GOP strength­ens its po­si­tion in New York state

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Kyle Hughes NYSNYS News

Tues­day was a huge day for Repub­li­cans and the im­pact they made in New York prom­ises to be pro­found.

Repub­li­cans ap­pear to have re­tained con­trol of the state Se­nate by suc­cess­fully de­fend­ing their in­cum­bent seats and pick­ing up one more in West­ern New York. If the vote counts stand, that would give the GOP 32 of the Se­nate’s 63 seats, mak­ing the party a pow­er­ful force when com­bined with a group of break­away In­de­pen­dent Demo­cratic Con­fer­ence mem­bers they have part­nered with to run the up­per house.

The Se­nate GOP has joined with Gov. An­drew Cuomo on his suc­cess­ful ef­forts to im­pose caps on taxes and gov­ern­ment spend­ing. The party has also been a key sup­porter of char­ter schools and an op­po­nent of tax­payer fi­nanc­ing of po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.

“Along with our part­ners in the IDC, Se­nate Repub­li­cans will con­tinue to lead the way,” Ma­jor­ity Leader John Flana­gan, RLong Is­land, said Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The GOP also suc­cess­fully re-elected all its in­cum­bent House mem­bers and picked up two open seats, elect­ing for­mer As­sem­bly mem­ber John Faso in the 19th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict in the Hud­son Val­ley and Assem­bly­woman Clau­dia Ten­ney in As­sem­bly Dis­trict 22 in the Mo­hawk and Hud­son val­leys.

In the process, Faso may have ended the po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of Zephyr Tea­chout, the Ford­ham Uni­ver­sity law professor who lost to Gov. An­drew Cuomo in a Demo­cratic pri­mary in 2014.

“The force of (Trump’s) can­di­dacy helped us se­cure our Repub­li­can Con­gres­sional, Se­nate, and As­sem­bly seats in New York, as well as both houses of Congress,” state GOP Chair­man Ed Cox said, not­ing he was the first state party chair­man to en­dorse Trump.

Trump’s vic­tory de­ci­sively ended the Clin­ton era in U.S. pol­i­tics. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time,” Clin­ton told sup­port­ers in a con­ces­sion speech in New York City Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The end of the Clin­tons could also claim the fu­ture of Cuomo, a for­mer Clin­ton aide and a Demo­crat cut from the same cloth po­lit­i­cally. If Cuomo seeks re-elec­tion in 2018, he may face both a Demo­cratic pri­mary chal­lenge from the left and a GOP can­di­date em­bold­ened by the new Trump era.

Democrats could re­group un­der the in­flu­ence of Ver­mont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, who both tap into the same pop­ulism and anx­i­ety about eco­nomic is­sues that pro­pelled Trump’s “Make Amer­ica Great Again” cam­paign.

Apart from the po­lit­i­cal im­pact, Trump’s win will cer­tainly af­fect the state in other ways.

The New York City busi­ness­man is a sup­porter of fos­sil fu­els and is likely to cur­tail tax­payer sub­si­dies for green power. As a re­sult, the fu­ture is a cloudier to­day for the $750 mil­lion So­larCity plant built by tax­pay­ers in Buf­falo at the be­hest of Cuomo.

Trump has also vowed to re­peal Oba­macare, the Af­ford­able Health­care Act. The U.S. Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices re­ported in March that more than 224,000 New York­ers are re­ceiv­ing health­care cov­er­age through Oba­macare. It is un­clear what will hap­pen to them if they lose their Oba­macare cov­er­age.

“As a re­sult of yes­ter­day’s elec­tion, the health­care sec­tor in New York will face a sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent land­scape,” Health­care As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Bea Grause said Wed­nes­day. She said hos­pi­tal groups will “meet head-on any challenges to the Af­ford­able Care Act, as well as bud­getary pres­sures on providers, while striv­ing to achieve reg­u­la­tory flex­i­bil­ity across pro­grams.”

Be­yond that, in­ter­na­tional trade agree­ments may be re­vised or aban­doned, a move that could af­fect in­dus­tries across the board. Canada is the top trade part­ner of New York, with $30 bil­lion in cross-bor­der trade in goods and ser­vices

The Wash­ing­ton grid­lock Cuomo and oth­ers like to crit­i­cize is likely to be gone, with the con­se­quences felt here in ways that can­not be pre­dicted. Both the House and Se­nate are in GOP hands, with the Supreme Court also likely to move in a more con­ser­va­tive di­rec­tion over the next four years, thanks to Trump ap­point­ments.

In Wash­ing­ton, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, DN.Y., has been thrust into the role of na­tional leader, the Se­nate’s back­stop against Trump’s poli­cies. He won a fourth-six year term on Tues­day and is in line to be­come the Se­nate minority leader in Jan­uary — the Demo­cratic Party’s point man in leg­isla­tive bat­tles with the new pres­i­dent.


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