George Pataki on Government Reform

Republican NY Governor


Lifetime ban on elected officials becoming lobbyists

I would propose a law: right now there are over 400 former members of the House and Senate who are registered lobbyists in Washington. I would propose a law on day one, you serve one day in the House or Senate, there's a lifetime ban on you ever being a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. You get elected, you go back home. You don't stay and support the special interests.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Empower the citizens to take back our government

George Pataki's agenda empowers the citizens of our great nation to take back our government. He believes that Washington has overreached, and that the culture of Washington needs to be changed, not managed. Liberty is the only way for the independent spirit of the American people to thrive. Governor Pataki was elected as a Republican in a deep blue state--the only New York governor to win on the Conservative Party Line. He has demonstrated the ability to unite people over the issues that matter and lead our nation back to prosperity. The future of this country and the Republican Party depend on choosing a candidate that can speak to the entire country and win votes across the aisle. As governor, Pataki provided real solutions that inspired people of all backgrounds to work together towards a better future.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website GeorgePataki.com, "Meet" , May 28, 2015

Ban lobbying by former Members of Congress

Government has grown too big, too powerful, too expensive, and too intrusive. Washington politicians and bureaucrats believe they know better than us, and can tell us how to run our lives, from what health care each of us can have, to trying to dictate what every child in every school must learn.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website: Announcement speech , May 28, 2015

Reform lobbying laws for more restrictions & disclosure

This session, I will advance a comprehensive agenda that will make this government more effective, more efficient and more accountable to the people of New York. Let's begin with seven major goals.
  1. Let's reform our state's lobbying laws. Last year, I signed an Executive Order requiring all State agencies and authorities to publicly disclose information on procurement lobbying for the first time ever. This year, let's work together to enact legislation imposing a smart and effective ban on procurement lobbying.
  2. I will also advance legislation to impose a ban on all gifts from lobbyists. This simple but vitally important step would help to reinforce public trust in the government process itself.
  3. Let's continue making bold reforms and improvements at our public authorities.
  4. I will sign a new Executive Order establishing a new, broadly inclusive Commission on Public Authority Reform.
Source: State of the State address to 2005 New York Legislature , Jan 5, 2006

Governing philosophy: active but limited government

My governing philosophy has been shaped by many forces--my proudly American working class family, my small-town Hudson Valley upbringing, the tumultuous period during which I went to school, my appreciation of history and my experience in government have all played a role in shaping the principles that continue to guide my actions as your governor.

I believe in active but limited government--a government that is engaged and effective, but never intrusive or over-reaching: a government that works vigorously and diligently to identify problems and then creates opportunities for people to solve them; a government that staunchly protects its citizens' freedom to work, live and raise their families yet never dictates how they should do so.

These are the precepts that have guided me for the past 11 years--they are the essence of the policies and initiatives I have advocated and advanced throughout my tenure as New York's Chief Executive.

Source: State of the State address to 2006 New York Legislature , Jan 4, 2006

Reforms must respect state's rights to select electors.

Pataki adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

In the wake of the United States presidential election in Florida, the Congress and the administration has expressed interest in federal standards for elections. Recognizing that Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grants states, not Congress, the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and conducting elections generally, most legislative proposals do not mandate federal standards. Rather, current proposals direct federal agencies or commissions to study and make recommendations concerning the election system. Nonetheless, the possibility of legislation in the 107th Congress requiring states to implement federal election standards remains. If enacted without adequate funding by the federal government, such legislation could also result in an unfunded mandate to the states.

NGAís Position

Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grant states the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and provide that states are responsible for establishing election procedures generally. However, in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, the nationís Governors recognize the need for election reform. NGA will continue to monitor federal legislation addressing this issue, but has not taken a position in support of or opposition to election reform efforts.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA11 on Aug 1, 2001

Reduce federal government size & scope, including military.

Pataki adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:

The federal government must reduce its size and scope, and cede certain federally operated policies and services to the states and private sector that are better equipped to handle them. One way to accomplish this would be to limit growth of government spending at or even below the inflation rate. Long-term economic growth is dependent upon sustained federal discipline. We believe this is the time to carefully assess both our domestic discretionary and our military commitments. In both areas, we face a potential fiscal imbalance between our program commitments and our available resources. Perhaps neither the Congress nor the American people fully appreciate the impact of budget decisions in these areas. We owe it to the nation and its future to undertake an honest dialogue regarding the implications of these decisions on the state, local and private sectors.

Source: Republican Main St. Partnership Issue Paper: Fiscal Policy 98-RMSP4 on Sep 9, 1998

More federal funding for FAA and air traffic control.

Pataki adopted a letter to Senate leaders from 6 Governors:

The nationsí Governors urge the Senate to quickly complete action on a multi-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) that invests dedicated Airport and Airway revenues for their intended purposes each year. The Airport and Airway Trust Fund can support significantly higher funding for both the Airport Improvement Program and the Air Traffic Control Modernization program than is currently contained in the Senate reauthorization. We urge the Senate to increase funding levels for these programs by using the Airport and Airways Trust Fund receipts for their intended purpose.

Governors, along with our partners in the Coalition for TRUST - a broad coalition of business, labor, farm and state and local officials - recognize that insufficient investment in transportation jeopardizes economic growth. Furthermore, the Governors recognize the safety, security and other broad public benefits provided by the FAA and support a guarantee of continued general funding for FAA operations.

The Governors ask for your help in completing a conference with the House on this critical legislation prior to August 6 in order to avoid a lapse in funding.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 99-NGA25 on Jul 27, 1999

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Page last updated: Mar 12, 2016