LAKEWOOD - Beginning in Lakewood, state Republicans showed Western New Yorkers the bus stops here.
On Wednesday, the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club was host to the "Take Back New York" tour launched by the New York Republican State Committee. An enthusiastic crowd of about 75 people cheered for a slate of GOP candidates that stepped off the bus and took to the podium.
Ed Cox, chairman of the committee, shared his optimism for changing the political makeup in Albany.
OBSERVER?Photos by Jason Rodriguez
Jay Townsend, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at the Lakewood event.
"Two years ago, the Democrats won the state senate. Four years ago they won the governorship. They've got all the power in Albany," he said. "There's a saying: 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' It didn't take long for it to happen, did it?"
"That's not the way it should be," he added. "We need good, clean Republican government in Albany."
Cox said the state needs to elect sufficient GOP assemblymen and senators throughout the state to ensure that a proper balance of party representation is restored. With more than 50 GOP seats, they can block a veto override used by the extreme majority of Democrats in power, said Townsend. Locally, he said the process begins with a vote for Andy Goodell.
Jay Townsend, challenger to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, spoke in a booming voice that fired up the crowd. He said the situation has only gotten worse for upstate New Yorkers, many of whom are jobless or left the state under the incumbent's tenure.
"Chuck Schumer has been there for too long, he is wrong for New York, and he's been wrong for too long," said Townsend.
He said he opposes the Medicaid Bill known as Obamacare, which puts an excessive unfunded mandate on New Yorkers that will have to be levied from property taxes after January.
Andy Goodell, local candidate for the 150th Assembly district, said his own campaign is accurately summarized in bold letters across the broad side of the bus: lower taxes, less spending and more jobs. Fiscal responsibility leads to better competitiveness, he said.
"We have what it takes to be great, we already have the foundation,'' Goodell said. ''We just need the state to get out of our way and help us move forward into a stronger future and I am determined to carry that message to Albany and make it a reality for Chautauqua County."
Many supporters carried Paladino/Edwards signs and held them high when Edwards spoke. The lieutenant governor hopeful said his running mate is the clear choice to make on Election Day.
Edwards said Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo has been "asleep on the job" as attorney general, while politicians were taking bribes from lobbyists, most recently for the Aqueduct racino development.
"He's been part of the problem for 29 years, he's not part of the solution," Edwards said. "We have a dramatic choice we can make on Nov. 2."
He said Paladino is gaining a reputation as a "straight talker" who does not refrain for the sake of political correctness, but he is the preferred choice compared to a "career politician" that is wrong for the state on the issues.
Lakewood was the first stop on the Republicans' tour for the day. Townsend, Edwards and Goodell joined other candidates as they proceeded to a pair of appearances in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.