ALBANY—Assembly Republicans put a report on journalists' desks late last night talking about taxpayer waste and a task force they say could reduce state spending by $1 billion.
"At a time when New York is experiencing one of the greatest economic downturns in its history, the state can ill afford to keep spending recklessly and irresponsibly," said Assembly Minority Leader and congressional candidate Jim Tedisco said in a press release.
A report from a task force created by the Assembly Republicans recommended eliminating political use of state aircraft, merging state agencies and reducing Medicaid fraud. Tedisco's report also calls for the reduction of paper use by state and legislative offices and the elimination of unnecessary printing costs.
The report comes out just as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is mounting an attack on Tedisco based on taxpayer-funded mailings he sent around the state. Tedisco sent three mailers at the end of January to register his opposition to David Paterson's proposed obesity tax and proposed elimination of the STAR property tax rebate.
"Times are tough in Upstate New York, the last thing families need is more double-talk from another career Albany politician like Jim Tedisco who spends their tax money freely on himself, while they are left paying higher taxes each year," said Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Josh Fitzpatrick, a Tedisco surrogate, said that the mailings are justified, and noted they were sent before Tedisco became a candidate. He said no future mailings are planned.
"These are issues that affect everyday New Yorkers," Fitzpatrick said. "These are definitely not political mailers; that's for sure. They are definitely informational mailers."
Tedisco's Democratic opponent is venture capitalist Scott Murphy.