Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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May 7th, 2010

Statewide conference unites rural democrats

Last weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Democratic Rural Conference (DRC) in Niagara Falls.
The DRC is dedicated to illuminating and promoting issues that affect rural New York, including the economy, taxes, education, healthcare, energy and our environment.

All of the Democratic candidates seeking statewide office in next November’s election including Governor, United States Senator, Attorney General, and Comptroller were there wooing the crowd.

With A-list Democratic names like Andrew Cuomo, Charles Schumer, David Paterson, and Kirsten Gillibrand in attendance, it was truly a political junkies dream.
Fallsburg Town Supervisor Steven Vegliante and Dali Levy were in attendance representing Sullivan County. Democratic Chairman Steven Wilkinson was also there but had to leave due to a personal matter.

Sullivan County Legislator David Sager and candidate for State Senator was also there working the Democratic brass. Sager was well received, and was visibly embraced by such high ranking leaders as State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.

The two day conference included the usual pep speeches from those seeking elective office and their supporters, straw polling, and one on one conversation with the candidates.

Surprisingly, I found myself mingling with Gov. Paterson, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and State Senator Smith. I was afforded the unique opportunity to discuss Sullivan County’s desperate need for economic development.

We chatted how Indian Gaming brought Niagara Falls’ economy back, and how it could do the same for Sullivan County. They agreed and assured me the fight was not over.

I mentioned to Paterson he would be leaving a great legacy if he were the person who brought casino gaming to Sullivan County. He smiled and agreed with me.

Although Paterson is not seeking reelection, he spoke to the enthusiastic crowd from the heart and expressed deep concern about New York’s fiscal crisis. He remained steadfast in his drive to balance the state’s budget before he left office.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is without a doubt running for Governor. He walked into the electrified room as if her were a rock star.

Cuomo spoke about putting government before politics. He spoke about corruption and his record as Attorney General to fight it.

The popular Attorney General labeled this November’s election, “The most important in the State of New York.” He said, “Our fiscal house must be in order. We need to tighten our belts and do more with less.

Cuomo noting that there are 10,521 governments in New York State including town and villages said, “We can’t afford that anymore.” Sullivan County government is no exception and I have been writing for some time that there needs to be some form of consolidation between our towns and villages.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, both up for reelection, also touched on their records of accomplishment for upstate New York.

On Saturday morning a straw poll was conducted. Those seeking statewide office were nominated and spoke before the audience. Surprisingly there were candidates running against both Schumer and Gillibrand, even though they knew they did not have a chance of winning.

All of the excitement was the race for Attorney General, because Cuomo is not seeking reelection and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is running unopposed.

Five distinguished candidates are seeking the nomination for Attorney General. Former New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, although not a candidate yet, also said she was also considering entering the race.

Vegliante representing Wilkinson and Sullivan County nominated Assemblyman Richard Brodsky. The Fallsburg Supervisor told me, “It was a distinct privilege to represent the Sullivan County Democratic Committee at the conference. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to nominate our friend Richard Brodsky to run for Attorney General and look forward to campaigning for him this fall.”

Even though there was no balloting, the crowd loudly and unanimously nominated Cuomo for Governor. Thermos bottles were handed out reading Cuomo 2010.
The Statewide Democratic Convention will be held later this month in White Plains. Those officially nominated may have primary challengers in September, and then face their Republican opponents in the November General Election.

In last week’s column pertaining to David Sager becoming a Democrat, I mentioned legislators Leni Binder, Jodi Goodman, and Bob Kunis, had also switched political affiliations in the past. I would like to clarify that Goodman became a Republican before she was elected to the legislature. She switched political parties after a dispute with the Town of Liberty Democratic Committee.

The political wheels keep on churning.

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