by Danny Maerten
More than 245 concerned citizens filed into the Wheatfield Community/Senior Center on Monday, July 26, to hear gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino speak on his platform.
A very attentive, quiet, all-ages crowd listened as Paladino stated he wants a government that is well grounded and serving the voters. His motivation for running was not for the money, power or praise, but for the mainstay people of New York, he said. "Our state representation is an embarrassment to all; they don't abide by the rules. Their legislative agendas are causing our kids to exit New York state in search of decent jobs, and allowing the poor and illegal immigrants to flock to this state to take advantage of our lucrative benefits and health care," he added.
Paladino acknowledged he is not a politically correct person and went on to give his ideas on reducing the state budget (asking state workers anonymously where to cut the waste and abuse), making public education work for all (charter schools, vouchers, competition, consolidation of districts), illegal immigration (illegals are illegal), and the mosque currently proposed at Ground Zero in New York City (the area should honor our fallen and not be a political issue).
Kevin Aleung, a former Trinidad citizen, now an American citizen, received a standing ovation on his heartfelt statements: "We all must be Americans first," and "A house divided will not stand."
This meeting was held on the one-year anniversary of the Niagara County Patriots, which started with six disenchanted residents around a kitchen table.
The gathering started with this author speaking on term limit referendums, including two consecutive term limits for Wheatfield Town Board members and the supervisor, and also increasing the supervisor's term to four years. These were presented to the Wheatfield Town Board on July 12 to consider placing on the November ballot. His reasoning was we now have only one party, the "Permanent Party" or career politicians, and in New York the people, themselves, cannot call for referendums or recalls.
Grand Island's Rus Thompson then updated the crowd on statewide Tea Party activities and warned individual egos can split any organization. The Tea Party is alive and well with petitions being carried in all counties to get Paladino's and others on the Taxpayer's line.
The Rev. Bob Heisner was the guest speaker at the Patriot's June 28 meeting.
He talked about lessons learned from history. He said when soldiers during the Vietnam period - he served for two years during that time - came home, their reception was tomatoes or eggs thrown at them and disrespect. Heisner talked about the Judeo-Christian values inherent in the founding of our country and the reasons people from all over the world came here - for opportunity and freedom. He challenged everyone in the audience to do their part, to use their own talents and participate and help restore the country to its original values.
The audience also heard from two candidates running against Louise Slaughter in the 28th Congressional District, Dr. Jill Rowland and Kenneth Goodman. Both candidates strongly desire to protect, uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, want smaller, less intrusive government, oppose new taxes, and seek to eliminate wasteful spending.
"Business in New York" will be the theme of the Aug. 23 meeting. The Niagara County Patriots invite all candidates running for office this year to speak to their constituents at one of their monthly meetings.
For information, call 731-3696 or contact Amy Duell at 731-9623.