TIM KELLY PHOTO
Assemblyman Marc Alessi
The candidates seeking to represent the North Fork in the State Legislature next year received a stern warning from one of the area’s largest business groups to either fix state government or face being thrown out of office in two years.
“You know folks, it’s getting tired,” North Fork Chamber of Commerce president Joe Corso said of oft-repeated campaign pledges to both create jobs and lower taxes. “No matter who’s in power, nothing seems to change.”
Mr. Corso’s comments came during the chambers meet the candidates dinner at the Portly Grape in Greenport. He was addressing incumbent GOP State Senator Kenneth LaValle and both Democratic Assemblyman Marc Alessi and his Republican challenger, County Legislator Dan Losquadro of Shoreham. Mr. LaValle’s Democratic foe, Rocky Point attorney Jennifer Maertz, did not respond to the chamber’s invitation, said Mr. Corso.
“You can’t cut spending and you can’t cut taxes at the same time,” Mr. Corso added. “We’ve been hearing that for 30 years.”
The Republicans blamed the Democrats, who control the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature, for the state’s fiscal troubles.
“We need to break their veto-proof majority and force them to deal with suburban representatives,” said Mr. Losquadro.
Responding to a question on why Albany has become “a magnet for crooks,” the senator said that while suburban representatives have “exemplary” records, the same cannot be said for the New York City delegations, which dominate the Legislature.
Mr. Alessi said New York’s current financial troubles can be traced back to the mid-1990s era of deregulation, which included lifting caps on health insurance premiums. That not only hurts consumers, it drives up the cost of schools and local government, he added.
Mr. Corso said that unlike past years, voters will be paying close attention after the elections have passed.
“We need to look at the people we put in power and hold their feet to the fire,” he said. “If they don’t perform, we should vote them out in two years.
See the complete story in Thursday’s Suffolk Times.