterprise and lowering taxes so small businesses can flourish.
If elected, he would fight to repeal President Obama’s health care reform bill, and supports a permanent repeal of the death tax, no taxation on social security benefits or capital gain and proposes a reduction in the corporate tax rate.
Bernsten stands for a strong military to protect American security and economic interests. He is a decorated CIA officer who led the agency’s paramilitary forces in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
He also led the CIA’s counterterrorism efforts in Africa following the embassy bombings in the late 1990s and the counternarcotics programs in Latin America in 2005. He was the CIA’s Chief of Hezbollah Counterterrorism Operations in Israel in the early 90s. and is one of the agency’s most decorated officers having received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the Intelligence Star before retiring in 2005.
On the debate over construction of a Islamic mosque near the Ground Zero site in Manhattan, Bernsten is straightforward on his opinion; he opposes the idea as a matter of national security. In recent news reports he called the proposal a magnet for militants and a hotbed for trouble.
Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) visited two Livingston County businesses before coming to the Republican event.
Lee says Monroe Industries and LMC, located in the former Foster Wheeler plant in Dansville, are examples of small business that are creating manufacturing jobs and flourishing despite the economic downturn.
Lee says he tries to visit small businesses in the 26th district whenever he is in the area. What he hears from them is that the tax structure and regulatory restraints make it difficult for small business to operate.
He says small business owners tell him that high insurance rates and a lack of qualified workers top the list of concerns. These and other issues facing Western New York are what the Tonawanda native promises to continue fighting in Congress.
Lee made public his support for the gubernatorial candidate from Western New York Carl Paladino.
“We need a Western New Yorker to Albany under control,” he said.
The Livingston County Republican Committee endorses Lee for Congress. County Chair Conrad said Republicans should send Chris Lee back to Washington.
State Senator Cathy Young, also endorsed by Livingston County Republican Committee in her re-election pursuit of New York’s 57th District, addressed the audience to remind them of her commitment to her constituents.
She recognized retiring Senator and close friend Dale Volker (NY-59th) and Assemblyman Joe Errigo (NY- 136th).
A reflection of her agricultural roots, she is the ranking member of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee and has been dedicated to strengthening the state’s top industry, dairy farming. She is also active as a member of the Transportation, Health, Environmental Conservation, Housing and Insurance Committees in Albany.
Senator Dale Volker took the podium only briefly to talk to the audience. He is stepping down after 38 years of public service.
“It’s something I didn’t deserve. I won’t forget this county even when I’m out of office,” said Volker.
Assemblyman Dan Burling (NY-147th) is the LC Republican Committees candidate for the state assembly. He was elected to the state assembly in 1998 and seeks re-election to his seat this November.
He thanked the audience and his constituents for the opportunity to serve his district. Burling recognized and thanked Volker for his many years of service to Western New Yorkers. In light of Volker’s retirement, Burling expressed his endorsement of Patrick Gallivan, candidate for New York’s 59th Senate District.
Burling says he recognizes Gallivan’s career in law enforcement and says he believes he would be more effective in Albany as a representative of the issues facing WNY over his opponent in the September primary, Jim Domagalski, a managing partner of a Buffalo law firm.
The county Republican Committee endorses Gallivan. Gallivan is a fiscal conservative who supports a property tax cap, a state spending cap, cutting income and business taxes, term limits and second amendment rights of gun owners, among many other things. In a nutshell, Gallivan also opposes unfunded state mandates and out of control regulatory agencies.
He is a native Western New Yorker who grew up in Bergen, lived a short time in Caledonia and has made his home in Elma with his wife and children for the past 20 years. Gallivan is a career law enforcement professional that started as a State Trooper then advanced through the ranks to captain before being elected two terms as Erie County Sheriff.
He now owns and operates his own professional investigation and security firm and is a member of the New York State Board of Parole.
His father Richard Gallivan, also a former State Trooper and Geneseo Village Trustee, provided a strong example of public service, said the candidate for senator.
“I’ve been involved in public service my whole adult life. I’ve admired Senator Dale Volker who also has a criminal justice background. His retirement leaves a huge void that interests me,” Gallivan commented.
He vows to get state spending under control and reduce taxes and regulations.
“Then there will be jobs and people will want to stay here,” he remarked.
Gallivan says he demonstrated his ability to communicate well across party lines in his eight years as Erie County Sheriff.
He has lived and or worked in every county in the 59th Senate District, which he hopes voters will send him to Albany to represent. He faces Buffalo area lawyer James Domagalski in the September primary.
Domagalski attended the fundraiser and addressed the audience about his first time bid for public office. Domagalski also seeks the New York’s 59th Senate District seat being vacated by Volker. He is proud of his conservative pro-life values and economic plans.
If elected, Domagalski plans to cut state spending by 15 percent across the board eliminate fully funded lifetime pensions for retiring state legislators. He calls himself a fiscal conservative and also supports term limits for state legislators.
He also calls himself a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights and is a member of the National Rifle Association.
“I’m a proud conservative and the voters in this district realize and appreciate my views of pro-life, pro-second amendment rights.”
Sean Hanna, endorsed by the Livingston County Republican Committee, seeks the New York State Assembly seat in the 130th District. Hanna spent six years as a prosecutor in the Monroe County District Attorney’s office and then eight in the Monroe County Legislature before Governor George Pataki made him the
Avon-based DEC Regional Director for the 11 county area. He currently is a lead trial attorney for Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks’ administration.
Livingston County’s Clerk James Culbertson, endorsed by the county Republicans, and is seeking a fifth term to the clerk’s office. He’s been recognized for his improved efficiency in the motor vehicle and clerk’s departments.
Culbertson received the 2009 NYS Clerk of the Year award and in 2010 received the Lifetime Achievement award. He is very active in the community, having led the United Way 2009-2010 campaign.