Paterson Campaign Mails Against the Legislature

ALBANY—David Paterson has been accused of a taking a hard line in deficit reduction negotiations with the legislature to boost his political standing. Now he’s touting it in a letter to his campaign supporters.

“The legislature has been choosing to sit on the sidelines while our state risks running out of cash. Running out of cash has severe consequences for the state, just like it would for any family,” Paterson wrote in an e-mail sent to his campaign listserv, repeating lines used Sunday in a conference call and on Tuesday when he introduced two bills to cut the deficit, and giving him the power to do it himself. “A cash-strapped New York means delayed payments to schools and critical services hindered. I will not let that happen. This is why I have taken these steps.”

In short: if the legislature is unwilling to make the necessary cuts, I will. If the legislature is unwilling to do what needs to be done, I will,” Paterson wrote. “If the legislature is unwilling to endure the criticism and the consequences, I will. It is only because the legislature has been plagued by inaction and unwillingness that I have sought these measures.”

A poll released last week showed the legislature is even more unpopular than the governor, whose own standing in the polls has increased slightly in recent weeks amid his fiscal hawkishness and a T.V. ad campaign.

Here’s the full email from Paterson:

Dear XXXXXXXX,

The stakes could not be higher for the future of our state.

During the state’s budget battles of the last year, I have fought to do what’s right for the people of New York despite intense opposition from special interests and state legislators who refuse to confront fiscal reality.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been fighting for a deficit reduction program that would close our current $3.2 billion gap in our current fiscal year and reduce the nearly $7 billion next year. We have to make immediate, substantial cuts reducing our spending.

We cannot raise taxes — New Yorkers’ tax burden is already high enough. We should not borrow any more money — it will cost us more in the long run. And we simply cannot spend money that we don’t have. We need responsible solutions to cut the deficit and we need them now.

This is why on Tuesday, I delivered a clear message to the legislature: cut this deficit with me or give me the power to do it myself.

clip image001 Paterson Campaign Mails Against the Legislature
Governor Paterson’s message to the legislature:
“Cut this deficit with me or give me the power to do it myself.
Watch here.

I have submitted two bills to the legislature. The first is my Deficit Reduction Program. It is a plan of shared sacrifice with responsible, recurring spending cuts across every area of the budget. It is a road map to putting New York on the road to fiscal recovery. The second is my Executive Option Proposal. This would grant me, as Governor, a one-time authority to cut our spending, preserve the integrity of our credit rating, and keep New York safely afloat.

The legislature has been choosing to sit on the sidelines while our state risks running out of cash. Running out of cash has severe consequences for the state, just like it would for any family. A cash-strapped New York means delayed payments to schools and critical services hindered. I will not let that happen. This is why I have taken these steps.

In short: if the legislature is unwilling to make the necessary cuts, I will. If the legislature is unwilling to do what needs to be done, I will. If the legislature is unwilling to endure the criticism and the consequences, I will. It is only because the legislature has been plagued by inaction and unwillingness that I have sought these measures.

So far, New York has been able to avoid the devastation suffered by other states. In fact, we’re ahead of nearly every other state. It’s so important that we keep our foundation strong so that we can be ready for the next wave of innovation and new economy jobs.

Please call your legislator and say the time for action is now — and click here to let me know you stand with end the delays, cut our spending and close the deficit. I need your support to help send a powerful message to Albany — the time for playing politics is over and the time for recovery must begin now.

This is a crisis. This is a time for leadership. I’m willing to make the tough choices.

Thank you for standing with me. I’ll always stand with you.

Sincerely,
David A. Paterson
David A. Paterson
Governor of New York

PS New Yorkers often ask me how we got into this deficit in the first place. The very short answer is two-fold: we have declining tax revenues and we’ve suffered from decades of excessive spending. The legislature has found it easy to increase spending over the years, but now refuses to make the difficult decisions to reduce spending. I believe that if New Yorkers can make those decisions in their own lives and households during these tough economic times, so should our legislature.