Here’s the day’s charge and response from Steve Levy, would-be Republican nominee for governor, and Rick Lazio, would-be Republican nominee for governor.
Notice that Levy’s missive, the first one below, accuses Lazio of “partisan attacks” – which may seem odd considering that “partisan” suggests party loyalty, and his competition right now with Lazio is to, well, carry the GOP banner, meaning the partisan banner.
Being “post-partisan,” which Levy calls himself, might not resonate with those GOP state committee members who may think the Republicans are organized around certain principles. But hey – Levy’s got the support of the party’s state and Suffolk chairmen, and that's a key reason he's taken seriously for the nomination.
One long-time analyst of the scene, an Albany Republican, argues the Ed Cox-Steve Levy side this way: Since a Republican candidate needs Democratic votes to win in New York, why not go out and get your own Democrat?
Here’s his statement via JoshHills:
“In response to the barrage of partisan attacks launched by the Lazio campaign in recent weeks, Republican candidate Steve Levy’s campaign today noted that he has been enacting the very principles the Republican Party stands for while Rick Lazio has done almost nothing to promote those principles since his failed statewide run 10 years ago.
“For weeks now all we’ve heard from the Lazio campaign are feeble arguments to vote against Steve Levy – rather than for Rick Lazio,” said campaign consultant Mike Dawidziak. “This is because they have chosen to compensate for their candidate’s lack of experience and knowledge of state issues with partisan attacks, offering absolutely no solutions to the most pressing problems New Yorkers face.”
“The fact is, in the ten years since Rick Lazio’s last failed campaign, Steve Levy has been fighting for and enacting the fiscally conservative policies that Republicans care about most. Meanwhile, Rick Lazio was gaining his ‘executive’ experience as a lobbyist for the Wall Street banking industry, cashing in on a $1.3 million bonus financed through TARP funds.”
“Mr. Dawidziak noted that since taking office as County Executive, Steve Levy pulled the County out of a $238 million deficit, crafting the largest budget restructuring plan in the County’s history. He also presented six consecutive budgets with a General Fund tax freeze or tax cut—including three budgets with lower spending than in previous years.
““These are the kind of policies that Republicans – or for that matter, all voters – can appreciate,” said Dawidziak. “New Yorkers want a governor with a plan to help them keep their jobs and their homes.””
That was followed up by a release whacking Lazio’s support for NAFTA, which Levy’s folks cite economists as blaming for a huge loss of jobs in the country and thus erosion in our balance of trade.
Here is a Team Lazio reply via spokesman Barney Keller:
"This highlights a major reason why we have two parties. One, the Democratic Party, where Steve Levy is registered (ed’s note: his switch to GOP only takes effect after the next election), believes in higher taxes, trillion dollar “stimulus”, and government-run health insurance. The other, the Republican Party, where Rick Lazio is registered, believes that free market solutions and reducing taxes is the way to go. A liberal is a liberal any way you slice it, and liberal Levy’s desperate attacks show why he won’t be the Republican nominee."