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An array of protesters lined the streets outside the Democrat state convention Thursday, aiming their wrath at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Catholics, environmentalists and gun rights advocates carried signs and chanted slogans critical of the Democratic governor, an hour before the festivities were set to begin inside. Teachers unions and people upset about the pace of recovery from superstorm Sandy -- all who protested Wednesday -- were expected later.
“Governor Cuomo! Keep your word!” shouted Catholic school advocates, who believe the Cuomo administration fooled them about supporting an education tax credit that would boost donations to school scholarship programs. They expected the credit to be approved in the state budget, March 31, but it wasn’t. Their pickets read: “Governor Cuomo: Do you want our votes?”
“The governor told us time and time and time again he was with us,” said Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “We think it’s time for Governor Cuomo to show us he is.”
After the tax credit fell through in March, Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter saying he was “frustrated, disappointed and angry” about the “promised credit” failing to gain approval.
Environmentalists who oppose a method of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing carried signs calling on Cuomo to ban the practice, often called “fracking.” The governor has delayed his decision on natural gas several times, saying his administration is still conducting a health study. Opponents and proponents agree on one thing: Cuomo has been waiting until after the fall elections.
Protesters said they aren’t going away, even then.
“You can’t wait out the anti-fracking movement,” said Alex Beauchamp of New Yorkers Against Fracking. “It’s not going to stop because of an election.”
Gun-rights activists voiced opposition to gun-control legislation that tightened up the state’s ban on so-called assault weapons, known as the Safe Act.