I am happy to be joined here today by many like-minded individuals who share in my belief that we face a critical juncture in the history of the great state of New York. The Empire State.
This is, indeed, one of the most trying times in the history of New York State. No state in the union has escaped the pinch of the national recession. But here in Albany an alarming lack of leadership and resolve has brought us to the brink of fiscal insolvency.
The people of this state are crying out someone with a proven record as an executive manager who can balance budgets, make the tough decisions to protect taxpayers and save New York from financial ruin. I am that leader and that is why I am announcing my candidacy as a Republican to become the next governor of New York State.
I am the only candidate who has balanced a budget, who has cut spending and taxes, who has said ‘no’ to the special interests and who has extracted concessions from public employee unions.
That is a dramatic reversal from ‘politics as usual’.
It was politics as usual that got us into this financial quagmire; and politics as usual will not rescue us.
It was politics as usual that has made New York State an easy punchline on late night talk shows. Politics as usual will not reverse that.
And it was too much politics as usual that has pushed too many employers to seek more business-friendly pastures in other states. Politics as usual will not revive our economy.
I have spent the last two months meeting with Republican leaders across New York talking about my specific plans for this great state. Talking about the hard decisions that need to be implemented to keep our state solvent; to make our state strong again.
The people of New York are looking for more than a party, they are looking for a plan.
The people of New York are looking for more than sound bites, they are looking for solutions.
The people of New York are tired of for rhetoric, they want results.
The people of New York have seen plenty of partisanship, plenty of gamesmanship and one-upmanship from Albany, the one “ship” they have not seen from Albany is leadership.
I am proud that the people I have spoken with in the last two months -- the leaders who stand with me here today -- have recognized the severity of the crisis we face, and have recognized that my long record of fiscal conservatism represents New York’s best hope.
And that is why I am joining the Republican Party - and together we will bring fiscal restraint to our government in Albany.
I stand here today with a record of controlling taxes, cutting spending while maintaining -- and at times enhancing and improving -- services. It’s out there. It can be done, with that same spirit of New York innovation that has made our state proud for the last 225 years.
The people who stand with me today recognize that we need to stop spending, stop taxing, stop delaying and start cutting. Start reforming. Start putting the state’s best interests in front of the special interests. Bring a common sense, business-like approach to government. Open up the closed doors. Take charge. Politics as usual and business as usual will get you just that -- the usual. And we cannot afford that any more.
Now, the story here today is not one man’s change of party registration. The story here today -- and for the next seven months -- will be the fundamental change we can bring to the great state of New York. The change that people in New York are seeking. The change that will make New Yorkers proud once again.
Abraham Lincoln -- often-quoted and, I believe, a Republican -- once said: “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
The people I stand here with today – the leaders of the Republican party --believe, as I do, that the public wants, expects and demands nothing less from our state government than the plan I will be bringing to the people for the next seven months. Declaring a fiscal emergency. Capping spending. Capping property tax increases. Structural reform on every level and in every line of the budget. The end to business as usual and the end to politics as usual.
I realize I cannot do this alone. As governor, I look forward to working with my Republican allies and anyone else who will join our crusade for fiscal restraint. It is encouraging that so many Republican elected officials have already reacted very positively to my plan to cap spending in this state, and I look forward to work with them to rein in out-of-control spending.
During this exciting campaign, we will once again show the people of New York, and this nation, that when New Yorkers set about to resolve a problem -- there is nothing we can’t do!
Thank you and God bless our State of New York!