New York is a very difficult state for any Republican to win, and there are only two Republicans left in the entire Congressional delegation. The good news is that recent polls are favorable and last November Republicans took back the County Executive offices in suburban Westchester and Nassau. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was running well in the polls for Hillary Clinton’s old Senate seat, but today he removed himself from the race.
It will be difficult to find another candidate approaching the former Mayor’s stature. Former Gov. George Pataki and Rep. Peter King would be fine candidates, but their poll numbers are well behind Giuliani’s. Nevertheless, a Republican could have a chance this year even in a state as liberal as New York. So many issues have emerged that are favorable for a GOP challenger.
For example, the Senate health reform bill which will be approved on Thursday is a real blow to New York. All of the Democrats realize this, and it will be hard for them to defend. The new legislation will have the following results.
– Force the city to close 100 health clinics.
– Blow a $1 billion hole in the state’s budget.
– Threaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.
“It is really a disgrace and we’ve got to make sure that we fight before the bill is finally passed,” NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg fumed. New York is in such bad shape because they have been generous with health care in the past. “We are in a sense being punished for our own charity,” Gov. David Paterson (D) said today.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has the reputation of being a legislative wizard, but this time there was no magic for his state. Massachusetts and Vermont also have generous health care programs, but unlike New York, they received special deals which completely erased their extra costs. Nebraska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Louisiana were also recipients of last-minute deals.
The 24 members of the New York delegation are now circulating a letter stating: “New Yorkers will more than pay their share for increasing health coverage around the country. Yet New York will receive far less than the national average in federal relief.”
The GOP has never been more united in New York and throughout the nation. Our 2010 agenda is clear, and now we will take our message to the American people. Michael Barone says the last time a bill this controversial was passed on a party line vote was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It led to the Civil War.