Chief targets of these libertarians (Yess would probably recoil at that characterization) are what she calls “RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).”
Yess, who may be lost in the 19th century on this one, proclaims that the “two core principles of the Republican Party are smaller government and lower taxes.” (Talk to Bush 43 on that one.) Any Republican who violates those principles, in word, deed or vote, is therefore a RINO worthy only of contempt. Locally, that means Republican legislators who favor retention of county ownership of the Golden Hill health care center.
So far, the Liberty Coalition is backing Michailescu against Bernardo in District 21, and Walter Frey against Bob Aiello in District 2 (Saugerties). They’ve taken no position on newcomers Terry Valk and Mary Wawro in Saugerties’ District 1. Wawro is the daughter of former legislator Bill Geick, now campaigning hard for his (former) little girl.
Crying wolf, again
Utilizing a now familiar scare tactic, county Budget Officer Art Smith sent the legislature’s Ways and Means Committee a doomsday message this week warning the county could suffer a shortfall of up to $25 million in this year’s budget. The softening-up process has begun as the county executive’s office enters the final stages of budget preparation for fiscal 2012.
Smith, a seasoned veteran in this scare-the-bejesus-out-of-them charade, trots out the usual bogymen: declining state and federal funding, increasing state and federal mandates, a sluggish economy. Sales-tax revenues are actually up, but that’s for later when Executive Mike Hein, who only announced good news — re: zero tax increase in this year’s election-year budget — tells us the gap has been reduced to less than $4 million, owing to his brilliant fiscal management, and that with but a small property tax increase and a few more layoffs we can all sail forth on hope.
Question for legislators who give a damn: How does a budget balanced to the penny last December, go $25 million out of whack in less than nine months? Might it have something to do with a zero tax increase?
Could it be that we’re really, really in trouble? Or to paraphrase the late Kingston mayor T.R. Gallo, maybe they’re not lying to us this time.
I doubt it.