News

For NY-17, Mike Lawler’s the one for a safer, fairer future

July 28, 2022

The Journal News

By MaryEllen Odell

The Hudson Valley, New York State and the country are at a crossroads.

With inept leadership in Washington, D.C., and a party in power that is incapable of delivering real relief to the American people, it’s time for commonsense leaders who will work across the aisle to get things done.

Mike Lawler is that kind of leader. Just look at his record in the state Assembly. 

In the wake of the horrific Uvalde shooting, Lawler’s impassioned speech on the floor moved the majority to pass Alyssa’s Law, a measure that will protect schools and save the lives of children in the Hudson Valley.

When volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel from across the Hudson Valley expressed their concerns about the high cost-of-living, Lawler introduced and helped pass legislation that gave these brave first responders a 10% property tax exemption.

Amid the dramatic rise in inflation, soaring gas prices, and surging home energy costs, Lawler introduced legislation to suspend the gas tax, provide a tax credit to families hit with increased electrical bills and pushed for the state to suspend the sales tax on a number of everyday household items, to try and help folks get through these difficult economic times.

Lawlee also worked in a bipartisan fashion to address anti-Semitism in our state, passing legislation that will ensure every child in New York State receives a thorough education on the Holocaust, ensuring we never forget and never let it happen again.

Meanwhile, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was voting with President Joe Biden 100% of the time.  But it’s worse than that.  Maloney didn’t just vote this disastrous economic agenda into reality — he was the person most singularly responsible for pushing Biden’s agenda through the Congress.  An agenda that has crushed working families, seniors, small businesses and young people just starting out.

See, at home, Maloney pretends to be a moderate, but the reality is that Maloney is an unbending partisan who cares more about catering to wealthy special interests and radical fringe groups within his own party.

Make no mistake, Maloney’s radical record goes beyond economics. In fact, it was Maloney who led the charge for cashless bail and amplified voices in his party calling to defund the police and, worse, attack police. No wonder police morale and recruitment are at historic lows and crime is soaring.

That’s not the leadership folks in the Hudson Valley need or deserve. 

We need Lawler in D.C. to get this record inflation and spending under control, to stand up to Russia and China, to secure our border and crack down on the drug cartels that are driving the opioid crisis, to get the SALT tax cap repealed and to advocate for commonsense policies on crime, where victims receive justice and criminals get punished.

Lawler was recently endorsed by Pete King, the popular, no-nonsense, former congressman from Long Island.  Pete was a model of bipartisan public service and someone who always delivered results.  

That’s the kind of congressman Lawler will strive to be.  As a new father to his little girl, Julianna, Lawler knows the stakes are high.  America is at a crossroads and is dangerously heading down the wrong path.

It’s time for a positive change. It’s time to elect Lawler to Congress.

MaryEllen Odell is the Putnam County Executive.

Mike Lawler set to upset Sean Patrick Maloney in NY House race, poll shows

July 26, 2022

New York Post

By Carl Campanile

Republicans have a shot at stealing a New York congressional seat from Democrats — and knocking out their chief national campaign strategist to boot, a new poll shows.

Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler garners 46% support to 44% for incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman — a  statistical dead heat — in the survey conducted for Lawler by McLaughlin & Associates.

The poll comes in the court-ordered redrawn 17th congressional district that takes in New York City’s northern suburbs.

Lawler also is ahead of Bronx state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi — a progressive who is challenging the more moderate Maloney from the left and has the backing of socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Aug. 23 primary — 47% to 41%, in a hypothetical general election matchup.

The district includes Rockland County and parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in the Hudson Valley.

“Mike Lawler is well positioned to beat both Sean Patrick Maloney and Alessandra Biaggi in the race for Congress. In 2020, Mike Lawler defeated an incumbent Democrat in a State Assembly district with a 2-to-1 Democrat enrollment advantage,” said pollster Jim McLaughlin.

“Mike is already winning 16% of Democrats and is beating both Maloney and Biaggi among independent voters.”

McLaughlin’s analysis finds that the national and state political environment is hurting Democratic candidates in this district, and President Biden in particular is an albatross for their election prospects.

“Voters are clearly dissatisfied with the Democrats and their failed policies which makes this district ripe for a Republican victory in November,” said McLaughlin, whose firm also does polling for GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin, the Long Island congressman.

The internal GOP poll finds that 59% of all voters in the district disapprove of the job that Joe Biden is doing. 

Half of voters also have an unfavorable view of Hochul while 42% have a favorable impression.

An overwhelming 81% of voters say that the U.S. is off on the wrong track, only 12% say it’s heading in the right direction.

Meanwhile, 53% of voters prefer a Republican in Congress who will act as a check and balance against President Biden, compared to 41% who support the agenda of Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Maloney has been in the middle of the redistricting controversy.

The courts tossed out the congressional redistricting maps crafted by him and other Democrats who control New York state government as partisan gerrymandering. Critics called it the “Hochulmander” because Gov. Kathy Hochul approved the defective redistricting plan, which sought to favor Democrats over Republicans.

But the replacement maps drawn up by the courts created ill will because it potentially pitted Maloney against first-term Rep. Mondaire Jones. Instead of facing off against Maloney in a primary, Jones instead is running in the 10th Congressional district that takes in lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn — far from areas he now represents.

This poll of 400 likely general election voters in New York Congressional District 17 was conducted from July 19-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

House GOP bets on assemblyman’s run to oust DCCC chair in New York congressional district

July 20, 2022

The Washington Times

By Kerry Picket

New York Assemblyman Mike Lawler’s bid to join Congress by taking down the head of the House Democrats’ campaign organization has gotten a nod from Republican leaders.

National Republican Congressional Committee recently announced that Mr. Lawler was added to their “On the Radar” slate of candidates, the first rung of the GOP’s Young Guns fundraising program.

The Young Guns program, which is spearheaded by House Minority Kevin McCarthy of California, gives up-and-coming Republican candidates with a proven ability to raise money access to a national fundraising apparatus and direct fundraising support from Mr. McCarthy to further boost their campaigns.

“There’s a record-breaking class of Republican House candidates running this fall because Americans are fed up with Democrats’ agenda that has led to 40-year high inflation, sky-high gas prices, a crisis at our southern border, and rampant violent crime,” Mr. McCarthy said in announcing the new additions to the program. “Democrats have failed the American people and done nothing but create crisis after crisis.”

Mr. Lawler was among 14 new “On the Radar” candidates in the Young Guns program.

Slater, Republican Congressional Hopeful Call for 2% State Spending Cap

July 9, 2022

The Examiner News

By Martin Wilbur

Two Hudson Valley elected officials seeking higher office this fall have proposed a 2 percent state spending cap to curb what they characterize as runaway spending in Albany and make New York more affordable.

Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, the Republican nominee in the 94th Assembly District, and Assemblyman Mike Lawler (R-Pearl River), one of five GOP hopefuls in this year’s 17th Congressional District race, chided the Democratic-dominated state government for increasing spending by about $40 billion since 2018.

They cited a report released this week by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli calling the pace of spending “difficult to sustain” in the long term. The current fiscal year’s budget is about $220 billion while New York State has debt of about $290 billion.

“We really do need a state spending cap,” Slater said in front of Yorktown Pharmacy, one week after it was robbed in broad daylight and criticizing Democrats for the statewide uptick in crime.

“This has been an issue that’s been on the plate, on the agenda up in Albany for a number of years now, and under one-party rule they have failed to take any action,” Slater said of the Democrats. “The state spending cap would ensure responsible fiscal government, like we have done in the Town of Yorktown.”

A spending cap would work similarly to what municipalities and school districts have had to follow for the past decade, said Slater, who led a petition drive in May to urge lawmakers to enact a spending cap. Meanwhile, the state has refused to adhere to a tax cap that they can’t or won’t abide by, he said.

Lawler, attempting to tie congressional Democrats to the fiscal issue as well, said the state has irresponsibly spent money it has received from Washington, some of which has come for relief from COVID-19. The assemblyman said the Democrats’ fiscal policies at the federal and state levels have largely caused the financial pain families are experiencing in New York. The state, for example, appropriated more than $2 billion for the Excluded Workers Fund for largely undocumented people but only $100 million to help small businesses.

“Over the past two years because of COVID, in large part, the federal government has printed obscene amounts of money, which has led to record levels of inflation,” Lawler said. “This is the highest levels of inflation in over 40 years and New York State took that money, and rather than get its fiscal house in order has spent it on $40 billion in new spending with no plans on moving forward to secure our fiscal future.”

He also took the opportunity to swipe Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) and the Democrats for failing to lift the $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions despite holding the White House and slim majorities in both houses of Congress.

Lawler said the state could be in trouble fiscally as soon as next year.

“New York State is going to face a reckoning next year because we have our leadership under one-party rule and that is why you need to restore balance at every level of government so that you can apply common-sense values and policies in dealing with our fiscal health,” Lawler said.

Messages left for Maloney’s campaign office to respond to Lawler’s comments regarding the SALT deduction were not returned on Thursday and Friday.

DiNapoli’s report, which was released on Wednesday, said the state projects fiscal stability for the next five years, but the effective administration of federal money and the need to bolster rainy day funds are critical.

However, a series of risks, including uncertainties regarding climate change and COVID-19 and federal policy and funding changes, could potentially be problematic for New York.

“Over the longer term, the elevated level of General Fund spending may be difficult to sustain as temporary resources are depleted or expire,” DiNapoli wrote. “Notably, the American Rescue Plan included $12.7 billion for New York State that may be used for a wide range of purposes, including to cover loss of revenues due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

While not addressing Slater and Lawler directly, Assemblyman Chris Burdick (D-Bedford) said most of the new spending since the pandemic has centered on initiatives that his constituents in the 93rd Assembly District and around the state wanted to see, including investment to fix crumbling roads and bridges and fully funding local school districts, much of it funded through the federal Build Back Better legislation approved last year.

“Our responsibility is to ensure the quality of life and the health and safety of our residents,” Burdick said.

NY Republican House contender Mike Lawler rips ‘vile’ pro-abortion protest targeting his wife

July 1, 2022

New York Post

By Bernadette Hogan

Republican Mike Lawler — contesting the newly created 17th Congressional District against DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and lefty state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi – is furious that Rockland County Democrats have targeted his wife as part of the ongoing debate over abortion.

“I was having an end of quarter fundraiser yesterday at Rockland Country Club and the Rockland Country Democrats organized a protest outside my fundraiser and invoked my wife’s name into the debate — which is really disgusting and vile and has no place in politics,” Lawler, 35, told The Post Friday. 

Photos show members of the Rockland Democrats showing up to protest the freshman GOP Assemblyman-turned-congressional candidate’s stance on abortion – with one man wearing a sign on his back that reads: “Doina’s Life?” 

Lawler told The Post he believes the Dems were criticizing his wife, Doina Lawler, for being fortunate enough to have the choice to give birth to their baby girl, Julianna, two months ago.

“Their whole argument is that people will die if they don’t have a choice and my wife had a choice in having a baby,” he said.

Speaking on his wife’s behalf, Lawler added that Doina “thinks it’s really unfortunate that once again the people who claim to be the most tolerant invoke family into a political campaign and that she’s being attacked for having a baby.”

Thursday night, the Rockland Dems’ Twitter account posted a photo of people cheering the protest – including the same man who wore the “Doina’s Life?” sign. The unidentified individual, dressed in an ill-fitting blue jumpsuit, tiny visor and sunglasses, was pictured wearing a sign on his front that read, “Mother’s Life?”

Rockland County Democratic Committee Chair John Gromada fired back at Lawler in an email to The Post that called the GOPer a “radical, anti-choice Republican.” 

“If Lawler had his way, he would join House Republicans’ efforts to ban abortion nationwide and take away women’s reproductive rights here in New York and all across the country,” Gromada wrote. “It’s sad that he’s trying to play the victim here when the real victims will be the millions of women who will suffer the consequences of the policies Lawler promotes.”

Gromada organized the protest, according to a copy of the email invite obtained by The Post. He did not identify the man with the sign calling out Lawler’s wife when asked.

“Most New Yorkers believe in a reasonable time period for an abortion to occur,” said Lawler. “Personally, I’m pro-life. But I think most New Yorkers agree there’s a reasonable time period by which someone has an ability to get an abortion. I think most people fall in that first trimester.”

He also called on his opponents, Maloney and Biaggi, to condemn the demonstration.

“Could you imagine the outrage if this was the spouse of a Democrat, and [an] immigrant no less?” seethed Lawler, whose wife is from Moldova and gained US citizenship in December 2020.

New York codified the right to an abortion in 2019 under the Reproductive Health Act, which allows the procedure upon request before a fetus is viable, or in cases where the mother’s health is at stake.

The Democratic state Legislature is also poised to approve an “Equality Amendment” to the state constitution that further protects reproductive rights ahead of the July Fourth holiday. The proposal could go before voters for final approval as soon as next year.

Assemblyman Mike Lawler announces Congressional Run in New Yorks’s 17th District

May 23, 2022

Rockland County Times

Assemblyman Mike Lawler (R,C- Pearl River) released the following statement after holding a press conference announcing his campaign for Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District.

“Two years ago, when I announced my candidacy for the State Assembly, I did so because I believed New York State was headed in the wrong direction. One party rule in Albany brought us the disastrous cashless bail law; job-killing taxes and burdensome regulations; out-of-control spending; and a corrupt state government, headed by a now disgraced, corrupt former Governor. It’s why New York led the nation in outmigration. We needed change and I believed that I had something to offer. We took on the hard fight and won, unseating a 14-year incumbent in a 2-to-1 Democratic district by over 2,500 votes, building a broad coalition across the district in the process.During my time in the Assembly, I have stood up for Rockland County, fighting for our residents and delivering results.

“That’s why today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for New York’s 17th Congressional District. After spending a combined 90 years in Washington, D.C., folks it’s time to end the Biden, Pelosi, and Sean Patrick Maloney Agenda. As Chairman of Nancy Pelosi’s political committee, Sean Patrick Maloney has served as both the head cheerleader for the failed Biden-Pelosi agenda and as their chief enforcer in Congress. During his 10-years in Washington, D.C., he went from being a self-avowed moderate to one of the most partisan members, who has failed to deliver for Hudson Valley families, and he knows it.  It’s why he’s so worried about losing re-election, in what will be the worst election year for Democrats since 2010. It’s why he forced Mondaire Jones out of this Congressional seat. Here’s the truth – this seat is winnable, the polling shows we’re ahead, and we will win it in November.”

Lawler, who took office in 2020, has in many ways defined his career through opposition to Democrat polices. The Pearl River native was on the front line in the fight against the New York State Accessory Homes Act, a proposal put forth by Governor Hochul,  which would have required that all municipalities in the state allow at least one accessory dwelling unit per residential lot. Lawler and other republicans in the state legislature successfully nixed the proposal, which they were concerned would lead to a huge influx of overcrowding in smaller municipalities and trample on the principle of home rule, which dictates that zoning decisions should be made at the county and town level. Lawler was also an outspoken critic of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, and like many Rocklanders expressed outrage at the Cuomo’s decision to grant an early prison release to some of the county’s worst criminals, including Robert McCain and Richard LaBarbera, the men who rapped and killed Pearl River teen  Paula Bohovesky in 1980. In the wake of that controversy, Lawler cosponsored Paula’s Law, a bill which would eliminate the possibility of parole for any person convicted of murdering an underage victim during a sexual assault.

Most recently, Lawler has focused his attention on providing tax relief for his constituents. In March, Lawler proposed creating a thousand, dollar tax credit for commuters who report suffering a blown tire while traveling on New York’s notoriously rough  state roads. In that same time period, Lawler cosponsored legislation  that would eliminate the state gas tax for one year, and permanently do away with the state’s tax on overtime earnings.

Fight to rename Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge back to Tappan Zee moves forward in Albany

April 26, 2022

CBS New York

NEW YORK — There’s an update in the fight to rename the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

A bill was introduced more than a year ago in Albany to restore the bridge’s original name — the Tappan Zee.

On Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers prevented the bill from being held in the Transportation Committee. This will allow it to move to the floor of the Assembly for a vote.

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the bridge renamed after his father back in 2018. 

Lawmakers said the move was done without the public’s input. Calls to restore the name grew even louder once Andrew Cuomo resigned from office amid scandal. 

Assemblyman Mike Lawler, who sponsored the bill, shared the following statement with CBS2:

“Today is a great day for those who believe in restoring the indigenous and historical name of a bridge that millions of New Yorkers still call by its rightful name – the Tappan Zee Bridge.”

“A bipartisan group of legislators rejected the long-used practice of ‘holding’ bills in committee, when they prevented Bill A.6594 from being held in the Transportation Committee. In fact, Chairman Magnarelli was forced to immediately withdraw the bill from the agenda – giving it another chance to advance to the floor of the Assembly for a vote. I will continue to push in the coming weeks for this bill to receive an up or down vote on the floor of the Assembly.”

“I sincerely hope that my colleagues in the Majority will see the benefits of removing the tarnished Cuomo name from the Tappan Zee Bridge and restoring the important indigenous and historical name that so many of us in the Hudson Valley cherish.”

New legislation aims to help Rockland County first responders

January 21, 2022

News 12

There’s new legislation in the works to help first responders in Rockland County.

Assemblyman Mike Lawler introduced proposals Friday that would provide either a 10% or 100% property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters in Rockland County who are actively serving for at least five years.

Another piece of legislation he announced would allocate $250 million for first responders across the state to tap into for training.

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed similar legislation for volunteer firefighters in Monroe County to receive a 10% property tax cut.