UNSEATING CUOMO

March 01, 2018 at 4:30 am

Can anyone unseat Governor Cuomo to take over the reigns of New York State? Tonight you’ll meet the gubernatorial candidate, New York Senator John DeFrancisco, who says he’s up for the challenge. He also has some opinions on the Percoco trial and how it relates to corruption in New York, Medicaid, gun control, taxes in New York, and economic development in the upstate area.

Aired on February 28, 2018.

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>>> THERE ARE MANY POLITICAL
IMPORTANT RACES GOING ON THIS
YEAR, BUT THERE IS NO MORE
IMPORTANT RACE FOR NEW YORKERS
THAN GOVERNOR.
GOVERNOR
GOVERNOR CUOMO'S POLL NUMBERS
SHOW THAT IT MIGHT NOT BE THAT
EASY.
HE HAS THE ABILITY TO TAKE ON
THE INCUMBENT, IS THE REPUBLICAN
SENATOR, DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER
OF THE SENATE JOHN D. FRANCISCO.
BUT BEFORE HE HAS WORDS WITH
GOVERNOR CUOMO, HE'S GOING TO
HAVE TO WIN HIS OWN PARTY'S
NOMINATION.
JOINING US NOW, WHAT'S AT STAKE
AND WHAT THIS ELECTION MEANS FOR
NEW YORKERS.
SENATOR, THANK YOU FOR JOINING
US.
>> LET MTHANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> WHY DO YOU WANT TO BECOME THE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW
YORK?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ARE
LEAVING THE STATE OF NEW YORK IN
RECORD NUMBERS AND WE'RE LEADING
EVERY STATE IN PEOPLE LEAVING
THE STATE AND TO ME THAT MEANS
PEOPLE ARE VOTING WITH THEIR
FEET.
YOU CAN'T AFFORD NEW YORK STATE
ANYMORE, WITH THE HIGHER TAX
THAT CAME OUT A COUPLE OF DAYS
AGO, BUSINESSES KEEP GETTING
MORE AND MORE REGULATIONS HEAPED
ON THEM AND THEY CAN'T MAKE A
LIVING AND THEY CAN'T HIRE
PEOPLE.
AS A SENATOR, I HAVE BEEN IN
GOVERNMENT FOR QUITE SOME TIME
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BEFORE
THAT.
IT'S TOUGH WORKING AROUND THE
EDGES TRYING TO MAKE FUNDAMENTAL
CHANGE, WE MAKE SOME CHANGES
EACH YEAR FOR THE BETTER, SOME
NOT SO GOOD.
BUT THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU'RE
GOING TO MAKE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
IS TO HAVE THE POSITION OF
GOVERNOR, THE GOVERNOR SETS THE
AGENDA AND HAS THE ABILITY TO
MAKE THAT AGENDA HAPPEN.
>> YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING POINT
I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT, OUR
DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IS FAIRLY
COMPLICATED, WE HAVE CHECKS AND
BALANCES BUILT IN INTENTIONALLY
INTO THE SYSTEM.
AND THE QUESTION THAT ALWAYS
COMES UP WHEN WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT RACES LIKE THIS, HOW
POWERFUL DO YOU THINK THE
GOVE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW
YORK IS?
YOU CAN SET OUT YOUR AGENDA,
THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO,
BUT CAN THEY DO ANYTHING WITHOUT
BOTH HOUSES BEING ON THEIR SIDE,
DO THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO
ACTUALLY GET THAT DONE?
>> OH, ABSOLUTELY.
AND I THINK WHAT HAPPENS IS, NEW
YORK STATE GIVES A SUBSTANTIAL,
ALMOST ALL THE POWER OVER THE
BUDGET PROCESS TO THE GOVERNOR.
AND THE GOVERNOR CAN VETO
CHANGES IN THE BUDGET THAT THE
SENATOR OR THE ASSEMBLY WANTS
AND THEN YOU'RE ALWAYS UNDER THE
DEADLINE OF AN APRIL 1 DEADLINE
OF SHUTTING DOWN GOVERNMENT.
SO IN HIS BUDGET, HE ALWAYS PUTS
IN NOT ONLY BUDGET ISSUES AND
HOW WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR
WHATEVER SERVICES WE HAVE, BUT
ALSO OTHER ISSUES THAT HAVE
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUDGET AT
ALL.
THIS YEAR, THERE'S A BILL FOR
DREAMERS, IN OTHER WORDS PAYING
COLLEGE TUITION, FOR PEOPLE WHO
ARE ILLEGALLY IN THE COUNTRY,
THERE'S A PROVISION IN THERE
CONCERNING LATE-TERM ABORTIONS,
ALLOWING THAT TO HAPPEN IN NEW
YORK, AND ALL THAT NOT
NECESSARILY POLITICAL ISSUES,
BUT NOTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH
THE DOLLARS AND CENTS OF RUNNING
A GOVERNMENT WHICH YOU WOULD
THINK THAT A BUDGET WOULD BE
ABOUT.
IN ALL THOSE RESPECTS, HE HAS
SUBSTANTIAL CONTROL OVER THE
BUDGET.
>> AS YOU KNOW, POLITICAL RACES
ARE ABOUT AMONG OTHER THINGS,
DIFFERENTIATING YOURSELF FROM
OTHERS HERE.
SO IF INDEED YOU WERE TO BECOME
THE GOVERNOR, TELL US WHAT
GOVERNOR DEFRANCESCO WOULD SAY
ARE HIS MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY
ISSUES?
>> DEFINITELY THE BUDGET AND THE
ECONOMY IN THE STATE OF NEW
YORK.
WHAT I THINK AND HAVE BEEN
ARGUING THIS FOR YEARS, BUT HAVE
BEEN UNABLE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
IS THAT YOU CAN'T JUST AWARD
PEOPLE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS TO COME INTO THE STATE
AND THE GOVERNOR PICKS AND
CHOOSES WHO THAT IS.
AND THAT HAS ACTUALLY ENDED UP
WITH A LOT OF WINNERS, MANY
LOSERS AND THE WINNERS ARE
PICKED BY THE GOVERNOR.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE
CORRUPTION TRIAL GOING ON IN NEW
YORK CITY RIGHT NOW, IT'S
OBVIOUS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAD A
PAY TO PLAY OPERATION GOING ON
IN THE GOVERNGOVERNOR'S OFFICE,
THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO DO
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THE BEST
WAY TO DO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
IS ACROSS THE BOARD TAX CUTS,
ACROSS THE BOARD REGULATION
REFORMS THAT MAKE NEW YORK STATE
NOT THE LAST IN BUSINESS
FRIENDLINESS, BUT A BETTER
BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE FOR PEOPLE
TO COME HERE AND CREATE JOBS.
SO THAT WOULD BE PART OF IT AND
IN ORDER TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN, IN
ORDER TO HAVE THE FUNDING TO DO
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO, YOU'VE GOT
TO REFORM THE -- LIKE A WHOLE
SYSTEM, IT'S NOT JUST TINKERING
AT THE EDGES, EDUCATION, WE
SPEND MORE THAN ANY OTHER STATE,
MEDICAID, WE SPEND MORE THAN THE
STATES OF FLORIDA AND TEXAS
COMBINED.
1/3 OF THE PEOPLE ARE ON
MEDICAID, YOU CAN'T AFFORD THAT
SYSTEM.
AND WHEN YOU HAVE A SYSTEM LIKE
THAT THAT'S THAT COSTLY, THE
GOVERNOR IN A DEFICIT SITUATION,
HE'S DOING WHAT HE CALLS REVENUE
ENHANCERS, WHICH IS A BILLION
DOLLARS MORE IN TAXES AND FEES.
THAT MAKINGS IT JUST LESS
DESIRABLE TO STAY IN NEW YORK
AND LESS AFFORDABLE.
>> YOU MENTIONED THE MEDICAID
NUMBERS AND I SUSPECT IF YOU
WERE HAVING A CONVERSATION THAT
THIS WAS A DEBATE GOING ON THAT
THE GOVERNOR WOULD SAY TO YOU,
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ALL
OF THOSE PEOPLE?
THAT'S A SAFETY NET FOR THEM, IT
PROVIDES HEALTH CARE FOR A
CERTAIN CATEGORY OF FOLKS, ARE
YOU SUGGESTING THAT WE LIMIT IT
IN SOME FASHION?
DO AWAY WITH IT IN SOME FASHION?
HOW WOULD YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
>> WELL THE STATES OF TEXAS AND
FLORIDA AND OTHER STATES DO IT A
LOT LESS EXPENSIVELY THAN WE DO.
AND OUR PROBLEM IS ONE-THIRD OF
OUR CITIZENS ARE ON MEDICAID.
IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A SAFETY NET
AS YOU JUST SAID.
IT'S NOT A SAFETY NET ANYMORE.
ONE-THIRD, WE'VE GOT TO PROVIDE
FOR THE POOR, THE INFIRM AND
THOSE THAT NEED THE SERVICES THE
MOST.
AND SECONDLY -- SO WE HAVE TO
LOOK AT THE ELIGIBILITY
STANDARDS, SECONDLY, THERE'S
OPTIONAL SERVICES THAT STATES
ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE AND
NEW YORK STATE ALLOWS FOR EVERY
OPTIONAL SERVICE THAT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TALKS ABOUT
WHICH MEANS GREATER EXPENSES.
SO YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE CADILLAC
OF SYSTEMS WHEN YOU ARE A STATE
THAT IS LOSING PEOPLE, LOSING
TAXPAYERS, AND EVENTUALLY
SOMEONE'S GOING TO TURN OUT THE
LIGHTS, THE LAST ONE LEAVING AND
THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE THE
FUNDING, THE TAX BASE FOR PEOPLE
WHO NEED MEDICAID AND PEOPLE WHO
SURELY SHOULD GET THAT SAFETY
NET BECAUSE THE REVENUES WON'T
BE THERE TO SURVIVE THE
SERVICES, EVEN THE BASIC
SERVICES THAT THEY NEED.
>> AS YOU KNOW, THE COUNTRY HAS
BEEN SHOCKED BY MOST RECENTLY
THE SCHOOL SHOOTING IN PARK
LAND, FLORIDA.
AND AS A CONSEQUENCE, IT HAS
MOVED QUESTIONS ABOUT GUN SAFETY
AND HOW WE PROTECT OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE IN SCHOOLS TO THE
FOREFRONT OF OUR CONVERSATION.
SO LET ME ASK YOU THIS THEN,
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION AS YOU
LOOK AT WHAT'S HAPPENED AND
WE'LL USE PARKLAND AS THE
ILLUSTRATION, IF YOU WOULD.
LOOKING AT THAT, AND IF SOMEONE
SAID TO YOU, ALL RIGHT, NOW
SENATOR, IF YOU WERE TO BE
GOVERNOR, DEFRANCISCO, WHAT
WOULD YOU DO TO HELP OUR
STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS.
>> YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REAL
DISCUSSION ABOUT SOLUTIONS.
THE MINUTE THERE'S A GUN
VIOLENCE SOMEWHERE, THERE'S A
GROUP CALLING FOR THE BANNING OF
DIFFERENT GUNS, BANNING OF
WEAPONS.
AND THEN THERE'S A GROUP ON THE
R
OTHER SIDE SAYING WE HAVE A
CONDITIONS M RIGHT.
SO PEOPLE ON EACH SIDE OF THE
ISSUE THINK THEY HAVE NOTHING IN
COMMON.
I DISAGREE.
FOR EXAMPLE WE PUT IN A TSA
NETWORK, BECAUSE WE HAD
TERRORISM, IN ORDER TO MAKE SUR
PLANES.
WHO SHALL WE PROTECT MORE THAN
YOUNG STUDENTS?
WE'VE GOT A BILL IN THE SENATE
THAT I'M A CO-SPONSOR OF, THAT
WOULD PROVIDE FOR A RETIRED
POLICE OFFICER TO BE A RESOURCE
OFFICER IN THE SCHOOLS.
TEACH CHILDREN WHAT TO DO IN
THOSE SITUATIONS, BUT BE THERE
AS SOME DEFENSE.
RIGHT NOW THE CHILDREN ARE
DEFENSELESS, NOBODY HAS ANY KIND
OF WAY TO DEFEND THEM UNTIL
SOMEONE SHOWS UP MINUTES OR
MAYBE EVEN AN HOUR LATER AFTER
THE FACT.
THAT'S ONE THING.
AND IF IT'S GOING TO COST,
PRIORITIES, YOU GOT TO PAY FOR
WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT.
SECONDLY, YOU GOT TO MAKE SURE
THAT THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE
MENTALLY ILL OR HAVE TENDENCIES
THAT HAVE COME UP NOT TO BE ABLE
TO GET GUNS, THAT'S THE OTHER
THING.
THE OTHER POINT I WOULD SUGGEST
IS THIS, WHEN I GO ONLINE AND
BUY A SHIRT, FOR THE NEXT TWO
MONTHS, I GET SHIRT
ADVERTISEMENTS.
IF THE INTERNET CAN FIGURE OUT
THAT I'M BUYING SHIRTS, CAN WE
NOT SEE THAT THERE'S THINGS
PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING THAT'S BAD
OR INDICATIVE OF VIOLENCE IN THE
FUTURE, AND GET THAT INFORMATION
INTO THE AUTHORITIES THAT HAVE
TO ACT ON IT.
WE HAVE GOT TO DO THOSE TYPES OF
THINGS.
SOME WILL SAY THAT'S PROFILING.
SO BE IT.
WE'RE TRYING TO PROTECT PEOPLE.
AND IF THERE'S BIZARRE
BEHAVIORS, THE POLICE AND THE
LAW ENFORCEMENT SHAUTHORITIES
SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT.
>> WE HAVE HEARD A LOT OF PEOPLE
ON BOTH SIDES AGREEING ON IT.
YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE NOTION
OF ENHANCING OUR BACKGROUND
CHECKS SO WE CAN DELVE DEEPER
INTO THE NOTION OF MENTAL
ILLNESSES.
AND THEN THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME
COA
COA
COALESCE SENSE.
THERE'S A DISCUSSION BEING HAD
ON AUTOMATIC WEAPONS.
WHAT ARE YOUR TAKE ON THAT?
>> AUTOMATIC WEAPONS HAVE BEEN
OUTLAWED FOR SOME TIME.
AND WE HAVE THE STRICTEST GUN
LAWS IN THE IN THE STATE
OF THE NEW YORK, AND WHEN YOU
LOOK AT THE UGLIEST LOOKING
GUNS, THOSE ARE THE ONES WE'RE
GOING TO BAN.
THAT DOESN'T STOP SOMEONE FROM
GETTING ANY OTHER TYPE OF WEAPON
AND CAUSE VIOLENCE.
IN OUR STATE, FOR EXAMPLE, WE,
THE GOVERNOR LIMITED THE NUMBER
OF BULLETS THAT WOULD BE IN A
MAGAZINE, AS IF TO SAY SOMEONE
WHO'S INTENT ON VIOLENCE IS ONLY
GOING TO WORRY ABOUT A
MISDEMEANOR OF HAVING TOO MANY
BULLETS IN A MAGAZINE AND WON'T
USE SOMETHING THAT'S ILLEGAL.
IT'S BEEN TRIED, THESE THINGS
KEEP HAPPENING AND IT JUST SEEMS
TO MEEGICAL
APPROACH IS PEOPLE THAT ARE
DANGEROUS, FINDING THESE PEOPLE
OUT AND MAKING SURE THAT THOSE
WARNING SIGNS ARE NOT VIOLATED.
IT DEPENDS, IF THERE'S ANOTHER
WEAPON THAT LOOKS UGLY AND MAY
DO SOME VIOLENCE, AND WE BAN
THAT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR
ELSEWHERE, I'M NOT SO SURE
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE SOLUTION.
>> SENATOR, WE APPRECIATE YOU
SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US.
WE HOPE THIS IS THE FIRST IN A
SERIES OF CONVERSATIONS WE'RE
GOING TO HAVE WITH YOU AS WE
WILL WITH ALL THE OTHER
CANDIDATES SO WE LOOK FORWARD TO
CONTINUING THIS CONVERSATION.
THANK YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH
US.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> YOU BE WELL.