I’ve never liked N.Y. Governor George Pataki (see here and here, for example). Here’s one more reason not to like him. The N.Y. Post reports today on its front page that Pataki had the state GOP secretly fund a personal maid for his wife at the family mansion:
The servant — whose shocking existence on the party payroll was unknown even among the state’s highest- ranking GOP officials — was described to The Post by two Republican insiders as Mrs. Pataki’s “maid” and “personal valet.”
The employee, Michelle Stubbs, 56, of Chester — less than 20 miles from Pataki’s sprawling Putnam County estate — is being paid $36,650 a year, plus expenses, out of the “housekeeping account” of the state GOP, records show. The account is supposed to fund routine party operating expenses.
A GOP source said, “The word is she may be a nanny, a gopher, a cleaning person or some kind of personal valet. She’s supposed to be engaged in housework along with whatever else she is doing.”
A prominent Republican who said he just learned of the highly unusual arrangement told The Post, “The few people who know about this just roll their eyes in disgust over how our badly needed money is being spent.”
I’ve accused Gov. Pataki in the past of being an advocate for Big Nannyism. Didn’t know he believed in it so literally.
Ray Keating nails Pataki in this Newsday op-ed. A sample:
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Various analysts talk about the need for Pataki to re-establish his credentials as a fiscal conservative. Wow, is that ever an understatement! During his earliest years as governor, Pataki earned praise for holding the line on spending, and making some rather modest tax cuts. Subsequently, though, he has spent wildly, raised various taxes and was unable to stop his own party’s majority in the state Senate from pushing through a major tax hike two years ago. Of course, his own free-spending ways contributed to that tax increase.
But if that’s not enough, let’s take a look at Pataki’s state budget proposal for 2005-06, released a couple of weeks ago. This ranks as anything but a conservative document. Despite chatter that Pataki would cut spending, reality is quite different. Total expenditures, including federal funds, would rise by at least the inflation rate to a staggering $105.5 billion, while state-funded spending would leap by multiple times the inflation rate. Naturally, once wasteful Democrats in the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate have their way, spending will go even higher.
Then there is the matter of “carefully targeted revenue enhancements,” as the governor’s budget press release put it. In plain language, those are tax hikes – $779 million worth. That includes an increase in the tax on nursing homes, a sales-tax hike on clothing and footwear, and whopping increases in passenger-vehicle registration fees, ranging from 33 percent for most vehicles to 75 percent for the heaviest.
Meanwhile, New York currently imposes one of the lowest wine taxes in the nation. Obviously, we can’t have that. So Pataki proposes a 560-percent increase – from 5 cents per liter to 28 cents – which would tie us for 10th highest. Now that’s more like New York when it comes to a tax. The lone real positive on the tax front is his proposal to quicken the phase-out of the 2003 income tax increase.
In the end, Pataki has done little during his time as governor to warrant anything but guffaws when his presidential ambitions are mentioned. His lone big thing remains beating Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994. Since Pataki’s early years in office, it’s been downhill…
A note about comments that fits neatly into a short, fairly unentertaining but semi-informative post
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