Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Letters urge Legislators to look past the usual interest-group din

ALBANY—Busloads of protesters, fear-mongering ads, and daily press conferences by tax-and-spend groups may raise a clamor for higher spending and taxes, but they are not "the real voice of New York," Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh has told state lawmakers.

Spring in Albany is heralded by charter buses "filled with protectors organized by one taxpayer-financed entity after another, all bent on convincing the Legislature that you simply must not and cannot cut the New York State budget," Walsh wrote in a March 14 letter.

Walsh sympathized with Legislators who must endure this pressure-but noted that "the real 'Real New York' is back in your district, at work, producing goods and services, and trying to fight off a recession," Walsh said.

"Seven million New Yorkers work in the private sector. When they think about Albany-if they think about Albany-I believe most of them are simply hoping against hope that we in the capital city will do nothing to harm their businesses, take away their jobs, prolong the recession, or reverse the economic progress that New York has made in the last ten years."

Workers, managers, and small-business owners will not be seen marching to demand restraint on taxes and spending, the letter said.

"You wouldn't expect them to. Nobody buys them a bus ticket. Nobody gives them a day off from work. Nobody withholds from their payroll to buy ads in the Legislative Gazette. Nobody sends them to rallies or forums on the budget."

But the private sector does want Albany to know that:

"The charter buses around the Capitol are shiny and impressive, and I'm glad to see spring coming. But those buses are carrying a dangerous message-one that will in fact lock us into a longer, colder winter in our private-sector economy," the letter said.

"Listen, instead, to the voice of the Real New York. It may not have charter buses, but it does have experience with a harsh reality New York proved again only a decade ago: Tax increases aren't the solution, they're the problem."