Today I’ll Be Helping Andrew Russo with His State Senate Primary


I don’t normally write much about local races since most of you don’t live around here. But I can’t help but comment on the Republican state senate primary going on here. We have a guy named Dan Leidka, who is the Mayor of East Syracuse, running against Andrew Russo, who is not a politician.

Russo is a friend of a friend. He’s been going out meeting the people who’s vote he’s asking for. He came here to my house to meet me in person. He recruited volunteers to collect signatures to get him into the race. Russo and Leidka had a gentleman’s agreement to stay positive in the primary. Leidka broke that promise.

Auburn Pub: But at the end of a press release Liedka sent out today to highlight the 1,820 petition signatures he submitted to the state Board of Elections, there were two subtle (or not-so subtle) jabs at Russo.

Liedka will face concert pianist Andrew Russo, who became a Republican a year ago, in the September primary. The winner will run against incumbent Democrat David Valesky in the November general election.

You could argue that mentioning Russo is a concert pianist is only stating the obvious. But it’s the fact Liedka’s release follows that mention up with a jab at Russo. That being he became a Republican last year.

Perhaps it is nothing, but if Liedka wants to win, he’s going to need more than money.

But it gets worse. Yesterday I answered the phone and it was one of those robo-calls from Dan Leidka. He said he’s running against the “piano player” Andrew Russo in a very snide tone of voice. I found it offensive and hung up.

I don’t care when Andy became a Republican. He’s not a politician, and as far as I know, he didn’t have political aspirations until he became so disgusted with the way things are going in our state that he decided to get involved. He’s an accomplished concert pianist, and he’s an educator. Here he is on this issues.

The tax structure in New York punishes success and drives individuals and businesses to other states. I stand for sweeping tax cuts on the local and state level. Economic growth needs to be part of the New York State equation, and that starts with property tax caps in all counties and lower income and corporate taxes.

Budget Responsibility
During the last budget process, Albany incumbents led by the Democratic downstate leadership refused to make hard choices and voted for the worst budget in New York State history. I propose that real and lasting budget cuts need to be made, regardless of what special interest groups want. These cuts must come from a sweeping overhaul of stage agencies, continued reform of the state pension system and mandate relief for localities and school districts.

Politicians DO NOT create jobs. Politicians make sure that government gets out of the way so that the private sector can make jobs. I pledge to vote for lower taxes and responsible budgets so that New York State becomes a business-friendly environment once again.

Governmental Reform

The incumbent system insulates our politicians from understanding the results of the bad choices they make. I will support ethics reform that goes far beyond the current half-hearted proposals. All cost aspects of the legislature, including compensation and benefits, should come under public scrutiny. …

Andy’s an outsider who wants to see reform in Albany. If he wins the primary he’ll run against Dave Valesky. Valesky promised reform, but has proceeded to vote with his party that’s been screwing up this state for too long. As far as I’m concerned, every incumbent in Albany should be voted out and be replaced with citizen legislators who aren’t out to make careers out of politics.

That’s why I’m going to Andy’s campaign office this afternoon to help him spread the word.