BY TOM BASILE
In just two weeks, voters will finally head to the polls to pick America’s next President. While that campaign rightfully garners much of our attention, there is more at stake on November 8 than the Presidency. In fact, one particular race here at home could have a greater impact on our lives and the future of our communities. The outcome of the race for the 39th State Senate District should matter to all of us, because it will help to determine control of the New York State Senate.
Our state government is controlled to our detriment by the interests of New York City political bosses. The state Senate is the last vestige of influence, not just for Republicans, but all taxpayers who demand less spending, lower taxes, a more affordable Hudson Valley and a better economic climate that creates jobs. They deserve to have a strong voice. They have one in Senator Bill Larkin.
Chris Eachus’s campaign against Senator Larkin has been particularly ugly because his backers are despicably desperate. The hyper-partisan special interests pouring money into his campaign have already been caught lying about Larkin’s record to the point that, in an unusual step, Cablevision even pulled a misleading commercial from the air.
Mr. Eachus is out of step on everything that matters to us. On education, he backs the controversial Common Core curriculum our teachers and parents oppose. Our property taxes are fifth in the nation, yet he supports repealing the local property tax cap and abandoning the fight for essential mandate relief measures. As an Orange County Legislator, he even voted against cost-saving measures intended to close a budget gap and prevent higher taxes.
Perhaps most shockingly, at a time when ethics are more important than ever and people are looking for officials they can trust, Mr. Eachus was already caught omitting hundreds of thousands of dollars in income from mandatory financial disclosure forms.
Officials like Senator Larkin don’t just serve with distinction. They help instill greater confidence in the system. They give us faith that government can work with us and for us – not against us. Bill Larkin serves today as he has always served – going back as far as WWII and Korea – for love of his country, his state and the people who have honored him with their trust.
Senator Larkin continues to deliver for our North Rockland Community with a passion and energy that is an inspiration to all of us in public service. He understands that we send hard-earned money to Albany and it is critical those resources come back to help our communities thrive.
Recently, he helped lead the fight to reduce corporate and personal income tax rates to their lowest levels in decades. He fought to end the disastrous Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) education cuts that cost the North Rockland School District – and our property owners – millions. He delivered historic levels of aid for our area schools and money for critical infrastructure projects our towns needed but couldn’t afford without his help.
When our veterans needed someone with guts to stand up to Governor Cuomo, Bill Larkin wouldn’t back down and fought for passage of the Veterans’ Equality Act. He fought to have Rockland County carved away from Westchester, NYC and Long Island during the recent minimum wage debate and doing so helped protect our jobs and small businesses.
With Larkin as our Senator, residents have a powerful voice in Albany because he garners significant respect from both his Senate Majority-Republican colleagues and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature. Elected officials in both parties in Stony Point and Haverstraw have come to rely on Sen. Larkin time and again for his honesty, experience, frank counsel, responsiveness and commitment to our communities.
At a time of divisiveness and bitter partisanship, Bill Larkin has never set his priorities based on party, personal gain or political geography. They’re set by one simple question, “What can I do to help?”
Regardless of what you think about this Presidential election, saving New York matters. The first step begins with citizens going out to vote and keeping serious people with serious experience and a real record, someone exactly like Bill Larkin in the State Senate.
Tom Basile is a Councilman and Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Stony Point