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April 15, 2010

I Heard A Great Joke Yesterday...Former NY Governor George Pataki Might Be Thinking Of Running For President!

Oh dear God, it's not a joke?

I wanted to blog about this last night but things got in the way. Still, I think it's worth covering today.

Pataki, as you may recall started out as a fairly conservative governor of NY who won on the strength of the Al D'Amato- Bill Powers machine and Cuomo fatigue. Not long after that he became quite the liberal.

Look at it this way, he's Rudy Giuliani without the colorful personality and actual accomplishments.

Does Pataki really think there's a clamor for a big spending, pro-choice candidate in the Republican Party. Don't think he's a big spender? Take a look at what he did to Medicare in New York and the deal he cut with the local SEIU crew.

Medicaid thus came to dictate spending priorities in Albany. The most recent (and glaring) example is the career of Republican governor George Pataki, who arrived in office in 1995 railing against Medicaid overspending but then blasted it even higher by cutting politically expedient deals. In 1999, Pataki added billions to Medicaid with funds from cigarette taxes and the states’ share of revenues from the national Master Tobacco Settlement. The next year, he signed the Health Care Reform Act, which used Medicaid dollars to offer a new plan, Family Health Plus, that extended coverage to adults who earned too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid. And in 2002, to help cement his reelection bid, Pataki helped funnel an additional $1.8 billion in Medicaid funds into raises for SEIU 1199’s private-sector home-care workers; a few months after the bill passed, the union endorsed Pataki in the general election. Pataki won, but New York paid a steep price: by the time he left office in 2006, Medicaid spending had nearly doubled since 1995.

The New York Times had the details of the Patiki-Joe Bruno (then the Republican leader of the NY State Senate and now convicted on federal corruption charges) deal with SEIU.

I get Pataki not wanting to run for the Senate. It's a special election for the last two years of Hillary's term which means the winner will be running again in '12. That means 3 years of fundraising and campaigning across God forsaken places in NY. And if you're lucky and win...you get to be a Senator. Yeah, I don't blame him for not wanting that.

But President, George? No. I think we've had our fill of big spending, socially liberal candidates for President.

As for NY this year...forget it. The GOP had to recruit a Democrat to flip parties to run for Governor. He's now running a nasty campaign against Rick Lazio who has Rudy's support and that's about it. Neither has a chance against Andrew Cuomo. Oh, there's another guy running who is either a Republican or a tea party type, it's not really clear. He's been caught forwarding racist and sexually explicit emails around. So....

There are some no names lining up to run against Gillibrand but none have a shot. They are local gadfly types as far as I can tell. Too bad, Pataki or Rudy could have beaten her easily but they didn't want to make the run.

Chuck Schumer is up this year as well but he and his $20 million war chest are likely running unopposed.

The Republican wave may reach unexpected places across the country like California but when it comes to statewide races, NY will likely be a breakwater for Democrats. Do expect to see a few House seats go Republican (Massa's district, the 23rd where Doug Hoffman is running again and NY 20 look like good opportunities for pick ups).

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posted by DrewM. at 10:17 AM

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