Congressman Chris Collins Endorses Westchester’s Rob Astorino for Governor

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was in Buffalo on Thursday, receiving the endorsement of Representative Chris Collins in his ambitious bid to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Congressman Collins hosted Astorino at the downtown headquarters of ZeptoMetrix, a biotech firm that Collins founded.  Former Mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez, County Legislators Ed Rath and Kevin Hardwick, and County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw also stood with Astorino.

 

The event projected something of a coalescing of the party around Astorino. Other Republicans were there briefly, and seemingly supportive of Astorino, but left before the press portion of the event. Perhaps more interesting than who was there: who was not? If you don’t follow the micro-politics and melodrama of the local Republican Party, let me catch you up.

Former gubernatorial contender Carl Paladino had threatened to run for Governor himself, on the Conservative Party line, but that challenge has seemed to have been thwarted once Astorino secured the endorsement of the Conservative Party’s chairman, Mike Long. Paladino was not at the event, and when asked if Mr. Astorino had met with Carl, he said he had not.

“Carl wants to win. So do I. We have a very similar message. We may have different styles of delivering it,” Astorino said to laughter.

The lack of some Republican notables was interesting.  Kathy Weppner, who is running for Congress against Brian Higgins, was not in attendance.  Kevin Stocker, who is running for State Senate against Mark Grsianti, was not in attendance. Both Weppner and Stocker are thought to be aligned with Paladino’s faction of the party.

While local Republican State Senators were not at the event, Astorino said he very strongly supports the tuition tax credit legislation that they’ve passed in the Senate, designed to expand access to private and parochial schools. Speaker Sheldon Silver has refused to bring the bill to the floor of the Assembly, despite the fact that there are enough votes in that body to pass it.

Astorino energetically fielded a broad range of questions from reporters, from turning around the economy to social issues – and he sounds like a New York Republican who intends to win.

When asked by the Buffalo News, “Would you do anything to change the State’s gay marriage law?”

The County Executive responded, “No, it is the law. It was done the right way: through the legislature.”

He thinks that Cuomo is trying to make abortion an issue in order to distract from the fact that over 400,000 people have left New York in the last 3 years, and that the Administration’s Start Up New York advertising is “smoke an mirrors” designed to distract voters from how bad the economy has been under Cuomo’s Administration.

 

Astorino engaged spiritedly with Buffalo area media, before touring the laboratory of ZeptoMetrix, located on Main Street in Allentown. The firm produces biological materials — including human diseases and viruses — for use in research and pharmaceutical testing, Collins explained. The firm even exports to research facilities in Singapore.

Former Mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez,  who had boldly outreached to communities that have long been excluded from the electoral calculations of County, State, and National Republicans — spoke to the media about Astorino’s candidacy. In a deeply fractured party that is looking desperately to better brand its message and expand beyond its traditional constituencies, Astorino would be smart to campaign often with Rodriguez. Sergio is one of only a few politicians who can be identified citywide by his first name alone.

DSCN4105

Astorino, who in Westchester County earned substantial support from the African American and Latino communities, in his remarks even joked about how often he campaigns in the Bronx. Sergio should consider walking the lower West Side with Astorino; Grant Street; Jefferson; Broadway Fillmore; introducing him to the people he met during his Mayoral campaign, door to door, small business to small business. The simplicity and sincerity of those tactics are precisely the tone that is required of a Republican seeking the governorship.

Though Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy did not attend the press portion of the event, he did meet with Astorino afterwards. Langworthy has been reluctant to support Astorino amid talk of a Donald Trump candidacy. Langworthy had even traveled to New York to discuss with Trump his prospective candidacy. Though he has said nothing official, it seems that Langwothy may be moving toward the Astorino-camp of the party. Trump had long said that he would only run if he were unchallenged in a primary. He has not indicated whether or not he continues to consider running.


About the author  ⁄ Matthew Ricchiazzi

@MattRicchiazzi on Twitter

39 comments
SaveUsFrom
SaveUsFrom

Why is this on Buffalo Rising?  Are we now going to have other politicians post one sided fluff pieces about their latest pronouncements?  If so, this site will run out of space.  Seriously Matt, please post your insider political rant on one of the many websites designed for it.  That way, people [including myself] who enjoy this kind of stuff, can go there for it.  I just don't think it belongs here.  If i am wrong, i will be happy to write a ton of pieces, all about the latest moves and counter moves taking place within the various political committees.  And i won't even try to be biased like you.  Lets hope i'm right and spare the good readers of this site from boredom.

whateverr
whateverr

Collins isn't as fiscally conservative as I'd prefer, but compared to who he's run against in general elections (Keane, Poloncarz, Hochul) he's been easily the better choice each time.  It's good that he ended up in a higher office a year after the county exec loss and defeated Hochul for that seat in Congress.

If Paladino runs on a 3rd party line in Nov, I'd probably vote for him over Astorino unless the latter surprises me with a very strong campaign message & platform ... not that it matters to the result.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Anyone else notice Chris Collins wife Mary seems to favor the dominatrix style of dress?

buffalorr
buffalorr

What a riot! The GOP pols running away before the press portion of the event. They were probably afraid they wouldn't be able to keep straight faces once the questions started coming. Astorino trotting out Rodriguez so that the unwashed masses ( in their eyes ) can see how sincere they are? Sergio "being one of the few politicians who can be recognized by his first name alone". Sergio who? I think it can safely be said that if you walked up to 100 people in Buffalo and asked them what do you think of Sergio the politician you'd be lucky to find even one who knew what you're talking about unless you were lucky enough to run into this mother.

Does Astorino think he has the makings of another Marco Rubio in Rodriguez who can be trotted out locally as the token minority just as the GOP does nationally with that clown to show how wonderfully inclusive their party is?

Chris Collins still has the stink of having voted for the infamous government shut down that sticks to him like poop on an outhouse.

CPAC at this very moment is getting ready to listen to Sarah Palin address their annual strategy meeting after already having had their ears assaulted with the other right wing lunatics such as Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan and others of similar ilk.

The Republican Party of 2014 is nothing like the Party of their supposed Patron Saint Ronnie Reagan. American's would be better served by having fearless leader Kim in N. Korea take them all under his wing and allow serious US citizens to run for office in their place.

BuffaloAllStar
BuffaloAllStar

Great writing.."Sergio BOLDY outreached to communities..."..I think I saw 2 Sergio signs the entire election.  Cut to him voting day on the corner of Hertel and Elmwood with a vote Sergio sign and approaching cars like he was asking for change.  Great to see the effort I suppose...juvenille campaign, I think the guy had $600 high balance in his campaign account?

Unfortunately..his name is associated with some things and its not anything positive.   Don't you have to hold elected office and make political decisions to be a politician?

BuffaloAllStar
BuffaloAllStar

Finish the sentenece:

"Oohh well if Chris Collins says it's okay, then it must be..."

OldFirstWard
OldFirstWard

"Sergio should consider walking the lower West Side with Astorino; Grant Street; Jefferson; Broadway Fillmore; introducing him to the people he met during his Mayoral campaign, door to door, small business to small business. The simplicity and sincerity of those tactics are precisely the tone that is required of a Republican seeking the governorship."

You have got to be kidding.  Sincerity?  Republicans caring about the poor people?  That is most condescending comment I've heard from you Matt. Nothing like a bunch of rich guys walking on water and waving to poor residents.  Of course they would shake your hand so long as the hand sanitizer is still available.

Sergio Rodriguez would best serve his community by staying far away from these humps especially Collins.  

Or as Artvoice described the Collins pair in 2011:

While Collins’ trophy wife Mary enjoys her pampered simpering useless life, filled with extravagant shopping trips to NYC and ballroom dance lessons in the private gym of their $1.05 million 6,000 SF home, wearing her 10-carat diamond engagement ring…

her elitist heartless husband pulled Erie County out of the Federal WIC program. You know…that scary government program that’s been in existence since 1972 and is one of the most cost-effective ever. National studies show benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from $1.77 to $3.13 saved for each $1 spent on WIC.  But Collins doesn't care about whether a government program is effective or not, because in the Koch Brothers worldview he subscribes to, everything must be privatized, and government should play no role.  Government is an obstacle to be removed, in order to facilitate the continued massive funneling of money and resources from the working class and poor to the top 2% wealthiest individuals.  And even though Buffalo, which is in Erie County, is the 2nd largest city in the state and the 3rd poorest in the entire nation, Collins has also eliminated child care subsidies for working parents.  Destroying these programs has only served to push more people onto the welfare rolls.  Nice work, Chris.

He closed the only two healthcare clinics in the county that specifically served Medicaid patients, forcing them to get their primary care from emergency rooms.  This costs  exponentially more than obtaining preventative care through clinics. But that works for Collins, because it means the private hospitals and doctors get paid more.  Oh, by the way…both those clinics he closed?  They were actually making money for the county, not losing!

Those Astorino lawn signs are going to look pretty good next to the Collins and Rodriguez jokes.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Unless it is to announce he is going to be dead within 24 hours I have absolutely no care whatsoever with anything Chris Collins says.  Chalk him up with Britney Spears and Alex Rodriguez as people planet earth would be better without.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Collins voted to shut down our government and default on our debts and cost our economy 24 billion dollars, your right, he's not "fiscally conservative" or responsible, or fit to lead. 

buffalorr
buffalorr

Black Rock Lifer--Also notice the painful "deer in the headlights" look on his face before going up to the microphone. Must have been worried about someone asking him to explain his voting record.

Matt Ricchiazzi
Matt Ricchiazzi

@buffalorr

It is really quite offensive to suggest that minorities are somehow less legitimate Republicans or being used by someone. It is an often repeated refrain from libs, and is an obvious and horrible manifestation of racism and disrespect.

It tickles me though, because libs often see themselves as so un-racist that they are too ignorant to recognize how deeply racist they are towards minorities who are conservative. How arrogant and elitist to suggest that (because liberals see themselves as being smarter than everyone else) that they define how a minority should think, and then discredit that person when what they think deviates from machine-sanctioned opinions.

That being said.....

CONDI RICE 2016 !!!  (Listen to this speech, note that she didn't have a teleprompter or even notes, and recognize that this woman should be our president)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4LHZ69HuF0

Matt Ricchiazzi
Matt Ricchiazzi

@OldFirstWard

Walking door to door to speak with constituencies that are unlikely to vote for you because of the slanderous behavior the modern Democrat party seems quite sincere. Is there a more sincere form of political campaigning than walking door to door and having conversations with people about their concerns?

As for your comments about Collins' wife. I've never had a substantive exchange with her, but I wouldn't believe a damn thing that you read in Artvoice. It's all tabloid trash. It is a politically driven hit piece publication that acts as an arm of Democrat HQ.

Even if their criticism of her is true, it's totally irrelevant. What is success for, if not to give your wife nice things? But leave it to Artvoice to roll around in the gutter politics.

That being said, she is very attractive (with a set of legs that go all the way down to the floor), so I'm sure it's easy to throw the "trophy wife" stereotype out there, but can't we agree that attacking some one's wife is going too far? 

If a conservative publication went after a Democrat's wife like that, every lib reporter would be outraged.  

LouisTully
LouisTully

That's harsh.  I'll amend to say "he is going into seclusion in the northernmost parts of the Yukon for the remainder of his life".

whateverr
whateverr

@Black Rock Lifer  

BRL>"default on our debts ... he's not "fiscally conservative" or responsible, or fit to lead."

U.S. Senator Barack Obama when announcing his vote against raising the debt limit (or in your words, "to default on our debts") ...

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

— Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/annotating-obamas-2006-speech-against-boosting-the-debt-limit/2013/01/14/aa8cf8c4-5e9b-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_blog.html

That means Obama is "not responsible", "not fit to lead" and voted to "default on our debts"? 

Or is there a different standard for a liberal Democrat in those ways? 

GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

@Black Rock Lifer  so the federal government should just keep spending higher than revenues from here to eternity? Oh no, the federal government unnecessarily closed National Parks, and did some other things that can't possibly have affected me, but I'm going to bitch about it because I don't have any hopes of winning an argument about reigning in government spending.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

I'll take that with a grain of salt from a person that says they "will probably vote for Paladino", we all know how "classy" he is. My grandmother always said we can judge a person by the company they keep, or who they vote for.

buffalorr
buffalorr

MattRicchiazzi---"minorities are some how less legitimate Republicans or are being used by someone"---I was referring to Sergio Rodriguez and Marco Rubio who happen to be individuals of minority ethnicity not the entire minority and you know it.

They are hardly politically representative of their ethic minority and yes, both of them are being used.

Look how well Log Cabin Republicans have done, another minority within a minority who's numbers are fast shrinking due to the likes of a Ted Cruz or Michelle Bachman and their enlightened views on gay rights.

To say that Republicans have the best interest of any minority group at heart is laughable to say the least.

You calling libs racist is just another classically feeble attempt at how right wingers love using smoke screens to further their agenda's.

I don't mind giving you slack on your idea's for the grandiose projects you envision towards Buffalo's future. Having said that, Condoleezza RIce for President? One of the worst and least effective Secretaries of State in US history. Tsk, tsk, it's so cute seeing you make attempt's at trying to be a serious adult.

LouisTully
LouisTully

@Matt Ricchiazzi @buffalorr"recognize that this woman should be our president)"

No comment.  That was the punch line.  Matt's words don't need any doctoring.  Enough tragic humor built right in.

He might have a better shot at getting one of his Willy Wonka ideas built than Ms. Rice has of becoming president.

buffalorr
buffalorr

Matt---are you kidding, the cons go after Hillary and Michelle at every turn. I love how the right always tries to invoke the "high road" when they can't think of any legitimate reasons to defend their candidates.

GotAnyChange
GotAnyChange

I agree with what you say about art voice. Love the arts in buffalo but politically it is tabloid trash.

buffalorr
buffalorr

LouisTully--There are few words harsh enough when speaking of the wing nuts that have come to define the Tea Party. They've brought that level of disdain upon themselves along with their propaganda machine known as Fox ( Faux ) news IMO!~

whateverr
whateverr

@Black Rock Lifer  

The temporary shutdown affected only around 17% of the federal government... the other 83% carried on as is the whole time.

http://reason.com/archives/2013/10/07/the-upside-of-the-government-shutdown

Shutdowns have happend a dozen times since 1980 when they first became possible, of which 9 times were done by a Democrat-majority House while Reagan and the first Bush were presidents, then again under the 2nd Bush.  Also it happened 3 times by R majorities, twice during Clinton, & the once during Obama. 

Table of the occasions here showing party control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdown_in_the_United_States#List_of_0U.S._government_funding_gaps

Collins voted once for the type of shutdown that Democrat House Speaker Tip O'Neill and his successor Foley caused to happen seven (7) times during Reagan's presidency.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/360135/when-tip-did-it-andrew-stiles

"O’Neill presided over a total of seven government shutdowns under Reagan, and five during the Jimmy Carter administration, meaning that he played a role in precisely two-thirds of all the government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process has been in place."

Looks as though they were shorter in duration back then because Reagan offered to compromise with the majority party in Congress, unlike you-know-who.  Here's another summary for anybody interested...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/25/here-is-every-previous-government-shutdown-why-they-happened-and-how-they-ended/


Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Obama isn't perfect, too far to the right for me but Obama never voted to shut down our government. Collins has demonstrated he is nothing more than a partisan hack and lacks the maturity to govern.

schetm
schetm

@buffalorr  Race has little to do with it, at least not on Capitol Hill.

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

@GinghamQuaker @Black Rock Lifer The "Federal Government" didn't close down the National Parks - the REPUBLICANS did embodied in that idiot Teabagger poster boy Carnival (Ted) Cruz.

buffalorr
buffalorr

GinghamQuaker--The Federal Government's spending is controlled by Congress, they have the power to approve the President's Budget and to make changes to it. The Budget is passed every year by all three branches of government. The President doesn't have the power to spend any way he wants. The Republicans grandstanding when refusing to raise the debt ceiling is just a childish partisan stunt to grab the attention of their largely uninformed constituent's to show them they're standing up to the president. They already approved the spending and by not raising the ceiling, they're saying " oh now we don't want to pay for what we already said was ok to spend". No wonder much of the world along with our own citizens think our government is dysfunctional and thanks to the republicans it is.

The big elephant in the room is that the majority of Republicans vowed from day one that they will do all they can to not let the first black US president succeed. They have not and will not accept the fact that President Obama won the election by a majority.

It's sad that many people in this country still harbor such a hateful attitude towards someone who's not exactly like they are.

I see this in some of my own friends which saddens and disappoints me and have found there's nothing you can say that will cause them to confront their own latent, veiled racism or even listen to anything that could change that. That's unfortunately forced me to feel that in a way, I'll be glad when many of my generation who harbor these backward attitudes die off and let a hopefully more enlightened society of younger people take over.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Collins vote had nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with petty partisan grandstanding. He shut down our government and threatened default on the debt we alreadty incurred in an attempt to derail the Affordable Care Act. Collins and the Republicans cannot accept the ACA is law and act like little children that throw tantrums when they don't get their own way. That's not leadership or responsible, it makes no sense to elect people that hate government and refuse to govern or compromise.

schetm
schetm

@Black Rock Lifer  You live in America. You ARE the entitled class. And so am I.

Get some perspective.

whateverr
whateverr

@Black Rock Lifer  

BRL>"a politicians wife does indeed say something about his judgement and character"

Again, your comment was...

BRL>"Collins wife Mary seems to favor the dominatrix style of dress?"

Your seriously claiming the woman's, the wife's, _clothing_ is fair game for personalized criticism of her character in that way? Really?

And so what even if hypothetically a woman is a dominatrix in her personal life and dresses that way for that reason?  Why would that be something said to be a sign of her bad 'character' as judged by a random male who presumably doesn't know her as a person? 

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

A man's wife, especially a politicians wife does indeed say something about his judgement and character. Collins and his wife are typical of the entitled class, they are materialistic, shallow, and lack basic awareness of the plight of the less fortunate.

whateverr
whateverr

@Black Rock Lifer  

While taking things with grains of salt is very often a good idea, including for any comments from me… 

… isn't choosing the lesser of imperfect candidate choices on a ballot rather different from publicly implying about a politician's _wife's_ private lifestyle leanings based on superficial interpretation of her clothing?   

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

@Matt Ricchiazzi @buffalorr imRice should be in PRISON for approving TORTURE and the other messes of the AWOL illegitimate bush regime!

She isn't fit to serve Obama or anyone else water...

The fake and already long disproven bengazzi, IRS , and other republican scandal mongering is a legitimate as the Birther crap.

How about addressing the fact the your republicans have contiuously voted to CUT EMBASSY SECURITY FUNDS!

buffalorr
buffalorr

Matt Ricchiazzi--Rice was effective? That's a laugh! You're absolutely right about Powell--he had very little influence on the Cheney-Bush administration because he felt the guilt of not telling the truth about WMD's and the rush to war--something his bosses told him to keep his mouth closed about. Powell came clean once he saw the light and left Bush's White House much to his credit.

"Benghazi", "fecklessness" -I've heard those words at least 100 times this week on Fox ( Faux ) News AKA Roger Ailes' propaganda machine. Who did you contact to beg for a copy of this weeks Neo con talking points? Cruz, Bachman or Paul?

I think you should go back to dreaming up more of those visionary plans for Buffalo, they are way more credible than your dalliances in politics.

Matt Ricchiazzi
Matt Ricchiazzi

@buffalorr You prove my point about libs being too ignorant to recognize their own racism.

And Condi Rice was far more effective a Secretary of State than Powell (who hardly had influence in his own president's administration), Hillary (who did very poorly and had poor priorities, a globe trotting media darling who ignored basic security responsibilities, as evidenced by Benghazi), or John Kerry (given the fecklessness of stature in the global community, as evidenced by Putin's behavior in Ukraine).

Condi Rice is brilliant. I'm not a neo-con, but in that short 11 minute off-the-cuff speech, she delivers the most convincing (and concise) argument for American leadership that I've heard.

buffalorr
buffalorr

GotAnyChange--Unfortunately true on both sides!

GotAnyChange
GotAnyChange

Someone has to be the mature adult in the room in a corrupted system. Unfortunately a sensible platform has come to be seen as 'extreme' in many circles.

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