I want to mention, for the record, that I was never contacted directly by anyone with
the Working Families Party about running for Governor of New York. Whatever rumors or news
stories are circulating out there are just that. I have no intention to seek that or any other office just now, especially as I have two years remaining on a contract with NBC-Universal.
However, my passion for politics, for public service, is as important to me as it's ever been. I believe that New York needs strong leadership. Our state is facing massive budget deficits, rising rates of mortgage foreclosures and an economic reality that has not been seen in decades. New York residents need help. They need programs put in place that will help them keep their homes and lower their property taxes, especially on my native Long Island. They need programs that will stimulate the economy and create well-paying jobs.
We need a governor who will address our urgent need to preserve open space and take measures to protect our environment. We must safeguard areas of our state like the Marcellus Shale and the Pine Barrens. We must do more to clean up Brownfields. We must cut emissions and reduce the amount of pollution that is released into our atmosphere so that our children and our children's children will still be able to step outside and take a deep breath. We must urgently and expeditiously reduce our reliance on coal and oil.
Our state needs comprehensive reform in its approach to laws governing divorce and child custody. New York should be looking to other states to find models that can be adopted to make those processes better on behalf of families who are going through one of the toughest times they will face. I have been working with members of the state legislature to research and explore the implementation of some of these models. I plan to continue putting together a package of reforms that will mean real relief for children of divorce, as well as their parents, in New York.
Now more than ever, it is certainly time for change in Albany. Although some of my friends in the senate and assembly have taken the first steps towards reform in the last year and a half, there is much more to be done. Our state cannot afford to have a budget that is consistently late and is largely crafted behind closed doors by the leaders in each house. The process should be opened up and key changes to the entire budget process should be enacted. These include, for example, the implementation of performance based budgeting, a process that does not base department budgets on the budget of the previous year, but rather on the actual needs and activities of the department. I am hopeful that a Democrat will prevail in November and become our next Governor. I hope that individual is up to the task of reforming one of the worst state governments in this country today, Albany: a Byzantine maze of greed and folly, ego and inefficiency. And although that person certainly will not be me, maybe one day I will have that chance, whatever the office.
On another, certainly more important note, did you see the video posted here regarding regarding the Conklin Farm animal abuse story in Ohio? Let me assure you, someone risked their health and maybe their life to record that video. When you see this, you will never again doubt the necessity for and courage of the animal rights movement.