Many Conservative Party of New York Leaders Appointed to Government Positions

This article details how many of the Erie County Conservative Party’s leadership has been appointed to positions in government, suggesting some sort of political gamesmanship. The article, found here, focuses on the Erie County Conservative Party.

Of the 32 people listed on the Conservatives’ Executive Committee — not counting Lorigo — 26 hold or have held a government job, or a spouse holds or has held a government job, according to payroll data.

They are not necessarily patronage appointees, though a few have been. Many have worked in the trenches as lawmen, bureaucrats, educators and blue-collar workers — jobs that critics of tax-and-spend practices seize upon when bemoaning bloated government and lavish public-worker benefits.

There’s a retiree who returned to the public payroll; households where both committee member and spouse hold government posts; and a committee member who collects two public salaries. Meanwhile, some have been board members paid stipends that fall far short of full-time pay.

The household income, health insurance or pension payments for nearly all of those 26 Conservative Party decision-makers — roughly 80 percent of the Executive Committee — have rested on a government’s ability to tax and spend.

Lorigo says the members landed those jobs on their own, not because of his intervention. But is this the party image voters conjure up when selecting a Conservative-backed politician?

“Minor parties in New York have oftentimes not been what their labels suggest,” said Michael Haselswerdt, a Canisius College political science professor. “Historically those labels have just been labels, and they haven’t had substantive meaning …”

“In the full spectrum of things, they are probably more conservative than liberal,” Haselswerdt said of the party’s leadership. “But in terms of having positions in government, they are perfectly willing to do that.”

The article also details how the Conservative Party of Erie County wields more influence than its 2% voter registration would suggest.

8 thoughts on “Many Conservative Party of New York Leaders Appointed to Government Positions

  1. Trent Hill Post author

    Seems like the same run of the mill stuff the two parties do. *shrug*.

  2. Pete Healey

    The first couple of libertarians I ever ran across were both state employees as well, a possible contradiction I never asked them about.

  3. NewFederalist

    It is possible to become a libertarian after already having a government job. One would not necessarily quit the job out of principle. Sometimes principles are difficult to eat in the absence of income!

  4. Trent Hill Post author

    My mother is a registered Republican, but would qualify as a “libertarian” under most definitions of the word. She has worked for the state for 30 years. Her libertarian views have come about in large part DUE to her experience with the state.

  5. Pete Healey

    Yeah, Trent, that’s what I thought too. The first guy I knew saw some pretty worthless stuff at the Department of Transportation offices in New York.
    But this Conservative business is a somewhat different matter, isn’t it? These guys go out and denounce “big government liberals” and then feed at the same trough.

  6. George Phillies

    As a former New Yorker, I recall it being observed thirty-plus years ago that the Conservatives were in the process of becoming a vote siphon being run to help adjust elections one way or another, and these patronage and seemingly-not-patronage jobs (but not all of them, some of them) were not a bribe but a reward for delivering on political needs. The New York Right-to-Life Party is somewhat more ideological but serves some of the same functions. The New York Liberal Party, which finally greatly faded and at one point lost ballot access, played a related role in a different direction. There are a lot of other New York parties.

  7. Trent Hill

    Right ti Life Party fell apart, which is a shame.

    I really thought the CP in NY had a great chance at ballot access if they could’ve revived that party along within it’s tens of thousands of registrants.

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