BOLTON LANDING, NY — The dueling nominees for governor made their case to the New York business community on Friday, with Republican nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk) outperforming Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on a key issue.
“Personally, I’m someone who would be in favor of not even having an income tax in New York,” Zeldin said while speaking about boosting economic growth at the Business Council of New York State’s annual conference.
“But even if you cut the income tax, that’s progress,” Zeldin added, highlighting pro-business positions like lifting a state ban on natural gas fracking and curbing proposals to ban gas hookups in new homes.
Hochul has maintained links with business leaders since replacing the disgraced ex-government. Andrew Cuomo last year when he drew a red line with left-leaning Democratic supermajorities in Albany to raise taxes on the wealthy.
She also argued that her government has been actively pursuing new investments in the state, from daily talks with company executives to controversial legislative proposals that would encourage the manufacture of superconductors through billions of dollars in state tax subsidies.
“We made sure we had 15% reserves for that rainy day — or as we say in Buffalo — ‘blizzard day’,” Hochul added, setting aside billions to fund future deficits with annual government operating expenditures cover.
The two candidates also drew on popular talking points, with Zeldin arguing he would roll back bail reform in the face of rising crime, while Hochul arguing that a controversial US Supreme Court decision crushing Roe v. Wade prohibited abortion in a matter of dollars and cents for their capitalist-minded audience.
“This is a state that respects the rights of all your workers. You don’t have to spend your money to fly one of your female employees out of state for basic reproductive services,” Hochul added.
Zeldin, who sparked controversy months ago by proposing to appoint a pro-life health commissioner, downplayed the possibility of significant changes to the state’s abortion policy but declined to categorically rule out executive action on the issue if elected.
“I have no intention of reversing this law, and that works through both legislative and executive action,” he said, referring to the Reproductive Health Act, which enshrines the right to abortion in state law.
He said his campaign remains fixated on reversing many of the controversial criminal justice reforms passed by Albany Democrats in recent years, including bail reform and limiting the use of solitary confinement.
/imZeldin has also lobbied hard in recent weeks against government efforts to tighten oversight of yeshivas, according to a blockbuster New York Times investigation.
“New Yorkers are reaching their breaking point. They feel their wallets, security, freedom and the quality of their children’s education are being attacked,” Zeldin told conference attendees on Friday, while criticizing Hochul for refusing to agree with him more than once debate.
While he remains lower in the polls, he told business leaders on Friday that he remains on the path to victory against all odds — if only New Yorkers would give his candidacy a fresh look in the final stretch of the campaign.
“I’ve just asked you, over the course of these next six and a half weeks, to do absolutely everything in your power to do what you know in your heart is right,” Zeldin added.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/23/gov-hochul-lee-zeldin-battle-for-business-leaders-at-ny-state-conference/ gov. Hochul, Lee Zeldin compete for corporate leaders at the State Conference in New York