A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 28, 2006
New York State: Vampire State (nickname)

The “Empire State” (New York State) is sometimes called the “Vampire State.” A “vampire state” is sucked of “blood” (jobs, etc.).

The term “Vampire State” for “Empire State” was popularized by Conservative-Republican candidate Herb London in his political runs for New York state’s governor (1990) and controller (1994) and his book From Empire State to Vampire State: New York in a Downward Transition (1994).


Wikipedia: New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th-most extensive, the third-most populous, and the seventh-most densely populated of the 50 United States. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west and north, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State, so as to distinguish it from New York City.

Word Spy
vampire state noun. A country out of which a dictator or ruling elite sucks money and resources.
(...)
However, vampire state is quite new, as shown by this earliest citation:

“‘Corruption has been rampant. ... It even involves lowest rank officials in villages,’ said Loekman Soetrisno, a professor at the Gajah Mada university in central Java. ‘We hope that this nation will not tend to be a vampire state, where bureaucrats completely suck the state’s wealth’ and common people await any opportunity to rob the wealthy, he said Thursday.”
—Associated Press, January 5, 1996

Note, too, that a different sense — a play on New York state’s official nickname: the Empire State — is a bit older:

“Both Rinfret and London have said at the conventions that designated them for governor that they do not want to wage negative campaigns. Each says he wants to debate the issues, the foremost concerning the state’s economy. To date, honors for the sharpest quip (is this negative campaigning, Mario?) go to London for this crack: ‘They used to call it the Empire State. Now it’s known as the Vampire State. They’re sucking the blood out of the working class with their taxes.’”
—Dick Zander, “Race for Governor Bound to Be Loud,” Newsday, June 4, 1990

Wikipedia: Herbert London
Herbert (Herb) London is an American conservative activist, professor, academic and author. 
Early life
He was born in Brooklyn, New York circa 1939 and attended Columbia University, graduating in 1960.
(...)
Political campaigns
In 1989, Dr. London was one of the Republican candidates for Mayor of New York City. In 1990 he was the Conservative candidate for Governor of New York garnering more votes than any third party candidate in the state’s history. In 1994 he was the Republican Party candidate for New York State Comptroller losing in a close election.

20 May 1982, Syracuse (NY) Herald-Journal, pg. 16:
No surviving taxpayer or resident should fail to attend the gala premiere of “Exodus from the Vampire State.”

The same cast that made “Ode to the Taxpayer” and “Exodus from Syracuse” is featured.
(...)
Their untiring efforts in making the Vampire State No. 1 in welfare benefits and high taxes deserves more than just applause.
(...)
MRS. ISABEL M. MURATORE,
Syracuse.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: The vampire state building /
Author(s): Preiss, Byron.
Smith, Kenneth, ; (Illustrator)
Publication: New York : Bantam Skylark,
Year: 1992, 1984

28 June 1990, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, pg. B1, cols. 3-4:
Regarding economics, London said he favored tax cuts for businesses. He has said New York has changed from the Empire State to the “Vampire State” because of the death of many state businesses. 

13 July 1990, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, “Vampire State,” pg. A11, col. 3: 
To the Editor:
New York, once known for its financial prowess, earned the right to be called the Empire State. That, however, has changed. New York’s credit rating is now one of the worst i nthe country. Because of this, I believe New York should now be called the Vampire State.
(...)
SCOTT A. RENSHAW
Adams Center

12 October 1990, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, pg. 14, col. 5:
Herbert London, Conservative Party candidate for governor, has dubbed Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo “the tax man.” He charges that the Cuomo-inspired ever-increasing taxes are turning New York into a “ghost state.”

In a recent news conference London charged Cuomo has “turned the Empire State into the Vampire State” with his “economic and social policies.”

Google Groups: soc.culture.german
Newsgroups: soc.culture.german
From:
Date: 9 Jan 92 15:23:18 EST
Local: Thurs, Jan 9 1992 3:23 pm
Subject: Re: Let’s hear some stereotypes about Americans!!!

Do you mean New York, or New York City?  Folks from NY City and environs have the most horrid accents of anyone on earth except South Carolinians, but Upstate New York is entirely different, and most folks in the Empire State (I call it the Vampire State because of the taxes) would just as soon see NY City drop off into the Atlantic so it would quit sucking their lifeblood. 

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: From the Empire State to the vampire state :
New York in a downward transition /
Author(s): London, Herbert Ira.
Rubenstein, Edwin S. 
Publication: Lanham, Md. : University Press of America,
Year: 1994

10 May 1994, New York (NY) Times, “The Great Republican Gubernatorial Road Show” by Ian Fisher, pg. B6:
“For a long time, I’ve (Herbert London—ed.) been saying New York is not the Empire State,” he said at a recent Republican dinner in East Rochester, where the local and county party organizations have endorsed him. “New York is the Vampire State and Mario Cuomo is the vampire sucking the blood of working people.”

26 October 1994, New York (NY) Times, “CONTROLLER: Candidates Continue Angry Tone” McCall and London Insult and Mock” by Maria Newman, pg. B7:
Mr. London, a conservative Republican, said he would work to cut taxes in the state, and said his opponent is part of an administration that has been bad for business. Mr. London said New York has gone from being Empire State to the “Vampire State,” because its tax structure has driven businesses and jobs away.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: The vampire state :
and other myths and fallacies about the U.S economy /
Author(s): Block, Fred L. 
Publication: New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,
Year: 1996

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: I’m afraid of the Vampire State Building :
wit and wisdom from the two-to-seven set /
Author(s): Wollman, Patti Greenberg.
Feinstein-Feit, Merril. 
Publication: New York : Golden Books,
Year: 1997

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Vampire State Building /
Author(s): Levy, Elizabeth, 1942-
Comport, Sally Wern, ; (Illustrator)
Publication: New York : HarperCollins Publishers,
Edition: 1st ed.
Year: 2002

3 October 2004, New York (NY) Times, “Political Tongue: Slang Only a Velcroid Would Love” by Tom Kuntz, pg. WK5:
[From “Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of Political Slang,” edited by Grant Barrett (Oxford, 2004).]
Vampire State A nation or state seen as consuming excessive resources or taxes, esp. if it delivers services poorly or suffers from chronically weak economic conditions. [Often a play on “Empire State,” a nickname for New York state.]

New York Sun
Reviving New York
By HERB LONDON
November 28, 2006
(...)
If not, if he (Eliot Spitzer—ed.) goes along to get along, New York will be set on a path from Empire State to Vampire State with the blood of taxpayers leaving a trail as they leave this once majestic environment for places with economic life.

New York (NY) Daily News
How to slay a New York vampire
by Bill Hammond
Tuesday, January 1st 2008, 4:00 AM

Expect a lot of talk in Albany this election year about how New York’s sky-high property taxes are sucking the lifeblood out of our economy, turning the Empire State into the Vampire State. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Tuesday, November 28, 2006 • Permalink