Pataki's lavish spending of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups to grease his 2002 reelection for his last term made the late liberal Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller roll over in his grave! His record deficits, excessive spending and late budgets give real conservative Republicans anguish.
Spending in Patkai's last 2006 budget was twice the rate of inflation. This budget contained $1 billion worth of pork barrel projects known as member items, along with a potential deficit in the billions. Under Governor Pataki's tenure, with bipartisan support of the state legislature, borrowing for quasi-government agencies grew by billions.
The combined budgets for dozens of these agencies runs into the tens of billions. In many cases, these expenditures are tracked off line and not counted as part of the regular budget. Even worse, they are exempt from basic oversight by both the state comptroller and state legislature. Albany's $115 billion budget was greater than most states and many nations.
New York was ranked number two among the 50 states in debt, with each resident responsible for $3,515 of the $50 billion total debt. Under "TaxPaki," state debt grew from $27 billion in 1995 to $50 billion in 2006. Projected future red ink raised this debt to $54 billion by 2009. State public authorities debt is an additional $72 billion. These combined debts plus future interest total $187 billion!
As a lame duck governor, Pataki used tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to run numerous TV commercials. Pataki's smiling face left voters frowning. This media blitz at taxpayer expense was designed to raise Pataki's name identification in preparation for a 2008 presidential campaign, but didn't benefit residents paying the bill.
Pataki reminds me of Nero prior to the collapse of the Roman Empire. His public service announcements kept running while he ran around the country in 2006, positioning himself for a 2008 presidential run. In New York, he left the GOP in ruins.
In 2012, just as in 2008, intelligent Republican primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early contests would once again look past glitzy campaign commercials to a potential president's past leadership, management style, philosophy and political track record.
No intelligent Republican primary voter want to inflict the Pataki virus on a national level. Native Republicans who know Pataki best, would once again deny him the ability to carry New York as a favorite son candidate. Having been out of office five years, his Pay for Play campaign contributors abandoned him long ago.
As in 2008, with little funding or support, Pataki once again became one of the first GOP candidates to drop out long before the primary process even began. Pataki wrote his own political obituary long ago. Except in his own mind, Pataki is essentially irrelevant in politics today.