Since David Paterson was sworn in as New York’s 55th governor to replace the disgraced Eliot Spitzer, the media has focused on his sexual escapades and his use of campaign contributions to fund non-political expenses. There is, however, more to Paterson than bad soap opera: throughout his government career he has enthusiastically embraced the fiscal, economic and cultural agenda of the radical left.
Before his election to the office of lieutenant governor in November 2006, State Senator Paterson represented for twenty years the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem. During his tenure, Senator Paterson’s New York Conservative Party legislative rating average was approximately 36 percent.
Paterson consistently supported the tax, borrow and spend policies of governor’s Mario Cuomo and George Pataki. He voted for the tax and fee increases that caused New York to have the nation’s highest income tax burden, state and local taxes per capita and debt per capita. In 2003, for instance, Paterson voted for the Omnibus Budget Bill which included the largest tax increase in the history of New York State.
Paterson opposed numerous proposals that would have established constitutional spending caps, limitations on state spending, reform measures that would require voter approval of all state-supported bonded debt and state construction spending caps.
One measure he always voted to extend – New York’s antiquated rent control laws. In 1992, he even voted against the elimination of rent control on luxury apartments.
As for social issues, Paterson proudly led the charge for left-wing cultural causes.
He voted for the state “Gay Rights” and “Bias Crime” bills. He voted to end the “conscience clause” for religious institutions which forces Catholic education and medical institutions to provide services contrary to religious principles.
Paterson supported funding of abortion, partial birth abortion and opposed parental consent for teenage abortions.
He voted against bills that would have permitted HIV testing of newborns and increased penalties for child pornography criminals.
In 1995, he opposed excluding illegal aliens from receiving welfare and in 1996, he voted nay on legislation that would have excluded illegals from receiving publicly-funded health care.
And contrary to some reports Paterson does not support vouchers or charter schools. He voted against the 1999 bill that enacted the “New York Charter School Act of 1998” and established the charter school stimulus fund.
Paterson is also very tight with New York’s Working Families Party which the Manhattan Institute’s Sol Stein describes as promoters of “1960s bred agenda of anti-capitalism, central planning, victimology and government handouts to the poor.”
Unlike his elitist predecessor, David Paterson is an affable person who likes hanging out in Albany pubs swapping stories and downing cocktails with political cronies. He has been a “get along” guy who has advanced his career by supporting the policies that have destroyed the once mighty Empire State. Expect the Paterson Administration to continue the Albany tradition of fiscal slight of hand to convince the public that the state budget is “responsibly” balanced – all the while pandering to special interests and increasing spending, taxes and pork.
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