November 8th, 2015


Guests: Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and NYS GOP Chairman Ed Cox

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Read Highlights:Miner leaves the door open for a run for Governor:

Bill Samuels: “Would you at least be open if some of us keep you on our list as a future governor?”

Stephanie Miner: “Well, you know, it’s very, very flattering. And I enjoy government. I enjoy politics and I enjoy being an advocate for people and making an impactful and positive change. So, I haven’t made any decisions about my future except for the fact that I have a to-do list that is probably longer than the Island of Manhattan and I have two years left as the mayor of the city of Syracuse that I want to get done.”

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Miner slams Congress for slashing funds for transportation infrastructure in New York’s cities under “cover of night”:

SM: “Today I learned that the U.S. House of Representatives voted a surface transportation bill through, which is an infrastructure bill. That’s great. But under cover of night they had an amendment to it, which eliminated funding for what they call “high density states” and New York was one of those states and it eliminated approximately $140 million dollars for metropolitan New York, for Grand Central and the MTA and bus systems. For the city of Syracuse, for our bus system, it eliminated $12 million dollars. When you have decisions like that made … what does public transit do? It delivers people to jobs and then that allows more economic development which builds more jobs, which helps us have a virtuous cycle. But you have to make that investment.”

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Miner says everything she wrote in 2013 NYT op-ed true today:

BS: “‘The model of using property taxes to finance schools, police, fire sanitation and other services is no longer sustainable.’ [excerpt from Miner’s Feb. 2013 op-ed in New York Times] Very, very interesting statement. Can you expand on that? And if we were to restructure how property tax worked, do you have any ideas what our tax model should be?”

SM: “Sure. And let me just say that everything that I wrote in that editorial holds true today. And it wasn’t an attack on the governor. It was a statement about policies and moving the city forward, my city in particular, the city of Syracuse. But most of the upstate cities have the same issues.”

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Miner argues dropping property taxes as basis for education funding:

SM: “In New York State, we really have two educational systems. We have a system for rich children and we have a system for poor children. And when you are using property taxes and your property tax levy is the primary [way] to fund public education or a way that the state uses to measure how much money the state should give, you are dooming these children in a cycle of poverty.”

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Miner says Albany must assume share of Medicaid imposed on localities:

BS: “Would you support a full state takeover of the Medicaid property tax burden allocated to Syracuse and other cities?”

SM: “Oh, absolutely. I think we’re going to have to do it. That’s why you see New York State, per capita, have these incredibly high property taxes that are so onerous and driving business away. This is a particular issue upstate because the history of our economy is a history of manufacturing which needs lots of land and lots of utilities. And when you are charging these onerous property taxes to these types of businesses, they leave to go to Ohio or Pennsylvania or North Carolina where their costs are a third. And why are their costs a third? Because the local governments in those places are not paying Medicaid.”

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NYS GOP Chair Ed Cox

Cox declines to back Astorino, says GOP nominee for Governor in 2018 is “wide open contest”:

Morgan Pehme [EffectiveNY’s co-host]: “Is Astorino your guy again? Or is this a wide-open contest?”

EC: “Oh, it’s a wide-open contest. I mean, at this point it’s good to see them all out there crisscrossing the state, talking to and getting our base enthusiastic about the 2018 election. But we’ve got a long way to go from here to there. And in that process I think it will sort out and we’re going to end up with a very good gubernatorial candidate for 2018.”

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Cox says there’s a “Macbeth-like quality” to Cuomo administration:

EC: “There’s a Macbeth-like quality to this administration. It’s really a third Democratic administration; Spitzer, Paterson … and now Cuomo 2 … And you find that departments are now revolting against him. The professional head of the Financial Services department resigned because he wasn’t willing to give up the power … that the governor demanded from him. You find that the Department of Environmental Conservation, they are saying ‘Come on, Governor. Let’s decide about these pipelines. If you don’t let us decide about them, the federal government will take away our ability to help direct these for the environmental benefit of New York State.’ So you find even [his] departments, they are revolting against his power grabs. And this is not going to be a happy term for him. A lot of things that he think he needed to do to win re-election are going to come back to haunt him.”

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Cox says Cuomo should not have shut down the Moreland Commission, says AG Schneiderman to blame too:

BS: “Do you think he should have shut down Moreland or not?”

EC: “Oh no, of course not. Once he got that started, and it was more than Moreland, as you know, Moreland itself has to do with his own administration. That’s the way Moreland is structured. But he also gave a general power to investigate whatever in government to the attorney general. The person who is really remiss on this is Attorney General Schneiderman. He should have kept right on going and he had the power to do it had he wanted to do it.”

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Cox praises Preet Bharara:

MP: “How good of a job do you think that US attorney Preet Bharara has done in office?”

EC: “I think that while he has tried some of his cases in public in advance … I think he’s right on target with the things that he is doing.”

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