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Rick Lazio on Principles & Values

Former Republican/Conservative Representative (NY-2)


2000: Pushed Hillary on "NY Freedom From Soft Money Pact"

Near the end of the Oct. 2000 debate, from behind hid podium, Lazio began hectoring me about soft money and challenging me to ban large Democratic Party contributions in my campaign. I could barely get a word in when he marched over to me, waving a piece of paper--called the "New York Freedom from Soft Money Pact"--and demanding my signature. I declined. He pressed in closer, shouting, "Right here, sign it right now!"

I offered to shake hands, but he kept badgering me. I only had time to utter one sentence in response before Russert ended the debate. I don't know whether Lazio and his advisers thought they could fluster me or provoke me into anger.

The debate was another turning point in the race that helped push some voters into my corner, although I didn't realize it right away.

Lazio had come across as a bully rather than the nice guy he was trying to project. Public opinion polls & focus groups soon made it clear that a lot of voters, especially women, were offended by Lazio's tactics

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.520-521 Nov 1, 2003

Supported NAFTA & assault weapon ban despite unpopularity

Q: Can you give me one example where you have taken an unpopular course despite what your advisers say because you thought it was right?

LAZIO: Iíve done that many times. In Congress, supporting NAFTA and the assault weapons ban after receiving thousands and thousands of calls from people who wanted me to go in a different direction, because I felt it was the right thing to do. I think itís very important to stand up for your beliefs. Even in this race, I know there are a lot of people who would like to see casino gambling. In one of our former debates, I expressed my personal opposition to casino gambling although I believe in the end itís a state decision. So I think there are many, many times when I have demonstrated independence on a whole range of issues.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Hillaryís a good mom, but itís about different philosophies

Q: You would think that you dislike each other. Is that true?

LAZIO: Itís not a matter of personal dislike, [but] to point at the differences between candidates and the philosophy between two candidates.

Q: Do you dislike him?

CLINTON: No. I think that I have no personal animus at all toward Mr. Lazio. He seems like a very nice person.

Q: Well, name three things that you like about him.

CLINTON: Well, it seems like he has a very nice family. And that he has worked very hard. And that heís an attractive young man.

Q: And you name three things you like about her.

LAZIO: Well, I think youíre an attractive woman. And I think youíve got a very nice family. Iím sure youíre a very good mother as well.

CLINTON: Thank you very much. But thatís not what this electionís about. And what it is about are the very significant differences between us on everything like education and health care and the economy and the environment and guns and choice and Social Security and the budget surplus.

Source: (X-ref Hillary) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Contract with America votes led to surplus and opportunity

Q: You voted under the ďContract with AmericaĒ to shut down the United States Department of Education. Was this good for N.Y.?

LAZIO: What we did try and send bills to the president, which the president vetoed. It was the work of people like me on the Budget Committee that got to the first balanced budget in a generation. I voted for the highest levels of federal aid to education in our history, in part because we made the tough decisions back in 1994. Yes, we voted to balance the budget. Yes, we New York has had a history of having one senator in each party. Iím looking forward to working with [Democrat] Chuck Schumer in the Senate. Iíve been in the minority and the majority. I know that itís the people in the majority who craft the bills, who write the language, who are in a position to actually get the job done. I think we need somebody in the majority party who can work well with others, who can be independent and whoís got the ability to make sure that New York gets its fair share.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

A majority party senator will be most effective for N.Y.

New York has had a history of having one senator in each party. Iím looking forward to working with [Democrat] Chuck Schumer in the Senate. Iíve been in the minority and the majority. I know that itís the people in the majority who craft the bills, who write the language, who are in a position to actually get the job done. I think we need somebody in the majority party who can work well with others, who can be independent and whoís got the ability to make sure that New York gets its fair share.
Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

NY is a great melting pot of bottom-line people

Q: Define a New Yorker.

LAZIO: New Yorkers say, ďYou got to tell it like it is.Ē I can relate with New Yorkers lives, the fact that we have a great melting pot here in New York. Our ethnic diversity is our strength. Itís why people from throughout the world want to come to New York. Weíre tough, bottom-line people. We donít want to hear a lot of talk. We have a history of rolling up our sleeves [and working]. Iím very, very proud to be a life-long resident of this state.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Lazio: Hillary has chutzpah to make guilt by association

CLINTON: Listening to the congressmanís response, reminds me of a word Iíve heard a lot of this past year: chutzpah. He stands here and tells us that heís a moderate, mainstream, independent member of Congress. Well, in fact he was a deputy whip to Newt Gingrich. He voted to shut the government down. He voted to cut $270 billion from Medicare. He voted for the biggest education cuts in our history. Time and time again when heís had a choice to make, particularly at the critical turning point, when our country was really on the line with Newt Gingrichís Contract With America, he stood with the Republican leadership and Newt Gingrich.

LAZIO: Mrs. Clintonís last remark has to redefine the word chutzpah. Mrs. Clinton, you, of all people, shouldnít try to make guilt by association. Newt Gingrich isnít running in this race, Iím running in this race. Letís talk about my record. Letís lower taxes. Letís deregulate energy. And letís build on my work in Congress already to get the job done.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

With Dems on social issues; with GOP on taxes & impeachment

In his eight years in Congress, Lazio has regularly broken Republican Party ranks and supported President Clinton on matters like gun control, affirmative action and changes in campaign finance laws. But on the big tax and spending questions that have broken along party lines and have often been decided by the narrowest of margins, he has been a reliable ally of the conservative Republican leaders of the House. He also voted to impeach President Clinton on two of the four articles.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Proud of his ďmainstream recordĒ

When he announced his candidacy for the Senate last month, Lazio said: ďI have a record that I am proud of. It is a mainstream record.Ē

A review of Lazioís record found ample support for that argument. In his first two years in Congress, when Democrats were in control, Lazio voted in favor of the Clinton administrationís legislation more often than almost any other Republican. For instance, a study by Congressional Quarterly found that in 1994, Lazio supported the president on 72% of the votes on which the president took a position, a higher percentage than all but two other Republicans in the House.

But after Republicans won control of the House in the 1994 elections, Mr. Lazio became a strong advocate of most of the items in the Contract with America, the partyís election manifesto. Since then, he has been much less supportive of the president.

Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Supported Newt Gingrichís Contract With America

Lazio defended his support of much of Newt Gingrichís Contract With America, in particular the balanced budget amendment and welfare reform. Iím for those things,ď Lazio said. Ē Iím proudly for those things.ď
Source: (Cross-ref to Budget) New York Times, p. A19 May 22, 2000

Effective representation comes from community partnership

To be an effective representative, you must work hard to improve the quality of life for your constituents. This is done by building partnerships and keeping an open mind. It is accomplished by seeking and taking advantage of opportunities. It is not enough just to vote on legislation, you must also work to ensure that the people in your hometown can access those opportunities. That is what builds better communities and a better future. The satisfaction doesnít come with getting legislation passed or when I secure a project for my district, it comes when I visit with people who are benefiting from that work I have done. You wouldnít believe how a smiling face can make you forget days of debate and negotiation until you see it on a child trying out a new computer at school or a senior citizen opening the door to a new home. That is what makes it worthwhile for me.
Source: Issues Briefing, www.lazio.com May 4, 2000

Politics is philosophy in action

I have been involved in public service since 1989 when I was elected as a county legislator. And the longer I serve, the more I have found that politics is nothing more -- or less -- than philosophy translated into action. And the conservative philosophy -- which is at the heart of the Republican Partyís vision--is very different from that of the liberals.
Source: Speech to the Monroe County Conservative Party Aug 27, 1999

Priorities: defense; education; social security; tax relief

Conservatives turned the economy around even though the liberals said it couldnít be done. It wasnít that hard. We just put an end to that old, liberal rule. You know the rule. If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Source: Speech to the Monroe County Conservative Party Aug 27, 1999

Religious affiliation: Catholic.

Lazio : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

Whatís an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a personís membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. Thereís no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH11 on Nov 7, 2000

Endorsed Endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans; supports gay rights.

Lazio is endorsed by by the Log Cabin Republicans:

Log Cabin Republicans is the nationís largest gay and lesbian Republican organization. Log Cabin was founded to battle the nationís first anti-gay ballot measure -- Californiaís Proposition 6 in 1978. We enlisted Ronald Reagan to publicly oppose the measure, which was then defeated. Since then, Log Cabin Republicans has grown and expanded to become a leading voice on the national stage on behalf of the mainstream concerns of the gay and lesbian community.

We care deeply about equality and we hold Republican views on crime, fiscal responsibility, and foreign policy. We believe in individual rights rather than group rights. We believe in limited government rather than big government. We believe that free markets lead to free people and that all Americans should be able to participate fully in the political process.

We represent the next generation for the gay and lesbian community. No longer will we be told where we must live, how we must dress, and how we must vote. Now there is a political alternative. We know that we will move ahead only when gay people are honest about who they really are. And as the far right continues its drive to dominate our Party, Log Cabin Republicans joins other mainstream Republicans on the front lines of the battle for the Republican Partyís future.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Log Cabin Republicans is to work within the Republican Party for the equal rights of all Americans, including gay men and women. The mission of the Log Cabin Republicans derives from our firm belief in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense. We emphasize that these principles and the moral values that underlie them are consistent with the pursuit of equal treatment under the law for gay men and women. We believe these same core principles also best serve the best interests of the gay community.
Source: Log Cabin Republicans web site 00-LCR0 on Nov 7, 2000

Contract with America: 10 bills in 1st 100 days of Congress.

Lazio signed the Contract with America:

As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body, we propose not just to change its policies, but to restore the bounds of trust between the people and their elected representatives. That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.

    Within the first hundred days of the 104th Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given a full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote, and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny:
  1. The Fiscal Responsibility Act: Balanced budget amendment & line item veto
  2. The Taking Back Our Streets Act: More prisons, more enforcement, more death penalty
  3. The Personal Responsibility Act: Limit welfare to 2 years & cut welfare spending
  4. The Families Reinforcement Act: Use tax code to foster families
  5. The American Dream Restoration Act: Repeal marriage tax; cut middle class taxes
  6. The National Security Restoration Act: No US troops under UN command; more defense spending
  7. The Senior Citizens Fairness Act: Reduce taxes on Social Security earnings
  8. The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act: Incentives to small businesses
  9. The Common Sense Legal Reforms Act: Limit punitive damages
  10. The Citizen Legislature Act: Term limits on Congress
Further, we will work to enact additional budget savings, beyond the budget cuts specifically included in the legislation above, to ensure that the federal budget will be less than it would have been without the enactment of these bills. Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we seek their mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our names to this Contract with America.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA1 on Sep 27, 1994

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Principles & Values: Rick Lazio on other issues:
NY Gubernatorial:
Andrew Cuomo
NY Senatorial:
Charles Schumer
Kirsten Gillibrand

Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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