Buying of the President

Published — May 28, 2015 Updated — December 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm ET

9 things to know about George Pataki

Former GOP governor of New York hopes to ascend to presidency

Introduction

Update, Dec. 29, 2015: George Pataki has ended his 2016 presidential campaign.

What do Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, Martin Van Buren and George Pataki all have in common? All men are former New York governors. And if Pataki can convince voters that he’s fit for the White House, all will have also served as president of the United States.

Pataki will formally announce his presidential run today. A Republican who served three terms as New York’s top executive, he first won that office by defeating Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo during the famed “Republican Revolution” of 1994. An ardent supporter of fighting Islamic terrorists abroad, Pataki led New York’s government during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In a crowded GOP presidential field, Pataki also stands out for his environmental stances. In 2005, BusinessWeek praised Pataki for his efforts as governor “to cut gases that cause global warming.”

As president, Pataki says he would reduce the size of government and simplify the tax code. He says he would also institute term limits for Congress and ban former members of Congress from lobbying.

Pataki also considered presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 but didn’t run. Here’s more about the man who hopes that 2016 will finally be his year:

  • Who is George Pataki? A former three-term GOP governor of New York who’s now running for president. 
  • George Pataki is no stranger to big-money campaigns. He raised about $40 million for his 2002 gubernatorial bid and about $24 million in 1998.
  • About $1 of every $7 George Pataki raised during his 2002 gubernatorial bid came from finance, insurance and real estate interests.
  • After leaving office, George Pataki founded a business development firm with John Cahill, his former chief of staff.
  • The Pataki-Cahill Group advertises that its “strategic relationships will help clients make invaluable introductions.”
  • George Pataki has pledged to permanently ban former members of Congress from lobbying if elected president.
  • In 2012, George Pataki launched a super PAC focused on New York races that he hoped would raise more than $10 million. It raised $66,000.
  • A pro-Pataki group named “We The People, Not Washington” was the first super PAC to officially register with the FEC this year.
  • “We The People, Not Washington” has yet to file paperwork identifying its donors. But several New Hampshire politicians are part of its team.

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as the American Friends Service Committee, National Institute on Money in State Politics, PatakiCahillGroup.com, Wall Street Journal and WeThePeopleNotWashington.com.

Image sources: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Michael Vadon/Flickr, Iowapolitics.comFlickr, Jim Cole/AP

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