On September 27, 2011, Ed Cox was elected to his second two-year term as Chairman of the New York Republican State Committee. The following are excerpts of his remarks that day:
Members of the State Committee, County Chairs, fellow Republicans and distinguished guests:
When you elected me Chairman two years ago, Democrats controlled the Assembly, the Senate, and 27 of New York's 29 congressional seats.
Albany was under one party, New York City dominated rule. One man controlled the government -- Speaker Sheldon Silver who had been elected by only several thousand votes in an Assembly District in lower Manhattan -- and a culture of corruption and a fiscal mess fostered by the unchecked power of the Democrats pervaded Albany.
Similarly In Washington, the Democrats held all the power. The President, who believes in "leading from behind," had turned over his unprecedented big government programs to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House Majority to devise what became incomprehensible multi-thousand page monstrous pieces of legislation including the Stimulus Bill, Financial Regulatory legislation and of course Obamacare -- All infamous for putting the dead hand of government on major sectors of the economy and killing job creation.
Well, it took only a year after the Democrats’ 2008 victories for the people of New York to start looking for alternatives ... and you were ready in your counties and we as the newly elected officers were busy raising money and getting ready to help you win in the 2009 county and local elections. The results: you won County Executive seats in Westchester and Nassau and reelected Republican County Executives in Chautauqua and Rockland. You won control of the Dutchess, Nassau and Ulster legislatures and picked up a super minority in Erie County, which County Executive Chris Collins subsequently used to uphold 154 vetoes of Democrats’ wasteful spending measures.
And last November the fiscally disastrous and corrupt one-party Democrat rule in Albany came to an end with the election to the Senate of New York State of a ... Republican majority!
Also last November, in the Assembly races, Leader Kolb's team took nine seats from the Democrats, more than in any year since 1972. Leader Kolb now has a super minority of 51 seats in the Assembly with a restocked bench of 18 new Republican Assembly members many of whom will be the future leaders of our party.
And we also won 6 New York House seats from the Democrats -- more than any other state -- and Nancy Pelosi is no longer the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives!
And only two weeks ago, in a special election in a Queens and Brooklyn congressional district with a three-to-one Democratic registration advantage, which had not elected a R since 1921... and despite being outspent three to one and having to face the combined Democratic machines of Queens and Brooklyn and the unions of New York City... Republican Bob turner won with a decisive 55 % of the vote.
Nationally and indeed around the world, the election of a Republican in the 9th congressional district was seen as a referendum on President Obama's administration. James Carville, the mastermind of Bill Clinton's presidential victories, publically advised the Obama White House to "panic," to "fire somebody.... no fire a lot of people" and to make "a complete change in direction."
This victory shattered the Democrats’ illusions that they could beat their job killing programs and sinking polls with the demagoguery of "Mediscare" tactics and showed that Republicans running on pro growth fiscally responsible job creating platforms could beat the rusty Democratic machines in America's inner suburbs. Our improbable victory was driven by a will to win and superb teamwork among the Republican state, county, congressional and national committees along with the Conservative Party committees.
The strength of our collectively chosen candidate, Bob Turner, his highly professional campaign staff and the values and principles that he represented attracted the support of influential individuals including Democrats such as Mayor Koch and Dov Hikind who were fed up with specific policies of their party in Washington and Albany.
But make no mistake about it ... It was a Republican Party victory.
The bottom line is that a well-coordinated Party and good teamwork from the national committees right down to the county and local committees where the rubber hits the road -- wins big elections.
But that was yesterday!
Today, I begin a new term as Chairman because for all our past successes, I realize that there is much more work to be done.
Before I decided to run to be your Chairman two years ago, as I was trying to sort out how to win elections in New York ... in that inimitable Southern drawl of his, Governor Haley Barbour gave me this special pearl of wisdom: "If you want to win races in a state and you don't have a strong state committee, you are drawing to an inside straight." Well ... State Party Chairman Bill Powers had proved Haley right in the early '90s by building up a strong state committee ... and Mayor Giuliani and Governor Patatki will each tell you that they would not have won their very close first elections in '93 and '94 without Bill's strong state committee.
My primary goal for the next two years is to build a permanent party structure that will allow our State Party to be a strong and principled force for the fiscally reponsible and pro growth policies we need to keep New York State moving in the right direction.
A strong and influential Finance Committee is the backbone of any Party organization. Having formed our first formal Finance Committee in recent memory, we will continue to expand the Committee. The Committee's major donors, many of whom have supported the State Party over the last two years, commit to give or raise between $10,000 and $100,000+ annually. The Committee is chaired by one of our $100,000 donors, Matthew Mellon. Matt works in the New York financial community and has deep family roots of Republican donors. He has expanded, and will continue to expand, our major donor base as we continue to outpace last years numbers for individual, non-event driven donations.
We are also putting together a Chairman’s Advisory Council, which will consist of experienced and politically skilled individuals who will help build and maintain the State Party as a positive and principled force in New York State politics. The Chairman’s Advisory Council will be Chaired by our great past State Party Chairman, Bill Powers.
We are also planning to put in place an Economic Task Force, which will define the pro growth economic policies needed to attract and create jobs here in New York.
We will continue to build our Party by training committee members, volunteers and candidates in training sessions across New York as we did this year in eleven sessions held in counties all across the state.
We will continue to pursue an aggressive communications strategy to get our messages out by use of traditional means like editorials and interviews, as well as modern methods such as Facebook and Twitter.
And the new open presidential primary process which you voted into place in our last committee meeting is designed to encourage our presidential candidates to bring some presidential campaign excitement and assets to your counties.
And as that Presidential election approaches, coordination between the State and National Campaign Committees is already underway to ensure that our combined resources are targeted effectively. Our prime areas of focus in 2012 will be retaining the State Senate, strengthening our representation in the Assembly, defending our eight congressional seats and winning others in what promises to be another good Repubican year and last but not least winning Kirsten Gillibrand’s US Senate seat.
Though a traditionally “Blue” state, New York’s importance to defeating Barack Obama in 2012 cannot be overstated. Our status as the financial and media epicenter of the Country and as the center for many ethnic groups ensures that New York’s Republicans will be on the front lines of the 2012 Presidential Election.
As New York Republicans, we believe not only in American exceptionalism but in New York exceptionalism.
George Washington envisioned New York as the “seat of empire,” with an axis running from that “Island at the Center of the World” up to Albany and through the Erie Canal to Buffalo and Western New York.
Embedded in New York’s DNA are the ideals of freedom, opportunity, personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, limited government, local control – these are our principles as Republicans and this is what we will keep fighting for.
My friends, the New York Republican Party is back as a force for maintaining and restoring New York's greatness as a fiscally sound, industrious, creative and prosperous state - and as such the brightest light in that "shining city on a hill" -- The United States of America.