GLENS FALLS - Visiting the party faithful in a political rally held in Glens Falls, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo promised to lead an effort to reduce state government dysfunction, trim its bureaucracy and decrease taxes.
He said that electing him governor wouldn't be enough to make the needed changes, but the people would have to band together in a grassroots movement to accomplish constructive political change.
"Yes, I want to get elected," he said. "But, we must get the public organized and mobilized, demanding that this state clean up its act now - and that's what this campaign is all about. We have to change the trajectory of this state together."
Whether it's the chronically late budgets, the high taxes or complex regulation, the dysfunction is now forcing people and businesses out of the state - a situation that must change, he said.
"I've never seen the state in such a perilous situation as it is today," he said. "Our government has to change the way it's doing business, and it has to change fast, or we're gonna have real trouble."
Cuomo said citizens should band together and demand government work for the good of all, rather than fulfilling the aims of lobbyists or those who contribute large sums to politicians' campaigns.
"We have to start by cleaning it up, end the corruption, bring transparence and accountability, and bring light to Albany," he said, citing support for disclosure of special interests and their influence.
Cuomo called for capping property taxes and lowering income taxes, adding streamlining government was the primary step in lowering government expenses.
He called for consolidating government entities, noting the state has 10,500 municipalities, many of which have overlapping functions.
"We must consolidate and merge and make government work better - and do more with less," he said. "We can't afford this level of government - we don't have any more time to waste."
Cuomo's daughter, Michaela, introduced her dad at the rally, drawing some of the strongest applause.
"My dad works with effectiveness, sincerity, fairness, determination, and he's a champion at ping-pong," she said. "He's a great choice to lead the state. I have lived with this man my whole life - and through these years I've concluded he loves New York and will fight for you. He isn't a phony, he will fight to improve New York."