June 3, 1997

Statement from Governor Pataki

The truth is now clear: The so-called advocates who oppose my plan to protect all tenants but the wealthiest few are afraid to an open debate because they know that their ideas are bankrupt. Their rhetoric simply can not stand up to the light of day.

This is more "politics as usual" and that is unfortunate. The people of New York City deserve to hear the truth, but the so-called advocates who pulled out would rather engage in scare tactics and distort the facts. They are unwilling to defend their position in an open debate because they can't.

They know, but for political reasons will not acknowledge, that my plan protects virtually all tenants but the wealthiest few.

They know that my plan protects all senior citizens and disabled tenants regardless of their income.

They know my plan protects the broad rights of tenants to turn their apartments over to their family or other loved ones.

They know my plan includes the toughest crackdown in the nation on dishonest landlords by sending landlords who harass their tenants to State prison for up to seven years.

They know my plan will help create affordable housing for everyone in New York City.

They would rather protect their own political agendas than protect the tenants of New York.

I want to thank New York One, which worked with my staff to ensure we had a fair and balanced panel that allowed for a free exchange among all participants. They clearly believe, as I do, that the future of rent control is critical to the future of New York City and worthy of a healthy debate.

Unfortunately, those who pulled out would rather play politics.