PART ONE: THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF NEW YORK STATE
So, Herr Karl Rove, Surrogate Leader of the Free World, finally crawled out of his hole for a few hours the evening of June 22, 2005. Sort of.
He surfaced just long enough to speechify at the 43rd Anniversary Dinner of the Conservative Party of New York State. The occasion was the bestowment upon Der Karl of its highest honor, the Charles Edison Memorial Award. Previous recipients have included Jack Kemp, Zell Miller, and, of course, Ronald Wilson Reagan (CPNYer 's apparently prefer to use all three names in full when referring to their Presidential deity).
I just happen to have in my possession a copy of Herr Rove 's sermon from that gala event. Before we discuss it, however, let me clue you in on the CPNY and Charles Edison:
Mr. Edison and others who deemed the Republican Party in New York to be too "liberal " for their liking formed the Party in 1962. Ties included National Review editor William F. Buckley, whom they ran for NYC mayor in 1965, and his brother, James. In 1970 James was elected to the U.S. Senate as a CPNY candidate.
Considered a minor political group, the CPNY functions only within New York, being essentially concerned with that state 's politicians and issues. In general it will back whichever GOP candidates are running, except those who do not pass the CPNY 's test of Conservative extremism. One glaring example is non-support of Rudy Giuliani in any of his three bids for NYC mayor, because of his concept of unity among citizens of the Big Apple.
Basically, the CPNY is a grassroots activist Party of Exclusion. While exploring the website, and reading the newsletter, I found but one solitary picture with any organization members. Most of the photos were of public figures that they wanted to show off, such as Zell Miller, Gov. George Pataki and Herr Rove. CPNY 's website boasts of having a membership of 170,000, but considering the population of New York, that 's maybe 1% at best.
The impression their information gave me was that this is a bunch of white-tie, white-folk, elitist malcontents.
One thing that the CPNYer 's are definitely against is taxes. Not necessarily Federal taxes, but state and local taxes. Sure, none of us like paying taxes, but this bunch is ludicrous. Their newsletter gripes against paying more state and city taxes for NYC schools. Are they serious? Perhaps the membership all live upstate, or send their offspring to private schools? Or maybe they 're too old to still have kids in school?
There 's a petition on the website that anyone can download. One may take this petition around and get signatures from who knows where, then send it in. Is this a signature to end starvation or war? Is its purpose to help homeless or those without medical insurance? Hell, no. This petition, addressed to Gov. Pataki, is a Tax Revolt! It is a desperate plea to eliminate the state sales tax on all clothing and footwear priced under $110.00 sold in New York. Don 't ask me how they arrived at that as the magic figure.
I 'm no economist, but at a time when virtually every state is extremely cash-strapped to make its infrastructure function, eliminating a viable source of tens of millions of dollars ain 't what I might call a real good idea. How selfish, these Conservatives All for me, and all for Me.
There is a CPNY List of Priorities, adopted in 2003, that may be downloaded, most of which are typically Conservative self-serving: The first eight items listed are tax cuts, tax caps, or tax eliminations; they are against same sex marriage and the inclusion of "transgender " identification under Human Rights Laws, obviously they 're property owners, as one priority seeks an end to NYC 's "rent control " policies.
Two or three items on the CPNY Priorities List make sense for people across all walks of life, such as equality in drug sentencing laws. However, these drown under the sheer weight of pomposity and self-interest of the other demands.
They would not like to see the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS and NPR) overrun by the likes of Herr Rove 's hand-picked Ministry of Right-wing Disinformation. No, not at all. The preference of the CPNY is that PBS go away altogether, citing that there are enough voices with CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, CNBC, and all the other (corporately-owned and controlled) television choices.
The assertion is also made that NPR is no longer necessary. The logic behind this is that all the hundreds and hundreds of hardcore Conservative radio stations on the right are now balanced out by Liberal Air America being carried in a handful of markets, plus a modicum of yuppies and single Gen-Xers have access to satellite radio. Huh?