Gun-toting New Yorkers say they will generate enough voters to defeat the far left agenda proposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“We are seeing a backlash from the governor’s urban-oriented base,” said New York State Assemblyman Pete D. Lopez (R.- Schoharie).
From the start, Cuomo calculated his positions to please two types of voters for two different reasons, he said. “Cuomo does not need rural-conservative votes to win a statewide election, but he did want to show principled governance so that he could run for president.”
The governor started his campaign in 2010 to the right, he said. “Cuomo fought for fiscal discipline, charter school funding, and a 2 percent tax cap.”
Two years later he swung the pendulum to the left, he said. “Last year gay marriage was signed into law; in January the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was passed, and most recently he tried but failed to enact a reproductive rights agenda by bundling it up with other female-related issues.”
“His attempt to appease both political extremes is now imploding,” said Lopez who served as Schoharie county clerk for 21 years.
The Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics included Cuomo in its 2013 “The Worst Governors in America” report. CREW said Cuomo has transparency and cronyism failures.
CREW, who has a reputation for being left-leaning, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.
Opposition to New York’s extreme gun control law, commonly known as the SAFE Act, continues and elected officials are stepping forward to promote full repeal of the bill that was hastily, strong-armed into law.
“Behind the scenes, it is Cuomo’s base that is falling apart,” said Lopez who was a recipient of the David Williams Award for preservation of freedom and has an “A” rating with the National Rifle Association.
When push comes to shove Cuomo does not need the rural-conservative vote to be re-elected, but he does need rural-conservative support in order to be competitive in a national election, he said. “Cuomo’s initial conservative-leaning proposals brought him some support.”
Now approximately one year before re-election time, the SAFE Act has triggered a complete collapse of upstate and rural support, he said. “He cannot pull back even if he wanted to.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that the SAFE Act has caused Cuomo’s numbers to decline,” said Rus Thompson, a U.S. Army Veteran and founder of TEA New York.
“The SAFE Act is and has been viewed as an act of pure grandstanding and a political ploy to be the first official to pass the toughest gun law in the country after the senseless killings at Sandy Hook Elementary,” said the community activist from Buffalo, NY.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a lone gunman fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members before committing suicide at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.
Thompson said that Cuomo claims to be honest, open and transparent, but is nothing of the sort. “He avoids the public as much as humanly possible.”
“At a recent fundraiser in Syracuse some protesters attempted to get close to his gas guzzling SUV and he motioned them with a hand gesture that means: I will crush you,” he said.
“What an insult!” he said.
“Cuomo is a thug with a real punk attitude; it is his way or the highway,” he said. “His liberal-progressive agenda may benefit New York City but it hurts the rest of the state.”
Next year, members of Congress, state representatives and the governor’s seat are up for re-election, he said. “I foresee trouble for anyone that voted for the SAFE Act and anyone still refusing to bring the repeal bill forward.”
Rep. David J. DiPietro (R.-East Aurora), a state assemblyman and state Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione (R. – Halfmoon) introduced reciprocal full repeal bills in the state’s legislature.
“We have put together a group of concerned citizens who are looking at New York State voting patterns,” said Hector J. Miranda, a community organizer from Poughkeepsie, NY.
Cuomo is losing numbers, he said. “We will be actively working to register new voters who are gun owners.”
Former New York State governor George E. Pataki, a Republican, was able to capture the hearts and minds of voters, he said. “We already have a candidate in mind that can defeat Cuomo.”
Pataki was the 53rd governor of New York, and the last Republican governor in office. He served three consecutive four-year terms from Jan. 1, 1995 through Dec. 31, 2006.
Miranda’s group is not only targeting the governor, he said. “We are targeting everyone who does not operate to protect our rights.”
There is an avenue to remove a right from the Constitution, he said. “If the state legislature wants to negate the Second Amendment, then they can hold a constitutional convention.”
Miranda, who was active in politics in his hometown of San Juan, PR, said that politicians that support the SAFE Act could not be successful at overturning the Second Amendment at a convention so they resorted to passing an unconstitutional law with little debate.
He said they are working to inform minority communities because historically gun control laws target them. “Not just in the United States, but globally, gun control laws have been initiated to oppress minorities.”
“We have a natural right to protect and preserve our lives,” he said. “We also have a right to be free.”