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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Opening gov shot: Lazio lasers Cuomo

Before a Conservative Party audience, Republican ex-Rep. Rick Lazio, likely nominee for governor, acknowledged Democratic AG Andrew Cuomo's appearance at the event last year before lighting into him -- in part the way Gov. David Paterson has begun to do.

After ticking off Albany's failures, from taxes to Medicaid fraud and ethics, Lazio said Cuomo has "locked himself in his office...while Albany burned." He accused the putative Democratic candidate for governor of keeping silence on the location of terror trials, how he'd close a mid-year deficit and how federal health care legislation would hit the state to the tune of $1 billion.

"Conventional wisdom," Lazio said, is that Cuomo will be the next governor, Lazio said, adding: "We've seen this movie before. If you don't know how it ends, just as Martha Coakley."

He called Democrats the "ruling party in Albany" that has failed to do the people's work while being "so focused on mataining power." As governor, he said he'd veto all irresponsible spending, end mandates on localities and budget gimmickry. "People who use Medicaid shouldn't have richer benefits than people who pay for Medicaid," he said.

Other talking points, as expected: The MTA payroll tax, job creation through a better business climate, standing up to "special interests." He pledged to be a leader who isn't looking out for his next political job. "Pensions are eating us alive," he told one questioner. "The day of fix figure public pensions has got to be overwith."


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