Pataki and Pizza

John Raby on February 03, 2015
John Raby met up with Governor George Pataki at Village Pizza in Newport. They talked about the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms, the connection between Citizens United and the money flooding the electoral system, and John's concerns about the over-militarization of our society.

I asked two questions. My first one came after he had criticized the power of special interests in government and stated that government must return to serving the people. After noting how much more expensive the 2012 election was than 2008's in small-government New Hampshire, how much money came in from outside the state, and how people in our state feel that ordinary citizens are getting kicked in the tail (my exact words) and democracy is going down the drain (again, my exact words), I asked Pataki what he would do about big money in politics.  

He replied that the Court had ruled in Citizens United, implicitly signaling that limits on spending won’t work, then stated that there should be law requiring candidates to disclose all donations from all sources. 

Pataki stated that he would aim for a law that would ban former members of Congress from ever being lobbyists. He made it plain that he was disgusted with the fact that former members of Congress make several times their congressional salaries as lobbyists.  Everyone in the room seemed to like that statement. 

My second question, which I asked with our concerns about an over-militarized America in mind, was about gun control, an issue he brought up in response to a question about the Second Amendment. He rejected all gun control measures except better mental health screening and services, and added that he would not bar veterans suffering PTSD from gun ownership.  

I asked him whether he thought that the better mental health services he advocates as the best form of gun control would reduce or eliminate the chances of incidents such as the one where Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed two NYPD officers, both people of color.  Pataki said that he thought that better mental health services would reduce those chances, then calmly went on to denounce Bill De Blasio, Al Sharpton, and the protesters in Ferguson, NYC, and other places as fomenters of anti-police hatred. Is there any such thing as police brutality in Pataki's world, or any police bias against people of color? 

Newport, NH
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