2010-08-27 / Top Stories

DioGuardi Blows Through Wave Like A Whirlwind

Senatorial Candidate Seeks Republican Line
By Howard Schwach

Joseph DioGuardi Joseph DioGuardi Interviewing Senatorial candidate Joseph DioGuardi is a little like lassoing a twister and attempting to ground it. There he is, talking about rescuing Albanian Jews.

Now, he’s over there, talking about recognizing black military heroes from World War II. Then, he’s over there talking about “The world’s costliest charge card.”

His record in Congress? “Just a minute, did I mention my daughter, who is on American Idol?”

His platform for the upcoming election? “Did I tell you about the Chief Financial Officers Act?”

And, it went on and on.

DioGuardi, 69, who lives in Ossining, New York and who wants to unseat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, said he was on a Brooklyn campaign swing and came to The Wave to seek its support in gaining the Republican nomination in the upcoming September 14 primary.

“Once I win that primary, you’ll see Gillibrand’s defeat,” he said as a prologue. “I’m the only [Republican] candidate with the Conservative line, the only one who can hold both the Republican and Conservative lines, and the only one who has the capability of beating Gillibrand.”

“Gillibrand has no chance against me,” he added, quickly dealing out his palm cards to those sitting around the table. “People are angry at the incumbents and the ethnic Democrats will vote for me, as will the Republicans and the Conservatives.”

A minute later, he shifted gears. “Now I know why they call it Breezy Point,” he said, referring to his trip through the gated community. “As soon as I got over the bridge, my hair began to blow.”

Then, he was back to his campaign.

I wrote this book,” he said, handing out copies of “Unaccountable Congress,” which he wrote in 1992, a few years after he lost his seat in the House of Representatives to Nita Lowey.

He said that the way Congress spends our money and then accounts for the spending does not make sense. His present campaign, he says, is based on that same idea. In fact, he says that he is updating the book and that it will be out shortly, promising The Wave a signed copy when it does come out.

“We have all these GSE’s – Government Sponsored Entities that are supposed to be self-sufficient, but are not,” he said. “The taxpayers are footing the bill.” “Washington’s bookkeeping is like Enron’s,” he added. “Look what that led to. Congress has excepted itself from standard accounting practices. ”

He quickly switched gears once again to his resume, telling us why he knows all about accepted accounting practices.

A graduate of Fordham University and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he spent 22 years at Arthur Anderson before running for Congress.

While in Congress, he helped write the Chief Financial Officers Act, which requires each major department and agency in the federal government to install a CFO to oversee its finances.

“If you don’t know who I am, ask my daughter,” he says with a laugh, noting that his daughter is Kara DioGuardi of “American Idol” fame.

Back to the federal government.

“Congress is spending money it doesn’t have,” he said, pointing to a chapter in his book. “They are borrowing from nations that don’t share our values. They are putting the American dream in jeopardy.”

“What can you bring to New York State,” he was asked.

After a few minutes of talking about his Truth in Government Foundation, he turned to the question. “New York State is a toxic environment,” he said. “Our tax rate is 70 percent higher than the national average, people graduate from SUNY and there are not jobs here in the state, our infrastructure is crumbling because there is no capital budget and no long-term planning, we are behind in the development of Broadband and our political environment is dysfunctional.”

“We need an independent ethics committee to investigate the state government,” he added. This needs to change and we need to throw out many of our legislators.”

Back to his platform.

“We have to restore fiscal responsibility, reduce our national debt and reform our tax system,” he said. “We have to create jobs and the fed is printing money to prime the pump, but it is not working. Banks are not lending to small businesses, but investing in Treasury Bills instead.”

How do you do those things?

Cut the deficit every year. Pay as you go. Stop one Congress from changing what an earlier Congress has done,” he said in rapid order. “Have a ten-year plan to take the deficit down to zero.”

He pointed to the recent Health Care Reform Act as an example of where Congress has gone wrong.

“We have to start from the top, with tort reform. This runaway [medical] testing is costing a fortune,” he said “Everybody wants to do expensive tests to insure that they won’t be sued if something goes wrong. That’s got to stop and the only way to stop that is through tort reform.”

“The bill did not reduce the cost of the medical system,” he added. “The bill is going to increase medical costs.”

“I just want a chance to see if my ideas are right,” he said. “I want two terms – eight years. Give me a shot, and if you don’t like me, get rid of me,” he said, getting his papers together for a run to his next appointment. “Just give me a shot.”

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