Conservatives from all over the state gathered Sunday afternoon in a Holiday Inn ballroom to gear up for this year’s biggest political issues.
“Basically we’re just ginning up our people,” said Shaun Marie, who organizes the annual Conservative Party Political Action Committee meeting.
The party brings in a series of speakers to discuss issues they believe will dominate the coming year. It’s a two-day event, covering many topics, but Sunday afternoon focused on guns and taxes.
“We’ve been in economic recovery since July 2009,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, “but if we had grown at Reagan rates, 11 million more Americans would have work.”
He laid out the classic Reagan economic principals of lower taxes and decreased government regulation on business.
“The only way to fix our economy is growth,” he said. “Anyone who says we need to raise taxes to pay our debt is just wrong.”
It’s a concept he said is so obvious, Democrats must be consciously trying to slow down the economy.
“We need political bifocals,” he said. “We need a clear view of what we want to accomplish in the future while still watching our feet so we don’t trip up now.”
The vision is to pass the sort of budget Paul Ryan suggested during his vice presidential run, but that won’t happen in the current political climate.
In the meantime, he said the Conservative party should be satisfied with small victories and concentrate on not losing ground.
Freshly minted New York state Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, echoed many of Norquist’s economic views, saying she plans to work for cuts in spending and taxes, but that wasn’t really the subject she was brought in to discuss.
In the past few weeks, she’s garnered national attention, voting against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent gun control legislation.
“Not only did I vote against it,” she said. “I got up and spoke against it on my first full day on the job.”
Since it passed, she started an email petition in the hopes of repealing the law. In 12 days, she said it gathered 116,000 signatures from across the state.
“The Empire State our kids and grandkids deserve is within reach if we stand together,” she said.
Today, half a dozen Conservative noteworthies are set to speak at the meeting, but Marie highlighted two.
Joyce N. Davis will speak on medical marijuana at 10:30, a subject Marie said will likely get some attention in the state this year.
Headlining the day, David Bossie of Citizens United will speak over lunch at 12:30.
The Conservative Party Political Action Committee meets in the Phoenix Ballroom in the Wolf Road Holiday Inn.