An upbeat and crowded fundraiser for congressional candidate John Gomez was held Thursday night with guest of honor, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The scenic Thatched Cottage in Centerport was the location for the gathering of about 200 supporters made up of local politicians and interested Long Islanders. After a brief prayer service, Huntington Republican Chairwoman Toni Tepe introduced Suffolk County Republican Chairman, John Jay LaValle who has known Gomez since he was Brookhaven Town Supervisor and a guest on Gomez’s radio show. He said that he is out in support of Gomez because he believes that John is not a typical politician giving voice to popular rhetoric but an honest man and “the real deal”.
Although everyone agreed that it is difficult to spread the word without a big campaign purse there was a sense of optimism and of grass roots momentum in the room. Giuliani quoted Joe Torre’s response when the Yankees were down and he was asked how he was going to win, Torre replied, “We start with one run.” Giuliani says that the conservatives have a good chance to start picking up runs with candidates like Gomez. Gomez said he is honored to have Mayor Giuliani’s support, a man who he feels rose to the occasion when our country was in fear and gave us confidence that we would persevere. Gomez promised that should he be elected to Congress he will not behave like a politician, rather ”a servant to the people“ that he represents. Gomez asked that people pay attention to the issues that are most dear to them and listen and watch their elected officials and candidates. Gomez said, “ We have soldiers of ours dying and sacrificing in many parts of the world to give us the right to vote, let’s make it count”.
Mayor Giuliani came to the podium with chants of “Rudy, Rudy” from the crowd. Giuliani was clearly in his element with many admirers and he spoke well working in jokes and asides as well as very serious and somber issues. He said that he endorses John Gomez for Congress because he believes that he is the right man to help fix the mess in Washington. Giuliani said he believes Gomez’ position on issues like unemployment, taxes and national security will help him overcome the campaign’s financial disadvantage compared to the better-funded Israel campaign. Giuliani went on to say that for the first time he is scared for our country. Although he has not agreed with many of our past presidents, he never felt that our security was so tenuous as it is today. He is scared because he feels that by our government trying to be politically correct we are sending out the wrong message to our enemies. He questioned why “Islamic extremists “ is considered a taboo phrase in our country. “We all understand Islam can be fine, but a portion has taken it to an extreme and want to kill us and destroy us. Can you imagine what the Russians would have thought of us during the cold war if Ronald Reagan had made the word communism politically incorrect?” He asked. “We would have been considered weak,” he answered. At times in our nation’s history, when we have stood up for ourselves our country has achieved a greater degree of safety then those times when we did nothing. He gave credit to George W. Bush for not allowing our country to appear weak to those who wish to destroy us and our way of life. Giuliani then said that Gomez gets this and wants to keep a focus on National Security.
Giuliani went on to say that last year when the Premiere of China came for a visit, he told President Obama that he was spending too much money. “When was the last time you agreed with a communist,” he joked. Giuliani closed his remarks around the topic of taxes. He said that because Congress went on a break without addressing the expiring Bush tax cuts, we really don’t know what our tax situation will be next year. “Here in Long Island we could be paying over 50%”, he said, “and if you have money that you want to leave to your kids, well then you’d better die now because the inheritance tax may go over 55% in January.” “Gomez”, Giuliani said, “wants to encourage business by not overtaxing people, but by allowing them to earn more and spend more.” Capitalism in our country ”has brought more people out of poverty than any other country in the world”, he concluded.