In recent weeks, chatter about a blue wave cresting on Election Day and spilling across New York state was inescapable.
Two years after New York had fallen under single-party control, the pundits and Albany insiders took big Democrat gains for granted. It seems clear now, however, that we Republican representatives know our constituents a little better than the media does.
As absentee ballot counts continue, we remain poised to gain seats in the Assembly, in the state Senate and in our congressional delegation.
The successful issues we campaigned on- promoting public safety, battling the COVID-19 pandemic and reviving and revitalizing our economy should be the blueprint for our upcoming Legislative session in January. It’s what voters chose. It’s what our Democrat colleagues should help us deliver by working across the aisle to forge real progress.
On Nov. 5, Spectrum News reported that the governor believes Democrats “lost a messaging war over police and public safety.”
I have a simpler explanation- they lost on the merits. Republican elected officials didn’t create the anxiety over dangerous criminals being automatically released after their arrests, cop-killers being sprung from prison by the parole board and left-wing politicians calling for police departments to be defunded.
We simply share it. We have compassion for crime victims. We have respect for law enforcement officials, and we have empathy for New Yorkers who want to feel safe in their communities and secure in their homes. We’re asking Democrats to do the same.
Let’s repeal bail reform and start from scratch with a bipartisan process that includes testimony from crime victims and guidance from experts like judges, law enforcement officials and prosecutors.
Let’s reject the false premise that we can either protect our communities from COVID-19 or revitalize our economies. We must do both. Our Conference sponsors legislation which would provide small businesses with tax credits to make renovations and upgrades preventing the spread of infectious diseases. We’d love help from across the aisle to get it on the governor’s desk.
Finally, let’s close our budget gap by dealing with our balance sheet with pragmatism instead of accounting gimmicks. It’s time to move on from costly economic development programs that create profits for wealthy donors, create work for federal prosecutors and fail to create jobs for the middle class.
Let’s root out waste, fraud and abuse, particularly in our ballooning Medicaid program. These actions won’t just help us get through this period of economic uncertainty. It will help us drive down spending, drive down taxes and lure transformational private-sector investments that spark sustainable job growth.
On Election Day, New Yorkers rejected the politics of one-party rule. Suburban voters supported Republican candidates up and down the ballot who want to promote public safety, public health and responsible public budgets.
My message to my Democrat colleagues is simple- even if you don’t want to listen to me, you should listen to them.
State Assemblyman Ed Ra