Having a (R-NY) after my name has been frustrating so far this year. The Governor’s race is a debacle. We’ve got three people running in the NY-1 with no one worth mentioning running next door in the NY-2. We’ve also got at last count four people fighting to run against Kristen Gillibrand, and while we finally have someone for AG (I’ve heard nothing but good things aboot Dan Donovan), still no one to run against Chuckles. That’s why it’s been refreshing to learn aboot Comptroller candidate Harry Wilson, who is easily our best bet for a statewide victory so far.
The thirty-eight year old former hedge fund manager, who is looking to unseat our current unelected comptroller (that’s how we roll in Albany) Tom DiNapoli, is exactly what the state Republican Party needs. He’s young, hasn’t spent his life in politics, “gets” new media, and out of all our candidates has done the best so far in engaging voters as opposed to just speaking to them. On his “Cause and Effect” tour, he’s constantly asking New Yorkers to tell him their experiences and how the states current tax policies has effected their lives.
Plus the fact that he can focus all his energy on contrasting between him and the DEMOCRAT he’s running against, as opposed to having to fight other Republicans until the September primaries, doesn’t hurt.
Mr. Wilson was recently profiled in “The Capitol.” A few snippets:
Wilson’s supporters also believe that Wilson’s experience restructuring companies and his work as a key figure on Obama’s auto task force will make for a compelling case. Following the financial collapse in 2008, Wilson e-mailed Steve Rattner, who was heading the auto industry task force appointed by Obama. Though they had never met, Rattner was so impressed by Wilson’s résumé that he named him as the lone Republican to the task force. Wilson, who eventually became a leading player in the restructuring of General Motors, said he would use this experience to connect with voters about the import of the poorly understood comptroller’s office.
“Everyone knows General Motors,” Wilson said. “Everyone knows what the problems were. Everyone in their family used to have a GM car and a lot fewer people have them today. Both entities have bad leadership that refused to make tough choices, that let costs spiral out of control, and that ultimately led to GM going bankrupt and New York on the brink of fiscal insolvency.” When Wilson began digging into General Motors’ business model last year, he said he saw a company that had a solid line of products in the pipeline to turn around its fortunes in future years, but which had been crippled by out-of-control labor and production costs.
Similarly, Wilson said as comptroller he would vastly expand the scope of the office’s use of auditing powers to initiate a top-to-bottom audit of the state finances, using the office’s subpoena powers to focus in on the biggest areas of spending, such as education and Medicaid. As comptroller, Wilson said he would appoint an independent “SWAT team” of financial experts—similar to the task force appointed by Obama—to look into the state’s finances. He said that DiNapoli’s audits had been too narrow, focusing on audits of local governments that represent a much smaller portion of the pie.
“When you look at the scope of what he’s uncovered, a few million dollars here and there, relative to the size of the fiscal mismanagement in Albany, which numbers well into the billions and maybe even the tens of billions of dollars, I think it’s far too narrow and far too small.”
You can head over to WilsonForNewYork.com to find out more.