(UPDATE: The bill in question was unfortunately signed into law by Gov. Cuomo (D) today)

Today ATR President Grover Norquist sent a letter to Edward F. Cox, Chairman of the New York State Republican Party, and Michael R. Long, Chairman of the Conservative Party of New York, calling attention to a upstate Republicans and Conservatives who voted to restrict property rights.

The full text of the letter is below:

Oct. 21, 2016

Edward F. Cox
Chairman, New York State Republican Party

Michael R. Long
Chairman, Conservative Party of New York State

Dear Chairman Cox and Chairman Long,

I write to you today to call out Republican and Conservative state senators who unfortunately voted for S6340A, the downstate, heavy-handed, union-boss driven property rights restriction which recently arrived on Gov. Cuomo’s desk for his consideration by Oct. 29:

Sen. Terrence Murphy – District 40
Sen. Sue Serino – District 41
Sen. Joseph A. Griffo – District 47
Sen. Patty Ritchie – District 48
Sen. John A. DeFrancisco – District 50
Sen. Fred Akshar – District 52
Sen. Rich Funke – District 55
Sen. Joseph E. Robach – District 56
Sen. Catharine Young – District 57
Sen. Thomas F. O’Mara – District 58
Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan – District 59
Sen. Robert G. Ortt – District 62

This bill is an attack on the property rights and livelihood of all New Yorkers. It reeks of protectionism. I am bewildered as to why any Republican or Conservative would vote against the interests of their own constituents in order to please New York City Democrat leaders and downstate union bosses. Upstate Republicans and Conservatives were elected to protect their constituents from precisely such looting.

In a tough economy home sharing has provided a lifeline for people to pay their bills and make ends meet. It is especially beneficial to lower and middle income families and households. I would encourage the senators to spend some time with home sharing hosts and guests and learn this first hand. As NYU’s own Arun Sundararajan has written: “Peer-to-peer rental marketplaces have a disproportionately positive effect on lower-income consumers across almost every measure.”

This bill is also a case of the political class working against the interests of the people. Voters of all political persuasions want a light regulatory touch when it comes to the sharing economy, as shown by a recent Pew Research Center survey which found that even Democrats and liberals want politicians to leave them alone in this area of their lives. The authors note: “The clear preference for a light regulatory approach among partisans in all camps is striking.”

A vote in support of the bill is something one would expect from the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton. Clinton has threatened to “crack down” – her words – on the sharing economy if elected.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Republican and Conservative senators who stood their ground and voted against this special interest monstrosity:

Sen. George A. Amedore, Jr. – District 46
Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione – District 43
Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer – District 61
Sen. Hugh T. Farley – District 49
Sen. James L. Seward – District 51

Instead of passing hostile and economically destructive new laws that would drive home sharing underground, I encourage Republicans and Conservatives to consider the country’s best free market framework for short term rentals – Arizona’s SB 1350 – passed by the Republican-led legislature and signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey (R). There is a clear movement in many other states toward the Arizona approach.

The State of New York has a choice: It can either be a leader in the emerging sharing economy or it can make itself a mausoleum dedicated to the political structures of the past.


Grover G. Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform