Tag Archives: George Pataki

The Unwanted Return of Nancy Naples

8 Oct
Joel Giambra, Erie County Executive

Bad Memories are bad

Imagine the nerve of a millionaire begging you to send money to fund another millionaire’s vanity campaign.

Now imagine the millionaire doing the begging is the elected official who was charged with being the people’s fiscal watchdog in the run-up to, and during the green/red budget crisis of aught-four.  Now imagine that the millionaire begging you to send a few pennies to her friend, the other millionaire, has the audacity to insult Albany “insiders” when she herself is the consummate insider.

Nancy Naples was appointed by Governor George Pataki to become the DMV Commissioner in 2006.  It doesn’t really get any more Albany insider-y than that.  Now?  Now she’s an appointed member of the Amtrak Board of Directors, thanks to George W. Bush.

Next time, Ms. Naples – who, along with Joel Giambra, came to personify the epic fail of the budget crisis; who left office in 2005 after it was revealed that she had failed to pay her property taxes, and had funneled county work to a campaign donor – should keep her megacarat ring at home when asking Buffalo’s Joe and Jane Blow to send “emergency” money to a guy with $150 million in the bank.

Pataki and Lazio Sittin’ In A Tree

16 Mar

From the “In case you missed it” files…

Do you long for the halcyon days of the George Pataki administration?  Rick Lazio does.  The ethics, transparency, good government, limited spending, low taxes, and private sector job growth.  All hallmarks of the successful Pataki Administration, right?  So says Mr. Lazio, “I’m nostalgic for the Patkai years…it’s when New Yorkers were proud to be New Yorkers.”

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Maybe it’s just me but I remember an entirely different history.  I remember the late budgets, power consolidation, three men in a room, incompetent and lazy leadership, tax cuts combined with massive spending increases, corruption, spiraling debt.

Deroy Murdoch, no liberal he, remembers the Pataki administration thusly:

The Empire State’s drowsy Republican governor drifts off January 1 after 12 years in office. He departs about 11 years too late. Pataki is less than just a politician of breathtaking mediocrity; his lack of competence, charisma, and character composes a sickening trifecta that actually has led some local Republicans to look with hope at Governor-elect Elliot Spitzer, a busybody liberal Democrat.

As Pataki’s reign of error ends, New York is No. 50 in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. It also has America’s 50th best individual state-tax burden, and is the 47th-best place to pay unemployment insurance.

Under Pataki, the state budget has soared 79.5 percent — from $63.3 billion in 1994 to $113.6 billion in 2006. Pataki’s 12-year-average annual spending rate is 4.9 percent.

“Pataki’s budgets grew by almost twice as much as inflation,” says Cato Institute fiscal analyst Stephen Slivinski. In Pataki’s third term, this spending pace zoomed to 8.3 percent.

Pataki has borrowed like a pawnshop patron. He has deepened state-funded debt by 61.3 percent — from $31 billion in 1994 to $50 billion today.

Yeah, I guess those were the days, eh Rick?

Pulling Out All The Stops

30 Oct

In NY-23, that paragon of New York good government excellence, George Pataki, has endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.  After Pataki’s decade-long tenure, where Albany pretty much stayed the same exact tax-and-spending place it’s always been, I hardly see how this is a boon to Hoffman, but as this article supposes, no matter what happens, it’s always good news for the Republicans.

Also, relatively newly minted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who also represented a relatively conservative district as congresswoman, will be campaigning with Bill Owens this weekend.

George Pataki – Comeback Kid?

22 Sep

George Pataki was our feckless milquetoast of an ineffective governor from 1995 until 2006.  Under his bold leadership, there was nothing bold and no leadership.  New York stayed lame, upstate’s economy got worse and worse, there was not even talk of structural reform in Albany, and everyone went along to get along in Albany’s corrupt, sleazy political culture.

But ahoy! Pataki to make a political comeback! Why, that Pundit fella must be out of his mind to think that Pataki’s damaged goods!  Gosh, he has more name recognition after running the state (into the ground) for 10 years than a Senator who has held statewide office for like 5 months!

Apparently, a Texas Senator was busy trying to recruit Pataki to run.  Because Republicans have such an enrollment disadvantage in New York, they need to try and recruit people with built-in name recognition and fundraising ability to run statewide.  That’s why Giuliani and Lazio are the names being brought up for Governor 2010.

I’m sure there are some intelligent, thoughtful, more youthful Republicans who want to really shake things up politically in this state.  Too bad the Republican Party isn’t set up to promote them.

George Pataki has a record of status quo failure.  The likelihood of the state party running him against Gillibrand is remote, at best.  We know this not only because of Pataki’s record as governor, but because of this tell planted in the New York Post’s story:

But many believe Pataki’s subsequent drift to the left and failure to control spending weakened the state GOP and quashed any hopes he had of turning his 12-year Statehouse reign into a bid for the presidency.

Likewise, national Republicans view the prospect of a Pataki run for Senate as remote. A longtime Pataki associate said the Senate talk was likely designed to draw business for his private law practice.

If It’s Sunday…

22 Feb

Today with Buffalo Geek and Buffalo Bean.

Also, check out The Answer Lady’s account of a Sam Hoyt Town Hall Meeting (Hoyt will be on Hardwick today at 11am). She liked what she heard, and she also was impressed with Mickey Kearns, who wonders why the city won’t spend its surplus on things the city needs, like fingerprinting at home break-ins.

Buffalo Bean says I have a “veiled fear” of Pataki running for US Senate. I can state with certainty that no one has any fear of Pataki running for statewide office. After all, in his last year as governor, his job approval was positively Bush-esque, hovering at and around 30%.

Who’s Talking Reform Now?

20 Feb

I sincerely hope that the New York State Republican Party runs one George Pataki (R-Obscurity) for United States Senate to replace Kirstin Gillibrand. Gillibrand’s own problems notwithstanding, I cannot stress how apt it is for the state Republicans to be so rudderless that they can only look backward to 90s-era glory days. Gotta run someone for Governor? How about damaged goods Rudy Giuliani? Gotta run someone for Senator? How about damaged goods George Pataki. I realize that nostalgia is one commodity that we don’t lack in this state, but the 90s are well over, and it says a lot that this is the best the GOP can do. Hell, why not bring D’Amato back from the pasture?

On that same note, it seems that it’s the Democrats – the Democrats – who are talking about conservative things. Things like our crippling tax burden and the crushing cost of so many redundant taxing governmental entities. Where was Pataki on this? What has Giuliani ever said or done about this? Where is the new Republican blood in New York State?

Assuming Cuomo runs for governor, he would crush Paterson in a primary, and he’d crush a Giuliani in a general. Cuomo’s on the way up. Giuliani’s old hat, looking to suckle again at the public teat.

New Yorkers are interested in a comprehensive review and overhaul of the way state and local governments operate. They are responding to a growing clamor for fundamental reform – not piecemeal headline-grabbing pseudo-reforms that do little. Cuomo understands this.

And make no mistake – this speech is Cuomo’s unofficial gubernatorial announcement:

During a press conference at the University at Buffalo, Cuomo said the time has come for New York to streamline its laws so the state’s 10,500 governmental entities can be consolidated at a savings to taxpayers.

“That’s why the state of New York has the highest local taxes in the country,” Cuomo said of the state’s burdensome system of government.

Cuomo called on state officials to join him in supporting legislation that would simplify New York’s system of laws in an effort to make it easier to eliminate state authorities, special districts and other governmental entities that are often expensive and, in some cases, totally obsolete.

And from the UB Spectrum:

Cuomo also felt that reorganizing local municipalities would also provide a better answer to the state’s fiscal woes rather than the traditional practices of raising taxes and cutting spending, sensing that these acts in reality are counterproductive.

“You raise taxes now, you are going to be redistributing the burden on individuals and families and it will be so negative that it will make the state of New York less hospitable,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo noted that New York residents pay the highest amount of local taxes in the country, roughly $73 per $1,000 of income. This is sharply higher than the average of $43 per $1,000 of income by the rest of the country. By cutting down the estimated 10,500 governments in the state, he thinks that this will allow the Empire state to become more competitive economically.

Cuomo also cited the fact that school districts in New York have dramatically condensed their numbers over the last several decades. He stated that in the 1930s, there were 10,000 school districts in the Empire state and there are now fewer than 700.

“If you can tackle and manage the consolidation of school districts then you can do this [reform],” Cuomo said.

I think the momentum for this sort of thing is growing. If we can keep it up, the people who will be traditionally opposed to it, who will be running inflammatory ads throughout the state about it, can and will be defeated.