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Mass exodus from New York?

Sean Hannity joins a growing list of conservative commentators who are leaving New York due to Gov. Cuomo and the state's ultra-liberal agenda.
Sean Hannity joins a growing list of conservative commentators who are leaving New York due to Gov. Cuomo and the state's ultra-liberal agenda.Photo by Rick Diamond

Fox News personality Sean Hannity made national headlines Monday when he announced that he will be leaving New York for a more conservative-friendly state, such as Florida or Texas.

Hannity's remarks came in response to a statement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N,Y., that conservatives are not welcome in the state. While some news outlets stated that Cuomo was referring to those who are "pro-life," his actual statement included not only those who are pro-life but citizens who are pro-gun and pro-traditional marriage.

Cuomo referred to these citizens as "extreme conservatives" and stated that they "have no place in New York."

Thus, in one broad, sweeping pronouncement Cuomo insulted millions of traditional conservatives who are not "extremist" at all but hold to values that not very long ago defined the essence of the conservative movement, along with smaller government and low taxes.

The question then arises as to how many New York residents will follow Hannity's lead and leave the state for greener pastures. Is this the beginning of a mass exodus from New York?

Radio and TV personality Glenn Beck has already departed from New York after having spent several years in the state doing a daily show on the Fox News Channel. Beck has stated repeatedly that his departure from New York in order to set up residence in Texas was motivated by the growing untenable circumstance in which it is increasingly difficult to run a business in the state and to make a decent living.

New York's vast regulatory apparatus is like an albatross hanging around the necks of businesses. And the tax structure cuts into profits and personal income to the point that it does not pay for business owners or entrepreneurs to maintain a presence in the state.

Hannity, thus, sent a message directly to Cuomo, stating,

“Now I want to tell you something – I was born and raised in New York. I want you to know that and I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I don’t want to pay their 10-percent state tax anymore. I live in the second-highest property taxed county in the entire country in Nassau County. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it. I can’t wait to pay no state income tax down in Florida or Texas. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning Florida because I like the water and I like to fish.”

Hannity would not be the first conservative commentator to bid New York a gleeful good-bye in order to relocate in sunny Florida. Rush Limbaugh did the same thing years ago and for similar reasons.

But Hannity wasn't finished with his personal message to Cuomo:

“Gov. Cuomo, I’m going to leave and I’m taking all of my money with me – every single solitary penny. And by the way governor, because I work here – there’s a whole bunch of people that work for me and benefit because I do two shows. And I guess maybe some of them will be out of work, governor. I’m sure you’ll take care of them.”

With regard to Glenn Beck's departure, although the radio and TV host moved most of his operations to Texas, his radio syndication business, Mercury Radio, maintains a presence in New York, providing jobs.

Beck also had a message for Cuomo in the form of a question: "Are our tax dollars not welcome here?"

In an open letter to Cuomo, Beck stated the following:

“We are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, entrepreneurs, dreamers, visionaries, hard-workers, straight, gay, black, white, believers, non-believers, liberals and conservatives. More importantly than any one of these labels, we are decent and kind human beings, and upstanding, loyal and patriotic Americans.

“We don’t see things as left and right. We see things as right and wrong. Our organization creates jobs for hundreds of people in your state, and provides news, opinion, entertainment and a helping hand for millions of people across this country. Are our contributions, tax dollars, and genuine goodness as citizens not welcome here? We respectfully request an answer on whether there are two classes of citizens.”

By the end of the day on Monday Cuomo appeared to be attempting to backtrack from his statements. But the damage is already done, and most conservatives suspect that in making the disparaging remarks Cuomo was merely verbalizing his true feelings about conservatives, gun owners in particular.

Gun owners in the state are already put out with the governor and state politicians for passing some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, placing them in a straightjacket.

Apparently gun owners and other conservatives really are second class citizens in New York -- people whose entrepreneurship and tax dollars are not appreciated nor wanted by the leftwing extremists who run New York.

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