N.Y. Gov. Chastises Lawmakers For Corruption, Fiscal Irresponsibility

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From the NY Times:

ALBANY — In an unusually blunt address to the Legislature on Wednesday, Gov. David A. Paterson chastised the lawmakers before him, saying they had spent the state into near fiscal ruin and stood by as a plague of political corruption destroyed New Yorkers’ trust in government.

Dispensing with the ritualized flattery that typically precedes the annual State of the State address, Mr. Paterson warned, in sometimes biblical tones, that lawmakers faced a political and financial reckoning if they did not act quickly to repair New York’s finances and restore citizens’ faith in public officials.

“You have left me and other governors no choice,” Mr. Paterson said. “Whether it be by vetoes or delayed spending, I will not write bad checks, and we will not mortgage our children’s future.”

The speech was a sharp departure from Mr. Paterson’s State of the State address last year, when he interspersed calls for budget cuts with warm asides and encomiums to individual lawmakers, drawing occasional laughter from the audience. His public scolding on Wednesday drew a cool response from lawmakers of both parties, who gave Mr. Paterson little applause, and rose from their chairs only when Mr. Paterson entered and exited the chamber.

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