The recent endorsement by former Republican Gov. George Pataki of 2013 GOP Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis is meaningless. It may motivate intelligent Republican Party primary voters to look elsewhere.
Pataki’s lavish spending of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups would have made the late liberal GOP Gov. Rockefeller roll over in his grave! His record deficits, excessive spending and late budgets give real conservative Republicans anguish!
His last adopted budget in 2006 was twice the rate of inflation, containing hundreds of millions of dollars in pork barrel projects. Consider Pataki left New York state number one among all states with each resident responsible for $3,515 of the $50 billion total debt. Under “TaxPaki,” state debt grew from $27 billion dollars in 1995 to $50 billion dollars at the end of his last year in office. Projected future red ink raised this debt to $55 billion dollars in 2009. New York state public authorities debt is an additional $72 billion dollars. These combined debts plus future interest total $187 billion dollars!
As titular head of the New York state Republican Party under his political leadership and watch, he reminded many of the late Roman Emperor Nero watching his beloved party burning into ashes. As a result, Democrats couldn’t have found a better friend. Republicans during his 12-year tenure lost or were unable to regain numerous public offices. This included two Senate and eight congressional seats, state comptroller and attorney general, county executives of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties along with numerous state Senate, Assembly and New York City Council seats.
His approval of the 2002 Assembly reapportionment plan allowed Democrats to gerrymander so many seats, the GOP during that decade became a permanent minority with as few as 42 of 150 seats. Democrats needed only three more seats to take control of the state Senate. The gap between enrolled Democrats to Republicans grew worse. There are now over five million Democrats to three million Republicans statewide.
Previous endorsements by Pataki of other Republican candidates for United States Senate, Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Mayor, City Council, etc. made little or no difference. Having been out of office over six years, Pataki has become an asterisk in political history. Pataki’s vaunted campaign fund raising machine from his days as Governor from 1994 to 2006 has come and gone. Some of his previous campaign aids have established their own consulting firms. Hire them and they can usually deliver a campaign endorsement by Pataki as they clearly did for Catsimatidis. You can forget about raising any funds from past Pataki Pay for Play campaign contributors. They have moved on to other candidates, interests and concerns. The same is true for several thousand political appointees who served in his administration. Voters are not going to be motivated to support any candidate endorsed by Pataki. Catsimatidis media campaign promoting Pataki’s endorsement will only enrich his political consultants who produce and place the advertisements. They are happy for the work and money. Most voters will look for another alternative as they remember the economic and political mess Pataki left behind at the end of his administration.
Why would any thoughtful GOP Mayoral candidate want his endorsement? On balance, Pataki was a net loss for the GOP and all New Yorkers including New York City residents.