Document:New York Press Release 5 January 2007 Libertarian Leader Has Mixed Reaction To Spitzer’s State of the State Speech

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Libertarian Leader Has Mixed Reaction To Spitzer’s State of the State Speech LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NEW YORK http://www.ny.lp.org/ Contact: Richard Cooper, State Chair nylibertarian@hotmail.com Libertarian Leader Has Mixed Reaction To Spitzer’s State of the State Speech

Albany, NY 1/5/07: After reading Gov. Spitzer’s first State of the State speech, Libertarian Party State Chair Richard Cooper had a pleasant surprise. He actually agreed with some of what Spitzer advocated. Not that the Libertarian leader was pleased by everything said or not said.

Spitzer called for political reforms. Cooper liked nonpartisan redistricting and lobbying reform. But Cooper derides Spitzer’s call for “public” financing of elections. Cooper declares “We already have taxpayer financing of elections. We find it in the state budget in general and the so-called member items in particular. Taxpayer financing of elections means they get to pay for the promotion of opinions and people the taxpayers reject. Libertarians see that is unjust and unfair, just as Thomas Jefferson did in connection with a state church.” Cooper asks “What about nonpartisan elections? What about easier ballot access for independent and minor party candidates? What about instant runoff voting? What about approval voting? What about initiative and referendum? What about term limits? ”

Cooper praises Spitzer’s call for an end to the “culture of spending”, reform of the state’s public authorities and consolidation of multiple layers of local government. But Spitzer then moved to propose massive spending on health care, education, infrastructure and economic development. Cooper charges “We will continue to see as we did under Pataki the assault on taxpayers, property owners and tenants represented by eminent domain schemes such as the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, which Spitzer has already endorsed. We should abolish the Empire State Development Corporation, rather than expanding it as he seems to. His speech was silent on any sort of eminent domain reform. Not a big surprise.” Cooper was disappointed about Spitzer’s silence on the Rockefeller drug laws.

Cooper reports that the Libertarian Party of New York State Committee will be meeting this Sunday and he will suggest to them that they endorse a legislative agenda to be outlined later. They will hold their State Convention on Saturday, April 28th in Suffolk County.