Long told the Voice that he met for hours last Sunday at the party's state headquarters in Bay Ridge. Lazio left without taking a clear position, said Long, and Long continued to talk with Paladino. "I asked where are you on this Tea Party or Taxpayer Party thing," recalled Long, "and he said the most important thing to him was getting votes on the Republican and Conservative Party lines."
There was nothing anyone could do about the Taxpayer Party because, said Long, "it's there," meaning petitions circulated by Paladino have given it a line on the ballot, though just for this race. Unless Paladino gets 50,000 votes on that line, it will cease to exist, just as the Conservative Party would die if Paladino doesn't get the same total on its line.
"I'm convinced that Carl's not going to make an effort to get people to vote for that party," said Long. "If Lazio had stayed in the race, Carl would have pushed his third party very hard." Long suggested that this was hardly a bone of contention in the negotiations, but Paladino's ownership of a third party line had to be one of the factors that drove the deal. A Paldino push on the Taxpayer line even now, after the Conservative endorsement, could be a deathblow to Long's party.Now, based on this, I was a little disappointed in Paladino and needed to clarify all this information before I made any judgments. I wrote to Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo, and placed a call to Conservative chairman Michael Long. Long was the first to respond. In the conversation Long clarified that essentially, with the Conservative endorsement, it becomes less imperative that Paladino push the Taxpayers Party Line. Long stated that in no way is Paladino trying to stifle the Taxpayers Line, but he feels Paladino will not make a concerted effort to endorse this line any further.
After this weekends "Patriot Rally In The Glen,"where Orange/Sullivan 912 Tea Party Organizer Sheryl Thomas made it a point to make a push for people to vote "Taxpayers Party." She, like so many in the Tea Party movement believe that Paladino's Taxpayers Party is the direction we should go. Most in the movement feel that both Republican and Conservative values don't seem to drive the candidates that align themselves with their respective parties.
A lack of solid candidates from the major conservative based parties in New York and the abject failure of the Democrats to do anything but drag this state into a pit of poverty and despair have made the decision clear for most Tea Party folks. They want something new. They want a party that represents them. The Taxpayers Party is that line. I strongly believe that most of those already aligned with the notion of this new party will vote on it.
Regardless of the truth of this matter, I have to make it clear that it would, of course, not be in the best interest of Michael Long to place any emphasis on the Taxpayers line, and to do everything he can to promote his own Conservative Party. He is quite aware that the party will cease to exist and need to petition it's way back on to the ballot(If the people will bear it.)should they fail to get 50,000 votes on their line come November.
In the end, this kind of news could be a real disappointment for the people who are backing Carl Paladino on the Taxpayers Party Line. I know that this news, while logical, is still a big blow to myself and to those of us who were looking for a 'real' change come November. Again, I still feel the Taxpayers' Party Line will get the 50,000 votes it needs to survive, and that Tea Party ideals will prevail, at least this November, if not many more November's to come.