Statement by Monroe County Conservative Party
Chairman THOMAS D. COOK
I have been honored to be Monroe County Conservative Party Chairman for the last 26 years. I am elected every two years. It is a non-paying job; my hobby. We have a 35-member Executive Committee (all unpaid volunteers) which meets on the second Thursday of each month. The Committee is a diverse group made up of lawyers, secretaries, a barber, realtors, a banker, the President of an investment company, a restaurateur, a Reservist serving in Iraq, a steno, Kodak employees, retirees, etc. We all believe strongly in common sense Conservative principles.
The Monroe County Conservative Party bases its endorsements on qualifications, and philosophy. We can pick and choose among enrolled Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We select the very best and conservatively-oriented candidates. In a local (Town Supervisors, etc.) year, we will endorse up to 125 candidates. We are often the "margin of victory". Our endorsement is like a double-edge sword in that the Conservative vote seems to be consistent regardless of who we endorse. When we endorse one candidate, we in effect also take those number of votes away from his or her opponent. There are approximately 8,000 enrolled Conservatives in Monroe County. However in 1990, Herb London received 55,000 votes on the Conservative line. Obviously we also received a lot of votes from enrolled Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Traditionally, we get approximately two times the number of votes as there are registered Conservatives in an election unit.
In 1983, we fought and helped to defeat Metro Police (then a big issue! The beginning of metro government). We have the "Conservative Caucus" of the Monroe County Legislature. We grade Legislators' votes on philosophically oriented bills. We tie our endorsements to ideology. We are for jail expansion. We believe some criminals deserve a jail cell. The average County inmate has had 11 prior arrests. We oppose further taxpayer money for Mayor Bill Johnson's and Gannett's Fast Ferry ($20 million of taxpayers' funds wasted already). Conservatives are for parental notification. Parents should have a legal right to know when their 13 year old daughter schedules an abortion. We are for more public safety funding. The first priority of government is to protect its citizens. The Monroe County Conservative Party helped to form C.A.B.E. (Citizens Against Biased Editorials) to counteract Gannett's liberal, uninformed, and unfair editorial bias.
The Monroe County Conservative Party issues a bi-annual Newsletter (May and October). We have Conservative buttons, and Conservative bumper stickers. We also run radio ads. The Monroe County Conservative Party advertises on radio stations a week before the election setting forth the Conservative philosophy, and our endorsed candidates. We have an annual dinner in May (400+ people usually attend). Our speakers have included; Senator D'Amato (4 times), Rush Limbaugh, Jim Buckley, Bill Buckley, William Rusher, David Keene, Bill Sammon, Rich Lowry, etc. This year we are proud to have as our keynote speaker John O'Neill. Mr. O'Neill is the author of; Unfit for Command. He helped to organize the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign which decided the 2004 Presidential Election.
What is a philosophical Conservative? A Conservative believes in: less government, government closest to the people, family values, lower taxes, individual freedom, and public safety. Many of our Conservative members are pro-life. The foundation of all our programs is a belief in the free men and women of New York State, the people who work, save, raise families, and pay the cost of government. Liberals look to government to solve problems. Conservatives look to an individual's work ethic to help solve problems. Personal responsibility and individual effort will help to make New York State the Empire State once again.
In summary, about the Monroe County Conservative Party. We are an active and aggressive philosophically oriented political party. The Monroe County Conservative Party is a dedicated, volunteer, grassroots organization. We are playing a constructive pivotal role in the Monroe County community. We intend to continue to play such a role.
If any of you have seen the light, please call Conservative Party Headquarters at 381-6850, and we will provide you with a registration form so you can join the dynamic and ideologically principled Monroe County Conservative Party.