George E. Pataki
Governor of New York State

April 18, 2002

Dear Independence Party State Committee Member,

As your Governor, I've never been more proud to be a New Yorker. Today America and the world know what I've always known - that the people of the Empire State are heroes, champions and patriots.

In the last few months, the entire nation and the world have witnessed the amazing strength of the people of New York State. As your Governor, I've witnessed the strength of New Yorkers up close. And from Brooklyn to Buffalo, from Islip to Ithaca, I like what I see.

Today, New York State is moving forward because of the strength and spirit and pride of its people. But it has always been the power of the individual that has made New York great. And it has always been the power of the individual that has made the Empire State the nation's leader.

Whether it's leading the nation in cutting taxes, reducing crime, protecting our environment or providing hundreds of thousands of children with access to the best healthcare in the world, New York is always on the forefront.

But you and I know what's best about New York: New Yorkers.

For New Yorkers, being the best isn't good enough. We never give up. We know that we can always do better. We can always produce change. We can always make a difference.

I've always believed that the dreams, strength and power of everyday New Yorkers is what makes New York the Empire State. And as Governor, I've worked hard to reach out to all New Yorkers - regardless of background, ideology, or political affiliation - to build consensus and to give more power back to the people.

As Governor, I've had the opportunity to meet with and hear the advice and ideas of many New Yorkers - including many members of the Independence Party. I've found that we share this belief in everyday New Yorkers, a commitment to empowering people, and a desire to truly reform government.

Now more than ever I believe that, working together, we have a real opportunity to put our shared values, our belief in people not government, into action. Today New Yorkers are more united than ever and more committed to finding common ground on which to produce real change.

Like you, I believe our forefathers designed and intended our government not to simply respond to the people but to work for the people. I believe their intent was to give everyday people a real voice in their government. And I believe our country was founded in the notion that everyday people are capable of extraordinary things.

That's why I'm fighting to give New Yorkers a real voice in their government through Citizen Initiative & Referendum. Citizen Initiative and Referendum is one way to give more power and more opportunity back to the people and I will work hard to make it the law. But it's not the only way.

If we truly want to make a difference, if we truly want to give people more control over government, we must also reform the way political campaigns are financed and run in New York and America. That's why I've proposed sweeping campaign finance reform - because I believe the ideas of everyday New Yorkers - not interest groups - are special.

If we truly want to make a difference, we must change the way we run our schools to provide more opportunity and more accountability so that our children get a first-rate education and so that tomorrow's New York is even better than today's.

There is so much we can do to produce real change. But I'll need your help to do it.

In the past few months, I've been particularly proud of the enthusiastic and very public support many leaders and members of the Independence Party have given me. I've been honored to have many of your leaders and members stand with me and join the choir of voices committed to reform.

It is the spirit of cooperation, the spirit of non-partisanship, the spirit of the Independence Party and the spirit of all New Yorkers that inspires me to continue our battle for the individual and for freedom.

It is my hope, my honor and my intention to have the support of the Independence Party this fall. It is an honor I will fight for.

You have shown me outstanding support and I want you to know that I will never waver, but I will stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, as we continue on the road to reform, to opportunity and to progress.

Today, right now, we have a great opportunity to take action. If you'll join me, together we will fight for more reform, more freedom and more opportunity.


George E. Pataki

P.S. "I am a New Yorker." Never have we been more proud to utter those five words. Now more than ever, we have a real opportunity to put our shared belief in the individual into action. I'm proud to have the support of so many leaders and members of the Independence Party. And I am hopeful that you will join us in making New York State better than ever.



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