Zeldin brings campaign for governor to Glens Falls
GLENS FALLS — U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin and his running mate Alison Esposito stopped in Glens Falls to hear concerns and speak to locals residents about his gubernatorial campaign while partaking in breakfast at Poopie’s DiManno’s Lunch on Wednesday morning.
Zeldin is running for the Republican nomination for governor. Other names on the Republican primary ballot include Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino, Michael Carpinelli, Derek Gibson and Harry Wilson.
Zeldin and Esposito were eating breakfast at Poopie’s and speaking to constituents about their concerns heading into the election this November.
Energy policy is a big concern for people, he said. He said that they were talking about the high gas prices.
“Whether it’s filling up your gas tank, it’s the cost of diesel, it’s filling up your oil tank at home. We were talking about the policies coming out of Albany. They are looking at passing a ban on all gas hookups statewide on new construction, which is a terrible proposal. I couldn’t possibly disagree with that idea any more,” Zeldin said.
He said he didn’t forget about forms of renewable energy. Zeldin said that a balance needs to be found with oil and renewables.
He cited a strong investment in renewable energy, which he has supported in New York’s 1st Congressional District in Long Island that he represents, from the science and transformative technology company Brookhaven National Laboratory. He noted that Stony Brook University, also in his district, does the same research as Brookhaven.
“Looking for new energy, businesses should always pursue ways, find ways to become more energy-efficient. There are a lot of homeowners who are always seeking ways to become more efficient,” he said.
Zeldin said that the pair have been traveling throughout the state. They unveiled a 10-point “Reform Albany” plan in Syracuse and Binghamton on Monday, and again in Albany on Tuesday.
The 10 points in the plan include establishing term limits of two four-year terms for all statewide offices including governor, overhauling the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics and enacting voter identification.
“We want to see New Yorkers staying, not fleeing. We want to see them trusting their government again,” Zeldin said.
He said that accessibility will help regain that trust.
Zeldin made mention of the recent New York state budget of $220 billion. He recalled seeing members of the media trying to get former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin to answer questions about the budget.
“They couldn’t get him to just stop and answer the media’s questions,” he said.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado will serve as the next lieutenant governor in New York. The news came after Benjamin resigned from the position following his arrest on federal corruption charges, which he denies.
The appointment of Delgado came one day after a law allowing Benjamin’s name to be removed from the ballot in the state’s Democratic primary was signed by Hochul.
Zeldin said that the state Legislature “threw a lifeline” to Hochul by allowing Delgado to be added to the ballot.
“Kathy Hochul really needs to account for all of the scandal that is always around her, that she is always either complicit or out to lunch,” he said.
Draft abortion ruling
Leaked U.S. Supreme Court documents indicating that five of the nine justices on the court agree with a ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which stated that Americans have the constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion, were published by Politico on Monday.
Zeldin said the way this has transpired is uncommon in terms of the law.
“We’ve always, to protect the institution, separated law and politics. This is not even a final decision,” he said.
In 2019, New York signed the Reproductive Health Act into state law. The purpose of the law was to “codify Roe v. Wade protections into state law,” according to the state Senate.
Zeldin said that the state codified more than what the initial ruling in Roe v. Wade provided.
“New York is different than Mississippi,” he said. “In some of these other states it’s going to be more of a debate within the state, but the fact is that far more than Roe is already codified inside of New York.”
Zeldin said the fact that this is unfolding in front of the public eye in this way is inappropriate, adding that he is glad it is being investigated.
“There will always be important, consequential, controversial cases before the United States Supreme Court. If we start getting into the situation where if you don’t like the decision you just start leaking out drafts before it’s even finalized, it is going to deeply erode the institution,” he said.
Zeldin said there are issues — such as COVID restrictions, crime and public safety, and education — that the current governor won’t talk about.
Before leaving Glens Falls, he said he had a message for Hochul.
“No matter how hard she tries, she is not going to be able to run away from the debate about how important it is to improve public safety, to secure our streets and our subways, to fight for our kids in school, to protect freedom and to make it more affordable to live in New York,” Zeldin said.