Ed Cox, the chairman of New York State’s Republican party, has penned a scathing letter to members of his party, urging them to resist “strong-arm tactics” by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to rack up endorsements for his re-election bid.
“When out of power, our job as a party is to provide loyal opposition, not for opposition’s sake but for the sake of the governing philosophy and principles that will advance our state,” Mr. Cox declared in the letter, which was released to reporters this morning. “The Cuomo administration is well known for their heavy-handed tactics in winning support, but for the sake of New York’s future, I hope I can count on Republicans such as yourself to be strong and to live up to our Republican convictions.”
The letter comes as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to face fallout from his “bridgegate” scandal, which stemmed from alleged efforts by the Republican to strong-arm local Democrats into providing bipartisan support.
Mr. Cox faces an uphill battle in unseating Mr. Cuomo, who is already sitting on a $30 million campaign war chest and is running in a heavily Democratic state. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who seems to be preferred by the state’s Republican establishment, is widely expected to mount a run, while other Republicans like Donald Trump and Carl Paladino are eying the race.
A spokesman for Mr. Cox would not reveal which Republicans received the letter.
Mr. Cuomo’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
View the full letter below:
I’m writing today because I know that the Cuomo administration is reaching out for your support.
As State Party Chairman, I ask that before you make any decision, you consider the abysmal record of the Cuomo administration:
After seven years and three Democratic Governors, New York remains the most taxed, most regulated, least economically free state in America with the highest outmigration and the most debt per capita, just as we were when Andrew Cuomo took office.
Gov. Cuomo’s ostensible election year conversion on taxes cannot mask the fact that he has raised taxes by $4 billion during his term, most notably by extending the top bracket surcharge and the 18a utility tax that were set to expire. As the Governor has said, “It’s a new tax. It was supposed to sunset. If it doesn’t sunset, it’s a tax.”
While airing taxpayer-funded ads that claim New York State is “open for business,” Andrew Cuomo has kept New York closed to the most innovative industry in the United States, the extraction of natural gas from our rich shale deposits, which is being done safely in more than thirty states and has produced 240,000 new jobs across our border in Pennsylvania.
He has failed to seriously address our bloated Medicaid program, which continues to cost more money than Medicaid in Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania combined. The New York Times and a congressional committee have both documented the abiding waste and fraud in our $54 billion Medicaid program.
Andrew Cuomo has failed to seriously tackle corruption in Albany, both during his four years as Governor and his term as Attorney General. Sheldon Silver, who covered up a culture of sexual abuse of female staffers with taxpayer-funded hush money, has still neither faced any serious investigation nor been called out by Governor Cuomo.
In a cynical political maneuver to become the first executive in America to pass gun control in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, Andrew Cuomo forced through the legislature in the middle of the night a gun law that was so flawed that it technically turned all of our law enforcement officers into criminals.
When out of power, our job as a party is to provide loyal opposition, not for opposition’s sake but for the sake of the governing philosophy and principles that will advance our state.
The Republican Party is New York’s foremost voice for freedom, economic growth, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, limited government and local control. My job as party Chairman is to help advance candidates that can promote those ideals.
The Cuomo administration is well known for their heavy-handed tactics in winning support, but for the sake of New York’s future, I hope I can count on Republicans such as yourself to be strong and to live up to our Republican convictions.