Rob Astorino’s Top 15 Lies:
1. Women’s Equality Act
Lie: Astorino says the Women’s Equality Act will “increase abortion to the third trimester, at will, unrestricted” and “allow non-doctors to perform abortions up to nine months” “on demand.”
Truth: This is patently false. No such language exists in the bill. The provision of the Women’s Equality Act in question simply codifies Roe v. Wade in state law to protect New Yorkers from a potential Supreme Court decision overturning that precedent.
2. Higher Taxes in NYS
Lie: Astorino says Governor Cuomo’s policies have resulted in “higher taxes.”
Truth: Every New Yorker now pays a lower personal income tax rate than they did before Governor Cuomo took office. In addition to cutting the state income tax rates for all New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo froze property taxes, created a $350 tax credit to families with at least one child under the age of 18, and eliminated or cut the MTA payroll tax for small businesses.
Lie: Astorino says jobs are leaving New York.
Truth:Governor Cuomo’s policies have created over 500,000 new jobs since he took office.
4. Fundraising Claims
Lie: Astorino claimed that during one ten-day period in June, he raised $500,000.
Truth: During this period, he actually raised less than $148,000.
5. Overall Fundraising
Lie: Astorino claimed that he had commitments of $15 million when he announced his candidacy in February.
Truth: He raised less than $5 million since January, including transfers from his County Executive Account.
Lie: Astorino “emphasized his efforts to hire and appoint minority candidates to lead county agencies” under his watch.
Truth: Rob Astorino has not hired a single commissioner of color on his team in Westchester. Not only has Astorino not hired anyone of color to lead County Departments, but he dismissed a Spano administration-holdover Marguerite Beirne, the Commissioner-level Chief Information Officer and a Latina, during his first term.
7. African-American & Latino Support
Lie: Rob Astorino says he was re-elected last fall with the support of more than 60 percent of Hispanics and 25 percent of African Americans.
Truth: The campaign says the numbers are based on internal polling but has declined to release the polls. There is no evidence to support this claim. Astorino, who opposes the DREAM Act and the minimum wage, has also blamed “illegal immigrants” from the Bronx who move to Westchester to explain the County’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes.
8. Most Corrupt State
Lie: Astorino says academic report proves that under Cuomo’s leadership, New York has “the most corrupt government in the country.”
Truth: Astorino’s evidence for this claim is a report covering only the years from 1976-2010–before Andrew Cuomo became Governor– and which actually concludes that Illinois had the most corrupt government in the nation.
9. Taxes in Westchester
Lie: In an attempt to make voters forget that Westchester County is the highest taxed county, not only in New York, but in the nation, Rob Astorino claimed he cut the tax levy “more than any other county in the state.”
Truth: Onondaga County reduced its county tax levy by 22% over a four-year period from 2010 to 2014. In contrast, over the same four years, Westchester reduced its tax levy by 2.1% –which was done by the County Legislature overriding Rob Astorino’s veto.
10.Property Taxes in Westchester
Lie: In 2011, Astorino said in his State of the County Address that he planned to cut property taxes further in Westchester and that it was time to let “some other county take home the number 1 trophy in property taxes.
Truth: Since the Board of Legislators’ initial 2.19 percent property tax cut in the 2011 budget, Astorino has pursued no further cuts. As of November 2013, residents of Westchester paid an average of $9,637 in property taxes, the highest in the U.S.
11. Economic Development Spending
Lie: When asked by Fred Dicker on Live from the State Capital, whether he did in fact cut economic development programs in Westchester, he responded with “not that I know of.”
Truth: Economic development spending stood at $453,000 in 2009, just before Astorino entered office. By 2012, spending dropped to $83,000, less than 20 percent of the spending level only three years prior. (Westchester County Budget, 2009 and 2012)
12. Worst in Economic Recovery
Lie: National fact-checking watchdog PolitiFact called Astorino a liar for his claim that “the state of New York is worst in the nation for economic recovery.”
Truth: Many states lagged behind New York in all of these measures.
13. People are Leaving NYS
Lie: Astorino says that as many as 400,000 people have left New York State in the last four years.
Truth: New York State’s population has actually increased during this time.
14. Term Limits
Lie: In Republican Rob Astorino’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention, he said, “…I support term limits for state legislators and their leaders. Yes, as governor of New York, I will term limit myself out, just like I did as County Executive of Westchester.”
Truth: Astorino did not sign term limits into law as County Executive.
15. Unicorn Killer
Lie: Astorino claims that Governor Cuomo kills unicorns.
Truth: Unicorns don’t exist.