With more than 200 signed in at the state Conservative Party's 43rd annual political action conference outside Albany, it is the largest of the meetings yet, according to Shawn Marie Levine, executive director. Chairman Michael Long opened the afternoon with a speech underlining the electoral opportunities open to the right in upcoming months -- a much more upbeat prognosis for the core members than one year ago.
Still-to-be-announced candidate Harry Wilson gave his pitch for state comptroller, criticizing incumbent Democrat Thomas DiNapoli (and touting his own finance and business background) and Bruce Blakeman stumped for US Senate, criticizing the Obama administration on security and spending.Nassau CP activist George Marlin later heard the speech but crticized Blakeman, former county legislative PO, and the fact that he was introduced by county chairman Roger Bogsted, criticized -- anew -- by Marlin and others in the county organization for his perceived alliance with ousted Democratic CE Thomas Suozzi.
Bruce Gyory, at one time affiliated with the Liberal Party, who has consulted Democrats on strategy, gave a well-received analysis of voter behavior in the last election, focusing on independent voters and how they can be influenced by issues. Ed McMahon of the Empire Center for New York State Policy assessed the current budget proposal and Eamon Moynihan described his thesis that New York’s relatively high living costs are driven not just by taxes but the cost of heavy economic regulation.
Fomer LI Rep. Rick Lazio and Suffolk Executive Steve Levy are due to address the group today.