Common Sense: Priorities

February 1, 2016 JERRY KASSAR
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The New York State Conservative Party will be releasing its 2016 legislative priorities this upcoming weekend at its annual conference in Albany. The two-day conference is attended by better than 200 party leaders and activists from around the state. The event consists of a number of panel discussions, talks, a breakfast, lunch, reception and dinner.

Many members of the legislature attend and, in fact, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis will on Monday morning be speaking on the New York State Dream Act which she has vocally opposed. Other topics on the agenda include the minimum wage, educational tax credit, the state budget, overregulation and, of course, the presidential election. In addition to the members of the legislature, a number of members of Congress also participate.

At the Monday night dinner, which is attended by the State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and the State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Conservative Party State Chairperson Mike Long presents the party’s priorities for the 2016 session. Certainly, opposition to assisted suicide legislation, a state Dream Act, taxpayer-financed elections and increased state debt are top priorities as well as the enactment of the Educational Investment Tax Credit which is sponsored by State Senator Golden (whom I serve as chief of staff) and State Senator Simcha Felder.

Last year, our Brooklyn Conservative Party-endorsed legislators Marty Golden, Simcha Felder and Nicole Malliotakis did very well in the state party legislative ratings. Golden and Felder both had a 72 percent rating, which placed them in the very top of the State Senate, and Malliotakis had an 80 percent rating, which placed her in the top tier of the State Assembly.


I am not really sure what some people see in Sarah Palin beyond her entertainment value. Her endorsement of Donald Trump bordered on embarrassing. Some have suggested that she was drunk or high when she took the podium last week. I have heard her many times before and I do not think so. She regularly shouts and speaks in incomplete sentences consisting of disjointed thoughts, more for effect than to make an actual point.

People hear what they want to hear from her because that is all she hopes to accomplish. Her speeches are no more than bits and pieces of talking points that are rarely strung together in an understandable format. Her endorsement of Trump was simply a highly-covered example.
In any event, if Palin wanted to stay relevant, I guess she was successful, although I do wonder if Trump — who seemed very uncomfortable listening to her chaotic endorsement — really wants or needs her to campaign heavily with him.


I am writing this column midday Saturday at what is probably the mid-point of the blizzard. It is a good time to reflect on the tough job taken on by sanitation, fire, police, EMS, hospital and nursing home staff, utility company employees, home care workers and others who must work in this terrible weather.

I want to thank them personally for their efforts. They all do a great job and are the reason that these emergency situations are usually no more than an inconvenience for most New Yorkers.

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