With just over 40 days until November 2nd, the battle between upstarts in the Tea Party and the established GOP is over. In New York, Democrats had mostly uncontested seats, and the few with a contest saw wins for incumbents hovering at 30 percent margins or better. There’s no denying this state is blue.
Here’s the question now: can the chosen candidates win the general? The Paladino win over Lazio for the Albany throne was shocking to some but not completely unforeseeable. For years, the New York GOP has been a failed establishment at the county and state levels. Instead of growing and grooming credible candidates from lower seats they have stuck to the good old boy network.
Paladino captured the anger and frustration of many New Yorkers looking for change—any change—from what they saw as the status quo. Rick Lazio ran a lackluster campaign, once again proving that he is not ready for primetime.
There is little doubt that Paladino is an unguided missile. As he puts it, he is not politically correct and he has clearly given the GOP a needed gut punch. Now he faces the uphill battle against Andrew Cuomo and legacy politics. There is a possible benefit from the Paladino energy. He could energize voters in the lower races to vote Republican.
All this drama aside, candidates have been describing the problems facing New Yorkers and Americans, but they have not done a very good job of communicating how they will do something about these problems. Just like in a job interview New Yorkers now want candidates to demonstrate ability.
Much was made of the Ground Zero Mosque issue in the past several weeks and that taken the air out of the discussion on the state's economic woes. The lukewarm private sector job growth and needed solutions has not been addressed. Pension fund liability for public sector unions weigh heavily on New Yorkers who may be forced to bailout these funds.
It's time for us to focus, and here's how I think we should start.
For Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee for Governor:
1. You cannot reduce the cost of government without reducing the numbers of people employed by state government. What will you do to reduce the size of government at the state level?
2. What will you do about the growing illegal immigrant population and associated costs in New York State and sanctuary cities like New York City?
3. What will you do to grow business development and therefore jobs in New York?
For Joseph DioGuardi and Jay Townsend, GOP candidates for U.S. Senate:
1. Will you vote to repeal Obamacare and if repealed what is needed to create real healthcare reform?
2. Where do you stand on reforming social security, Medicare and Medicaid and how do we reduce billions in waste and fraud?
3. How do we improve care for America's military veterans and their families?
For all federal candidates:
1. Will you only bring clean bills to the floor and not add earmarks?
2. Where do you stand on trade agreements with China?
3. How can we streamline defense spending and maintain an effective military?
For New York legislative candidates:
1. What will you do to reduce state level spending?
2. What will you do to simplify the state tax codes and reduce taxes for businesses and individuals?
There are many more questions needed from New Yorkers but answers to these would be a good start.
David Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in April 2009. It has an active membership of thousands in New York City and was a founding member organization in the National Tea Party Federation. He is host of "The David Webb Show" on Sirius XM Patriot.