Nassau County Legislature candidate Blay Tarnoff said he seeks to “bring back pride in government” if elected.
As the sole Libertarian candidate in any of the legislature races this year, Tarnoff is running against incumbent Democrat Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and Republican James M. Greenberg to represent Sands Point, Port Washington, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Glen Head, Glenwood, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove, which make up the 11th District.
Tarnoff grew up in Riverdale, Illinois, and France, worked in coding for IBM and lived around the world before moving to Long Island with his wife in 1999. Currently, he works as a freelance computer consultant for firms in Manhattan and makes his home in Port Washington.
He told Blank Slate Media in a sitdown interview that “government needs to be reformed at all levels,” and he wants to begin with the county Legislature.
“What I want to do is get into the Legislature and say the things that the politicians in the Legislature don’t want to hear,” Tarnoff said. “I only want government where it’s necessary.”
Tarnoff said that if elected he would “introduce the notion that we should devolve away from centralization, away from taxes, toward private property rights, away from regulations and away from government ownership of resources.”
“It’s natural that politicians would all say, ‘I’m going to make your life better, but you’ve got to give me the tools to do that. You’ve got to give me power, you’ve got to give me money,'” Tarnoff said. “My message is that the ills of society are better addressed by people and individuals helping each other and themselves.”
Tarnoff said his goals for the Legislature would include “strengthening private property rights and changing zoning laws.” For the latter, he says, he would replace them with land covenants between neighbors “rather than going to centralized government.” He also supports “lowering taxes,” which he said cause “a lot of impediments to people and business operating the way they see fit.”
“I think taxes are oppressive and harm people, harm businesses, harm the economy,” Tarnoff said. “I think you cannot create wealth by harming the economy, you only create more need, more poverty and more difficulties for people that way.”
Among the areas that Tarnoff suggests privatizing are the maintenance, ownership and construction of roads, and he says that certain results “can be achieved better through means other than the government.”
“I don’t expect that to be a message that the politicians would bring forward, because that really doesn’t work for them,” Tarnoff said. “But it is something that I think people would ultimately have to accept if they really want the things done that most people really want done.”
Tarnoff said that most residents “want the poor to be helped, they want to have pride in their government, they want to get rid of corruption in government” and that “there is a way to do them.”
“Unfortunately that way does not work for politicians,” Tarnoff said. “But I want to work to bring back pride in community, pride in society and pride in the government.”