Pumped-up Steve Levy Fires Downtown Volleys
Using a conference room at a friendly downtown law firm (Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles), the Suffolk County executive met with a smattering of reporters to repeat his call for creating a new budget deadline.
Rapping the polished wooden table before him, Levy spoke in a high-velocity flood about his budget pitch which would make April 1 the absolute, final, deadline. After that, the governor's executive budget takes effect. "Simple, right?" said Levy. "Why don't they do it in New York? Because in Albany common sense is a foreign term."
That was for openers. Then he was off to the races.
- On Albany: "Dysfunction in Albany is known far and wide throughout this nation, and it's for good reason."
- On unions: "Public employee unions control the halls of Albany."
- On defined-benefit pensions for state workers: "Only in New York is this stuff allowed to happen. And that's why we're going bankrupt."
- On losing union support: "I know darn well I'm ticking off a lot of groups out there. There are public employee union leaders who will never support me. Well, they're not going to support me anyway. They're supporting the other guy."
- On GOP challenger/businessman/millionaire Carl Paladino: "He's going to fizzle out real quick..he's just having fun."
- GOP/conservative challenger Rick Lazio: "He's in the race a year and his numbers against Cuomo haven't moved; I'm in the race a week and a half and I'm at the same level."
- On his chances: "Before I got in this race it was seen as a coronation. Well it's not anymore!"